Young millennials might not be old enough to remember the novelty of printed photographs, but the retro technology is coming back into style with a handful of instant cameras that take and print photos on the spot.
Which model might be right for you? Here’s a snapshot of the Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 and the Polaroid Pic-300, two instant cameras that print color pictures.
Price and specs
|Fujifilm Instax Mini 8||Polaroid Pic-300|
|Price||Varies by retailer||Varies by retailer|
|Colors||Raspberry, grape, white, pink, blue, yellow, black||Black, blue, purple, red|
|Film compatibility||Fujifilm Instax Mini Instant Film||PIF-300 Instant Film|
|Power||Two AA batteries||Four AA batteries|
|Buy on Amazon|
Fujifilm Instax Mini 8
The Instax Mini 8 is one of several mini cameras from Fujifilm. This model promises instant pictures.
The handheld device operates much like a traditional camera. It has an auto flash, a brightness adjustment dial for everything from indoor to sunny settings, an electronic shutter and a built-in lens cover. To operate, simply push the power button, adjust the dial to the appropriate lighting setting and snap a picture. The image will automatically print out of the top of the Mini 8.
The camera is compatible with Fujifilm Instax Mini Instant Film and prints images that measure around the size of a credit card. Don’t forget you’ll have to purchase the film to keep up with your picture taking. At the time of this writing, we priced out a pack of 20 white sheets, which will cost you $12.49 from Amazon.
The Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 comes in bold colors including raspberry, grape, white, pink, blue, yellow and black. It runs on two AA batteries and comes with a wrist strap. The price of the camera varies depending on where you shop, but we’ve seen it advertised for between $58 and $69 at Amazon.
Similar to the Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 is the Polaroid Pic-300, a printing camera that promises to be the “modern version of the classic Polaroid instant camera.” The compact camera operates in much the same way as the Instax Mini 8: Turn it on, take a picture and develop the image.
The result is instant pictures that measure approximately the size of a business card. The camera is compatible with PIF-300 Instant Film, so keep in mind you’ll need to factor in the price of film packs. At the time of this writing, a 20-pack of the glossy film costs $19.99 at Amazon.
Other noteworthy features include an automatic flash, an electronic shutter, an energy-saving mode after five minutes of inactivity and four settings for various lighting environments.
The Polaroid Pic-300 comes in black, blue, purple or red. It’s powered by four AA batteries and comes with a wrist strap. With this one, too, the price varies depending on where you shop. The price at Amazon hovers around $69.99.
Which instant camera should you choose? From a features standpoint, you can’t go wrong with either. These two don’t only look similar, they operate in much the same way, too.
If we had to choose, we’d give the Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 a slight leg up in this competition because it comes in a wider array of colors and, based on the current cost of its film, could be a more affordable long-term investment for devoted picture takers.