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Review of the Polaroid OneStep 2



one of 9

The OneStep 2 brings you the style and quality of photos from the 70s.

The good

    Retro design is fun Photos really appear instantly Rechargeable battery Easy to use

The bad

    The quality of the photos is as retro as the design The photos are expensive



With a design inspired by a 70s camera, the OneStep 2 looks and shoots just like an old-fashioned Polaroid camera, producing the same snapshots with its classic edge. However, the OneStep 2 adds to that classic style a handful of convenient modern elements, such as a rechargeable battery, a built-in flash and (the eptome of the 2010 post camera) a timer for selfies. Unlike the digital cameras that incorporate a Zink printer, the OneStep 2 uses real instant film that generates that organic and imperfect aspect without relying on a pretentious digital filter.

However, the 70s are not for everyone. Even with its modern improvements, the Polaroid OneStep 2 remains an old-school camera that lacks the convenience and quality of modern digital cameras. That the experience is pleasant or frustrating to depend on who shoots.


Based on the 1977 Polaroid OneStep Land, this new Polaroid Originals camera retains the overall body shape and aesthetics, adding some more contemporary functions. That seventies inspiration results in a bulky design that weighs half a kilo and measures about 15 centimeters in its longest part. It includes a neck strap that helps you carry it, because to put it in your pocket you will need clown pants. Of course, without that style it won't be a OneStep.

review polaroid onestep 2 onesteup 8 1200x9999Hilary Grigonis / Digital Trends

While cameras using Fujifilm Mini instant film have a smaller profile, the OneStep probably won't be able to reduce its size too much and still keep room for the cartridge. The Polaroid 600 i-Type film designed for the new OneStep measures 3.1 by 3 inches in the photo area and about 4.2 by 3.5 inches in total. The Fujifilm Instax Mini, in comparison, creates a similar print with an image size of about 1.8 by 2.4 inches.

At the top, eight lights indicate how many images remain in the cartridge.

Being an instant analog camera, the controls of the OneStep 2 are a fairly minimalist issue.

Being an instant analog camera, the controls of the OneStep 2 are a fairly minimalist issue, although with more options than the original 70s. The trigger is in front, at the bottom, true to the original.

When holding the camera with your left hand and placing the right index on the trigger, you will notice that your thumb is near the no-flash button. Press and hold it while taking a photo turn off the flash, which is otherwise always active. The flash itself is a new element in the camera the 1977 model had the option of adding one on top, but it did not bring a built-in one.

review polaroid onestep 2 onesteup 7 720x720Hilary Grigonis / Digital Trends

The modernity of the camera is also evident in the small front timer button that activates a selfie instant. A lever under the viewfinder allows you to illuminate or obscure the image, another function absent in the original camera.

But the biggest sign that this is not a 1977 OneStep is the USB port on the back. Obviously you will not use it to transfer images to your computer; It's there to charge the battery. Thing that you will not have to do too often, because the load will last 60 days, according to Polaroid.


Why resuscitate a 70s camera? For pleasure, simply. Taking a photo that you can hold in your hands, a photo that you also have to wait for, is something strangely pleasant in a digital world. The images are not shot and then forget them among the thousands of files on your phone; They are stuck in a refrigerator or an album.

Polaroid suggests (in a message under the camera) that you keep a minimum of 60 centimeters of the person or thing you are going to photograph; lay down more and the images will be blurred. Also, indoors the flash is too bright for objects that are less than that distance. Other recommendations are to always shoot with the sun behind you and always leave the flash on unless it is a sper bright scene.

polaroid review onestep 2 onesteup 1Hilary Grigonis / Digital Trends

The experience with the OneStep is very basic but the camera forces you to slow down, because every photo you take costs money. With eight exposures per cartridge, this instant camera helps you become a more conscientious photographer, because one more shot is wasted money. That's great to fine tune your eye, although it can also be another source of frustration.


Although the film cartridges were redesigned, the same aesthetic remains.

That look of film is more evident in colors. Greens, for example, are darker and less saturated than in real life. The photographs feel as if they had been treated with an Instagram filter.

Images in general tend to err towards the dark, even when shooting outdoors. The underexposure may be part of the aesthetic, but you can use the +/- lever on the front to illuminate the images a bit, if the brightest exposures are your thing. However, there is no really manual mode.

The quality of the photos is not good under any modern metric

Of course, the quality of the photos is not good under any modern metric, but that is part of the perfect imperfection that Polaroid Originals says defines an instant photograph. The images are always slightly out of focus, which sometimes complements desaturated aesthetics, but they can also obscure some of the best parts of the scene.

Indoors, Polaroid points out that the built-in flash helps balance colors, although we feel that the shots look more yellow than they should. Of course, that might be convenient as part of the seventies vibe.

With a cost of around $ 100 dollars, or a little more if you choose a special edition, the OneStep 2 is one of the most affordable instant cameras on the market and, with the dimensions and appearance of the original Polaroid, it may be one of the most retro. It is also fun. Just don't forget that the cost per photo is extremely high. You will end up using it only rarely.

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