Best Instant Cameras

“Why can’t I see it now?” Thanks to this question, the first commercialized instant camera was born. Edwin Land, the co-founder of Polaroid Corporation, was inspired by his daughter’s question (but, more of a demand as it sound to me) to create the world’s first instant camera made for the public in 1943.

More than 75 years later, we are still enjoying this great invention. Embracing new technology and meeting different needs of consumers, the world of instant photography has been constantly progressing, especially instant cameras.

With several major brands creating some of their own, it really is a dilemma to choose the best instant camera. After garnering reviews about different models, I’ve narrowed the top 10 picks for you.

Best Instant Cameras of 2018

Polaroid Snap

Fast Prints

Polaroid-Snap

Price: 

Featuring Polaroid’s classic ZINK technology, you’ll have smudge-free and clear prints on your hands. The Polaroid snap also has storage - a nifty feature everyone loves.

Rated by Phillip

Fujifilm Instax

Best Choice

Fujifilm-Instax-Mini-90

Price: $$

It has a vintage look that will certainly give you nostalgia, great features, and flexibility that are perfect for an amateur photographer.

Rated by Phillip

Instax Mini 8

Most Popular

Fujifilm-Instax-Mini-8

Price: 

Perfect choice for the hip and trendy bunch. With its slim design and extremely light weight, the Instax Mini 8 can easily sit inside a small purse.

Rated by Phillip

Fujifilm Instax Mini 90

Giving you a very vintage vibe, the Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 comes in a black and silver combination that is designed minimally. Built durably, the Mini 90 weighs at about 1.25 lbs, and has dimensions of 4.5 X 2.25 X 3.61 inches.

Its great functionality won’t disappoint to, producing an impressive photo quality. You have the free will to manually adjust the flash, and its close-up mode will allow you to have more photography options.

It can automatically detect brightness, so you don’t have to worry about adjusting the shutter speed and flash for great exposure.

Since we’re all about the easy and light things now, this instant camera is surprisingly lightweight. You won’t even notice it’s slung over your shoulders, and it pretty much just hangs there.

The Mini 90 also has several photo mode features. If you’re into capturing moving objects, or simply subjects that don’t always stay still, the Mini 90 has a quick-shot setting for that. It also has a double exposure mode which prints two images in one sheet. Both amateur and experienced photographers have amazing things to say about this camera. The fact that it gives high quality prints and owns tough construction made this one the best instant camera on this list.

PROS

  • Inexpensive film
  • Several photo modes
  • High quality shots

CONS

  • Might not be user-friendly
  • Film jamming
  • Random error messages

Polaroid Z2300

If vintage stuff isn’t your credo and rave for something non-monochromatic, the Polaroid Z2300 display a trendy design, flashing the brand’s classic colors.

It’s not just a pretty camera though, as it also has features and print quality that can make up for its not-so cheap price tag.

Coming at you with a very light weight, it doesn’t weigh more than a pound. Boasting its 10MP quality, the Z2300 gives you a crisp image resolution.

More than an excellent camera, it’s also an outstanding printer as it produces smudge-proof, and water-resistant printouts not more than a minute. Thanks to its Zero-Ink technology, you’ll have long-lasting prints.

The Polaroid Z2300 isn’t your ordinary instant camera as it has an SD card which allows you to store pictures for later use—a feature many instant cameras don’t have. Technically, instant cameras Instantly prints out photos right after you capture them. However, isn’t a nice feeling to have an option to store or transfer it digitally on other devices, too?

PROS

  • Zero-Ink technology
  • Great quality prints
  • Modern design

CONS

  • Comparatively pricey
  • Low quality materials
  • Has the tendency to be flimsy

Fujifilm Instax 210

Featuring its flexibility and great functionality, the Fujifilm Instax 210 stands on the bulky side of instant cameras.

With a combination of easy user interface, and adjustability features, an outstanding image quality can be easily achieved. It has a close-up lens that’s perfect for portrait shots.

The most likeable feature of the Instax 210 is its adjustable flash. This gives you the ease to toggle it on and off, giving your photos the perfect amount of exposure.

