Instant film cameras have a certain unique charm that can’t be mimicked by phone cameras. Whether you are new to the world of instant film or a seasoned aficionado, these instant cameras will make a great start, or addition, to your camera collection and capture all of your best summer memories.
Fujifilm Instax Mini 9
There is a reason that the Fujifilm Instax Mini is the most recommended, most popular, instant film camera. Inexpensive, compact, and great quality photos make this camera the best choice for beginners as well as enthusiasts. The newest model, the Fujifilm Instax Mini 9, can be purchased on Amazon for $49.99 in 5 different lively colors. This model has some minor improvements over its predecessor, the Mini 8, such as a small selfie mirror next to the lens, a macro lens adapter which allows you to take lovely close-up pictures, and an automatic shut-off timer to power down the camera after 5 minutes. There’s also no need to worry about charging the camera or finding some obscure battery pack to fit it as the Instax uses double AA batteries to power it. It will be your perfect companion by the pool this summer!
Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 NEO
The Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Neo is an alternative, albeit pricier option at $120, for the more camera savvy. Unlike the Mini 9, this model has different shooting modes including a built-in macro mode so it does not require an adapter to take macro pictures. Simply switch to macro mode to take detailed close-ups. There is also a double exposure mode for the more artistically inclined so you can superimpose one image onto another; perfect for a mini photo shoot. Lastly, the Mini 90 Neo has an amazing bulb mode option which allows you to photograph light trails just by holding the shutter button down. The Mini 90 Neo is definitely the best option for taking creative and aesthetically pleasing photos of your summer adventures.
Fujifilm Instax Wide 300
Although the Instax Mini line has some great choices for taking photos, the size of the film can leave something to be desired. With the Fujifilm Instax Wide 300, ($89.99 at BestBuy) you won’t have to leave anyone out of the group photo since its film is twice as big as the mini. The Instax Wide comes with a bunch of built in settings to tweak your photo taking experience such as making a photo lighter or darker which is pretty much out of your control with other instant film cameras. A tripod socket on the bottom makes this camera great for setting up and taking landscape photos. This model, like the Mini 9, also comes with a close-up lens adapter with a selfie mirror.
The original choice for instant film lovers everywhere; The Polaroid 600 ($139 on the Polaroid site) sparks nostalgia with its classic design and distinctly square film. Because of its popularity, you can find the Polaroid 600 in various colorways or collaborations such as Barbie, Mickey Mouse, and Hello Kitty. You can find the more rare versions on Ebay or in thrift stores for less than you think. Also, if you are fine with receiving a refurbished version there are shops on Etsy which fix original, authentic Polaroid cameras with new parts, repaint them, and resale them at decent prices. With the Polaroid 600, you can be sure that your prints will have those genuine imperfections that make instant film adored by many.
Polaroid One Step+
For a more updated take on the original Polaroid, there is the Polaroid One Step+ which retails for $119.99 and is available in white and black. Equipped with Bluetooth capability that enables you to connect the camera to your phone for use with the Polaroid Originals app. When linked with the app, you can create double exposures, light painting, set a noise trigger, and more. An advantage of the Polaroid One Step+ uses i-type film which is less expensive than the Polaroid 600 film. A rechargeable battery means that you can pack this camera and not have to worry about changing batteries while trying to shoot your favorite summer moments.