The Best Polaroid Cameras for That Retro Feel

The Best Polaroid Cameras for That Retro Feel
Image: iStock
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Polaroid cameras are making a comeback in a big way. Sure, our phones can take sophisticated pictures but sometimes we want to hold onto our memories in a more physical way.

Whether it’s a collective nostalgia or a genuine love for photography, it seems people are rushing out to buy these nifty little devices in droves. This type of camera is special as it’s able to develop a picture in front of your eyes and gives you a physical memory to keep as well. Whether you want to give it to someone, keep it in your wallet or string them all up on display in your bedroom, there’s no limit to what you can do once your photo has been developed.

If you’re keen to learn more about this camera and find out the best ones to buy, keep reading.

How are they different to other cameras?

Without getting too technical, a polaroid camera is fitted with internal development mechanisms and self-developing film. It’s basically like having your own photo development studio in the palm of your hand – pretty clever, right?

They’ve changed quite a bit over the years (as you’ll see the difference between the vintage and the instant cameras below). Nowadays, they’re a clever combination of the classic 80s camera and modern technology, giving you a unique photographic experience.

Things to consider before buying:

There are a number of things to consider before diving headfirst into the instant camera world.

Firstly, polaroids come in a variety of different sizes so it’s important to choose a camera that’ll hold the right size of film. If you’re happy for your photos to come out a little smaller, you can opt for a pocket-sized camera. If you’d rather have a larger photo for a collage or display, opt for a camera that can hold a bigger film size.

The second thing to think about is the shutter speed. Basic cameras like the Instax Mini come with a shutter speed of 1/60-second. This is a pretty decent speed which will reduce the amount of blurring in your photo, while maximising light to create clearer images. If you’re a more advanced photographer or someone looking for a wider range of shutter speeds, you might want to choose a different camera.

There’s a few other aesthetic things to consider as well like selfie mirrors (some have them while others don’t) and in-app editing capabilities. Some are also fitted with self-timers and various modes (like landscape) so it’s important to read up on all the features of the camera before hitting purchase.

Below, we’ve broken down all the different polaroid cameras you can buy and where to find them. Plus, where to shop for the right film if you’ve gone a little snap happy and need to grab some replacements.

Cheap Polaroid Cameras:

Fujifilm Instax Mini, $85.37

(It’s available in other colours too if you’re more of a purple or a blue person.)

Kodak Printomatic Instant Print, $85.48 

Polaroid Instant Cameras:

Polaroid Instant Digital Camera, $180.64

Polaroid 9030 Now I-Type Instant Camera, $132.01 

Polaroid POP Digital Camera, $158.94 

Instax Mini Camera, $122.27 

Snap Touch Instant Camera, $468.27 

Vintage Polaroid Cameras:

Polaroid Original Camera, $176.24 

Polaroid Originals OneStep+, $197.91 

Polaroid Originals Autofocus Camera, $207.46 

Where to buy polaroid camera film:

As we’ve established, these cameras require film to work. While the exact film you need varies from camera to camera, we’ve rounded up a bunch of options that’ll cover all bases (compatible devices are also listed in the product description).

It’s always a great idea to keep one or two packets spare because you never want to run out when you need it most!

Polaroid Originals Instant Color I-Type Film 40-Pack ($112.56) 

Fujifilm Instax Mini 60-Pack ($47.20)

Polaroid 600 Film 5-Pack ($103.80)

Instax Mini Rainbow Coloured Film 10 Photos ($15.76)

Polaroid Black Coloured Film 8 Photos ($24.86)

Fujifilm Instax Wide Film 20 Photos ($29.73)

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