What makes the Instax 210 stand out is its LCD panel which basically just makes taking pictures a lot easier. In this display, you can adjust the focal distance, shutter speed, and ISO settings. This way, you have control on the settings of your print out.

PROS

  • Adjustable settings
  • LCD panel
  • User-friendly

CONS

  • Bulky
  • Heavy
  • Plain exterior design

Polaroid PIC-300

First glance of the Polaroid PIC-300 will give you a familiar design, much like Fujifilm’s. Exhibiting a solid color, this instant camera gives its users a stylish vibe.

Its ease of use and lightweight build earned the hearts of the many.  Featuring an auto flash, and exposure settings, the PIC-300 gives pretty decent printouts.

The four-scene settings will also help you get the perfect shot.

The Polaroid PIC-300 gives its users an easy interface. This, I think, is the most important feature an instant camera should own. I mean, that’s the essence of having an instant camera, right? The least you need is for it to give you a headache from not figuring out how to use it smoothly.

PROS

  • Extremely lightweight
  • Easy to use
  • Stylish design

CONS

  • Low quality materials
  • Basic image quality
  • Does not have much features

Fujifilm Instax Mini 50S

Flaunting its rich monochromatic theme, the Fujifilm Instax Mini 50S wilt give you the option to have either the black or white one.

Weighing at about 4.8 lbs, the Instax Mini 50S is praised by many for its convenience in packing and carrying.

It has a pretty straightforward platform, and users who wish to get into instant photography could start with this camera first.

More than the Instax Mini 50S’s ease of usage, it also boasts a few handy features. It has a self-timer mode which lets you create two photos with a single shutter press. If you wish to capture a moment but has insufficient lighting, the Instax Mini 50S has an excellent flash mode which automatically adjusts its brightness and shutter speed.

PROS

  • User-friendly
  • Great for beginners
  • Close-up feature

CONS

  • Low build quality
  • Relatively less durable
  • Gives a low image quality in low-light situations

Fujifilm Instax Mini 8

Iconic and simple, that’s how the Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 is known by its users.

Comes in several different colors, this one’s the perfect choice for the hip and trendy bunch. With its slim design and extremely light weight, the Instax Mini 8 can easily sit inside a small purse.

It’s also very easy to use, a factor which many users find important. With its necessary features, this camera is a sure hit.

The Instax Mini 8 is perfect in taking portraits and will give you clear photos with a soft tone with its visibility viewfinder, and high-key mode. It also automatically determines the perfect brightness setting for your image. This can be done by turning the brightness adjustment dial to the position of the lit lamp.

PROS

  • Lightweight
  • Easy to use
  • Attractive design

CONS

  • Low quality construction
  • Relatively low image quality
  • Doesn’t do well in highly-lit scenes

Polaroid Snap

If you’re a fan of Polaroid, and have a tight budget, the Polaroid Snap is perfect for you. With its simple yet stylish design, the Snap will much likely catch your attention.

Designed to capture your life’s greatest moments, this instant camera has the perfect features for it.

With its quick operation speed and versatility, you won’t wonder why the Snap can be considered the best instant camera. 

Featuring Polaroid’s classic ZINK technology, you’ll have smudge-free and clear prints on your hands.

Much like the Polaroid Z2300, the Snap also has storage. This serves as an instant camera and a digital one at the same time. This gives you the option to store your captured photos to your laptop, otherwise, you could print them out right away. It’s really a perfect device to spend your money on.

PROS

  • External storage
  • Fast printing
  • ZINK technology

CONS

  • Low image quality
  • Cheap construction
  • Might give overly-exposed photos

Polaroid Socialmatic

Constructed simply, the Polaroid Socialmatic displays the company’s colors in front of the camera. It’s a simple yet classic touch.

The Socialmatic holds excellent features which ultimately gives you high-quality photos, a fact that’s not new to Polaroid. Utilizing its ZINK technology, the printouts look very clear and radiant.

This revolutionary instant camera contains lots of tech-savvy features that will surely make up for its hefty price tag.

As the name suggests, the Polaroid Socialmatic can incorporate your photos to your social media networks. This feature can’t be found in most of instant cameras, which makes the Socialmatic a possibility to be your next best instant camera. Embracing new technology, the Socialmatic contains built-in WiFi and has an Android interface. This makes it perfect for the ones who can’t resist social media and loves to share photos online all the time.

