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How To Buy The Best Instant Camera

The best instant cameras

Looking to buy the best instant camera? Check out our guide below and you’ll be well-placed to select the right one for you.

Avoid complicated gear and phone photos! The best instant cameras take photography to its core. Instant photography allows you to capture the essence of your images without having to resize them or scroll through endless screens looking for what you have shot. It gives you a unique print that cannot be duplicated. Could instant photos be the original NFTs?

The most amazing instant cameras not only capture your precious memories in unique ways, but they also create a tangible memento. The photochemical process used by analog cameras like Polaroid and Instax gives photos a retro, low-fi look that is almost impossible to replicate in Photoshop.

There are also digital instant cameras made by Kodak. These combine instant photography with modern-day technology. This digital camera is smaller and uses ZINK (Zero Ink), photo paper, rather than analog film.

However, this doesn’t mean that analog cameras aren’t technologically advanced. Many Polaroid or Instax models can be connected to smartphones or other devices via WiFi or Bluetooth. Some digital instant cameras from Kodak also have SD card slots that allow you to save a digital copy for every image that you take.

The image quality of instant cameras will never be as good as the best DSLRs and the best Mirrorless cameras. However, printed media has a physical beauty that is unmatched. An instant camera is a better option than a thousand digital files sitting on a hard disk.

Our guide to the top instant cameras has been divided into sections for digital and film. To ensure that you have enough ammunition for your shooting, if you choose the latter, make sure to get the correct instant film.

Polaroid Now+

The Polaroid now+ is the best choice for instant full-size photos with excellent image quality and that elusive vintage look. The Polaroid Now has the same image quality and base shooting options as the OneStep+, but the Now+ combines some of the best features from both of these products. It offers light painting, aperture priority and double exposures as well as manual mode and tripod shooting. Many of these features are not available through the app. The Now+ also has physical lens filters such starburst and red vignette for in-camera effects. The lens cap is included! Even though instant photography is expensive when you consider the cost per exposure, you’ll have more fun with this camera than any other. You’ll also get results that are only possible with this model.

Polaroid - 9062 - Now+ - White
  • The most creative Polaroid camera yet. Polaroid Now+ is the connected camera with even more creative tools. Get more control, more lens filters, and more creative possibilities in one revamped analog instant camera.
  • Connect to create more. Unlock extra creative tools inside the Polaroid mobile app. Find focus easily with aperture priority and create cinematic photos with tripod mode. Get these two new tools, plus light painting, double exposure, manual mode, and more.
  • 5 lens filters for every mood. Saturate your photos in color, deepen contrast, or add dreamy effects with 5 experimental lens filters including starburst, red vignette, orange, blue, and yellow. Complete with a zip-through pouch to keep them safe.
  • Tripod mount. To steady your ideas for longer. Compatible with Polaroid i-Type and 600 film (sold separately)
  • Autofocus. The Polaroid Now+ camera selects the right lens to get your idea in focus.

Polaroid OneStep+

The Impossible Project purchased the Polaroid brand and announced the launch of a new line instant cameras that hark back to the golden era. After the OneStep2, the OneStep+ is now available. The camera is the same as before, but Polaroid Originals has made sensible improvements to the design rather than reinventing it. These include the integration of Bluetooth connectivity which allows remote shutter control via a smartphone and several new shooting modes. You can trigger the shutter by making a short, sharp sound like a hand-clap, double exposures, light paint, and noise trigger. This instant camera is one of the best, most innovative, and most popular. It’s a must-have for instant-photography enthusiasts who want to capture that retro feel.

Polaroid Originals - 9010 - OneStep+ Instant i-Type Camera - Black
  • Original Polaroid format - Easy to use - 60-day battery life - Powerful flash - Self-timer mode
  • Bluetooth-connected app: Double exposure - Light painting - Scanner - Self-timer - Noise trigger - and more .
  • Standard & Portrait lens: You can know switch from two different lens. One is for portrait; photo from 0.30 cm to 0.60 cm. The second is the standard lens: photo from 0; 60 cm to Infinite.
  • Available for iOS and Android
  • One-step+ Camera - USB Charging Cable - Neck Strap - User Manual - Quick Start Guide

Fujifilm Instax Mini 40

Instax cameras can be fun and have a lot of low-fi appeal. The Instax Mini 40 is a great example. The Mini 40 is stylish and elegant with its black-and-silver trim. It’s also very easy to use. You can simply point and shoot, without any exposure controls or other controls. It might seem a little too easy for some, but it is perfect for anyone who wants instant images and doesn’t have to worry about anything. It is easy to use, making it an ideal choice for children.

Instax prints can be smaller than Polaroids but they still look great and develop at an incredible speed. The film is also cheaper than Polaroids, but these costs can add up over time if your frequent shooter. The Instax Mini 40 instant camera is great for parties and families.

