The Best Polaroid Camera for 2020 – Essential Buying Guide

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In this article, we are going to discuss the best Polaroid cameras in the market. From the overexposures and misfires to the shapes, colors and instant Io-Fi charm, everything about Polaroid cameras just screams style!

polaroid camera review

Whether you’re in search of a leisure camera for your family or want to get a little more creative with your photography, Polaroid cameras are the best option. Polaroid cameras and their distinct print have been seeing a considerable revival the past few years. Even with the dominance of digital cameras and smartphone’s, you can’t quite beat having physical prints of your images in your hand.

With so many options to pick from, selecting the best Polaroid camera may prove a bit challenging. Not to worry, though, we have done some extensive research to bring you the best Polaroid cameras in the market.

Polaroid Camera Comparison

ItemNameRatingPrice 
Fujifilm INSTAX 300 Photo Instant Camera
Fujifilm INSTAX 300
4.5 out of 5 stars
$$$
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Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 Instant Camera
Fujifilm Instax Mini
4 out of 5 stars
$
Check Price
Polaroid Snap Instant Digital Camera
Polaroid Snap
4 out of 5 stars
$
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Polaroid Originals OneStep+
Polaroid Originals OneStep+
3 out of 5 stars
$$
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Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 Instant Camera Bundle
Fujifilm Instax Mini Bundle
4.5 out of 5 stars
$$
Check Price

Polaroid Camera Reviews

Fujifilm INSTAX 300 Photo Instant Camera

fujifilm instax 300

The Fuji Instax 300 instant camera is a compact, instant film camera that you will want to take everywhere. The Fuji Instax 300’s simple operation system makes it ideal for art projects, parties and anywhere else you’d like to shoot instant photos. This instant camera is designed to produce vivid, near-instant, high-quality prints. The Fuji Instax 300 instant camera measures 12 inches by 10.5 inches by 5.8 inches and weighs in at 4 pounds.

Additional Information

The Fuji Instax 300 instant camera is equipped with a prime lens, optical viewfinder and a well-designed handgrip with the shutter release sitting at its top. This instant camera uses the Instax Wide film format and is powered by four AA batteries. Instax Wide can be purchased in packs of 10 exposures, with each image sizing 3.9 inches by 2.4 inches. Buying the Instax Wide in bulk is recommended as it saves you money. The film is only available in color; this is a disappointment for people who are into shooting in black and white.

For people who are just shooting for fun, the cost of an instant film can be a bummer. Professionals like wedding photographers who want to add some value to packages can, however, justify the relatively low-cost camera. This instant camera is so easy to use than even a beginner, or your assistant can handle it without much stress.

The camera’s flash mechanism in the Fuji Instax 300 instant camera is designed to fire automatically in low-light conditions, even if you forgot to turn it on. For the most part, the way the camera meters is satisfying; overexposure can, however, be an issue in some instances.

When the Fuji Instax 300 instant camera is powered on, the lens locks to a focus range of 2.9 feet to 9.8 feet — twisting the barrel on the camera switches to the 3-meter-to-infinity range. A clip-on macro attachment for the lens which enables you to focus closer is included. A plastic arm is positioned in front of the fixed optical viewfinder to show you the center of the frame when you are focusing close. The Fuji Instax 300 instant camera is fitted with a 14mm f/14 prime lens.

The Fuji Instax 300 instant camera is easy to use, as long as you put into consideration the distance between your subject and yourself before taking the shot. Serious professional photographers may have some issues with the lack of manual exposure control. The primary exposure controls will, however, make casual snap-shooters feel at home.

PROS
  • This Fuji Instax 300 instant camera uses large Instax Wide instant film format.
  • This instant camera comes complete with a close focus adapter.
  • The Fuji Instax 300 produces pleasing physical prints.
  • This instant camera is also easy to use.
CONS
  • The Fuji Instax 300 instant camera has limited exposure control.
  • This instant camera may prove a bit pricey for high-volume shooters.

Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 Instant Camera

fujifilm instax mini

This instant camera measures 3 inches by 5 inches by 5.5 inches and weighs 12.8 ounces. The Instax mini nine instant camera retains the ease of use and attractive design elements of its predecessor while adding five new exciting colorways. The new colorways include ice blue, flamingo pink, lime green, Smokey white and cobalt blue. The Instax mini nine is equipped with a selfie mirror for the ideal selfie photo at all times. The Instax Mini 9 retains all of the great features found in the Instax Mini eight while adding on a few more impressive features. The Instax mini nine instant camera is designed with rounded edges for a more intimate look.

Additional Information

The replacement for the former entry-level Instax mini8 was rolled out with many changes. The body of the Instax mini nine sports an added selfie mirror that was not present in the Instax mini 8. The Instax mini 9 comes in a slew of color options. A clip-on macro adapter is also included to take close-up shots. The Instax mini nine instant camera is equipped with a built-in flash, which automatically fires when you take a photo in dark areas. Two AA batteries power this impressive instant camera.

The Instax mini nine instant camera sports a 60mm lens with a narrow f/12.7 maximum aperture that will make you cherish the automatic flash when shooting indoors. This instant camera has a moderate wide-angle field of view which is almost the same as a 35mm lens on a full-frame camera.

Fuji films included a clip-on macro adapter in the package. The clip-on macro adapter attaches directly to the lens and keeps subjects in focus from about 13 inches to 19.7 inches. This camera will blur anything closer or further away from 19.7 inches. Without the clip-on adapter, the focus of this instant camera is limited to 2feet to infinity.

When you power on the Instax mini nine camera, the flash will power up and the lens will pop-up, indicating that you’re ready to start shooting. Intentionally overexposed images can be captured for a brighter look with the Hi-Key mode.

Rather than taking a reading via the lens like digital cameras, the Instax mini 9’s meter evaluates the light hitting the body of the camera. The viewfinder of the Instax mini nine is located at the side of the camera body, right above the shutter release. The position of the viewfinder makes this camera more comfortable while in portrait orientation.

The Instax mini nine instant camera’s films are loaded in the rear. The image produced by this camera has a border and an image area of about 1.8 inches by 2.4 inches. Black-and-white cartridges typically cost a bit more while the casual two-pack color cartridge is cheaper and nets 20 shots. The Instax mini 9camera lets you know how many shots you have remaining in the loaded cartridge by the use of an analog counter on the rear.

PROS
  • With the Instax mini 9, both color and black & white films are available.
  • This camera comes with a variety of color options.
  • The Instax mini 9 sports an optical viewfinder.
  • This camera comes complete with a macro adapter.
  • The Instax mini 9 is a cheap instant camera.
CONS
  • The location of the shutter makes landscape shooting on this camera uncomfortable.
  • The Instax mini 9 is not fully automatic.
  • This camera does not include a tripod socket.

Polaroid Snap Instant Digital Camera

best instant camera reviews

Polaroid Snap is the brand’s latest addition to its ever-expanding instant digital camera line. The Polaroid Snap delivers signature Polaroid instant simplicity and spontaneity in a pocket-sized form. In addition to its compact footprint and classic Polaroid instant camera experience, the Polaroid Snap combines digital imaging with Zero ink printing. With the Polaroid Snap, you can easily print and share physical photos at the push of a button while saving all the images for easy uploading.

Additional Information

The Polaroid Snap sports a compact and lightweight body design with rounded edges for a friendlier feel. The compactness and rounded corners make it easy to store away in a bag or operate with one hand. The Polaroid Snap instant camera comes with a wrist strap but lacks a firm grip due to its pebble-like smoothness. The Polaroid Snap camera comes in a wide range of colors including white, black, red, blue, purple and pink.

