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Best Instant Cameras in 2019 | Polaroid, Fujifilm, Leica, and More

Would you love your photos to be printed instantly? Don’t want the hassle of printing them yourself? An instant camera may be just what you need. Let’s have a look at the best instant cameras out there now.

Analog is back in fashion. A few years ago, instant cameras saw a decline in sales, but recently the printed image has come back in style. Whether you are searching for a camera to use at parties, holidays or family reunions, there are dozens of options available out there.

Instant cameras allow you to shoot and develop your photos in a matter of minutes, often with an artistic touch that will enhance your memories.

We have selected the ten best instant cameras, accounting for prize, film size and, of course, stylish design.

If you are in a hurry, here is a summary of our picks for the best instant camera in 2019.

Name Thumbnail Image size (mm) Flash Film type Price Buy
Polaroid Originals OneStep+ Polaroid Originals OneStep+ Black (9010), Bluetooth Connected Instant Film Camera 108 x 88 Built-in Polaroid Originals for i-Type cameras $119.99 Buy Now
Fujifilm instax mini 90 Neo Classic Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic Instant Film Camera 108 x 88 Built-in Fujifilm instax mini $124.00 Buy Now
Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 Instant Camera + Fuji Instax Film (40 Sheets) + Batteries + Accessories Bundle - Carrying Case, Color Filters, Photo Album, Stickers, Selfie Lens + More (Ice Blue) 62 x 46 Built-in (cannot be deactivated) Fujifilm instax mini $92.95 Buy Now
Fujifilm Instax Mini 70 Fujifilm instax mini 70 Instant Film Camera, Midnight Black - Bundle With Fujifilm Instax Mini Film Twin Pack 62 x 46 Built-in Fujifilm instax mini $74.99 Buy Now
Leica Sofort Leica Sofort Instant Film Camera (Black) with Extra Film and Cleaning Kit Bundle 62 x 46 Built-in Fujifilm instax mini $299.45 Buy Now
Fujifilm Instax Wide 300 Fujifilm Instax Wide 300 Instant Film Camera (Black) 99 x 62 Built-in Fujifilm instax WIDE film from $94.99 Buy Now
Fujifilm Instax Square SQ6 Fujifilm Instax Square SQ6 - Instant Film Camera - Blush Gold 62 x 62 Built-in (with flash suppression mode) Fujifilm instax Square film $99.99 Buy Now
Lomo' Instant Wide Lomo'Instant Wide Camera (Black Edition) 99 x 62 Built-in (flash deactivation possible) Fujifilm instax WIDE film $126.65 Buy Now
Impossible I-1 Impossible Project I-1 Analog Instant Camera 88 x 107 Built-in (ringflash) 600 Film, i-Type from $39.50 Buy Now
Kodak Printomatic Kodak PRINTOMATIC Digital Instant Print Camera (Yellow), Full Color Prints On ZINK 2x3' Sticky-Backed Photo Paper - Print Memories Instantly 50.8 x 76.2 Built-in Zero Ink (ZINK) $64.99 Buy Now

1. Polaroid Originals OneStep+

Vintage style staple hides a wealth of features

User level: Beginner | Film type: Polaroid Originals for i-Type cameras | Image size: 108 x 88mm | Self-timer: Yes | Lens: 103mm/89mm | Minimum shooting distance: 60cm | Exposure modes: Macro, Normal and Landscape | Flash: Built-in | Viewfinder: Optical

The Polaroid Originals OneStep+ polaroid camera
The Polaroid Originals OneStep+ instant camera has a vintage look.

One of the most classic-looking instant cameras, the OneStep+ brings some exciting features to the table.

The camera is beginner-friendly and serves well for many types of photography including macro photography and portrait photography.

It combines vintage aesthetics with modern technology, including Bluetooth. This connectivity provides you with double exposure and light painting effects, as well as noise trigger that lets you shoot remotely with just a clap of your hands.

A side view of the Polaroid Originals OneStep+
The Polaroid Originals OneStep+ has Bluetooth connectivity.

