When Polaroid introduced the one-step process in 1947, it revolutionized the way people approached photography. Now that everyone has a high-quality camera in their pocket, the meaning of “instant photography” has changed drastically. But there is still something wonderful about taking a photo with an instant camera and watching the image slowly appear on a print before your eyes. There are currently tons of options for a few different film formats. Consider these factors before making a purchase.
- Film Size: The classic Polaroid cameras from back in the day printed photos in a square format, but these days, instant cameras can print photos small enough to fit in your wallet or as large as five inches wide. If you have a preference, make sure the camera you choose can handle that film size, as you typically can’t mix and match among cameras.
- Control: Beginners will likely need an instant camera with basic features like flash or exposure adjustment. But if you’re a more experienced hobby photographer, you can find an instant camera that lets you more precisely adjust exposure levels, control the lens’s focal length, and manipulate the shutter speed.
- Digital Features: Part of the fun with instant cameras is not knowing exactly what you’re going to get. But for some, the unpredictability can be stressful—and it’s especially disappointing to find out that you’ve wasted precious film on a botched photo. Some instant cameras are analog/digital hybrids, meaning they have some digital features that help you better control your analog photos. For example, some have LCD screens so you can see exactly what will be printed on your photo before clicking the button.
Our Picks for the Best Instant Cameras on Amazon
Top Pick Overall: Polaroid Now i-Type Instant Camera – Black & White + Polaroid Color i-Type Film (16 Sheets) + Black Album + Neck Strap – Gift Bundle
This gives you classic square photos. It comes with a USB charging cable and neck strap. Polaroid
Runner Up: Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 Instant Camera – Ice White (16654798) + 3x Packs Fujifilm Instax Mini Twin Pack Instant Film + Batteries + Case – Instant Camera Bundle
Credit Card-Size Photos
This cute camera comes in five different color options. The automatic exposure makes it a great pick for beginners. Fujifilm
Budget Pick: KODAK Printomatic Digital Instant Print Camera – Full Color Prints On ZINK 2×3″ Sticky-Backed Photo Paper (Blue) Print Memories Instantly
Six Colors to Choose From
This one is easy to use, and the pictures can also be used as stickers! Zink
Great for Bigger Pictures: Fujifilm INSTAX 300 Photo Instant Camera With Fujifilm Instax Wide Instant Film Twin Pack Instant Film (40 Shots) + Camera Case With Photo4less Microfiber Cleaning Cloth- Accessory Bundle
Close-Up Lens Adapter Included
This has a self-portrait mirror for taking selfies, and it delivers 2.4 x 3.9” images. Fujifilm
Popular Photography is here to help you choose among the most popular products on Amazon, and hidden gems our experts think are worth checking out.