With the arrival of smart phones and cheap semi-professional digital cameras, instant photography has gone through a couple of difficult decades. However, the possibility of holding a photo in your hands seconds after shooting (and sharing it in real life, not just online) has allowed the genre not only to survive, but to grow. While there are a variety of brands that make cameras, the instant film usually comes from Fujifilm or Polaroid Originals (formerly known as the Impossible Project, the company that prevented the Polaroid brand from being forgotten). To help you find the camera to take instant photos that best suits your needs, we have organized them by categories ranging from the most basic to fully manual and hybrid machines between film and digital.
Polaroid OneStep 2 i-Type
The original Polaroid OneStep is the most iconic thing you'll find in the world of instant film. Although that model, created in 1977, stopped being produced long ago, Polaroid Originals has resurrected it in the form of the OneStep 2.
Inspired by the original, the OneStep 2 mixes the classic design with the contemporary style and brings some technological improvements. Now the camera uses a rechargeable USB battery that lasts 60 days and uses Polaroid 600 and i-Type film.
If the standard model does not convince you, Polaroid also produces an upside down version inspired by Stranger Things.
Leica is best known for its impressive 35mm telemetric cameras, but this German manufacturer also has its instant camera: the $ 300 dollar Sofort, which uses Instax Mini film.
In fact, the Leica Sofort (which means snapshot in German) is simply a Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 that uses a 60mm f / 12.7 lens; Paying that price does not give you a better image quality than an Instax. What it gives you is style. Sofort is, in a nutshell, the most attractive instant camera on the market, in addition to being one of the few that does not seem like a toy.
In addition, although it is not cheap to be an instant camera, it is by far the most affordable Leica you can get.
Instax Mini 90 NEO Classic
Inspired by the leather-lined cameras of yesteryear, the Instax Mini 90 will not clash with one of the Leica M series.
This camera offers a rechargeable battery, integrated LCD screen and manual exposure control. There are five buttons behind the camera that are used to control the exposure and shooting modes, in addition to the timer. However, the best of all is the one that allows you to disable the flash.
Ahead is the ignition, which when activated extends its 60mm lens. Its focal length is 0.3 meters to infinity, so that all your shots are sharp. Its aesthetic analog camera style makes it stand out from the other Fujifilm proposals; With that, plus everything it offers, it is a good purchase for $ 120 dollars.
Mint InstantFlex TL70 2.0
Inspired by the twin lens rflex cameras, the MintInstantFlex TL70 2.0 takes a completely new approach to instant photography, with a waist level viewfinder in the style of an old Rolleiflex.
Unlike most snapshots, it offers full control of focus and aperture. This gives you greater creative control, especially in relation to depth of field, which is not very common in such a camera. It also includes an integrated flash for your selfies nocturnal
With a price of $ 389 dollars, it is one of the most expensive options, competing with the original cameras in which it is inspired. However, if you don't mind paying that amount, it's a quality option that will make you stand out.
Fujifilm Instax SQ20
This is one of the most advanced instant cameras on the market. Unlike the others on our list, the SQ20 is actually a digital camera with a built-in printer. It also offers a 4x digital zoom, somewhat uncommon in an instant camera, and you can even make videos.
The SQ20 captures images of 1,920 x 1,920 pixels in JPEG and can store 50 photos in its internal memory. Or you can capture 15-second video files (without audio) and take screenshots to print the best moment of that clip. The files can be transferred to a computer through a Micro USB and the memory can be expanded with a MicroSD card. If you like a photo, you can immediately print a copy (or many). The lens is equivalent to 28.5 millimeters with a fast f / 2.4 aperture.
In addition to being hybrid between film and digital and offering zoom, this camera offers a handful of modes, such as Sequence, which creates a spooky photo from those 15-second videos, and Time Shift Collage, which shoots at specific intervals and unites them in one print.
Since it is a digital system, the SQ20 also includes autofocus with face recognition, automatic exposure, multiple modes and creative effects.
Fujifilm Instax Mini LiPlay
The Fujifilm Instax Mini LiPlay is a hybrid that offers the best of analog photography with the convenience of digital. It has several functions similar to those of the SQ20, although the impressions are smaller. You can also print the photos that already exist on your phone, thanks to its wireless connection.
With this camera you will get instant photos, but with advantages such as a screen to preview your shots. The controls are limited; You can activate or deactivate the flash, but you cannot manipulate the exposure. The focus is fixed, in the center. And since it is designed to print instant photos in which imperfections are part of the charm, the digital sensor is not exactly of the best quality. Your phone takes better photos.
However, all this is what is expected of an instant camera. Our biggest complaint is simply that the battery does not last as long as we would like, although if you do not constantly use the wireless connection, you will probably have better results.
The Mini LiPlay is one of the funniest instant cameras we've tried. It works just like a traditional instant camera but with a screen, or you can use it as a mobile printer for the shots you take with your phone. In addition, with its audio function you can record 10 seconds of audio and print it on a QR code that will reveal it when it is scanned. The Mini LiPlay is a good option if you want a fun and versatile instant camera.