The camera uses i-Type and 600 films, as well as a battery that will last up to 60 days of shooting. 

2. Fujifilm Instax mini 90 Neo Classic

A simple design hides advanced manual controls

User level: Beginner | Film type: Fujifilm Instax mini | Image size: 108 x 88mm | Self-timer: Yes | Lens: 60mm, f12.7 | Minimum shooting distance: 30cm | Exposure modes: Party, Kids, Landscape, Macro, Double Exposure, Bulb | Flash: Built-in | Viewfinder: Optical

The Fujifilm instax mini 90 NEO CLASSIC camera
The Fujifilm Instax mini 90 NEO CLASSIC

This is the only Fujifilm instant camera with a rechargeable battery, which sets the mini 90 Neo Classic apart from its peers.

The battery lasts long enough to shoot 10 packs of Fujifilm Instax film. A 60mm lens and multiple camera effects allow you to experiment with your photography, both up close or far out into the landscape.

Related Article: Best Fuji Lenses

Fujifilm added a built-in flash and a small LCD for extra versatility. The flash extends the camera’s working hours in low-light conditions. When this is paired with the party mode, the Neo Classic yields some beautiful shots.

The rear LCD screen of the Fujifilm instax mini 90 Neo Classic

In terms of design, it is simplistic and retro with advanced manual controls. 

3. Fujifilm Instax Mini 9

A fun, family-friendly budget instant camera

User level: Beginner | Film type: Fujifilm Instax mini | Image size: 62 x 46mm | Self-timer: No | Lens: 60mm, f12.7 | Minimum shooting distance: 35cm | Exposure modes: Sunny, Cloudy, Indoor and Hi-Key | Flash: Built-in (cannot be deactivated) | Viewfinder: Optical

The Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 bundle with camera, install mini film, case, photo album and photo frames
The Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 is a great budget option and can come with a bundle of extras.

This simple and fun instant camera by Fujifilm may not suffice an enthusiast, but it will suit a beginner on a budget.

Its body is plastic but colorful and harbors easy controls, such as switching camera modes by turning the lens ring.

This camera boasts a great deal of variety for novices: you can take self-portraits with the aid of a mirror on the front of the lens, plus you can shoot close-ups of flowers with a macro lens attachment.

It is compatible with the Instax Mini film and has a regular 60mm lens. The Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 is the perfect family camera and a great choice among the best instant cameras.

4. Fujifilm Instax Mini 70

The Instagrammer’s choice with dedicated Selfie mode

User level: Beginner | Film type: Fujifilm Instax mini | Image size: 62 x 46mm | Self-timer: No | Lens: 60mm, f12.7 | Minimum shooting distance: 30cm | Exposure modes: Macro, Normal, Selfie and Landscape | Flash: Built-in | Viewfinder: Optical

The Fujifilm Instax Mini 70 camera
The Fujifilm Instax Mini 70 has a Selfie mode.

The Fujifilm Instax Mini 70 has a trick or two up its sleeve.

This camera was made for Instagram selfies. It has a mirror on the front of the lens, helping with composition, as well as a dedicated Selfie mode.

As you’d expect, this mode results in ideal exposure of the surroundings and makes your skin look even. As a bonus, there is a 10-second timer, so you can set the camera up on a tripod.

However, the design of the camera isn’t as Instagrammable, since it is simple and a little dated. But if that doesn’t bother you, it’s one of the most affordable on this list.

5. Leica Sofort

High-end option, great for beginners and advanced photographers alike

User level: Beginner | Film type: Fujifilm Instax mini format | Image size: 62 x 46mm | Self-timer: Yes | Lens: 60mm, f12.7 | Minimum shooting distance: 60cm | Exposure modes: Macro, Bulb, Automatic, Party and People, Sport and Action, Double Exposure, and Selfie | Flash: Built-in | Viewfinder: Optical

The Leica Sofort camera
The Leica Sofort can be used with a selection of Instax film.