PROS

  • Photos can be directly shared online
  • Flexible
  • ZINK technology

CONS

  • Expensive
  • Complicated operations
  • Charging issues

Fujifilm Instax Smartphone Printer

Although this list might be about instant cameras, this device still relates to printing photos instantly.

The Fujifilm Instax Smartphone Printer is a good instant camera alternative with its ease of use and innovation.

Owning a modern and minimal design, the Smartphone Printer produces great quality printouts featuring rich and vibrant colors.

Have a phone with an outstanding camera resolution and can’t afford to replace it with an instant camera? Opting for the Fujifilm Instax Smartphone is your best choice. The Smartphone Printer is perfect in its printing capabilities, it might even enhance your photos more upon printing. This solid device prints photos of your choice instantly and easily since your control is on your smartphone.

PROS

  • Modern design
  • Smartphone compatibility
  • Great printout quality

CONS

  • Expensive
  • Low battery life
  • Compatible to only Android devices

Fujifilm Hello Kitty Instax Film Camera

Specifically made for Hello Kitty lovers, the Fujifilm Hello Kitty Instax Film Camera has a fun design.

Despite its childish design, the camera prints out remarkably high quality images.

Loved by its adorable design and easy usage, the camera is perfect for kids and teens hoping to make their way to instant photography.

Although it may give you a childish vibe, the Hello Kitty Instant Camera possess the classic Instax function—to deliver high quality prints with clean and vibrant texture. It’s also pretty lightweight so you can carry it around you and flaunt your inner Hello Kitty fanatic self.

PROS

  • Fun design
  • Lightweight
  • High quality printouts

CONS

  • Low quality construction
  • Relatively expensive
  • Might look like a toy

Factors To Consider In Buying An Instant Camera

With several models and brands to choose from, picking just one isn’t an easy task, (especially for those who are meticulous, like myself) not to mention buying the best one.  You can’t simply rush to the nearest gadget store and buy one immediately. To have the best instant camera, there are things to be considered first.

Construction And Materials Used

Majority of instant cameras have a plastic exterior. Some of it might look cheaply built, while others might surprise you. It’s important to inspect the camera carefully so you’re sure to land the one that has a fairly durable construction. Generally, the pricier cameras have better construction and are made with better materials. They also give out a professional look and is guaranteed to last long.

Design

The first thing that will catch your attention is the camera’s design. Sometimes, an instant camera looks attractive because it brings you nostalgia. Whether it carries a vintage vibe or a modern aura, the camera’s design will always have a major appeal to the consumers.

Instant-Camera Design

Adjustable flash

Sometimes, the outcome of your print depends on how good the flash is. A lot of modern instant camera models have adjustable flashes that can vary with different light settings.

Revolutionary features

Despite an instant camera being vintage and, well, instant, a good camera should also have good features. Some of the notable ones are its printout quality, image resolution, adjustable shutter speed, ISO settings, and shooting modes. This will give your photos better exposure, and great white balance. Others even have SD card capability which lets you store your photos for later use.

Revolutionary features

Film cost

Do not forget to take a look at the camera’s film prices as it varies from model to model. You wouldn’t want your instant camera be on standby mode just because you think the film’s too expensive, would you? When you think of buying an instant camera, consider looking at its films also.

Verdict

The best instant camera on this list is the Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 with its undeniably great exterior. It has a vintage look that will certainly give you nostalgia. It has great features and flexibility that are perfect for an amateur photographer or even a professional.

Its reliable quality and great build put it on the top of our list. Also, you can’t complain with its price tag as it is affordable compared to other instant cameras that has relatively the same features.

Fujifilm-Instax-Mini-90

Overall

The price you pay for an instant camera is undeniably much cheaper compared to the expensive prices of a digital one. Plus, entering the world of photography through instant cameras isn’t a bad first move.

It’s always good to have the photos you recently captured instantly printed. This way, you get to literally hold the moment minutes after taking them. This sure gives “Living in the moment” a whole new meaning.