Polaroid is a brand name that manufactures instant cameras that produce instant printed photos but it isn’t the only brand that manufactures these instant cameras. Famous brands such as Fujifilm and Canon have some instant high-quality options as well. This type of camera is known as the Polaroid camera as Polaroid is a pioneer in this industry. We went through some of Best Buy Polaroid cameras to test and review. We know that mobile phones now have very high-quality cameras but we’re still fans of physical photo prints. Thus, Polaroid cameras are something very special to us. We always have one of these cameras wherever we go to capture the best moments.
In this review, we’re sharing the cameras we have tried and all about their features, pros, and cons. We would like you to take a look at each of these cameras to choose the suitable one for your needs. Let’s get started.
Table of contents
- Polaroid Now 2nd Generation
- Polaroid I 2 Instant Camera
- Kodak – Printomatic Portable Instant Camera
- Fujifilm – INSTAX SQUARE SQ40
- Fujifilm Instax Mini EVO
- Fujifilm Instax Mini Liplay Hybrid
- Canon Ivy CLIQ+2 Instant Camera Printer
- Fujifilm – INSTAX MINI 40
- Fujifilm Instax Mini 12
- Fujifilm Instax Square SQ1
- Polaroid Now+ 2nd Generation
- Our Verdict!
- How To Choose The Best Polaroid Cameras at Best Buy?
- Are polaroid photos longlasting?
- What are the common brands of instant cameras?
- Are Polaroid cameras for professional use?
Polaroid Now 2nd Generation
Starting our list with the Polaroid Now 2nd Generation camera that looks so nostalgic. We love the color options of the cam, especially, the red and blue options. These colors aren’t the traditional colors of today’s cameras, so, the camera looks different to us. We went for the blue one and we also chose the bundle. It comes with a color I-type film to capture 16 photos and get them printed, this is why we love Polaroid cameras.
Our experience with the camera was good from the first use. We didn’t expect too much from the camera, so, we were satisfied with what we got as this camera isn’t for professional use. The photo prints look so nostalgic and the timer allowed us to take selfies. The pictures come out fast, this is amazing!
- The camera looks nostalgic but very cool
- There is a bundle option including the cam and film
- The pictures develop fast
- The photos’ quality isn’t the best
Polaroid I 2 Instant Camera
Most professional. The Polaroid I 2 Instant Camera offers a different experience. We could take professional photos and enjoy the instant-picture feature as well. That’s why this camera is highly priced compared to other Polaroid cameras. The manual controls are amazing for professional photographers. Even if you aren’t so professional, you can still learn about the aperture and shutter speed to get high-quality photos. We watched this review from Analog Insights and it helped us a lot to know more about the features of the cam.
We tried taking photos in light and dim conditions to see what the final pictures would look like. In light conditions, we had no problems at all as the autofocus helped a lot to get everything set. However, when there wasn’t enough light and we had to use the flash, the pictures weren’t so clear. But we still think this camera is wonderful for getting good instant photos, just make sure you have a good source of light.
- The camera has many professional controls
- The body of the cam is durable
- The lens is zoomable
- The flashlight isn’t so strong
Kodak – Printomatic Portable Instant Camera
The Kodak – Printomatic Portable Instant Camera makes the perfect gift for us. We would buy this as a Christmas or a birthday gift for our friends and we wouldn’t mind receiving such a wonderful gift as well. This isn’t the best resolution we have seen from instant cameras, yet, it has many other features that compensate for the resolution. For example, it’s a bundle of a camera, case, and printing paper, and sometimes it comes with stickers to put on the print paper. Moreover, the paper it uses to print on is Kodak’s special zinc paper that already comes with the cam, this is cheaper than other toners or film used by other cameras.
Speaking of the price, the camera didn’t cost us a lot. It’s something under $100, and on a sale, we would get the whole bundle at maybe 40% of the price. Overall, the camera is good for us and it satisfied our needs. We could choose which photos to print so as not to waste the zinc paper. You just need to be patient and wait for the photo for some time.
- The camera is reasonably priced
- It’s very easy to use
- The camera comes with zinc paper to print photos on
- The printing process is a bit slow
Fujifilm – INSTAX SQUARE SQ40
The Fujifilm – INSTAX SQUARE SQ40 is another good option we considered while searching for Polaroid cameras. As the name suggests, it’s a square camera for an easier grip. This grip was so important for us as we used the camera to take lots of selfies. It has a special selfie mode that works by rotating the lens and flipping the cam pointing it to ourselves. The selfie photos are of good quality, so, thumbs up to this feature.
