Best Instant Camera

Best Instant Camera

Looking for the best instant camera for funny travel or party photos? Read more about 18 of the best polaroid cameras you can buy for about $100-$300.

best instant camera

What Is the Best Instant Camera?

How to take clear, instant photographs that are not blurred or overexposed? How to choose the best camera? In this article, you will find the answers to all these questions.

3 best instant cameras

Some people take instant cameras for traveling because they are compact and have stylish colors. Some use them for party and wedding photography for guests to have fun. If you want to have a photo not only in a single copy, you should look at the cameras with the ability to save pictures on the SD card.

Best Instant Camera in 2019

If you know why you need this camera and for what, read more about 18 of the best instant cameras that can meet your requirements. So, you can read, compare, and choose the most suitable instant camera for you.


1. Leica Sofort

leica sofort instant camera View Prices on Amazon
Pros+
  • Red-eye reduction flash
  • Compact and high-quality camera
  • Focus adjustment and shutter speed
Cons-
  • Not found
 

Some users call Leica Sofort the top Polaroid camera because of a number of important advantages. The compact size, as well as manual and automatic modes are among them. There is also a self-mode with a special mirror above the lens. The instant film camera has a flash and a delay timer. Flash mode with red-eye removal can be used for shooting at parties and for taking photos of friends. By the way, you can choose separate modes for shooting celebrations, selfies, sports, and even for macro photographing. Some users will also appreciate instant film cassettes for black and white shots produced by Leica.

Leica Sofort portrait Image by Leica Sofort

2. Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic

fujifilm instax mini 90 neo classic instant camera View Prices on Amazon
Pros+
  • LCD readout
  • A great variety of modes for taking wonderful pictures
  • Opportunity to adjust the exposure manually
Cons-
  • Color selection is strictly limited, only brown and black
  • Shooting objects less than 3 feet away requires a better viewfinder
  • Without a selfie mirror
 

This is the best Instax camera in my list. The thing is that Instax Mini 90 offers advanced features for taking clear photos outdoors and indoors. The bulb and double exposures are its big benefits. Thanks to this feature, a photographer can capture light creatively. As for the new functions, they are macro mode and a high-performance flash. Due to them, Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 is known as a "Neo Classic" piece of photographic equipment. Its important advantages are the compact size and lightweight body. So, I can recommend it for street photography and travel lovers, as well as for shooting at parties.

fujifilm instax mini 90 neo classic instant film camera image Image by Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic

3. Fujifilm Instax Square SQ6

Fujifilm instax film cameras View Prices on Amazon
Pros+
  • Better control than competitors have
  • The best choice for inexperienced users
  • The handy size of square-format shots
  • Strong, durable construction
Cons-
  • Exposures can be unpredictable
  • The high price of the film
  • The camera requires batteries that aren’t standard
  • Lack of the opportunity to combine modes
 

I like Fujifilm Instax Square SQ6 as the best Instax camera for beginners. The model has a square shape, as well as the square final photographs. This instant film camera can automatically adjust exposure and focal length. Using the software tools, you can add extra brightness to objects and background. There are also possibilities of combining pictures and taking photos in the "landscape" or "macro" modes. The selfie mirror allows you to shoot nice self-portraits.

Another cool feature of this camera is the opportunity to use color filters, which help change the shade of the photo. It’s also one of the best instant cameras that has nice photo resolution. You will enjoy rich bright colors and fairly accurate color reproduction.

Fujifilm instax camera shot Image by Fujifilm Instax Square SQ6
  • If you are going to take professional photography but don’t have enough money for expensive photo equipment, I recommend you reading about the best cheap cameras you can use for good and high-resolution photos.

4. Kodak Printomatic

Kodak printomatic best polaroid camera View Prices on Amazon
Pros+
  • Flash works automatically
  • MicroSD card slot is included
  • Well-designed
Cons-
  • Without a frontal selfie mirror
  • Color options are quite limited
  • Photos look like poor photocopies
 

This is quite an interesting camera that perfectly combines digital and film technologies. The device will be very useful for those who want to receive snapshots and save images on MicroSD. A resolution of 10 megapixels allows you to take very nice pictures. As for me, I like the size of this good Polaroid camera. Kodak Printomatic is compact and easily fits in a pocket. It can take pictures even when printing a previous photo. The photographs are resistant to water and have a sticky layer on the back side. It is a cheap Polaroid camera that costs only about $100.

