Welcome to my report on Instant Cameras. We live in an exciting time with huge megapixel cameras and being able to shoot and see your digital photo immediately. Gone are the days of waiting for your shots to be developed.
But why is there a revival in film cameras and instant cameras? Because you can have a physical product- an actual photo that you can hand off to your friend. This is great at weddings and parties. There’s also something very different and classically artistic about analogue film photographs.
Jump straight to each segment
Many of the Instant cameras are toy-like and though super fun to use, don’t produce the best images. These cameras are aimed more at the teenager crowd. There are some better quality and more expensive cameras with better lenses available for the enthusiast. You’ll find the right instant camera for you from my list. Have fun snapping some instant photos!
BEST OF THE BEST
MiNT InstantFlex TL70 2.0
Pros: Twin lens for precision manual focus. Manual aperture. Free film program for qualifying Instagram users. Solid build quality.
Cons: Pricey. Hard to meter and expose correctly.
Featuring a cool throwback design, you’ll really love shooting with the InstantFlex TL70. It looks just like an old Rolleiflex. This is the first instant camera to use a Twin Lens Reflex design. It works with Fujifilm Instax Mini film. You can get ND filters and a close-up lens filter for this camera. Getting the exposure right can be a bit tricky-since this is an aperture priority camera so you can’t change the shutter speed. You can use EV compensation dial to over or under expose the shot. This camera shoots beautiful images and you can also get Bokeh with this lens. The InstanfFlex TL70 2.0 is better suited for experienced photographers as it is fully manual. It’s a super fun camera to shoot with and it has a really cool look! This is the best and most beautiful instant camera on the market! I love it.
Fujifilm Instax Square SQ10
Pros: Compact. Digital screen.
Cons: Not a true Instant camera. Pricey.
The Instax Square is a nice camera system that is easy to use and comes in at a nice portable size. It’s a hybrid digital/analog with a 3.6 Megapixel sensor; which is can be seen as good or bad. You can review the images on a digital screen before you chose to print them. For some this is a great option but for others this can be seen as being not true to the form of instant cameras. You can save a lot of film by checking exposure before printing but you lose the spontaneity of true instant cameras. As the name suggests the Fujifilm Instax Square uses Instax square film which is a bit pricey. It has a nice bright lens with an aperture of f/2.4. This is a nice camera better suited to those who want to save film. This isn’t a purists’ instant camera and thats why it takes the #2 Winner position.
Pros: It’s a Leica! Compact size.
Cons: Lacks full manual controls. Pricey.
The Leica Sofort really is a Leica. You just feel cool walking around with it. It has a lot of program modes like: macro, automatic, party and people, double exposure, selfie etc. Once you select the program the camera does all the rest. You can still control exposure compensation and focus but you can’t take full manual control of the camera. You can use the Leica with Fujifilm Instax Mini film. The Sofort is well made and has a cool retro boxy look. It’s not as well made and sturdy as the MiNT TL 70 2.0. Image quality is very good. This camera is easy to use, easy to carry around, and looks and feels awesome. I really like it! Its the #3 Winner because I’m just not sure its worth the extra money to get Leica.
Pros: Cool look. Selfie Mirror. Wide-angle. Automatic.
Cons: Lack of manual controls. Smaller film size.
The Lomo’Instant Automat is a very cool looking camera. Its adds automatic modes to the Lomo’Instant, a previous version of the camera. It comes in different colours and also has some lens attachments (Wide-angle, close-up, fisheye, and Splitzer). There are also color gels available for the lens. The lens cap doubles as an IR Remote control. I really like how compact this camera is. The downside to that is that it shoots on a smaller film size: Instax Mini Film. This camera is just so easy to use in fully automatic mode. There isn’t a manual mode but you can modify the exposure compensation. If you don’t mind the smaller size film and not having manual controls this is the camera for you. Its my #1 Winner pick because its a great value and comes with different lenses attachments.
Impossible Project I-1
Pros: Nice design. Bluetooth. Can use a number of film types. Autofocus and exposure. Manual mode.
Cons: Large size. Expensive film. Automatic exposures aren’t perfect.
The I-1 is a really cool camera that uses full size classic polaroid 600 film format. The I-1 can use both 600 film and I-type film in colour and black and white. It has a nice Bluetooth app which allows you to use remote trigger, noise trigger, self-timer, double exposure mode, light painting mode. The app lets your phone cycle through colours on the screen so you can use the phone to light paint on a long exposure. The great thing about this camera is that you can use full manual mode and adjust shutter, aperture, focus, and flash intensity. The image quality on this camera is very sharp. The major downsize of this camera is that the film is very expensive. If you like the polaroid 600 format film and Bluetooth functionality this is the camera for you. Some people are saying that its very difficult to get a good exposure and there have been complaints about build problems. For those reasons its my #2 Winner pick.
Lomography Lomo’Instant Wide
Pros: Uses Larger Instax wide film. EV Compensation. External flash capable.
Cons: Bulky. Film is expensive.