This camera has been with us for more than a month. We traveled, camped, and spent nights at home with the camera. It’s very easy to use for first-time users. Rotate the lens to get the camera on, another rotation for the selfie mode, and the opposite direction to turn it off. That’s all that we do every time we want to take pictures. Further, it has auto focus and auto flashlight, so, we didn’t have to bother about the light here. It’s more of an old camera with modern-quality photos.
- The camera is easy to grip
- It’s very easy for novice photographers
- The quality of the photos is good
- It comes with no film
Fujifilm Instax Mini EVO
One of the cons of old instant cameras is that they print whatever we capture. However, new cameras give us the option to choose and sometimes, edit the photos before printing. The Fujifilm Instax Mini EVO pairs with our mobile phone using the dedicated Instax Evo App for a couple of additional features. Using the App, we can play with the photos a lot before printing. There are some preinstalled filters and edits that require no expertise at all.
Furthermore, the body of the camera itself is so user-friendly. It’s small and lightweight. We could fit it inside any handbag, and we aren’t afraid it would be broken as it feels durable. There are two portrait and landscape orientations as well. We think it’s a great Best Buy Polaroid camera for advanced photographers who love to manipulate pictures a bit.
- The camera is portable
- It pairs with mobile phones
- There are two shutter buttons and a selfie mirror
- The App allows for transferring printed photos only
Fujifilm Instax Mini Liplay Hybrid
Best hybrid. Although the Fujifilm Instax Mini Liplay Hybrid looks so small, it has some features we didn’t find in any other Best Buy Polaroid cameras. The hybrid feature is so amazing to play around with different photos. We could connect the camera to a mobile phone or a tablet and choose whatever photos we like to print. This allowed us to print edited photos for better quality.
Moreover, this small cam has a viewfinder which gives us a view of the photo before printing and wasting the film on photos we don’t like. The best part is the record button to play a recorded sound as a background to our photos. We believe the camera is well worth the price as it’s more advanced than many other options. At the same time, it’s as small as surveillance cameras. By the way, we have a list of the best surveillance cameras for home security and surveillance cameras for business if you want one.
- The camera saves digital photos
- We can use it as a photo printer
- It’s a good value for money
- The buttons are a bit hard to push
Canon Ivy CLIQ+2 Instant Camera Printer
We discovered that Canon has a wonderful instant camera which is the Canon Ivy CLIQ+2 Instant Camera Printer. Being a Canon camera, we could connect it to our phone and use the Canon camera App. Using this App, we had lots of editing options, so, before printing any photo, we would run it through the App first and add some touches to get stunning and more fun photos.
Furthermore, the film we received with the camera is different. It has a cover on the back side that can be peeled off to use the photos as stickers! This way, we could capture our best moments and stick them on the fridge, the wall, and any other flat surfaces around the home to see all the time. Canon is a reliable brand, so, we weren’t hesitant at all to try this cam. If you’re like us, you might be interested in the best Canon cameras at Best Buy as well.
- The camera connects to the mobile phone using Bluetooth
- The photo prints are stickers
- There is a mobile App to edit the photos
- The photos are slightly dark
Fujifilm – INSTAX MINI 40
The Fujifilm – INSTAX MINI 40 has a retro design that we loved a lot before even receiving the camera. The black and silver colors, the small design, and the buttons, all add to the retro look of the cam. The most important thing for us when buying a Polaroid camera is the ease of use. We wanted something easy to carry and pack while traveling or going outside. This camera offered us both as it’s so small and portable.
The photo prints we got are small, nearly the same size as credit cards. This size didn’t annoy us at all as this is what we expect from instant cameras. Photo prints here are just for the memory. About the controls, there aren’t many controls, thus, any beginner can capture lovely photos using this cam.
“Although this camera isn’t for professional use, it looks so premium and we often get compliments when we have it. The selfie lens is our favorite option here, amazing memories are made with the cam!”Dizzzi
- The camera is small and lightweight
- It looks so luxurious and nostalgic
- It has a selfie lens
- The quality isn’t the best at night
Fujifilm Instax Mini 12
Best size. The Fujifilm Instax Mini 12 is the opposite thing to the previous model from the same brand. This camera has a very modern design that is also very cute. The available colors include mint green, ivory, light blue, and some other cute colors like those. We’re complimented for the color before we even capture any photos using the camera.
We didn’t take a long time to explore the camera and understand how it works before using it. There isn’t too much to know about the cam, just know how to use the automatic exposure and that’s it. The prints come out in around five seconds and they look so clear to us. The Photography Blog has a good full review about this camera, we encourage you to read it first.
