Also known as the Polaroid camera to the older generations, Instant cameras are retro gadgets that make use of self-developing films to print photos straight out of the camera itself. When Polaroid cameras were first invented, it was considered the most cutting-edge technology. However, with the invention of digital cameras, Polaroid ones slowly began to fade into oblivion.

But in recent years, Polaroid cameras are back in trend and are currently enjoying their growing popularity, especially among the younger generations. But why have they gone popular at this time only?

This is because the Polaroid cameras, despite being a relic from the old generation, have satisfied the desire of younger people for instant gratification that the society is used to, all the while providing the authenticity and sentimentality of a vintage era. Alternatively, the idea of instantly printing out the photograph of someone or something you click appeals to people of all ages.

Below are the top three Polaroid cameras that are the best and are cheap on your pocket as well:

Polaroid Snap Instant Digital Camera

Polaroid Snap Review

The Polaroid Snap Instant Digital Camera is one of the best cheap instant camera models. Fujifilm developed this camera for competing in the instant camera market. The Snap has a 10-megapixel digital camera and a Zink instant printer, which allows you to store your photos digitally into a memory card as well. You can instantly print your pictures on a Zink photo paper (3×2 inches).

The Polaroid Snap has a 28mm equivalent f/2.8 lens and a non-removable lithium-ion battery, which is rechargeable via micro USB. You will also find an optical viewfinder that works as the power button as well. Since there is no screen installed, the optical viewfinder has to be used while clicking pictures.

The camera body also has a red shutter release button and a tripod socket. For low light conditions, you can make use of the LED flash. This camera is also one of the cheapest Polaroid cameras you will find in the market at present.

Pros

  • Shows the best results with monochrome filters
  • Compact and stylish
  • Has micro USB charging capabilities
  • Great for house parties and get-togethers
  • The zink prints can be utilized as stickers

Cons

  • No screen and video mode
  • The coloring is poor, especially after using the in-built flash
  • The image quality is poor

Polaroid PIC-300 Instant Film Camera

Polaroid Pic-300 Review

Resembling the classic Polaroid camera, the Polaroid PIC-300 Instant Film Camera has several significant improvements made to the device. Today, it is one of the best Polaroid cameras in the market, well within your budget. It makes use of four AA-sized batteries and one Polaroid film in one go.

The Polaroid Pic 300 gained popularity among the masses because of the nostalgic factor. The camera allows you to capture photos in any light condition, with the help of the four scene settings. These settings range from indoor to sunlight. This allows you to get the one that suits your current scene. The camera also has a flash that comes into play automatically in scenes with poor lighting.

The photos are developed approximately within a minute after you click them. The main difference between the PIC-300 and previous Polaroid cameras is that the images are now smaller in size but much clearer than its predecessors.

Pros

  • Portable, small, cheap and easy to use
  • Capable of clicking pictures of better quality than other Polaroid cameras of the same price range
  • Battery shuts down automatically when not in use
  • Pictures develop very fast
  • Flash turns on automatically in poor lighting

Cons

  • Capable of clicking only ten photos in one cartridge
  • No preview option available
  • Does not have a memory card slot

Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 Instant Film Camera

Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 Review

The Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 Instant Film Camera is described as the enhanced version of the Instax Mini 8, which was a very popular Polaroid camera during its time. While the feel and the look of the Mini 9 are almost the same as the Mini8, there are quite some upgrades that are worthy of mention- A selfie mirror that allows you to check your shot before taking the picture.

The Instax Mini 9 is also available in five different colors that are stylish and unique. It also has a close-up lens attachment that allows you to shoot something as close as 35 cm. You find four exposure levels in this camera, which sets automatically, according to the setting selection and the light conditions of the scenery.

The photos that come out of the Instax 9 are only about the size of a credit card and have an excellent quality. The entire body of the camera is made of plastic and has a good finish, with no misaligned joints or crude edges. You will find the shutter and power button behind the lens. The film will pop out as soon as you click the shutter button and it takes about two minutes for the photo to develop overall.

Pros

  • Very easy to understand and use, making it perfect for small parties
  • Suitable of people of all age groups
  • Available in a wide range of stylish and unique colors
  • Cheap and gives great value for money

Cons

  • Not ideal for long-distance photography
  • The cost of the Instax 9 film is costly
  • The build is very bulky, compared to other Polaroid cameras

Conclusion

Instant cameras are great and super cool gadgets that are not too heavy on your pockets and capable of capturing cool memories. Apart from the above, there are also different types of Polaroid cameras. But if you are on the budget, the above three are certainly the best. With these cameras, you can start instant photography, something which was very popular back in the day.

Instant photography is making a comeback. There are many reasons for it. One, for instance, is the nostalgic feeling you get when you pin a printed photograph on the door of your fridge. Polaroid cameras are getting popular, not only among children but adults as well. While the images may not be as perfect as a digital camera, the authenticity of the printed photos is a charm that cannot be seen in digital images.

Tom Parillo

Tom Parillo

I am interested in all things technology, especially automation, robotics and tech that helps change how society will live in the future.