Ah, the '80s. I wasn't alive for much of it, but there's a good chance a lot of you reading this were, so no doubt you remember the rise of Polaroid. We own some of the best digital cameras out there, but still have a soft spot for film. Instant print camera technology defined childhood for quite a lot of folks, and many will be happy to know that they're still alive and kicking in the 21st century. They have an impressive array of cameras that expertly combine the nostalgia and fun of old with the new technology of today.
The new hotness
Announced at CES 2019, the new OneStep+ camera is one of Polaroid's latest instant cameras. It's a step up from the OneStep 2 and the biggest improvement is the Bluetooth connectivity. With this device, you can download the Polaroid Originals app, connect it to your smartphone, and open up a whole new world of Polaroid photography. It uses either 600 or i-Type film.
The new original
This is inspired by the original OneStep camera from Polaroid but designed to work straight out of the box. All you need is some 600 or i-Type instant film, and you're good to go. It's got a better lens, a strong flash, and a 60-day battery life, so you're always ready to capture the moment. It also comes in either white or black.
The old original
This is the camera that put Polaroid on the map and made them a household name. It was the first instant SLR camera ever made, and it pioneered the instant film that Polaroid is now known for. It also keeps the iconic folding design that made it so portable. Just keep in mind that it does not have a built-in flash, so you'll need your own. It's also pricey, but it's still a pretty fantastic camera. Be sure to pick up some SX-70 film for it.
A new angle
The Polaroid Mint Camera & Printer is one of our favorite instant cameras. Polaroid is no stranger to coming up with inventive new ways to take pictures, and the Mint camera and printer is a great example of that. It's a pocket-sized camera that is oriented vertically to mimic the way a smartphone takes pictures. As expected of a Polaroid, it's got a printer integrated into it to print out your best shots instantly. It's a pretty neat little camera for the price.
The compact original
The POP camera from Polaroid allows you to take those same 3.5 by 4.25-inch Polaroid prints you know and love but in a much smaller package. There's a large 20MP lens upfront and a large 4-inch touchscreen display on the back. Polaroid has incorporated a lot of cool features into this camera like 1080p video recording, 15 second GIF's, photo editing, and digital zoom. It also has Wi-Fi connectivity for even more features.
Photos in a snap
The Snap Touch camera shrinks down to a more traditional sized digital camera. It has a 3.5-inch touchscreen but laid out in landscape orientation. It has a smaller 13mp lens but keeps the same 1080p video recording. It adds the option to print photos in three color modes, black and white, color, and sepia, as well as Bluetooth capability. It also comes in six different colors to match your personality.
The first Snap
The original Snap camera has a 10-megapixel lens on it and allows you to print in the same three color modes as the newer version - black & white, color, and sepia. It prints 2-by-3-inch images and will also save them to a MicroSD card if you desire. The Snap also comes in the same six color options as the Snap Touch, black, white, blue, pink, purple, and red.
The action camera
Polaroid has an action camera because of course it does. It's actually pretty impressive too. For next to nothing, you get a 6MP camera with a wide-angle lens. This model is splash-resistant, so you're free to take it out in the rain or shoot lakeside footage. The HD 1080p video footage is crisp and clean and downright impressive for a camera of this size.
The digital camera
The i20x29 is a true digital camera without the instant printing capabilities that Polaroid is known for. That doesn't mean this isn't a solid camera. It's got a 20-megapixel lens with 10 times the optical zoom and a 2.7-inch LCD screen. It also records 1080p video and saves everything to a MicroSD card, which, unfortunately, is not included.
The waterproof one
This digital camera is similar to the i20x29 but has a few notable differences. The biggest one is that it's completely adventure proof meaning it's waterproof, shockproof, dustproof, and freezeproof, so if you're a high adventure type, this should be your choice. It has a 20MP lens and a 4x digital zoom. It even has a front-facing preview screen, so all your selfies are on point.
It's sleek and streamlined and available in eight colors. The Polaroid Now is a new point-and-shoot analog instant camera. With a new autofocus motor, it's easier than ever to capture crisp shots and print out all the fun in seconds.
Just the basics
Sometimes all you need is something just to get the job done. In that case, the iS048 is the guy for you. The 16MP lens with the 2.4-inch LCD screen and MicroSD slot to store your stuff offer all you need for the basic shots. It's also waterproof and comes in three different colors: Teal, Red, and Blue.
Your dad's camera
If it looks familiar, that's because your father probably had this camera or carried something like it. With a fixed focus 28mm lens, this bad boy is a classic. It takes Polaroid 600 film and produces vintage photos that every hipster will love. Get it in one of eight colors and styles and step back in time.
Our final thoughts
Polaroid has become a household name thanks to its fun, innovative, instant printing camera technology. The idea that you could take a picture and instantly have it print out for you to share and enjoy cemented Polaroid forever in the hearts and minds of '80s and '90s kids alike and kicked off a whole industry of instant cameras. If you're looking for a great mix of the old and new, I'd recommend the OneStep+ as you get the best of both worlds.
When you want to capture action, reach for the Polaroid Cube Act II. It's ultra-tiny, has a wide-angle lens, and does HD video. For instant prints and wireless photo transfers, you can't go wrong with the Polaroid Pop 2.0. Perfect for kids and adults, you get a touchscreen, built-in Wi-Fi, and 1080p HD video.
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Jodi Owan works behind a keyboard and a camera. She's a freelance writer for iMore, Android Central, and Windows Central.