The best Polaroid cameras, or instant cameras, are portable and easy to use allowing you to print instant photos with the click of a button. Polaroid cameras are ideal for parties, vacations, camping, and everyday events worth capturing for a lifetime. And, even in a world full of smartphones and digital cameras, people still love the nostalgic charm of instant film Polaroid cameras.
So which one of the best Polaroid cameras available today is the best one for you? Check out our new 2017 guide, expert reviews, and insider tips to find out. We compared the most important features such as photo settings, battery life, film costs, portability, and price. We then narrowed our research to find the 7 best Polaroid cameras to make your purchasing decision easy.
Although Polaroid is responsible for making instant cameras the lasting success they are today, Fujifilm now creates the most popular Polaroid cameras. Polaroid still makes instant cameras, of course, and some of those make our list as well. Here are the features to consider when buying the best Polaroid camera, regardless of which brand you actually choose:
- Photo Settings. The best Polaroid cameras can be used by anyone to take a great photo anywhere, so they often feature auto settings. For example, the camera will decide how to focus or automatically select brightness settings. More advanced instant cameras allow you to override these settings for more control, but your options are generally more limited than with DSLR digital cameras.
- Battery Life. Battery life varies wildly between the best Polaroid cameras. These cameras can use simple AA batteries, single use lithium batteries, and even rechargeable batteries. Invest in a Polaroid camera that uses rechargeable batteries if you will be using it often.
- Film Costs. Typically, each photo printed from an instant camera costs around 50 cents each. Some cameras require more expensive film, though, so consider the cost of refills before choosing the a Polaroid instant camera. Remember that each camera can only take specific type of film.
- Portability. Whether you’re at a wedding or just sitting on the couch, the best Polaroid cameras are always available to capture life’s precious moments. For that reason, portability is essential. Many quality Polaroid cameras are small, light, and durable so you can take them anywhere. Some instant cameras can fit in your back pocket, while others are more fit for a travel bag. Some even offer unique portable photo printer options.
Top 7 Best Polaroid Cameras Comparison Guide
Reviews of the Top Rated Polaroid Cameras
Fujifilm’s Mini series represents the very best instant cameras available today, and the new Mini 9 is their star. This Polaroid style camera has effortless ease of use that can’t be beat, meaning just about anyone can take a stunning picture at a moment’s notice. A button beside the lens turns the camera on, while the shutter button is perfectly positioned for your forefinger underneath the viewfinder. This attractive design is very intuitive, weighs just under a pound, and comes in an array of bold colors.
When taking pictures with the Mini 9, you’ll be prompted with an LED light indicator for the proper brightness settings. You’re allowed to choose your own setting against recommendation, and there’s a great High Key mode that washes out portrait imperfections. Regardless of your choice, shutter speed is set at 1/60 seconds and the flash will always fire.
The Mini 9 also takes highly refined photos in addition to being easy to use. We noticed highly dynamic shadows, rich color contrast, and fine details when using the recommended settings. Using 2 AA batteries, this Polaroid style camera is rated to last through 10 rolls of film, or 100 photos. Based on value and performance, this is the best instant camera available today.
When photo quality is a top priority, it’s worth the extra money to invest in a better camera. The Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 has advanced versatility, including both macro and landscape modes. Now you can take close up photos with impeccable detail and accuracy thanks to the Mini 90. This Polaroid type camera also gives you four levels of light control including Kids mode (for motion capture), and a high performance flash that accounts for the distance of your subject.
We were impressed with the deep, saturated colors and bright, discernible details made possible in a 3×2” photo. This camera really brings photos to life with plenty of options to make every scene perfect. The rechargeable battery will last dependably through the day, too. It will take up to 100 pictures on a single charge, similar to the Mini 9.
This is one of the best Polaroid cameras for those who want the highest quality photos. At just .6lbs and featuring its rechargeable battery, it’s also the most portable on our list.
The best Polaroid cameras make great gifts, and this is the perfect choice for anyone on your list. The Mini 26 is affordably priced for every budget but it still has a lot to offer for people of all skill and interest levels. Kids and adults will especially love the selfie mirror included on the front. This allows you to take great pictures every time, even if they’re of yourself!
The Mini 26 instant camera can take close up photos up to 35cm from the subject. It also automatically adjusts brightness based on background light so all parts of your photo are properly exposed. We also like that this camera has two shutter buttons for both vertical and horizontal photos.
The Mini 26 uses two CR2 lithium batteries, but lasts through up to 300 photos per pair. It only weighs about .6lbs without the batteries and feels weightless in your hands. With an ergonomic, foolproof design and great features this is the best Polaroid camera for everyday users.
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