If you are a reader of a certain age, you may be able to remember the fun and convenience of using an instant camera. The ability to take a picture and print it out a minute later is what really spurred our need for instant gratification. The advent of digital photography has slowed the popularity of instant cameras, but now both older and younger generations are contributing to the resurgence of instant cameras. As such, you may find that you want to be part of the trend.
However, there are a lot of factors to consider before choosing the right one. Some instant cameras produce square images, some provide wide images, and some can do both. Some instant cameras also have a selfie mirror to make sure you look just right on your photos. In addition, there are even apps available with some models – to help you edit the photos – while others have micro SD card slots so you can both print and save your photos.
But which features are important to you? For example, if you just take basic pictures, you might not care about different types of edges and picture modes. But for other people, these features make instant cameras fun.
Cost is another factor to consider. An advanced, more expensive camera will (presumably) last longer, but if you buy it for a child or are unsure how often you want to use the camera, you may not want to spend a lot of money on it. The film itself is another aspect to think about. Movies for instant cameras can get expensive if you take a lot of pictures, so consider that factor as well. (We have included links to the movie used in each camera to help you include this price.)
Additionally, if you have a habit of taking a lot of pictures, you are going to review a lot of movies. A camera with a micro SD card may cost more, but it allows you to look at the pictures and decide which ones are worthy of printing – and it can save you money in the long run. A card also allows you to keep a digital record of your photos so that they can also be printed out or transferred.
We have had hands-on experience with most of the cameras on this list. We have consulted with a few professional photographers and researched credible reviews to help you find the best instant cameras for your needs.
Kids will love the Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 and it will not put a dent in your budget. The camera is colorful (available in sky blue, purple, blush pink, charcoal gray and ice white), and the simple design makes it easy for children – and adults – to use. It has automatic exposure and has a built-in flash to ensure the right amount of light regardless of the ambient light level. There is also a one-touch selfie mode – with a selfie mirror so you can see what you look like before taking the picture. Additionally, there is a customizable shutter button, and you can choose to use a jewel tone button or a glow-in-the-dark button.
The camera uses Fujifilm Instax Mini Instant Film, which is about the size of a credit card, and is available in packs of 20, 60 and 120. The film is available in white background, and also black, blue marble, monochrome, pink lemonade, Maracon, rainbow and confetti backgrounds.
The Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Instant Film Camera is one of the most popular Fujifilm models, not least because of the camera’s classic look and feel. There is a bulb mode which allows the shutter to remain open for 10 seconds when the shutter button is pressed and this results in unique night shots. The dual exposure mode allows you to overlay two images in one frame. In addition, the camera has a macro mode for close-ups, landscape mode for distant subjects, child mode for fast-moving subjects, and party mode to highlight the background. In addition, the brightness control and the high-performance flash help you take pictures like a professional.
The camera uses Fujifilm Instax minifilm (the size of a credit card), available in packs of 20, 60 and 120. The various movie backgrounds include white, black, blue marble, monochrome, pink lemonade, maracon, rainbow and confetti backgrounds.
The Lomo’Instant Wide Camera from Lomography is one of the most expensive instant cameras on our list. But let’s be honest: that too appearance as the most expensive – and it is packed with features. In addition to the built-in 90mm lens, it also has a close-up lens, an ultra-wide-angle lens and a glass splitter to merge two images together. The camera has both automatic and creative shooting modes and has a fully programmable shutter for those times when you do not want to use the flash, as well as exposure compensation. The lens cover of the remote control makes it easy to take group pictures while you are in the picture. The camera also includes four color flash gels to add color and artistic effects to your photos.
Lomo’Instant Wide Camera and lenses use Fujifilm Instax Wide Instant Film (4.17 “x 3.30”), available with either a standard white or black background in either 10-sheet or 20-sheet packages.
The Kodak Step Instant Print digital camera is packed with features. It is compatible with microSD cards up to 128 GB (and includes a microUSB charging cable), so you can not only print images but also save them. In addition, the camera has 6 picture modes: sepia, black and white, vivid colors, angular sepia, angular black and vivid colors with border. There is also a magnetic lens cap to protect the lens from scratches. The camera turns on and off by raising or lowering the optical viewfinder. It also has a 10 second self-timer, and adjusts automatically in low light.
The Kodak Step Instant Print digital camera is available in two colors: black and white. It uses Kodak 2 “x 3” Premium Zinc Photo Paper, available in packs of 20, 50 or 100 pcs.