Note The Instax mini 11 is almost identical to this camera, but without the textured finish. If you are looking to save money, it is likely to be cheaper.

instax mini 40 camera
  • Produce instant credit card sized sized photos
  • Built-in selfie lens and selfie mirror
  • Easy to use with built in Automatic Exposure
  • Uses instax mini film, print size 54 (w) x 86 (H), image size 46 (w) x 62 (H) mm, film sold separately
  • A classic and luxurious design with premium silver accents and a high quality textured finish

Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic

The Fujifilm Instax 90 Neo Classic comes in black or brown and is Fujifilm’s first instant camera to come with a rechargeable lithium battery. This company claims that it can last up to 10 (credit-card-sized) film packs. Retro styling makes it feel like it was designed for the enthusiast photographer. You can control exposure manually and disable the built-in flash to reduce brightness. The double exposure mode gives you more creative options, although the results can be inconsistent. There is also a shutter release button on the top of the lens that doubles as a mirror and another button at the top. An LCD display strip at its back, which reveals your settings, is a major advantage over an instant-print camera. The viewfinder is small but sufficient for the purpose. The faux leather bodywork adds style and elegance.

Fujifilm Instax Wide 300

The Fujifilm Instax Wide 300 prints with four AA batteries, rather than two. Its medium-sized camera-like weight allows it to produce larger prints (it uses Instax Widget film packs instead of Instax Mini). These prints are more similar to standard print dimensions. Its bulk makes it difficult to use for selfies. However, its lightweight plastic construction makes it more practical than you might think. The shutter-release button of the bridge-camera-style handgrip is encircled by a lever. This allows the camera to power up and extend its 95mm lens. The built-in flash, which is also large, is automatic (except for the fill-in option). The only thing that is small in this camera’s viewfinder is the one at the left. This is the best choice for instant prints that are closer to the dimensions of “proper” photographs. However, you can only adjust brightness and flash.

instax 16445795 WIDE 300 camera, Black
  • This large film is well suited to photography at parties and other gatherings, as everybody's facial expressions are clearly shown.
  • The accompanying close-up lens expands the range of photo shooting.
  • Easy to use functions such as automatic flash, exposure compensation and backlighting.
  • Improved ease of use of the camera includes a tripod socket, focal zoom dial and user friendly interface.
  • Wide format film available separately.

Polaroid Go

The Polaroid Go, a small camera that can be carried in your palm, is a great choice for anyone who wants to fall in love faster than it takes a photograph to develop. The bigger instant cameras are more balanced and the Instax Mini rivals deliver slightly better indoor image quality. However, neither is as fun to use or will make as many friends as the Go… but they still produce pleasing photos. Instax Mini film is cheaper than Polaroid Go film. However, you will need to change the AA batteries on the Mini while the Go only requires USB to power up. The Go also offers double exposures. This is not possible with pricier models like the Instax Mini 90. The Polaroid Go is a fun, quirky camera that will make you the center of attention at your next party. It will also leave a wealth of memories in your wallet or pocket. This camera is great for kids. Make sure to grab a pack Polaroid GO instant film!

Polaroid - 9035 - Polaroid Go Instant Camera - White
  • Create big, smaller. Portable, wearable, and take-anywhere-able, the Polaroid Go camera is the tiniest member of the Polaroid family and your new partner in creativity.
  • Double exposure. Add another layer to your creative vision with easy-to-use double exposure.
  • Selfie ready. Find your light with the reflective selfie mirror, and pick your pose with plenty of time, thanks to the self-timer.
  • Classic Polaroid film frames, but smaller. Take inspiration everywhere, with photos that fit in your pocket. (Format: 2.62 x 2.12” / 66.6 x 53.9mm, Image area: 1.85 x 1.81” / 47 x 46mm)
  • The Polaroid Go camera is compatible with Polaroid Go film only (sold seperately).

Fujifilm Instax SQUARE SQ6

Two small CR2 lithium battery packs (included in the Fujifilm Instax Square SQ6) power the Fujifilm Instax Square SQ6. The makers claim that each pack will hold 30 film packs of 10 shots each. This camera is designed to tempt Instagrammers from their phones and features square-format imagery in 1:1. We get three color filters to attach to the flash and a variety of body colors, as well as a selfie mode and a selfie mode. There are also double exposure, macro, and landscape modes. The camera uses Fujifilm Square film which has a 6.2×6.2cm central image. The results are a bit more yellowed than digital shots, as is the case with many instant cameras that use film. However, if your goal is to get your teenager to put down their phones and engage with the world around them, the SQ6 could be a good choice. The Fujifilm Instax Square SQ1 is a newer model, but the SQ6 is more affordable and offers more features. This is why you should get it.

instax SQ6 accessory pack, (Case, album, actylic frame) BLUSH GOLD
  • Dedicated camera case for the instax SQ6 camera
  • SQ6 album holding 80 photos
  • SQUARE acrylic block with lightweight magnetic backing
  • Complete accessory kit
  • instax SQ6 Case -Blush Gold, SQ6 Photo Album - Blush Gold, SQ6 photo frame

Polaroid Now

The Polaroid Now is a welcome addition to the Polaroid product range and a worthy addition in the ever-growing instant camera market. The OneStep2 has superior image quality thanks to the dual-lens autofocus system, improved flash, and Bluetooth connectivity. However, it does not have the extra features (such as remote trigger and Bluetooth connectivity) that the more expensive OneStep+. The Polaroid Now offers a simple point-and-shoot experience. While the Instax mini 11 is more affordable, we prefer the full-size square prints that Polaroid provides. We love Instax, but there is nothing like holding a large, sturdy Polaroid when you are shooting instant film. The Polaroid Now will impress even if you don’t require the OneStep+.