When you are done shooting and are ready to put the camera away, the Snap’s lens automatically falls back into place. A magnetic lens cap protects the Polaroid Snap’s lens. Unlike with digital cameras, when you’re done using the Polaroid snap, you will have to remember to remove the Snap’s cap manually. If you accidentally take a photo with the lid on, the Polaroid Snap will not print off a black sheet; this is a good thing.

If you are interested in saving the photos you’ve shot, a built-in microSD slot that can fit up to 32GB of data will assist with that. A micro USB port is also included in this camera to transfer images and charge the camera. When the Polaroid Snap is printing, low on paper or charge, LED indicators located at the top left of the camera to let you know what is happening.

The Polaroid Snap instant camera features a built-in battery, so there is no need for replacement. Two hours of charge can allow up to a whole afternoon of shooting. The Polaroid Snap features a 10 seconds timer option and can also be mounted on a tripod.

The instant inkless printing is the main appeal of the Polaroid Snap camera. Micro-crystals are contained in the Zink Zero Ink paper where the images are printed on. The micro-crystals react to the different lengths and intensities of heat. The exposure to heat reciprocally produces magenta, yellow and cyan hues, which overlap to form the final photo.

The Zink sheets used to print out images in the Polaroid Snap is cheap, with the appearance of a regular gloss photo paper and a measurement of 2 inches by 3 inches. Zink paper sheets are water-resistant and have an easy-to-peel adhesive back.

When the camera is off, the integrated viewfinder remains locked down flat. The Polaroid Snap camera lacks a zooming option. Color effects on the Polaroid snap camera are controlled by a button situated at the top left of the camera. The color effects let you choose between three options; vintage sepia tone, full-color and black & white.

PROS
  • The Polaroid Snap camera is easily portable.
  • This instant camera gives you three color options to shoot photos with.
  • The Polaroid Snap has Inkless printing.
  • This instant camera comes in a variety of colors.
CONS
  • This camera has a loose grip.
  • The Polaroid Snap lacks a zoom option.

Polaroid Originals OneStep+

polaroid camera reivew

The Polaroid One Step + is a new analog instant camera that connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth, unlocking a new world of creative photography. With a slew of impressive features and capabilities, this camera is suitable for art projects, or even just shooting for fun. The Polaroid Originals Onestep+ sports a similar look as the model before it, the Onestep 2 which was released last year.

Additional Information

Although the OneStep+ and OneStep 2 resemble each other, the OneStep + is equipped with improved features and capabilities which the OneStep 2 lacks. Bluetooth control via a Smartphone app and close focus are some of the added features on the Polaroid OneStep+. The creative control delivered by the OneStep+ makes it worth the price. The Polaroid OneStep+ is suitable for people who prefer the more impactful and larger Polaroid film.

The OneStep+ sports controls upfront such as EV compensation and a plus button that powers the Bluetooth system. The shutter release on this camera is ideally located under the flash. The OneStep+’s shutter release is a hard-to-miss red button which can be comfortably triggered using your index finger. The flash can be suppressed by holding down a button which is in line with the shutter, located on the rear. The bright red On/Off switch and micro USB charging port is situated right above the flash suppressing button.

The OneStep+ features a lever on the top of the camera which can be used to switch between the two focus modes. The two focus modes are close and distant. The close setting is identified with icons showing a single figure, while the distant setting’s icons show a tree and two figures. The single-person setting is ideal for when your shot requires you leaning in towards your subject. The distant settings works for most casual shots.

With the OneStep+ films are loaded in the front, and you get up to 8 shots per pack. You are kept aware of how many shots you’re left with by a corresponding group of LED lights. The OneStep+ is flexible and can use either I-Type film or the Polaroid 600 film.

The OneStep+ comes complete with its accompanying Smartphone app called the Polaroid Originals app. The app enables you to take advantage of additional functions in the camera. The app features unique shooting modes. The app also supports long exposures and double exposures.