Kodak printomatic image Image by Kodak Printomatic

5. Lomo'instant Automat

best lomo instant camera View Prices on Amazon
Pros+
  • Built-in flash
  • Good-looking retro design
  • Many adjustable settings
Cons-
  • The absence of timer for automatic shooting
  • The optical viewfinder should be bigger
  • The camera requires CR2 batteries
 

Some users called Lomography Lomo’Instant Automat the best Polaroid camera 2018. It is explained not only by its attractive design but also by several impressive advantages. First of all, I want to mention that it’s perhaps one of the most beautiful cameras on my list. But it’s also very easy in use.

As the best instant print camera, it has a compact size and minimal weight. The soft-touch eco-leather surface is a nice bonus for its users. The shutter button is located in an intuitively convenient place, so it’s easy to press. The coolest thing here is a multi-exposure. You can take at least 20 frames per picture. It’s also a good choice for shooting objects in motion, as well as for photographing at night.

Lomo Image by Lomo'Instant Automat
  • If you’re a fan of old-fashioned stuff, check out these 15 best vintage cameras that take amazing photos even now. View more about their prices and where to find these old film cameras nowadays.

6. Fujifilm Instax Mini 70

Fujifilm best instax camera View Prices on Amazon
Pros+
  • Durable
  • Great optics
  • Selfish mode with mirror and automatic exposure control
Cons-
  • Flashlight does not always work when necessary
  • Quite small viewfinder
 

Fujifilm Instax Mini 70 is a fully automatic camera with the original elegant design. Being very user- friendly, this Instax camera brings pleasure to its owners. It has a retractable lens optimal for portraiture, street, and travel photography. Moreover, it features a High Key mode to take lively and sharp images. The camera selects brightness and contrast rate, measures lightness, and does other manipulations for convenient shooting.

Fujifilm instax mini 70 picture example Image by Fujifilm Instax Mini 70

7. Fujifilm Instax Square SQ10

Fujifilm instax camera View Prices on Amazon
Pros+
  • Square-format images
  • Wide range of manual settings
  • Functional photo editor
Cons-
  • Inconveniently placed viewfinder is practically useless
  • Long film development and print (about 2-3 minutes)
  • Limited ISO range
 

This Instax camera has a strict and harmonious design, many interesting options and peculiarities. This gadget offers a framing feature. Moreover, after the shooting, you may correct brightness and color, as well as add filters and frames, which will make the photo more expressive. I like that manufacturers added a slot for a memory card allowing you to save photographs and download them for future printing.

Fujifilm instax square sq10 image Image by Fujifilm Instax Square SQ10
  • If you’re looking for the best cameras for kids, I recommend you reading this article to find a good gift for your future photographer.

8. Fujifilm Instax Mini 9

fujifilm instax mini 9 polaroid camera View Prices on Amazon
Pros+
  • Small dimensions
  • It’s easy to change out the film
  • A selfie mirror on the front panel
Cons-
  • Inconvenient lighting settings
  • The viewfinder isn’t easy in use
 

Despite its miniature size, Instax mini 9 has many features for taking good instant photos. They are a selfie mirror, an extra macro lens, automatic exposure adjustment, and a Hi-Key mode. The last feature allows you to take pictures with a softer light. Shooting modes are saturated and perfectly work with the camera’s lens ring.

fujifilm instax mini 9 polaroid camera shot Image by Fujifilm Instax Mini 9
  • If you’re a fan of Fujifilm camera brand, read more about the best Fujifilm cameras you can use for professional studio photography and amateur travel photos.

9. Fujifilm Instax Wide 300

fujifilm instax wide 300 instant film camera View Prices on Amazon
Pros+
  • Simple and easy-to-use device
  • Big shots
Cons-
  • The camera’s design is bulky
  • Viewfinder seems really small
 

It’s the best Polaroid instant camera for those who need an easy-to-use device without extra complex features. Despite its simplicity, Fujifilm Instax Wide 300 is an intelligent camera that can independently determine the exposure. You can use the L mode to make the frame a little lighter or the D mode for dimming. Forced flash mode is also available.