If the budget is not one of your concerns, the Leica Sofort might be the one for you.

It boasts a high-end retro aesthetic, plus many features. It can be used with a selection of Instax films, such as Leica color and monochrome. Plus, it has a rechargeable battery that lasts up to 100 shots per charge.

Both beginners and advanced photographers can use this camera thanks to the intuitive controls; it has a target spot technology to help out with image composition, plus it has a 3-zone manual focus selector for landscape enthusiasts. 

6. Fujifilm Instax Wide 300

Lightweight, ergonomic option that produces large prints

User level: Beginner | Film type: Fujifilm Instax WIDE film | Image size: 99 x 62mm | Self-timer: No | Lens: 95mm, f14 | Minimum shooting distance: 40cm | Exposure modes: Dark, Normal, and Light | Flash: Built-in | Viewfinder: Optical

The Fujifilm instax Wide 300
The Fujifilm Instax Wide 300 is big but lightweight.

Unlike the other cameras on this list, the Fujifilm Instax Wide 300 produces large photo prints. This, however, means that the camera itself is big: problematic if you want to take a selfie.

Despite its size, the camera is lightweight and has an ergonomic handgrip. A lever around the shutter button extends a 95mm lens, to which you can add a close-up adapter to for macro photography. 

To help you out with compositions, there is a target spot feature and exposure control. As for the film, you can use Instax WIDE or ISO 800 films, which you can always check on through the camera’s film confirmation window. 

7. Fujifilm Instax Square SQ6

This stylish option produces Instagram-ready square prints

User level: Beginner | Film type: Fujifilm Instax Square film | Image size: 62 x 62mm | Self-timer: Yes | Lens: 65.75mm, f12.6 | Minimum shooting distance: 30cm | Exposure modes: Automatic, Macro, Normal, Landscape, Double Exposure, Lighten, and Darken | Flash: Built-in (with flash suppression mode) | Viewfinder: Optical

The Fujifilm instax Square SQ6
The Fujifilm Instax Square SQ6 comes in a variety of colors.

The Fujifilm Instax Square SQ6 is a haven for artistic souls. Not only does it look like the Instagram icon, but it also produces square prints–the perfect format for your feed.

Another creative feature is the inclusion of 3 color gel filters; orange, purple, and green–attach to the flash for a retro lighting effect.

Further bonuses for Instagram users are a selfie mirror and a Double Exposure feature. The camera also has a target spot, an automatic exposure control, and uses 2 CR2 lithium batteries that last for an impressive 300 shots. 

8. Lomo’ Instant Wide

Retro design hides nifty lens cap hidden feature

User level: Beginner | Film type: Fujifilm Instax Wide film | Image size: 99 x 62mm | Self-timer: Yes | Lens: 35mm, f8 | Minimum shooting distance: 35cm | Exposure modes: Auto, Bulb, 1/30 fixed shutter speed mode | Flash: Built-in (flash deactivation possible) | Viewfinder: Optical

The Lomo' Instant Wide
The Lomo’ Instant Wide’s has a very thin body.

The Lomo’Instant Wide is another addition to the retro-style instant cameras.

The body of the camera is big, but thin, which isn’t necessarily comfortable for everyone. And beware–it is heavy!

As for images, it produces large prints using the Fujifilm Instax Wide film. Just as you’d expect, it has a selfie mirror, a built-in flash, and a lever shutter button.

But what distinguishes this from other cameras, is the versatility of its lens cap. This small device harbors a lithium cell that gives it the power to act as a remote shutter.

The lens itself is 35mm, making Lomo’Instant a good wide-angle instant camera

9. Impossible I-1

Affordable, vintage-style option has Bluetooth connectivity

User level: Beginner | Film type: i-Type Film, 600 Film | Image size: 88 x 107mm | Self-timer: Yes | Lens: 82-109mm, f10-67 | Minimum shooting distance: 30cm | Exposure modes: Multiple exposures, slow shooting, manual control | Flash: Built-in (ringflash) | Viewfinder: Optical

The Impossible I-1 instant camera
The Impossible I-1 has a ring flash around the lens to provide uniform lighting.

