Learn about the best instant cameras, ranging from Polaroid to Fujifilm. They’re excellent for embracing a retro vibe and getting tangible photos.
While you can snap a photo on a smartphone or digital camera, instant cameras offer a special feeling.
Instant cameras date back to the 1940s when Edwin Land created the Polaroid.
The old-school method prints pictures, giving you a tangible memory. It’s perfect for decor and photo albums.
The following are the best instant cameras available.
1. Fujifilm Instax Mini 11
The Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 is an excellent instant camera. It’s inexpensive, easy to use, and reliable.
Two AA batteries power the camera, and it has an automatic exposure that works well. It produces quality images in various lighting conditions.
The Instax Mini 11 also has a built-in macro mode and selfie mirror for the perfect self-portrait.
The main drawbacks are the unadjustable flash and a lack of creative control.
If you’re looking for the best instant camera for beginners, the Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 is it.
The following are the prices for the Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 from different stores:
2. Fujifilm Instax Mini Evo
Fujifilm’s Instax Mini Evo is on the pricier side of instant cameras, but it’s also one of the best.
It’s a hybrid between instant and digital cameras, so you get the best of both worlds. It allows you to print only the best photos.
Also, it doubles as a smartphone instant printer. You can print pictures from your phone’s gallery with the app.
The retro design, analog buttons, and fun image effects make it an excellent option.
But, the digital image quality is poor. So, only get it for the design and prints.
The following are the prices for the Fujifilm Instax Mini Evo from different stores:
3. MiNT Camera InstantKon RF70 Instant Film Camera
The MiNT Camera InstantKon RF70 Instant Film Camera is ideal if you want a premium option.
It’s one of the most expensive instant cameras, but it’s worth it.
The InstantKon RF70 uses Instax Wide film, and it produces beautiful pictures.
It also has a mechanical rangefinder and manual focus.
It’s the ultimate instant camera, with price being the main drawback.
The following are the prices for the Mint Camera InstantKon RF70 Instant Film Camera from different stores:
4. Lomography Lomo’Instant Wide Camera
Lomography’s Lomo’Instant Wide Camera offers manual controls and uses Instax wide film.
The focal length is equal to a 35mm lens, has a simple user interface, and has many creative features.
While it’s an excellent instant camera, the main drawback is the size. It’s bulky and on the heavier side.
If you can deal with the size, it’s worth bringing along with you to document memories.
The following are the prices for the Lomography Lomo’Instant Wide Camera from different stores:
5. Polaroid Go Instant Camera
The Polaroid Go is a tiny and adorable instant camera.
It has a rechargeable battery, a selfie mirror, and a double exposure mode.
While the film is on the expensive side, it produces unique images.
The Polaroid Go gets a lot of things right. But, the automatic exposure and flash underperform. The prints are also tiny.
It’s a fun camera to use while traveling with friends and family. But don’t expect perfect and professional results.
The following are the prices for the Polaroid Go Instant Camera from different stores:
6. Kodak Smile Instant Print Digital Camera
The Kodak Smile Instant Print Digital Camera is an inexpensive and entry-level option.
It’s a hybrid between an instant camera and a digital camera.
Also, it uses zero-ink technology to print photos. You don’t have to wait for the image to develop.
The paper is a two-by-three-inch Zink sticky-backed photo paper.
The main benefits are the rigid design and the ability to choose what to or not to print.
The drawbacks are that it’s a 10-megapixel camera, and the print quality is less than satisfactory.
It’s a good camera if you want an entry-level, inexpensive option and don’t need the best-quality prints.
The following are the prices for the Kodak Smile Instant Print Digital Camera from different stores:
7. Fujifilm Instax Mini LiPlay
Film or digital? The Fujifilm Instax Mini LiPlay offers both. It’s a hybrid camera that fits in your pocket.
As an instant camera, it prints a photo in 12 seconds. It also has a rechargeable battery. Each charge can print 100 pictures.
A unique feature of the camera is the 10 seconds of sound recording. The print has a QR code, which you can scan to listen to the scene.
As a digital camera, it’s lacking. Most smartphones are better.
But, the instant prints give the camera an edge.
The Fujifilm Instax Mini LiPlay is a cute and small camera.
The following are the prices for the Fujifilm Instax Mini LiPlay from different stores:
8. Polaroid Now i-Type Instant Camera
Polaroid’s Now i-Type Instant Camera offers a fun and retro look. It’s the latest option from the inventors of the instant camera.
The camera has a rechargeable battery, a 9-second self-timer, and a large, square film. Also, the image quality is excellent.
Several drawbacks may lead you to skip the Now i-Type Instant Camera.
First, the autofocus and exposure are inconsistent. Second, the app doesn’t work well, and third, the film is pricey.
If you’re willing to go through the wasted film, it can be a good choice due to the image quality.
The following are the prices for the Polaroid Now i-Type Instant Camera from different stores:
9. Polaroid OneStep 2
The Polaroid OneStep was one of the best-selling instant cameras in the 1970s. The second version offers a few upgrades.
While a new one is rare, a used one may be worth buying as a collectible.
Polaroid’s OneStep 2 boasts a retro design with a large optical viewfinder.
It allows you to under or overexpose the image by ±1/2EV. But the photo quality isn’t that great.
The OneStep 2 also has a tripod mount at the bottom, allowing you to stabilize the camera.
The main drawbacks are the lackluster photo quality and the film being expensive.
It’s best as a collector’s or decorative item.
Instant cameras are a fun way of doing photography.
They have retro styling, come in unique colors, and most are automatic. So, beginners, kids, and pros can use them with ease.
Instant cameras develop the image before your eyes. You can use them as decor or give them to others.
Featured image courtesy of Unsplash.
About David Em
David Em is the founder of Portraits Refined. He’s a published portrait photographer dedicated to helping photographers develop skills, capture incredible photos, and build successful businesses.