From my point of view, Fujifilm Instax Wide 300 instant film camera is the best choice for portrait photographers who want to try shooting with a Polaroid. I want to draw your attention to the special vintage color reproduction. It makes the pictures look attractive and greatly emphasizes the mood of each photograph.

fujifilm instax wide 300 instant film camera photo Image by Fujifilm Instax Wide 300

10. Polaroid Onestep 2

polaroid onestep 2 View Prices on Amazon
Pros+
  • Big buttons
  • Stylish retro design
Cons-
  • Controls should be better designed
  • The film is expensive
 

Polaroid OneStep 2 combines classic design and modern style. Its features are a high-quality lens, 60-day battery, built-in flash, and self-timer. This good Polaroid camera is surely easy-to-use. I like that the model has a built-in strong flash. It means you can go to the darkest dance floors and take good photos. Other available features are the timer and the ability to take brighter or darker images. The colors are slightly muted compared to pictures from a digital camera. It gives them a classic Polaroid look.

polaroid onestep 2 photo sample Image by Polaroid Onestep 2

11. Polaroid Sun 660

polaroid sun 660 View Prices on Amazon
Pros+
  • Auto focus
  • Built-in flash
  • Electronic shutter
Cons-
  • It’s difficult to set exposure
  • You may receive an overexposed or dark photograph
 

You can buy it in black color with a tripod connector. This convenient device allows taking brilliant pictures just in a few seconds. One of its most important features is the unique Sonar Autofocus technology. It ensures the crystal clearness of each image. Moreover, the camera looks attractive. Its design is a nice example of the ’80s style. The camera also has a Light Management system, which interacts with flash and exposure settings.

polaroid sun 660 picture sample Image by Polaroid Sun 660

12. Lomo' Instant Wide

best lomo instant camera View Prices on Amazon
Pros+
  • Big, understandable controls
  • Built-in auto flash
  • Short developing time
Cons-
  • The optical viewfinder is too small
  • The camera is bulky
 

Lomo’Instant Wide is quite a large instant camera. In terms of control, Lomo’Instant Wide can be called the best instant camera for about $200. Actually, it’s extremely user-friendly and you can take photographs or change mode settings with one hand. There is a Bulb mode with a long exposure for night shooting and a constant shutter speed of 1/30. It will help in difficult light conditions and give the opportunity to experiment with moving objects.

Multi-exposure is one of my favorite features in this Polaroid camera. It gives an opportunity to take shots by superimposing several expositions. I also want to mention the wonderful lens cap which performs the function of a camera shutter remote control. With its assistance, taking self-portraits and shooting with a tripod will be easier.

Lomo Image by Lomo'Instant Wide

13. Impossible I-1

impossible I-1 best instant camera View Prices on Amazon
Pros+
  • Wide-angle prime lens
  • Manual control via smartphone
  • Integrated LED ring flash
Cons-
  • Battery runs down when it is not used
  • Pop-up viewfinder takes some time to get used to
  • Flash doesn’t work when the battery is low
 

It comes with a ring-shaped flash. It produces diffused light ideal for portraits. This camera helped me create portraits which greatly surpass those taken with other instant cameras. They are more atmospheric and less flat, I think. I am really impressed with this flash. If you connect it to the camera, you will get wide possibilities for experiments. For instance, you may use multi-exposition, long optical exposure, light pen, and others. It is the best Polaroid camera that provides full control of diaphragm value and optical exposure while shooting in manual mode.

Impossible I-1 photo Image by Impossible I-1

14. Polaroid Snap Touch 2.0

polaroid snap touch camera View Prices on Amazon
Pros+
  • Decent battery life
  • Nice magnetic lens cover
Cons-
  • Slow touch screen
  • Absence of an optical viewfinder
 

Polaroid Snap Touch camera is something in between a new and old generation of instant cameras. It can immediately print a photo or if you are not satisfied with the result ‒ save it for future image editing or you may delete it. It easily works with any modern smartphone. This camera has a built-in Polaroid ZeroInk printer, which allows printing photos using a thermal transfer. Therefore, the picture quality is much higher than the original Polaroid has. Unfortunately, Polaroid Snap Touch is not the best gadget for shooting in low light. The picture quality becomes lower, and details and contrast are getting lost.

polaroid snap touch camera image Image by Polaroid Snap Touch 2.0

15. Fujifilm Instax Mini 8

Fujifilm best polaroid camera View Prices on Amazon
Pros+
  • Long battery life
  • Flash is perfectly suitable for indoor photos
Cons-
  • No setting adjustment
  • Images may be exposed
 

Due to its design, it is not only a camera for fun shots but also an excellent accessory for a unique look. If you want to have good photographs, remember to pick out appropriate lighting. You may also use auto expose control. This instant camera has an automatic flash which always comes into action while shooting. The pictures have some vintage mood.