The Impossible l-1 is probably the most vintage-looking instant camera you can buy.

There is a removable optical viewfinder, consisting of 2 pop-up windows. This camera is also one of the few that supports Polaroid 600 and I-type films. Plus, its unique ring flash that encircles the lens, provides uniform lighting.

But besides the vintage look, this camera is packed with advanced technologically. For example, it has 5-zone autofocus and Bluetooth LE 4.0 connectivity. The autofocus will adjust the focal length of the lens for optimal composition.

Meanwhile, the Bluetooth connectivity to your smartphone allows you to add extra creative filters and a noise trigger function.

A smartphone connected to a Impossible I-1 instant camera
The Impossible I-1 connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth, where you can play around with functions and filters.

Contrary to expectations, this unique and advanced camera is affordable.  

10. Kodak Printomatic

Full of technical innovations with the option to digitally save your photos!

User level: Beginner | Film type: Zero Ink (ZINK) | Image size: 50.8 x 76.2mm | Self-timer: No | Lens: 8mm, f2 | Minimum shooting distance: Not given | Exposure modes: Colour and B&W | Flash: Built-in | Viewfinder: Optical

The Kodak Printomatic instant camera
Kodak Printomatic

The simple and minimalistic Kodak Printomatic shies away from the vintage and retro styles.

It is one of the most tech-savvy on this list thanks to a USB charging slot, as well as a microSD card that saves all your photos.

Related Article: Best Memory Card for Camera

It is the only model that uses ZINK, or zero ink, film, which uses printer-like technology and passes through a test sheet before any photos are printed. Plus there are two color modes: ‘Black and White’, and ‘Vibrant Color’.

The Kodak Printomatic instant camera shown printing two color modes: black and white, and vibrant color
The Kodak Printomatic allows you to print in two color modes.

The prints it produces are smudge-proof and waterproof. Also because of the film it uses, the body of the camera is small and portable enough to fit in your pocket.

Finally, the Printomatic has a 10MP sensor, which may be far from a DSLR, but is very good for instant cameras. 

What to Consider When Buying an Instant Camera

Although instant cameras are straightforward to use, there are a few things you should keep in mind before buying.

Here are the key features you should pay attention to when choosing the best polaroid camera to suit your needs.

Think About Size and Weight of the Camera

A small girl takes a photo with an instant camera
Size and weight are important things to consider when purchasing an instant camera.

The size of the camera largely depends on the film that it supports. The bigger the dimensions of the film, the bigger and heavier will the camera be. Most instant cameras are fairly portable unless they use a wide film or have an unusual vintage shape. 

Smaller cameras will fit into your pocket but may be difficult to handle when you’re looking through the viewfinder–especially for people with large hands. 

Bigger cameras need bags, and they aren’t packable unless they can be taken apart. The handling of these may be challenging for people with small hands, especially if the cameras don’t have hand grips. 

As for weight, instant cameras are usually heavier than compact digital cameras, but this is not necessarily a disadvantage. Increased size and weight can increase stability, as long as the camera feels balanced in your hand.

What Will You Take Photos Of?

A person holds an instant camera print of yellow flowers in front of the flowers themselves
What will you shoot with your instant camera?

Instant cameras can be used to take selfies, portraits at parties, pet photography, and even food photography. But you can also do creative projects. Instant cameras produce prints with a special aesthetic that you can apply to anything. 

Some instant cameras have a built-in flash with color filters and many have different settings that you can experiment with. 

Some have a Double Exposure feature, with which you can create a ghosting effect: especially cool for street photography and portrait photography.

Instant films can be used to create light paintings or laser writing, as well as photograms. A photogram is an effect when you put an object onto film and expose it to a burst of light. 

Choose the Right Type of Instant Camera Film

A instant camera on a table surrounded by instant photos
Choosing the right type of film is important when deciding which instant camera to purchase.

