Digital cameras are great for high-quality photos that we can share among friends, and film cameras offer a sense of excitement as you anticipate the photographs you develop.
Instant cameras, however, are the best of both worlds: everyone can get a piece of the precious memories immediately, but the fun of not knowing exactly how the photos will turn out isn’t taken away from you either.
If you want to hop back on the trend so that you can get instant photographs of your loved ones anywhere and anywhere, here are the best seven cameras, as recommended by photographers and consumers:
1. Fujifilm Instax Mini 9
Many of us may have fond memories of using this instant camera when it became popular again in recent years.
It does not come with many fancy functions, but its simplicity is exactly what makes this a perfect choice for anyone to use – all you have to do is adjust the lighting dial, shoot, and your photo is printed immediately.
Unlike smartphones and digital cameras where you can instantly see your photo on the screen, most instant cameras don’t offer that kind of luxury. However, the Instax Mini 9 has made it easier for users to check their framing with the mirror next to the lens – such a thoughtful detail!
2. Fujifilm instax Mini 90 NEO CLASSIC
The Fujifilm instax Mini 90 may look like a toy camera, but it is actually equipped with amazing features for high-quality photographs.
This instant camera boasts a range of shooting modes never seen before in instant photography. There is a Kids mode to allow you to take moving objects without getting just a blur, and even a macro mode to take photos of objects up close.
The instax Mini 90 is also equipped with a high performance flash that automatically adjusts itself to emit the ideal amount of light, depending on distance to the subject and environmental light, so you don’t have to fiddle with the dials and take test shots before getting the lighting correct.
What’s even more cool is the bulb exposure mode which allows you to play with exposure for different photography effects: you can extend exposure time for a brighter photo, or even do double exposure and create artistic shots!
3. Fujifilm instax Square SQ6
At first glance, you may notice that this camera looks distinctly like the Instagram logo with the square shape. It’s not just the camera that’s shaped like a square though – just like the old days of Instagram, you get to shoot and print square photos!
Fujifilm’s instax Square SQ6 believes that you can cut down the time deciding whether to shoot landscape or portrait by limiting you with a square frame. That doesn’t mean you’re shortchanged in terms of the amount of space you have in your photos, because it comes at 1.3 times the size of instax mini prints.
Unique square format aside, this compact camera packs a punch in terms of features: automatic exposure control, selfie mode & selfie mirror, macro mode, landscape mode, as well as a light/dark mode. If you are wondering what the selfie mode is, it is the instax Square SQ6’s unique capability to automatically adjust brightness and focal length to the ideal level for capturing selfies!
You can also opt to add on any one of the three colour filters (included with the camera) – just like how we used to apply Instagram filters!
4. Polaroid Originals OneStep2 VF Instant Film Camera
For hipsters who prefer a more vintage-looking model rather than a modern design, you can’t go wrong with this instant camera from Polaroid Originals. Based on the original Polaroid OneStep from 1977, the OneStep2 VF from Polaroid Originals is a contemporary take on the classic instant film camera.
The difference between this and the original version is that the newer release comes with an updated extended optical viewfinder provides a clearer, more accurate means for framing your images, built-in flash, self-timer function, and a familiar bright red shutter release.
5. Lomography Lomo’Instant Automat Glass
With a beautifully sharp, multi-coated glass lens and the widest focal length on the market, the Lomo’Instant Automat Glass allows you to take crystal-clear, razor-sharp photos and print them instantly.
Professional photographers and tech junkies love that this camera comes with a maximum aperture of f/4.5, which means that you can still take good photographs in poorly-lit conditions even without using a flash.
You can also experiment with other cool functions such as the Remote Control Shutter Release, Close-Up Lens Attachment, Splitzer, Bulb Mode, Multiple Exposure Mode, Color Gel flash filters and much more for the most unique photos!
Lomography Lomo’Instant Automat Glass retails at SGD275 on Lomography’s website.
6. Leica SOFORT
This may be one of the priciest instant cameras in the market, but it comes with a set of amazing features that are worth every single cent. Although Leica cameras are usually associated with professional photographers, this SOFORT model is actually designed for both pros and amateurs, so you can expect absolute ease of usage.
The instant camera is equipped with a programme suitable for every occasion, so all you need to do is just pick the one you need, concentrate on your subject and let the camera work its magic. If you are a professional who prefers to take control of the focusing distance, flash and exposure compensation yourself, the Leica SOFORT allows you to exercise your expertise and creativity as well.
7. Kodak Printomatic
Kodak is best associated with their film and printing services, so it’s little wonder that they have created an instant camera that feels more like a photo printer than a film camera.
The 10-megapixel, point-and-shoot camera automatically prints color or black and white photos directly from the camera body on water-resistant, tear resistant and adhesive-backed KODKA ZINK Photo Paper.
We love that this camera cuts out the need for a computer connection, ink cartridges and toners without compromising on photo quality, which is also why this has received rave reviews for its simplicity and high quality.
Kodak Printomatic retails at SGD165.54 on Lazada.