As our modern world slowly devolves into a meta-physical and chaotic space that exists mostly online, we find ourselves craving the simplicity of bygone times. Even though our cell phone cameras can capture every pore on a face from 10 feet away, we find ourselves wanting a more concrete, vintage photo-taking experience. Enter the renaissance of the Polaroid camera. There is just something so appealing about taking a photo and immediately holding it in your hands as a physical object, and that's exactly what instant cameras offer.
Here are the 5 best options for an instant camera to make you feel like you live in a time when college was affordable and green house gases were a myth.
This camera will give you the closest to that vintage polaroid look you're (probably) going for, but it takes Polaroid 600 & Polaroid i-Type film, which is particularly expensive (about $16 for a pack of 8 photos). If you don't mind spending a lot of money on film, then this is an excellent camera that features a two-mode lens and even has an easy-to-use companion app for hands-free shooting and double exposure.
Frankly, this camera is only worth buying if you're a long-time photography nerd who loves the Leica brand. Fujifilm's instax mini 90 is less aesthetically pleasing but less expensive and uses the same film (Fujifilm instax mini format). But, if you do want to invest in this high-quality camera, then you're guaranteed to end up with beautiful photos and a piece of equipment worth showing off.
This option is slightly pricey, but it might be the all around best camera on the list. It works as both a camera and printer, so you can print photos instantly from your phone via the mobile app. Unlike most instant cameras, it also allows you to review the photos you take before printing them. As a bonus, it uses the relatively affordable instax mini film.
One of the more affordable options on our list, this is a solid option for people looking for something simple. It uses Fujifilm instax SQUARE film, which is a bit more expensive than other types ($10.99 for a pack of 10 photos), but relatively manageable. Unfortunately, this camera is not rechargeable, but it does offer three color filters that attach to the flash, along with double exposure, macro and landscape modes.
This basic and affordable option certainly won't blow you away in terms of photo quality, but it gets the job done if you're just looking for something to take instant images. It uses ZINK inkless photo paper, which is far and away the most affordable film on this list at around $20 for 50 photos. This camera allows you to choose between normal, black and white, and vintage sepia tone color palettes. There's also a button to add that classic Polaroid border to your print, and next to the shutter release there's a 10-second self-timer.