Fujifilm instax mini 8 photo Image by Fujifilm Instax Mini 8

16. Polaroid Pic-300

best polaroid pic-300 instant camera View Prices on Amazon
Pros+
  • Simple and lightweight
  • Powerful flash
Cons-
  • Expensive films
  • Small-sized pictures in comparison with “regular” Polaroid cameras
 

It is very convenient and easy to use. The device uses only 4 AA batteries, and a paper cartridge is easily inserted. Even a child may become a professional shooter with this Polaroid instant camera. The flash fires automatically in poor light. It offers four exposure modes for different backgrounds: fine, cloudy, indoor, and clear. Unfortunately, when shooting moving objects, the images are blurred because of the fixed shutter speed (1/60-second). If you don’t use it for at least 5 minutes, it is turned into the Sleep Mode until you activate it again. Picture quality in poor lighting is quite satisfactory due to the powerful flash, and the main thing is that it never too intense.

polaroid pic 300 picture Image by Polaroid Pic-300

17. Polaroid Snap

polaroid snap instant digital camera View Prices on Amazon
Pros+
  • Natural color rendering
  • Interesting filters
  • Creates digital files and prints
Cons-
  • Bad quality in poor lighting
  • Poor flash
 

Polaroid Snap instant digital camera is a 10 MP camera with a built-in Zink printer producing an image with a size of 7.6 х 5 cm immediately after the shooting. The camera also saves a digital copy. It has a big release button and an automatic shutter release button on the top. Moreover, you can incorporate a white frame into the photograph and use a manipulator for color choice or special effects.

I suppose that the flash is not powerful enough and the images lack optical exposure and uniformity of highlights in dark environment. In case of good lighting, Snap demonstrates nice color reproduction with strong shade. As for me, it is the best Polaroid instant camera for landscapes since it maintains sharp focus and optical exposure.

polaroid snap picture Image by Polaroid Snap

18. Polaroid Mint

polaroid mint best instant camera View Prices on Amazon
Pros+
  • Operates as a mobile printer
  • Compact
  • Micro SD card (256 GB)
Cons-
  • No indicator lights
  • Sensitive to any light source
 

It offers decent battery life, which is essential for trips. Includes a printer, an LED flash, a built-in selfie mirror, and a self-timer. I consider it to be the best instant film camera if you want to take 16MP photos. Similar to other Polaroid cameras, Mint features a MicroSD card slot. It may store up to 256 GB of your images. In case of good lighting, the camera takes really cool photographs.