Another one of the most popular Fujifilm instant cameras, the Fujifilm Instax Wide 300 Instant Film Camera, looks like a modern professional camera. It is large and uses wide film (twice the size of the Fujifilm Instax Mini). The focal zoom dial makes it easy to take close-ups, but is also ideal for taking pictures from afar. The camera is fairly easy to use, especially since the LCD screen is mounted on the back of the camera, as are the flash and brightness controls. In addition to the automatic flash used in low light, the Fill-in flash feature activates backlighting, and the exposure compensation control can either make the image brighter or darker.
Fujifilm Instax Wide 300 is available in two colors: black and white. It uses Fujifilm Instax Wide Instant Film (4.17 “x 3.30”), available with either a standard white or black background in either 10-sheet or 20-sheet packages.
Honestly, when you say “instant camera”, the first image that I think of is the classic Polaroid model. And the Polaroid Now I-Type Instant Camera is probably as close to the original as you can get. It may look like a collector’s item that you place on a shelf, but the camera has been redesigned to include a dual lens with autofocus, a digital photo counter and even a new flash system.
The Polaroid Now I-Type Instant Camera is available in a dozen colors, including black and white, yellow and white, pink and white and red and white. It uses Impossible / Polaroid color instant movie, (3.4 “x 4.25”), which has 8 exposures per Note: the images are developed in 10 to 15 minutes.
The Canon Ivy CLIQ + Instant Camera has a unique feature that you will not find on most instant cameras: a light with 8 LED rings that can help minimize shadows and reduce imperfections. It’s in addition to a large 2-inch selfie mirror and autoflash – all designed to produce professional-looking selfies. The camera has a wide-angle lens, but you can shoot in landscape, selfie, or portrait mode. In addition to autoflash, the camera also automatically adjusts shutter speed and aperture. (The lens cap is also the remote control’s trigger.) In addition, the built-in Bluetooth can be connected to the Canon Mini Print app to add frames, text, emojis, and stickers.
Canon Ivy CLIQ + Instant Camera is available in Sapphire Blue, Pearl White and Ruby Red. It uses 2 “x 3” Canon Zinc photo paper, available in packs of 20 sheets and 50 sheets. The paper also has a sticky backing so that the images can stick to any surface after peeling off the sticky backing.
If you prefer to take pictures in landscape mode, the Fujifilm Instax Square SQ1 Instant Camera uses square film (3.5 x 1.5 x 3.75 inches) which is designed to provide more real estate in each image. It uses automatic exposure so the built-in sensors can determine the required brightness level based on your environment. The camera has a textured grip that makes it easy to hold. It is also easy to use. In addition, there is a one-touch selfie mode and a selfie mirror.
The Fujifilm Instax Square SQ1 Instant Camera comes in three colors: Terracotta Orange, Blue and White. Fujifilm Instax Square Film is available in packs of 10 sheets or as twin packs, and the background color options include white, black, lighting monochrome, white marble, rainbow, monochrome + rainbow and rainbow + black.
Lomo’Instant Automatic Glass (Magellan Edition) Instant Camera is the first instant camera with a wide-angle lens (38 mm). The multi-coated lens is designed to minimize reflections and capture more in each image. It also has an f / 4.5 aperture (the largest among instant cameras) for taking pictures in low-light environments. In addition to adjusting the aperture, you can also adjust the shutter speed and flash discharge. The camera includes a close-up lens and also a glass splitter to merge 2 images together. The lens is also the remote control’s trigger for taking pictures. There are also several color gel flash filters to make your photos look even more creative.
Lomo’Instant Automat Glass (Magellan Edition) Instant Camera user Fujifilm Instax Mini Instant Film (the size of a credit card), and is available in packs of 20, 60 and 120. The film is available in white backgrounds and also black, blue marble, monochrome, pink lemonade, maracon, rainbow and confetti backgrounds.
The Kodak Step Touch Instant Print digital camera is significantly more expensive than the Kodak Step Instant digital camera. But it also does so much more. Step Touch also includes a camcorder. It records in 1080 / 720p and it also records audio. The camera has a 3.5-inch LCD touch screen that allows you to easily see what you are doing and make changes if necessary. In addition, it has a 10-second self-timer, a Photobooth mode, and it also supports micro SD cards up to 256 GB. It is a Bluetooth-enabled camera so you can connect to other smart devices within range to send and print your photos. Plus, using the Kodak Step Prints app, you can add borders, stickers, emojis, and filters to your photos. You can also use the app to easily print photos and share them on social media.
The camera is available in 2 colors: Black and white and it uses Kodak Zinc photo paper (2 “x 3”), which is available in packs of 20, 50 and 100 pcs.