Polaroid cameras are back: 6 instant print cameras that are popular in 2021


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Popular instant print cameras

Unique gifts are not easy to find, especially with so many high tech options saturating the market and making it to the top of holiday wish lists. This year, however, a blast from the past is becoming one of the season’s hottest giveaways: instant-print cameras.

Instant-print cameras, including the iconic Polaroid, have become one of the most popular retro giveaways of 2021. While they’re nowhere as advanced as DSLRs and smartphones, there are something nostalgic about the instant gratification of holding a photo within minutes of taking it. And since instant print cameras are currently in stock, many buyers have decided to order them now, before the holiday shipping crisis.

What you need to know about instant print cameras

Brief history

Instant film cameras were introduced by Polaroid in 1948. According to illustrated historical blog post, the camera came into being when the three-year-old daughter of Polaroid founder Edwin Land asked why it had taken so long to develop photos.

At that time, photo development was a complex process that took place only in darkroom laboratories for several hours. Land would invent the first instant camera and became one of the 20th century’s most innovative contributors to the world of photography and film. Later in his life, Land was involved in technical innovations for defense technology and at one point became an adviser to President Richard Nixon.

How instant cameras work

Instant film cameras allow users to point, take and print their photos in minutes. Although they are rather small devices, instant cameras have a complex chemical process that develops the film they contain. When the process is complete, the camera ejects the instant photo, giving the photographer a tangible memory.

Why are instant print cameras popular again?

Instant print cameras are back in fashion for a multitude of reasons. They don’t exactly compete with DSLR cameras or smartphones; instead, they offer something different – and something special – to users.

  • Scrapbookers are big fans of instant cameras, especially because the process is quick and easy to take a photo and add it to albums.
  • Instant film cameras are nostalgic for people who owned original Polaroid cameras, and today they are having fun using the new iterations.
  • Aspiring creators, including kids and teens, are looking for instant cameras to hone their photography skills.
  • Several users admit that instant cameras encourage them to live in the moment instead of focusing on staged selfies and over-produced photo ops.
  • A few instant print cameras adopt modern technologies, such as internal memory storage or selfie modes, which give them more dynamic use than their predecessors.

How much you can expect to spend on instant printing cameras

Entry-level instant print cameras range from $ 60 to $ 80, while those with more features are closer to $ 90 to $ 125. Deluxe instant camera sets, which come with instant film, batteries, and other accessories, can cost up to $ 200.

And of course there is the ongoing cost of instant film, which starts between $ 13 and $ 60 depending on the number of sheets in each pack.

The best instant film cameras of 2021

Polaroid Now I-Type Instant Camera

Polaroid Now I-Type Instant Camera

A timeless design now with new features, this Polaroid is equipped with autofocus to capture clearer images in vivid colors. It also has a built-in timer so that users can take selfies and group photos more easily.

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Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 Instant Camera

Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 Instant Camera

The Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 is an instant camera for all ages. Despite its affordable price, the camera has high-end features like a macro lens adapter for close-ups and automatic exposure metering.

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Kodak Smile Instant Print Digital Camera

Kodak Smile Instant Print Digital Camera

This pocket-sized Kodak instant camera is compatible with a mini USB cable so users can charge through power banks or other devices. It prints HD photos in minutes or can save images to its memory or microSD card.

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Canon IVY CLIQ + Instant Camera Printer

Canon IVY CLIQ + Instant Camera Printer

Canon’s instant camera prints 2 x 3-inch photos on adhesive film so they can be affixed to any surface, from albums to locker doors. It is compatible with the Canon Mini Print app which personalizes photos with frames, filters and emojis.

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Fujifilm Instax Mini 40 Instant Camera

Fujifilm Instax Mini 40 Instant Camera

A retro design, the classic Fujifilm Instax Mini 40 is perfect for selfies with a one-touch selfie mode and selfie mirror. It is considered an ideal retro-inspired gift, especially with a textured case and brushed silver accents.

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Kids' Dragon Touch InstantFun Instant Print Camera

Kids’ Dragon Touch InstantFun Instant Print Camera

Children as young as four can start developing their creative photography skills with this beginner’s instant camera. It has a built-in color display and five simple buttons to help kids navigate through photos.

Sold by Amazon

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Sian babish written for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.


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