polaroid mint sample image Image by Polaroid Mint

18 Best Instant Cameras for Photographers

Image Camera Details  
leica sofort instant camera
Leica Sofort
OUR CHOICE
  • Instax Mini Instant Film
  • 2.4 x 1.8" Prints
  • Automatik-Hektor 60mm f/12.7 Lens
Check PRICE
fujifilm instax mini 90 neo classic instant camera
Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic Camera
VINTAGE
  • FUJIFILM INSTAX Mini Instant Film
  • Credit Card-Sized Prints
  • Fujinon 60mm f/12.7 Lens
Check PRICE
Fujifilm instax film cameras
Fujifilm Instax Square SQ6
FOR BEGINNERS
  • Instax Square Instant Film
  • 2.4 x 2.4" Prints
  • Fujinon 65.75mm f/12.6 Lens
Check PRICE
Kodak printomatic best polaroid camera
Kodak Printomatic
CHEAP
  • Zink paper
  • 2 x 3" prints
  • 8mm f/2 Lens
Check PRICE
best lomo instant camera
Lomo'Instant Automat
BEST 2018
  • Fujifilm Instax Mini Instant Film
  • Credit Card-Sized Prints
  • 60mm f/8 Lens
Check PRICE
Fujifilm best instax camera
Fujifilm Instax Mini 70
FOR TRAVEL
  • Fujifilm Instax Mini Instant Film
  • Credit Card-Sized Prints
  • 60mm f/12.7 Lens
Check PRICE
Fujifilm instax camera
Fujifilm Instax Square SQ10
FOR PROFESSIONALS
  • Instax Square Instant Film
  • 2.4 x 2.4" Prints
  • 28.5mm f/2.4 lens
Check PRICE
fujifilm instax mini 9 polaroid camera
Fujifilm Instax Mini 9
  • Fujifilm Instax Instant Film
  • Credit Card-Sized Prints
  • Fujinon 60mm f/12.7 Lens
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fujifilm instax wide 300 instant film camera
Fujifilm Instax Wide 300
  • Fujifilm Instax Instant Color Film
  • 2.4 x 3.9" Prints
  • Retractable 95mm f/14 Lens
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polaroid onestep 2
Polaroid Onestep 2
  • I-Type and 600 Instant Film
  • 3.5 x 4.2" prints
  • 106mm Fixed Focus Lens
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polaroid sun 660
Polaroid Sun 660
  • 600-Type Instant Film
  • Single-Element 116mm f/11 Lens
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best lomo instant camera
Lomo'Instant Wide
  • Fujifilm Instax Wide Film
  • 3.9 x 2.4" Prints
  • 90mm Lens
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impossible I-1 best instant camera
Impossible I-1
  • 600-Type & I-Type Instant Film
  • 3.5 x 4.2" Prints
  • 82-109mm f/10-67 Lens
Check PRICE
polaroid snap touch camera
Polaroid Snap Touch 2.0
  • Zink paper
  • 2x3" Prints
  • 3.4mm f/2.8 Lens
Check PRICE
Fujifilm best polaroid camera
Fujifilm Instax Mini 8
  • Fujifilm Instax Mini Instant Film
  • 2.4 x 1.8" Prints
  • Fujinon 60mm f/12.7 Lens
Check PRICE
best polaroid pic-300 instant camera
Polaroid Pic-300
  • Polaroid 300 Instant Film
  • Credit Card-Sized Prints
Check PRICE
polaroid snap instant digital camera
Polaroid Snap
  • Zink paper
  • 2 x 3" Prints
  • 3.4mm f/2.8 Lens
Check PRICE
polaroid mint best instant camera
Polaroid Mint
  • Zink paper
  • 2 x 3" Prints
Check PRICE

What Is Instant Photography?

Instant photography is a special shooting type related to fast picture-producing technology, namely, fast or even “instant” printing process. Instant photo technology is a process of forming a photo image by means of automatic film development using chemical agents. No matter what instant camera you use, the final work product remains the same: the user receives a photograph immediately after pressing the button. Instant cameras are popular among photo artists, social network users, wedding shooters and people who took over a tradition to present instant photos at parties and celebrations. So, let us point out the basic characteristics of instant photography.

1. Convenient & Easy

Convenient

The best instant camera should definitely be user-friendly. I suppose that usability is a key feature of every gadget. In general, the majority of instant cameras have a button behind the lens. It should be turned on to get the lens adjusted for image production.

2. Brightness Adjustment Dial

Brightness Adjustment Dial

The brightness adjustment dial is a special dial that guides the user during the process of picture creating. It helps take perfect photographs, choosing the best environment with regard to brightness and lightning. The instant digital camera controls the dial itself and selects the most suitable position.

3. Process Duration

Process Duration

As a rule, instant cameras produce an image immediately after the shooting. Nevertheless, remember to give your photograph some time to dry because the process of drying directly influences the picture quality. The photograph should remain untouched for some period of time. In general, it may take from ten to forty minutes. Sometimes spots may appear in photos but within 24 hours they disappear.

4. Extra Features

Extra Features

Usually, the best instant cameras offer some additional features such as flash units, for example. It is a common thing among Polaroid instant cameras. Flash units may be either rechargeable or of single use. One more feature that belongs to Polaroid’s benefits is the self-timer. It is rather popular today. Finally, remember to use the best film for your gadget since it is a must-have in the process of taking photographs.

5. Image Quality

Image Quality

In spite of all the advantages that instant cameras offer, you should understand that image quality provided by these cameras is not going to be the same as classical cameras offer. There are many reasons for that. For example, the unusual Viewfinder location sometimes leads to the removal of some parts of the body or miscalculated focal distance. These devices are targeted at enjoying the pleasure of capturing the moment and share the precious photograph with others right now.


Ann Young

Hi there, I'm Ann Young - a photographer, photo retoucher and of course, journalist. Here on FixThePhoto blog you can find all of my reviews, photography and photo editing tips, pricing guides, and photography experiments. read more