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The 8 Best Instant Cameras You Can Buy Right Now
There is a romanticism to instantly having a physical photo in your hand. That ability to capture a special moment and have a memento to keep is to be cherished. While modern digital photography has its advantages, there is still a place for the instant camera.
An instant photo is great to give away as a gift but you can also use one to create a collection of your most favorite moments. They are perfect for parties and weddings too, but you’re probably here because you’re already excited about getting one.
So what is the best instant camera you can buy right now? Well, that’s what we’re here to find out. We’ve found eight models we love that tick all the right boxes. All you need to do is read on and choose your favorite. Let’s dive straight in!
1. Polaroid OneStep+
The Polaroid OneStep+ is built using a perfect hybrid of engineering and photography. The camera is everything you would want in a photography tool. It is sturdy, shoots in a wide range of environments, and gives excellent attention to detail.
This camera will suit you well if your goal is to grow your photography skills and become a professional artist. Some users complain of difficulties when connecting the device via Bluetooth, but this is a small challenge that is fairly easy to solve.
However, beginners might not enjoy the OneStep+ immediately after it is delivered because there is a learning curve. Be patient enough to learn, and you will eventually enjoy using all its features.
The OneStep+ comes with an easy-to-use app that will help you to manipulate your photos. The app also allows you to control the camera from your phone. It perfectly balances traditional photography with some great digital features.
2. Cannon Ivy Cliq+
If you are the type of photographer who wants to have fun with your camera, then here lies your perfect model. The camera takes and prints the photos there and then. You can get it as a gift or just for you to enjoy.
One thing that most users don’t appreciate enough about the Cliq+ is that you get a camera and a printer for a brilliant price. It’s an incredible deal and great value for money.
The photo quality will depend on your photography skills. If you are a top-notch photographer you’ll get incredible results. After all, a camera is just a tool to help you capture images, so if you don’t know how to play around with the light and focus settings, you might not get the best pictures.
Although you will have a lot of fun with this unique camera, you should be aware that the Cliq+ does not give the highest standard of photos. They are still great but not quite at that elite level.
3. FujiFilm Instax Mini 40
One feature we loved about the Instax Mini 40 is the selfie mode. It’s effortless to use as you can just shoot and the photos come out incredibly clear and vibrant. You also get a solid-bodied camera.
A feature many people love here is the compact body size. The Mini 40 feels small and fits well in the hands, making it a good option for those with smaller hands or anyone looking for something highly portable.
The camera also pairs well with the Instax Mini Printer. Ensure you carry both tools when going for your little adventures because you don’t want to miss a moment. If you are a sucker for quality photos, you will not go wrong with this little beast. The picture quality is good, and the camera is also easy to use.
One thing the camera does lack is a bulb mode and flash override, which are very important for good low-light photography. So this might not be ideal if you are looking to shoot at night.
4. Polaroid Now
It is natural to be apprehensive about trying a lesser-known brand but the new Polaroid Now is worth a try. The picture quality is impressive, and the camera is also light enabling you to take shots with more comfort. It comes with a micro USB charging port, and you will like the battery life.
Beginners don’t have to worry about a learning curve because this camera is easy to use, and you get pictures immediately after you shoot. Some people complained about the images being fuzzy, though, which can be common with instant cameras.
The price is fantastic and you get plenty of quality for your money. There is also a wide range of great colors available so you can easily get something you’ll love.
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5. FujiFilm Instax Mini 11
The FujiFilm Instax Mini 11 camera is a cute, fun, and well-sized camera great for all occassions. This model comes with batteries and a handy strap. If you like bright colors, you will also get a chance to choose from the variety available.
Its body is very sturdy and the design is eye-catching. Things like the ON button are well placed, the color scheme bright, and the lens protrudes well. You also get to use a camera with auto settings and a selfie mirror to help you take better selfies in the selfie mode.
One of the things you might not like about this Mini 11 photography tool is that it is a bit bulkier, making it uncomfortable when taking pictures. When shooting, you also have to be a little bit patient because the camera takes time to configure itself if there are changes in lighting.
Aside from that, there are many features to love here. You also get the level of quality that you’d expect from the famous FujiFilm brand.
6. Kodak Smile
This lovely little device from Kodak is effortless to use, making the camera beginner-friendly. It has a beautiful design and you can get it in a variety of colors but most users find the black one most attractive.
You will like its Bluetooth feature, which enables you to connect the device with a phone and print photos. The Kodak Smile will let you take good group pictures and selfies, and this is more fun because of the 10-second timer. The Kodak Smile app is also easy to use, and you can customize it to give you pictures with the retro Polaroid look.
If you are all about photo quality, you might not smile at the photos from Kodak Smile because they are of lower quality. The app also crashes sometimes, and this can be annoying. It is, however, incredibly fun. It makes it perfect for parties or any type of social gathering when you want to capture those special moments. Great for casual photography fans.
7. Lomography Lomo’Instant
You are likely to get the wrong first impression with the Lomography Lomo’Instant camera if you are a novice because it is not beginner-friendly. Once you’ve mastered it, you’ll love it.
You will also enjoy taking beautiful shots in the natural light. It has a multiple exposure feature which is fantastic and helpful. The three shooting modes allow you to quickly get the perfect settings for any conditions.
This camera is built well and has a good size that fits in the hands perfectly. The camera is also fun to work with. Besides that, some users complained that this beautiful photography tool doesn’t have an SD card slot, meaning you cannot transfer your photos easily.
The image quality isn’t as excellent as you want it to be, and when taking shots, the sensor is likely to overexpose film all the time. One of the reasons the picture quality is low is because of the plastic lens but this is to be expected from such an affordable model.
8. Polaroid Go
One thing you will most certainly love about this little photography tool is its portability. The camera fits well in the hands, making it the best photography tool for portability, and the size contributes to the comfort of taking shots.
The Polaroid Go is also well-built, with a sturdy body and attractive colors. It does not look complicated, with no unnecessary buttons. It ticks all the right boxes on what makes a fantastic instant camera.
We loved this camera because, despite its small size, the manufacturer has still prioritized maintaining the most useful features. For example, this camera has an auto-exposure, a flash, timer, and double exposure mode.
The Polaroid Go also has a built-in battery with long battery life and you can get over 120 shots with a fully charged battery. We liked the camera also because it is affordable.
For the budget price, you get a classic camera and two film packs. It is also simple to use, meaning even beginners will not have a hard time with it. There’s nothing not to love about this instant camera.
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Instant Camera FAQs
An instant camera is one that will immediately give you a printed picture. It uses self-developing film to quickly give you a physical image. This is in contrast to other methods that require developing or printing separate from the camera.
These cameras are commonly called polaroids as the Polaroid Corporation was the first to make them. They still make cameras today but now many other brands have entered the market.
Instant cameras became hugely popular as they skipped the middle man, so to speak. You no longer had to wait to have your film developed and instead you quickly got your printed image.
In the digital age, that’s no longer as relevant. Still, people love having an instant physical picture, which you can’t get with most digital cameras. They are extremely fun and many love them as a throwback to a simpler time. They have lasting appeal as it’s a unique way to take a photo.
Most instant cameras are relatively cheap when compared to other types of cameras. That’s generally because they are used more for fun and the image quality is never going to be as high as a professional camera.
Because of that, you can usually pick up a brilliant instant camera for around $100. Some are a little more expensive than this if they have more complex digital features and others can be simpler and a little cheaper.