If you like wide format Instax Wide film this is a great camera for you. Its also compatible with some lens attachments (ultra wide angle, close-up, and wide splitzer). Another cool feature is that the lens cap doubles as an IR remote control. The camera is quite bulky and isn’t very portable. For that reason its my #3 Winner. This is a fantastic camera if you want to use studio strobes with it. The major downside is that the film is very expensive if you are a high-volume shooter. This is one of the best instant cameras on the market for the price and its super fun to use.
BEST ON A BUDGET
Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic
Pros: Cool retro design. Multiple shooting modes. Selfie mirror.
Cons: Small viewfinder. Hard to hold and shoot Landscape pictures with.
The Instax Mini 90 is an awesome camera that is easy to use in almost all situations. It comes with multiple shooting modes: Kids Mode for fast moving subjects, Double exposure mode, Macro mode, Landscape Mode, Party mode, and more. It has a retractable 60 mm lens which makes it easy to transport and its very light coming in at 300 grams. It uses the Fujifilm Instax Mini film. I really like the automatic exposure modes and the light and dark (EV compensation) on this camera. You can also do light trails with a long exposure. Its my #1 Winner pick for Best on a Budget because you get so much for such a good price.
Fujifilm Intax Mini 70
Pros: Not expensive. Fully Automatic. Selfie mirror and mode. Lots of colours to choose from.
Cons: No manual options. Smaller film size.
What I like most about this camera is its simplicity. Its so easy to use and its really fun. Its compact and easy to transport. Its lens is not as wide-angle as the Lomo’Instant and doesn’t have as many manual controls. This is a true point-and-shoot instant camera and is suited to those who don’t want to fuss with exposure controls. The Fujifilm Instax Mini 70 used Instax Mini film which produces small photos: 1.8 Inches by 2.4 inches. It takes the #2 Winner spot because it doesn’t have manual mode. This camera is great fun!
Polaroid Snap Instant
Pros: Nice minimal design. Good price. Simple
Cons: No manual settings. Flash is weak. Low light performance isn’t great.
The Snap is a cool hybrid camera capable of capturing both digital and analog photos. It’s a nice mix of old and new technology. The digital camera wont beat your phones camera but that’s not really what this camera is about. I really like the size, look, and feel of this camera. The Snap Instant prints to ZINK (Zero Ink) paper which will run you about 50 cents per print. The prints also have an adhesive back which is a nice feature. It’s cool to be able to keep a digital copy of your photo but for that reason this isn’t a purist’s vintage-like instant camera. I’m not sure its worth the extra money for the digital copy of the photo since you can just use your phone for those type of photos. It also lacks manual settings. Thats why its my pick for #3 Winner.
Fujifilm Instax Mini 9
Pros: Low cost. Fun and simple. Comes in many colours.
Cons: No tripod mount. No fully automatic exposure.
If you want a simple entry-level instant camera this is the one for you. It’s very inexpensive and fairly easy to operate. It comes with a macro clip-on adapter. The Mini 9 takes Instax Mini Film which is quite small. The prints turn out very well and have that great vintage look. This is a great camera because of its affordability and portability. Unfortunately, there isn’t a fully automatic exposure mode. It takes the #4 Winner spot because it lacks the sophistication of other cameras in this segment. It feels a lot like a toy rather than a serious camera.
Fujifilm Instax Wide 300
Pros: Utilizes larger Instax Wide film. Nice prints. Nice build quality. Extending lens.
Cons: Bulky/Large. Limited manual control. Cheap build quality.
The Instax Wide 300 produces beautiful prints. It’s quite simple to use and I really like the larger Fujifilm Instax Wide 300 film. On the downside, it doesn’t have a lot of creative controls that you find in the Lomo cameras and the Instax Mini 90. The Instax Wide 300 is a good affordable camera that gets the job done. On the upside this camera uses larger install wide film. It takes the number #5 Winner spot because the build quality of the body feels a bit cheap.
Polaroid PIC 300
Pros: Inexpensive. Scene settings. Easy to use. Lots of colour choices.
Cons: Slow to boot up and slow between shots.
This is a great inexpensive and fun camera to use. It prints credit card size photos. There aren’t many manual options and there are four scene exposure settings: indoor, cloudy, fine, and clear. The PIC-300 comes in a few different colours. I like how simple and easy it is. This isn’t a camera for those that want complete artistic control of the shots. It takes the number #6 Winner position because the film size is small and the pics aren’t the sharpest.
Cool add-on for your iPhone
Prynt Pocket, Instant Photo Printer
The Prynt Pocket is a really cool product if you want to print photos that you take on your iPhone. The prints don’t exactly match the look and feel of an instant camera but could be a good alternative for you if you don’t want to buy a dedicated instant camera.
The Prynt Pocket is compatible with the iPhone 5 to 7 Plus and prints on ZINK (zero ink) paper with an adhesive back.
You can print on-the-spot photos just like an instant camera and you can also print existing photos from the camera roll.
When it comes to instant cameras and Lomography there are many options available thanks to a revival in analog. It’s really awesome to shoot a picture and get a print instantly. There are many occasions where you can enjoy an instant camera with your friends and family. I hope you found the right instant camera for you!
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