You may at times fondly reminisce about the days of the instant film camera and the memories you made with one: taking a photo of you and your friends and anxiously waiting those few seconds while you flicked the photo waiting for the negative to develop.
But it may surprise you to learn that even in the digital age, the instant film camera is far from dead. Many people today still prefer the look and feel of the instant camera and film, but that’s just one reason they are still in use. With digital photos mostly crafted the exact same way, amateurs and photographers like trying something different with experimental instant camera techniques.
With all of that in mind, if the instant film camera appeals to you, let’s take a look at our top 10 picks.
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The Sofort Instant Film from Leica gives you the quality a professional or amateur photographer might expect from the Leica brand of cameras, but at an affordable price. It is probably the most economical Leica on the market. Featuring a 3-Zone manual focus optical viewfinder, the camera has built-in flash and shutter capabilities. Multiple automatic shooting modes allow you to find the perfect mode for any photography project or situation.
This Leica features a self-timer and comes with a rechargeable Li-on battery. To top everything off, it accepts instax mini instant film.
Fujifilm’s Instax SQ10 Hybrid camera boasts the capacity to handle newer, larger instax film of 2.4×2.4 dimensions. Although this is still an instant camera it has some added cool features like allowing you to preview and edit the images before you go to print. In this way, you can be sure you’ll get the perfect shot every time. You can select from up to 10 built-in preset filters to apply to any of your photos for a variety of neat effects. If you find a shot you want to save, that’s no problem at all, as this instant camera has a memory SD card and its own internal storage. You’ll never lose your favorite shots and you can share with friends too. Get the best of both worlds with this hybrid instant camera.
Another Fujifilm favorite, the Instax Mini 70 is small but powerful, featuring a very modern, sleek design that is both beautiful and understated. This camera comes with a tripod socket for those times when you need extra fine control, or are just looking for a different angle on your shot. The built in selfie mode with selfie mirror included lets you take part in the popular modern photo trends with old school instant style.
Thanks to its automatic exposure mode, the Instax Mini 70 will improve the quality and lighting of all your shots, even in darker areas. Also includes 2 CR2 batteries.
A tiny, popular cousin of the other Fujifilm instant cameras, the Mini 25 has a very lightweight frame for easy carry; you’ll forget it’s there till you need it. The simple, minimal operation procedures make it an ideal camera for casual photographers or those who are on the go in their travels. This model includes a self-portrait mirror and motorized 3 position lens that can be adjusted as needed. The exposure is simple and with intelligent flash, you’ll never have to worry about when to use the feature. Thanks to the close up lens, you can even create enlarged photos up to 35cm. Includes manual exposure compensation and Fujinon lens.
The handheld Mini 9 is all about instant camera goodness in a streamlined frame. Easily ready to go when you need it, only needing 2 AA batteries. The macro lens feature lets you get the perfect close up as well, with 35cm-50cm adjustments possible. You don’t have to worry about not getting the perfect picture here; the camera signals recommended aperture settings for you to ensure the best quality photo. Check out your framing in the mirror next ot the lens to make sure everything is just the way you want it before each photo.
Two auto focus zones of .9 to 3m and 3m to infinity make this camera a great choice for a variety of photo shoots. There’s a tri-pod socket included for those times when you want the extra professional look or different angles. You’ll have light and dark control to add various imagery effects to your photos. Before you buy, keep in mind that this model only works with Fujifilm Instax Wide film.
This beauty from Polaroid weighs less than 1lb, making it ideal for the camera you need but don’t want to feel in your pocket all the time. Four different scene settings will help you choose the ideal shot regardless of natural light conditions. Auto flash in low light settings means you won’t have to worry about shots being too dark, either. This camera takes photos about the size of a standard business card, which makes it the perfect choice for photos you want to take with you in the wallet. In addition, you won’t have to worry about running out of juice because the camera will automatically go into energy saving mode after a few minutes of inactivity.
Works with Polaroid 300 instant film, and takes 2 AA batteries.
A simple, affordable camera for anyone with an interest in taking great instant photos on the go. The Polaroid Snap has a fairly unique design that is both subtle and evokes styling of the classic instant cameras of the past, further enhancing its appeal. However, the Snap gives you the best of both worlds with a modern, megapixel sensor to capture the best images and micro SD card to hold the best photos. The patented ZINK technology produces full color prints in amazing detail complete with adhesive backing for easy display.
This nifty little camera has a cool black and silver casing and a bevy of features that make it ideal for a variety of situations. The kids mode is best used when needing to snap a quick photo of kids on the go and moving fast, while the macro mode makes photographing close up a breeze. The Neo Classic will detect the brightest points of your photo area and adjust the flash use accordingly. This camera even gives you the option of double exposures by pressing the shutter twice.
The perfect instant camera for budding little photographers on the go! This cute Hello Kitty-themed camera from Fujifilm has everything your child could need or want plus extras, including limited edition Hello Kitty film, stickers and a strap for easy carry. Works with Fuji Instax Film and AA batteries.
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