BEST INSTANT CAMERAS

instant photo on brown wooden table

Last Updated on April 12, 2022 by seanmichaelpritchard

Looking for the top 5 instant cameras?

So, you sometimes look at movies from the 1940s and marvel at their contemporary cameras that produced a hardcopy of whatever shot they took? Maybe you aren’t a fan of smartphone photography? Well, if you desire an instant camera, it’s worth noting that we’re here to bring the best out of this category and organize your choices.

Essentially, this type of camera seems simple, a mere “point and shoot” camera; however, picking one is tricky. This factor is due to the variety in the market as some are designed to be compatible with beginners, and others are for the more advanced photographer.


At a glance:

  1. Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 – Best for beginners and low budgets
  2. Polaroid Now+ – Best for enthusiasts
  3. Polaroid Go – Best compact instant camera
  4. Canon Ivy Cliq+2 – Best for selfies
  5. Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic – Best retro feel instant camera

If you’re thinking “what Instax camera should I buy?” or “what’s the difference between Instax and Polaroid?” then read on!

Irrespective of your skill level or desire for this camera, this list aims to present our top five options for instant cameras in 2022.

Let’s begin!


instax mini 11 camera

1. Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 – Best for beginners and low budgets

Beginning this list is the Fujifilm Instax Mini 11, an affordable camera that’s easy to use and won’t overwhelm your senses if you’re new to photography. However, it’s a common choice for casual photographers who wish to take several quick photos during a journey.

If your question is “what Instax camera should I buy?” you might not need to look further.

Unlike expensive cameras, the Instax Mini 11 doesn’t have controls or advanced modes, making it a slightly new experience. However, it does come with an auto exposure system that eliminates the guesswork to operate the device, meaning you merely need to point and shoot to get a decent photograph.

There’s a tiny monitor constructed into the front of the camera, alongside a pop-out lens barrel for close-up shots, meaning you can get clear and instant selfies. The variety of colour and its aesthetically pleasing build makes it a fun addition to parties and casual outings.

You can expect to find a built-in flash in the camera; however, it presents no self-timer, consistent with its retro past.

Pros:

  • Possesses autofocus for accuracy
  • Easy to use for beginners
  • Visually appealing design
  • Portable

Cons:

  • The prints produced are relatively small
  • Possesses no advanced controls for professionals

polaroid now+ instant photos

2. Polaroid Now+ – Best for enthusiasts

Unlike the Instax Mini 11, which produced relatively small shots, the Polaroid Now+ prints full-size photos with impressive quality and an impressive vintage look.

The Polaroid Now+ is undoubtedly impressive, combining the Polaroid Now’s picture quality and shooting capacity with the modern-day features of the Onestep+. This union aims to bring the best of both devices to enthusiastic photographers, which achieves success.

The Polaroid Now+ camera possesses multiple creative modes like aperture priority, light painting, portrait mode, double exposure, and much more, accessible via the app. In addition, you also select from the variety of physical lens filters that allow for different creative effects in your images.

While this camera is undoubtedly appealing, its biggest downside is how much the film costs to acquire. However, although you might spend substantial money on film, the experience and picture clarity are worth the financial dedication.

Pros:

  • Produced full-sized prints
  • Possesses creative mode for professionals
  • It comes with several physical filters
  • Intuitive app for access to more creative functions

Cons:

  • The cost of the film is expensive
  • Doesn’t possess a selfie mirror

polaroid go retro photography

3. Polaroid Go – Best compact instant camera

Despite being a retro instant camera, Polaroid introduced impressive innovation to this category with the Polaroid Go. It’s worth noting that this device currently holds the reputation of being the world’s smallest analog instant camera; it fits in the palm of your hand.

One may expect Polaroid to cut corners and produce images with Zero Ink papers instead of a chemical development process for an instant camera this size. Fortunately, the company remained consistent with quality since the Polaroid Go prints shots in square format, like the larger I-Type film.

Technically, the Polaroid Go is a pocket version of the Polaroid Now, containing similar features like self-timing and double-exposure mode. These inclusions make this portable device a worthwhile option for beginners and professional photographers.

It’s worth emphasizing that despite the innovation, Polaroid couldn’t include autofocus which may result in some images appearing blurry if you don’t have a good distance from the subject.

The price is reasonable, costing roughly the same as the Fuji Instax Mini 11, making it a considerable buy if you want an instant camera on the Go.

Pros:

  • Simple to use for beginners
  • Small enough to fit in pockets.

Cons:

  • No autofocus

canon ivy cliq+2 instant pictures
4. Canon Ivy Cliq+2 – Best for selfies

The Ivy Cliq+ was Canon’s first attempt to produce an instant camera, and it was well-received. These Canon devices are considered a hybrid, combining digital smarts with analog film to create the Canon Ivy Cliq+2.

The zero ink paper present in this camera doesn’t require exposure to light to function, making the camera objectively smarter than others in this category. Also, in terms of portability, the Ivy Cliq+2 is pocket-sized, making it an excellent companion on spontaneous adventures.

You can find a built-in LED ring flash on the camera for pleasing portraits, alongside a mirrored lens barrel for taking accurate selfies. Taking photos with this camera also gives you clearer images since autofocus exists as a feature.

It’s worth noting that starting up this camera and printing a picture takes a sluggish 10 seconds, which may not be a hassle but is much slower than most instant cameras. The prints are the size of credit cards but contain many details and colours like traditional 35mm photos.

Pros:

  • Extractable digital copies
  • Impressive design
  • Possesses bluetooth connectivity
  • Lightweight

Cons:

  • Image quality is subpar with most smartphones
  • Starting up and printing takes 10 seconds

fujifilm instax mini 90 retro
5. Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic – Best retro feel instant camera

Still wondering what Instax camera should I buy? Last on this list is the Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic, one of Fujifilm’s instant cameras to come with a rechargeable battery that can handle up to 10 credit-card-sized film packs.

As expected, the device comes with retro styling, with some manual control for handling exposure, disabling the built-in flash, and many other features. For the curious photographer, Fujifilm extended creativity via a double exposure mode, a double shutter button above the lens.

The shutter button also doubles as a selfie mirror, thereby improving the versatility of the Instax Mini 90. There’s also an LCD strip at the back for revealing whatever settings you choose.

Lastly, the price tag and stylish faux leather finish make it a must-have if you desire an Instant Camera.

Pros:

  • Rechargeable battery
  • LCD
  • Flashlight
  • Visually appealing

Cons:

  • Small viewfinder
  • No handgrip

Conclusion

This ends our list of the top five instant cameras that may be worth your money.

Each device is ideal for taking impressive photos; however, they also possess features that may be detrimental or advantageous to you.

For this reason, I recommend assessing your needs before opting for an option on this list to get the maximum value for your money.

Happy snapping!

Instant photography and film photography are incredibly fun! Get some inspiration from my film photography portfolio!

DISCLOSURE: I may earn a small commission from some of the links above. For the benefit of the doubt, please assume all links might be affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

best instant cameras by polaroid

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