It’s a printer… It’s a camera… No, it’s instant film cameras! In the era of digital photography, there’s still one breed of camera that hails from an era still producing tangible prints. And no, we’re not talking about analogue cameras where you’ve got to send your roll of film for developing. We’re talking about instant film cameras. Point, click and print.
We’ve seen quite a few of these make somewhat of a comeback these past years, and there are sure a lot of them to pick from today. So we did the homework for you and present to you five instant film cameras you should totally check out.
Fujifilm Instax Mini LiPlay
It’s not just a camera or a printer, it’s an audio recorder as well. Fujifilm’s latest Instax Mini LiPlay is a hybrid instant film camera that lets you print photos with sound. Yes, an image embedded with sound! You’re not alone if you were as confused as I was when I first heard about it.
In reality, it’s quite simple how it works. For up to ten seconds, you can record audio with any photo. This audio clip is then converted into a QR code printed into the corner of your instant film. To listen to the clip, simply scan the QR code. Voila.
Unlike most other instant film cameras, the LiPlay has an LCD screen to help frame your shots. You can also choose not to print your shot if it doesn’t look good. But doesn’t that take the fun out of using instant film cameras? Well, I suppose you’ll save more with less wasted films. Other features include a companion app that lets you print directly from your phone, 6 fun filters to choose from, 30 different frames to print with, while a full charge lasts 100 prints. The LiPlay will work with any Instax Mini film.
The Fujifilm Instax Mini LiPlay is available in Stone White, Elegant Black, Blush Gold at $249 from all Fujifilm retailers. Click here for more information.
Canon’s iNSPiC C & iNSPiC S
If it’s selfies or wefies that you love to take, then perhaps Canon’s iNSPiC C & S might be the instant film camera you’re looking for. The more affordable of the two, the iNSPiC C has a 5MP camera and a small selfie mirror to help take your selfies.
On the other hand, the iNSPiC S features an 8MP camera and has a reflective dome around the lens with guidelines to help frame your selfies. There’s also an added bonus of having a built-in LED ring light. With the Canon Mini Print companion app, it gives you the option to shoot remotely and even print your photos direct from your phone via Bluetooth.
On the outside, both cameras feature an ultra-slim profile but the iNSPiC S has a few more features going for it than the iNSPiC C. Sadly though, both cameras only last up to 25 prints before needing a 90min charge. Both cameras use Zink’s inkless Printing Paper.
The iNSPiC C retails at $159 in Bubble Gum Pink, Bumble Bee Yellow and Seaside Blue. The iNSPiC [S] retails at $219 in Pearl White, Matte Black and Rose Gold. Both available now at all authorised Canon dealers. For more info, please click here.
Fujifilm’s Instax Square SQ6
If you’re a full-time Instagrammer, you have to check out Fujifilm’s Instax Square SQ6. If Instagram made cameras, this would be it. The resemblance to the old Instagram logo is uncanny and it even prints only in 1:1 format!
But of course, there’s more to it than just that. With the option to adjust exposure (or even double exposure), macro and landscape mode and orange, green and purple flash filters, there’s a crazy amount of experimenting with your photos here. I mean, messing with filters is how you elevate your Instagram game right?
All in all, it’s portable, fuss-free, easy to use point-and-shoot camera. Unlike the first two previously mentioned, there’s no app connectivity, so no printing directly from your phone. But if you’re looking for an instant camera that’s fun to shoot and at the same time, look cool with, this is definitely one to consider. You’re shooting with the Instagram logo after all!
The Fujifilm Instax Square SQ6 is available in Pearl White, Blush Gold and Graphite Grey at $219 from all Fujifilm authorised dealers. Click here for more info.
Ah the prestigious red dot in photography makes its foray into instant film cameras. And you’ll be paying twice as much for it. So I suppose the question is: is it worth it?
Basically what Leica did was to take Fujifilm’s Instax Mini 90 and made their own refinements. They equipped it with their own Automatik-Hektor 60mm f/12.7 lens that gives users more control over the final image.
Adjustments were made to the design that made the Sofort look retro yet modern at the same time. Camera-wise, there’s a programme suitable for nearly every occasion. Of course, if you wish to make your own adjustments you can. There’s macro, bulb, automatic, self-timer, sports and action, party and people, double exposure and selfie modes.
At the end of the day, there’s probably not much that the Sofort does at distinguishing itself from the rest of the instant cameras out there. But hey, it’s Leica, and if you can look good while taking photos, it has to count for something right? The Sofort uses the standard Instax Mini film, but Leica supplies its own film for it as well that comes in colour or monochrome options with a natural warm white border.
This is the Polaroid we’re talking about here. Its founder, Edwin Land, was recognised as the Father of instant photography so just by name alone sets the Polaroid OneStep+ apart from the rest. But still, it’s got to walk the talk.
Without a doubt, the OneStep+’s chunky and retro look pays homage to Polaroid’s ’70s era. The only modern bits are the LEDs (shows remaining shots) and the micro USB charging port. Everything else like the buttons and switches is mechanical.
One of the best features of the OneStep+ is that it has two lenses. A switch on the top toggles between the 89mm and 103mm lenses. The former for close-ups or portraits and the latter for everything else. Pair it with the mobile companion app and you’ll have six new features that include double exposure, remote and noise trigger, double exposure, self-timer, manual mode, and a cool light painting mode.
A caveat though, it only takes Polaroid Originals 600 ($35 for a pack of 8) and i-Type films ($30 for a pack of 8) instead of the more commonly found Instax films. So that’s some added cost to consider.