My experience with the $99 camera from Polaroid.
What it boasts:
- 10 megapixels
- normal, black & white and vintage sepia tone
- MicroSD card indicator
- Self timer feature
- Image prints automatically
- 2×3” full color prints
The design of this camera is very modern and sleek. It’s also super lightweight.
You push the middle viewfinder piece to turn on the camera. Since all it takes is a light push, you should be careful if you’re putting this in your purse.
There are several effects you can apply to your photos. The left circular button lets you apply a sepia or black & white setting in addition to a standard color mode. On the right of that is the border button that you can toggle on or off. On the right side of the viewfinder, you have the self timer button (10 seconds) and red shutter button.
Three icons with colored lights inform you about your battery life, paper/printing status and memory card status. You do not need a memory card to use this camera!
The process of taking a picture is very simple, make sure your lens cover is off and then hit that red button. The 2nd LED next to the paper icon will blink, letting you know it’s printing. While the print may seem slow to some, it’s not bad compared to Fujifilm Instax camera since there’s no waiting after the fact.
A very low beep will sound once you’ve pressed the shutter button. Then you’re able to hear the mechanical whirring once the printing process starts (usually after a second or two).
Photo quality isn’t great, as expected of a Polaroid camera but I was annoyed to find streaky marks on my images. Being blurry is one thing but having a streaky print job is another. All of my photos were taken inside with varying forms of light (natural and artificial). I’ve read reviews that raved about taking pictures outside but I would most likely use this camera at parties and hangouts, most of which are indoors.
Loading the film is super easy. They use Zink Zero Ink technology, so that means the paper doesn’t act like old school Polaroid cameras where sunlight can damage the paper. You just pull it out of the wrapper and drop the sheets into the back of the camera.
With Instax cameras, you have a plastic divider that prints out (it protects your film from exposure) so usually the first picture you take is a throwaway. Here you can see that my “throwaway” shot actually printed. Closer inspection of the directions casually states this, so it’s my fault for not reading carefully.
This is the way I held my camera to take a selfie with the border option on. However, this was the wrong orientation so my border was on the wrong side. Flip your camera, with the rainbow side down for the correct border fitting. Scroll down to the next image to see what I’m talking about.
Here’s a quick rundown of the features with my opinions!
Regular color mode: If you have good lighting, this is fine.
Sepia mode: Again if you have good lighting, this color option is good for that vintage softer color look.
B&W mode: Not true black and white. My print had a blue-ish grey tone.
Self timer: Easy to setup, all you do is press the timer and then the shutter once you’re ready. The beeps will indicate your time left. Just make sure everyone is in the frame before you take the picture.
Border: This was also an easy option to toggle. Super cute! I wish they had an indicator to tell you which way to rotate the camera for the correct orientation.
Photobooth Mode: When I was buying this camera, no review I found even mentioned or tried this mode. If you read the manual, it says to hold the shutter down for 3 seconds to activate this mode. It supposedly takes 4 shots and prints them on one sheet. However I ended up with 2 only. There was no way to tell this would happen (since all you get is beeps), so I’m honestly confused on why I only have 2 images instead of 4. On the official site, it says “photobooth mode takes six quick pictures in ten seconds” but the manual says otherwise.
Film Quality: It’s hard to tell from my photos, but the actual prints are grainy and streaky. The colors aren’t that nice either. The only photo that looked good IRL was the photobooth selfie since I had natural light diffused through my curtains. I’m sure outdoor photos might be higher quality but my indoor shots were disappointing.
Paper: The paper is very thin, glossy and peels off like a sticker. It’s so much thinner compared to the Instax polaroids. I have no complaints about the paper.
Overall: While this camera is really cute to look at, I would not recommend this camera. There are so many options but the controls aren’t intuitive. Plus there’s a lot of room to mess up, like leaving the lens cap on and getting a black printout. The low beeps are easy to miss, so you might take double photos by accident (before the LED lets you know). I would honestly save my money and get the Fujifilm Instax instead.
FTC: I bought this camera myself. Polaroid did not pay me to write this review.