Polaroid reverses course on tech with revival of old-school OneStep instant camera

There are some younger people today that have no idea what it's like to take a picture without already knowing how it will come out. Thanks to digital photography, we never have to worry about taking a bad picture, but we also never have the joy of seeing a developed set of pictures for the first time and discovering accidentally perfect shots. Polaroid is changing that with a revival of their most popular instant camera from nearly 40 years ago. The OneStep is back, and like it was in 1977; analog. But now it's got an upgrade for the 21st Century — like a USB charger and a timer.

The OneStep 2, like its predecessor, has nothing more than a small eyepiece for a viewfinder. You aim, point, and snap a picture with the fixed-focus lens (no zoom, no image stabilization, no digital magic) and an onboard flash that you can manually turn on or off.

The film, which is where the real magic happens, uses a chemical process that takes place right before your eyes. The OneStep uses iType and Polaroid 600 film in its updated camera, but the results are about the same as they were in the 70s. A unique wash of muted colors that Polaroid describes as a "dreamy aesthetic," but I would call kitschy and awesome. Light burns? Yes, please. Lens flare? I'm in!

Did I mention that the film is the same size as the original? No more tiny Instax minis. The full-sized 3 X 4-inch i-Type or 600 film packs come in black-and-white or color. The 600 also comes in blue or pink duochrome film, and you can get the standard color film with colored frames.

Though you can charge the OneStep 2 with a USB cord, you can't hook it up to the internet and post images that you've captured. You can't perfect a digital camera pose just for the purpose of transferring it to the OneStep to print out. Nope. This is purely analog.

It appears that the OneStep 2 won't be the only retro analog camera that Polaroid will release. The company, which was fully acquired by The Impossible Project in 2017, started a new brand called Polaroid Originals, which is "dedicated to reinventing analog instant photography for the modern era."

I'm sold.

It comes in white or granite (black) and costs $100. Film ranges in price between $15 and $20, depending on which type you want. You can order the OneStep 2 directly from Polaroid Originals and add your choice of film before you hit the checkout button.

See at Polaroid Originals

Lory Gil

Lory is a renaissance woman, writing news, reviews, and how-to guides for iMore. She also fancies herself a bit of a rock star in her town and spends too much time reading comic books.  If she's not typing away at her keyboard, you can probably find her at Disneyland or watching Star Wars (or both).