- It’s very easy to use and replace the film
- The design is very cute and lovely
- The photo prints come out fast
- The film is costly for some people
Fujifilm Instax Square SQ1
The Fujifilm Instax Square SQ1 has many similar features to the Fujifilm Instax Mini 12 camera, yet, the main difference is the design. This one as the name suggests is square with an easier grip and control. It also comes in very nice and lovely colors such as this orange color. We also love the square photo prints that develop from the camera.
We usually use the camera for selfies when we gather at home or in the park. The quality of the photos in both indoor and outdoor conditions is decent. We think the photos are as clear as we want. Further, holding the camera using the round and textured grip is easier for us when it comes to selfies. Watch this video from In An Instant to learn more about this wonderful camera.
- The camera is easy to hold and use
- The design is beautiful
- There is a selfie mode
- The film refill is a bit expensive
Polaroid Now+ 2nd Generation
Best value for money. The Polaroid Now+ 2nd Generation is an average-priced option, yet, it’s the best value for money as it has many features packed into this camera. The camera is similar to the Paloriod Now 2nd Gen model but this one has more features. Our favorite is the lens kit we received with the camera. It includes five lens filters we could use to create fun and creative photos. We used the orange filter, for example, to shoot nostalgic pictures.
Moreover, the camera has a Bluetooth connection, so, we could connect the camera to our mobile phones and launch the Paloroid App for manual controls. This allowed us to explore more features such as playing around with the exposure and shutter speed. When we don’t want to set anything manually, we just use the auto-focus options and the camera does its job.
- The camera comes with five colored filters
- It has an auto-focus dual-lens system
- It connects to mobile and tablets via Bluetooth
- We could mount the camera on a tripod easily
- Using the auto-focus feature doesn’t always produce high-quality photos
Here are the best four polaroid cameras from our point of view. These cameras have something special, so, it’s recommended to take a look at them first.
- Best value for money: Polaroid Now+ 2nd Generation
- Best hybrid: Fujifilm Instax Mini Liplay Hybrid
- Best size: Fujifilm Instax Mini 12
- Most professional: Polaroid I 2 Instant Camera
How To Choose The Best Polaroid Cameras at Best Buy?
Polaroid cameras share some features with digital and DSLR cameras but they have something special, namely, instant physical photo prints. So, while we were testing several cameras, we had this short checklist to make sure each of the cameras we’re recommending here is worth it. You can also take this checklist as a criteria list whenever you want to buy a new instant camera.
Ease of use
Polaroid cameras aren’t designed to be professional cameras. They’re mainly made for fun and amateur users. So, when we were searching for a good Best Buy Polaroid camera, we made sure that it was user-friendly. That is, most of the cameras we’re recommending in this list need a button press to work. We had to hit the shutter button to capture photos without too many features and settings.
Moreover, polaroid cameras need a film to print the photos on. Thus, we also checked whether installing the film is as easy as capturing photos. Typically, a teenager should be able to use a Polaroid camera with no issues.
The film is an integral part of Polaroid cameras, so, we wanted to get cameras with easy-to-get films. Mostly, Polaroid camera films are sold online and at stores that sell the cameras themselves. Yet, this isn’t the only thing we were looking for. Since the camera is mainly made for fun, we were looking for cheap or at least reasonably priced films. In the end, we can’t just waste the film on unprofessional photos if it will cost us a lot.
This point in particular is important when buying any camera. But for us, when it comes to buying Polaroid cameras, we want to have a battery life that lasts at least a full day. We usually take this camera when traveling or on special outings. We don’t want to take a set of batteries and other items because, in the end, it’s just an amateur camera. Hence, make sure that the battery life can make something around 100 photos without the need to recharge. Further, a fast-recharging battery is a bonus.
For instant cameras, we prefer small ones that are easy to hold and easy to carry as well. Most of the cameras we recommend here are lightweight cameras that can be held with one hand. However, we don’t prefer flimsy cameras even if they’re lightweight and easy to handle.
Finally, the price is one of the criteria we consider when buying. We look for average-priced cameras. At the same time, we don’t want to compensate for quality or durability. Some Polaroid cameras are expensive but usually come with other additions such as extra film. So, we balance our needs and set a budget before buying.
Are polaroid photos longlasting?
They can last for years without fading color if they’re kept sealed where no liquids or other substances reach them.
What are the common brands of instant cameras?
The most common brand is Polaroid of course. Fujifilm is also very popular and has several good models.
Are Polaroid cameras for professional use?
Some professionals might use the expensive models of Polaroid cameras but mostly, they’re for amateurs.