PROS
  • This instant camera comes with an accompanying app with added functions.
  • The OneStep is easy to use.
  • This camera uses the classic Polaroid square film format.
  • The close focus mode on the OneStep+ produces crisp portraits.
  • This camera features Bluetooth for manual exposure control.
  • The OneStep+ can be charged via USB.
CONS
  • The color materials of this camera are finicky.
  • The films of the OneStep+ are quite pricey.

Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 Instant Camera Bundle

instant camera comparison

The Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 is gloriously automatic with serious style making it an ideal companion for the snazziest of escapades. With the Fujifilm Instax Mini 9, all your shots will be impeccably lit, all you have to do is seize the moment. This instant camera measures 2.8 inches by 5.9 inches by 3.9 inches and weighs in at a mere 2.87 pounds.

Additional Information

The Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 instant camera is an upgrade from its predecessor adding automatic exposure control and a variety of colors. The camera uses the Instax Mini Film developed by Fujifilm. The advanced Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 is flexible and allows both color and black & white film. The black & white films are sold in single packs while the color films can be bought in bulk.

Regardless of whether you go for monochrome or color film, the photos are surrounded by a border which brings the size of the physical prints to 3 inches by 2 inches. Funky colored borders are also available. The Fujifilm’s ambient light meter does a superb job in nailing exposure with consistency.

Full automatic exposure is a permanent feature in the Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 camera. You can choose whether or not to fire the flash during a shot. The Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 lacks full manual controls but comes with a bulb shutter setting which is designed to keep the shutter open as long as the release is held down.

Rear buttons on this camera enable you to dial in one stop of negative or positive exposure compensation, toggle the flash and activate multiple exposure mode. Despite the automatic exposure, focus on this camera is a purely manual task. Twisting the barrel brings the camera to life and adjusts the focus. The barrel marks for the close focus of 1.9 feet, the moderate focus of up to 6.6 feet and distant focus.

PROS
  • This instant camera is equipped with a selfie mirror.
  • The Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 sports a wide-angle lens.
  • This camera has multiple exposure support.
  • Uses Instax mini film which is readily available.
  • Accessory lenses are available for purchase.
CONS
  • This camera uses a small mini film format.
  • The Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 uses CR2 batteries which can be tricky to find.

Appeal of Polaroid Cameras

The main appeal of Polaroid cameras is the theater of witnessing an image take-shape from nothing before your very eyes. This ‘magic show’ thrills anyone of any age. Part of the fun of Polaroid cameras is the anticipation.

polaroid camera reviews

Before getting an instant camera, there are a few crucial factors that need to be considered. One of the most vital factors to consider when selecting an instant camera is the type of film you will be shooting on. The film type dictates how much you will have to spend on every new pack. The film type also dictates the shape and size of your photos. Instant cameras are only compatible with one kind of film.

The type of photography you want to do is also a factor to consider. Digital cameras automatically take care of image settings for you. With instant cameras, however, some knowledge on focus distance and exposure is required. You can also opt for the more straightforward point-and-shoot instant cameras with fully automatic operation.

The beauty of Polaroid cameras lies in holding a physical picture in your hands a few seconds after taking the shot. Many of us, however, on top of the physical copy, still want to share those beautiful moments online with friends. If you are one of these people, we recommend getting a hybrid instant camera. Hybrid instant cameras are designed to save a digital copy of every photo taken.

Best Polaroid Camera

Best Polaroid Camera

Considering its price range, features and capabilities, the Fujifilm Instax 300 instant camera is the best product on our list.

Best Cheap Polaroid Camera

cheap polaroid camera

Using the same factors of considerations, we find that the Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 instant camera is the best CHEAP camera on our list.

Conclusion

Polaroid cameras are experiencing a renaissance. Nostalgia and immediacy are the most significant selling points for instant cameras. With a wide range of options, choosing the best Polaroid camera may turn out to be a daunting task. We did some extensive research and brought you the best cameras and all the information you will need to select the best Polaroid camera for your desires. Good luck and happy shooting!

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