We differentiate film by size, chemical make-up, and the technology that is used to apply color to it. 

Most films available on the market are Fujifilm Instax; although Polaroid, Kodak, and Lomography brands are available too. 

Instant camera film comes in many different sizes:

  • Regular: these are a similar size to credit cards and are the most common type of film used. It is great for party selfies and portraits;
  • Square: can be used for most subjects and are great for avid Instagram users;
  • Wide: these are close to the size of conventional print photos and are usually used for group shots. They are great if you shoot landscape photography with a retro-style; and
  • Mini: these are only used by Kodak Printomatic for their ZINK technology.

Films can also be categorized based on ISO: this is the film’s chemical make-up. The film ISO tells you how sensitive it is to light. Higher ISO means it is more sensitive to light and can shoot in low light conditions. You can also have films that are in color or monochrome.

Films can come in the form of sheets or rolls, have different developing times, and even different expiry times. Mostly, they are fairly similar, working with chemicals and dyes. However, Kodak’s ZINK (Zero Ink) technology works like a printer. 

You need to budget carefully for film as, on average, it costs $1 per shot.

Pro Tip: If possible, buy film in bulk to lower the cost. Check out these Instant film bulk pack deals.

Set Your Instant Camera Budget

A person wearing a hat looks through the viewfinder of an instant camera
It’s important to set a realistic budget for your instant camera. Photo by Eric Ward.

Some of the most expensive brands of instant cameras are Polaroid, Lomography, and Leica. The Leica Sofort is comparable in price to modern point-and-shoot cameras, and even entry-level DSLRs. 

Expensive cameras tend to be compact and full of creative features, such as double exposure. Also, expensive models will give you more control over the exposure and brightness of the resulting photo. These cameras are also more likely to have rechargeable batteries.

If you’re after a budget choice, the Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 and Impossible l-1 are great options. However, they have fewer creative controls, and the photos may come out over or underexposed. 

Instant Camera Limitations to Be Aware Of

A red instant camera with instant prints laid around it
The resolution of instant cameras is not as good as digital cameras. Photo by Fleur.

Instant cameras will never match digital cameras in terms of image resolution: digital cameras have bigger sensors so can capture more detail. 

Instant cameras will have a slower shutter speed: no good if you like to capture wildlife photography. They also don’t offer much control of exposure, so you are not in full control of the result. 

Instant cameras offer fewer modes and effects, plus you can’t edit the final image. They generally have fewer features than digital ones. Although some manufacturers develop noise triggers etc, the arsenal doesn’t reach the level of DSLRs. 

Due to the retro style, many don’t usually have LCD screens on which you can see the image, you have to use the viewfinder to compose your shot. This has pitfalls and can crop the image. 

The cost of the film is expensive, especially if you shoot a lot. This is a problem, especially in the beginning when you’re learning and developing your style.

Despite these limitations, you can’t really put a price on having an instant print of your favorite shot! That is why instant cameras are so popular. Both among photographers and people around them.

Time to Choose the Best Instant Camera

Instant cameras are a great way to share your images with the people around you, transforming moments worth remembering into tiny, collectible artworks.

Cheap models may often do the job as well as more high-end products, especially if your goal is collecting memories, rather than building a portfolio.

With the analog trend constantly growing, we will be updating this list as new cameras are put out on the market. Make sure you come back and check for updates.

Disclaimer: Our reviews are based on personal experience and extensive research by qualified photographers. We pride in keeping these reviews unbiased. Products may contain affiliate links from which we earn a small commission without any additional cost to you. Your support funds our research as well as PhotoBlog.com platform.

 

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About the author

Ram Yaha

My love for photography started when I went on a hiking trip to Alberta's Banff national park. I have more than 10 years of experience shooting nature and landscape photography. My passion is to help others become better photographers. I share photography knowledge and review camera gear on PhotoBlog's official blog to achieve that goal. In my spare time, I love to read, run, and go on hikes!

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