Polaroid - 9056 - Polaroid Now Instant Camera – Pink
  • NOW: Polaroid's new point-and-shoot analog instant camera has all you need to catch every life moment in an original Polaroid photograph.
  • NEW & IMPROVED: Now with autofocus, it’s simple to capture moments as you see them, so you can relive them forever in sharp, vivid color.
  • DOUBLE EXPOSURE: Frame two moments in one with double exposure, or get yourself in the picture with self-timer and an accurate flash to make everyone look like they should.
  • POINT. SHOOT. KEEP FOREVER: Now is compatible with both i-Type and 600 film.

Kodak Smile Instant Print Camera

The Kodak Smile Instant Print is a digital Instant Camera that offers instant photography at its best. It combines the best aspects of digital with analog. The slim, as-a-smartphone-camera features a sleek design. It uses Zink (zero-ink) technology and produces sticky-backed prints of 2×3 inches. The camera has a modest 5MP sensor, which can be expanded to 10MP by interpolation. However, images of this size don’t require all the resolution. The final result is more printer-like than instant photos. This is not necessarily a bad thing. However, they lack the same magic of instant film. You can add up to 256GB microSD memory to the camera and then choose the images you wish to print. Although the integrated battery keeps your camera small and lightweight, you will only get 40 prints per charge. This is far less than the 120-160 Polaroids shots. You shouldn’t expect the LCD screen to be as detailed as a traditional DSLR or mirrorless screen.

KODAK Smile Instant Print Digital Camera – Slide-Open 10MP Camera w/2x3 ZINK Printer, Screen, Fixed Focus, Auto Flash and Photo Editing – White/Yellow
  • SO MANY REASONS TO SMILE – The KODAK Smile Instant Print Digital Camera Brings a Bundle of Cheer to Any Setting! The Camera Uses Zero Ink Technology to Print HD Quality Photos on 2”x3” ZINK Sticky-Backed Photo Paper
  • TOTALLY TRENDY SLIDING DESIGN – Unlike Other Bulky Instant Print Cameras, the Smile is Pleasantly Compact w/Unique Slide-Out Protective Case; The Durable Poly Resin Casing Glides Open Wide to Reveal an 8mm Lens w/Automatic Focus
  • USER-FRIENDLY FEATURES – Whether You’re a Curious Kid or Snap-Happy Adult, the 10MP Camera Makes it Simple to Take, Edit and Share Photos Anywhere! Perks Include Auto Flash, LCD Viewfinder, Built-In Editor, 2 Picture Modes & Fixed Focus
  • FLASH A SMILE, GO THE MILE – No More Running Out of Batteries! Your Instant Print Camera is Rechargeable Via the Included Mini USB Cable; Enjoy Up to 40 Prints on a Single Charge While Also Viewing & Editing Photos in Memory or Via MicroSD
  • HAPPY LOOKS SO GOOD ON YOU – Step Out in Style w/ a Mini Camera-Printer Combo That’s Light, Slim & Small Like a Phone; When it’s Not in Your Pocket or Bag, Use the Strap Slot to Carry, Then Slide Open to Capture the Moment Quick! Includes 5 Sticker Frames.

Kodak Mini Shot 3 Retro

The Kodak Mini Shot 3 instant printer camera is compact and easy to use. Although it doesn’t use Zink as the Kodak Smile, it houses a small printer that can print little squares measuring 3 by 3 inches. They are also more vibrant than Zink and have a longer life expectancy. It’s a very affordable camera, and it doesn’t cost much to run it. This makes it an excellent choice if you need instant photos on a tight budget. The camera also takes 10MP digital photos and can be saved via Bluetooth. However, you will need to do this as there is no internal storage. It’s a cheap and fun option, especially for those who don’t feel confident using a camera.

KODAK Step Wireless Mobile Photo Printer (White) Go Bundle
  • STEP UP YOUR PRINTING GAME KODAK Step Printer Connects to Any iOS or Android Smartphone, Tablet or Similar Device [Via Bluetooth or NFC] So You Can Print Pics Instantly.
  • ZINK ZERO-INK TECHNOLOGY 2” x 3” Sticky-Back Paper with Embedded Dye Crystals Delivers High-Quality, Durable, Affordable Prints That are Resistant to Moisture, Rips, Tears or Smudges.
  • FULL EDITING SUITE VIA APP KODAK App to Create Collages & Customize Your Snaps with Stunning Filters, Interesting Borders, Cool Stickers, Funny Text & Other Personalized Flair.
  • TAKE YOUR PROJECTS TO GO Our Palm-Sized Printer Weighs Less Than a Pound, Sets Up Fast & Delivers Gorgeous Prints You Can Peel & Stick Everywhere.
  • CUTE, COMPACT & COLORFUL Portable, Lightweight Device Features Built-In Lithium-Ion Rechargeable Battery [Prints 25 Photo on a Full Charge]

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