In a world where digital photography is the new normal and cell phones are the most common way to capture a moment, it seems like the days of actually holding that moment in your hands are slipping away.
Sure, you could invest in a classic film camera, but many don’t have the time and skill required to develop the photos. Fortunately, there is still a way to have tangible prints while still keeping up with modern-day conveniences – and that is the instant camera.
These easy to use vintage style cameras have made somewhat of a comeback in recent years. There are now all kinds of instant cameras you can buy for any number of lifestyles. With such a wide variety of options available, it can be time-consuming trying to figure out which one is right for you.
That’s why we decided to round up the best instant cameras on the market to help you find the perfect choice for your needs…
- 1 Best Instant Cameras In 2021 – Top 10 Rated Reviews
- 1.1 1 Fujifilm Instax Mini 90
- 1.2 2 Fujifilm Instax Wide 300
- 1.3 3 Fujifilm Instax Square SQ6
- 1.4 4 Lomography Lomo’Instant Wide
- 1.5 5 Polaroid Originals OneStep+
- 1.6 6 Polaroid Originals OneStep 2 – Stranger Things Edition
- 1.7 7 KODAK Smile
- 1.8 8 Leica Sofort
- 1.9 9 Fujifilm Instax Mini 9
- 1.10 10 Lomography Lomo’Instant Square Glass
- 2 Best Instant Cameras Buyer’s Guide
- 3 More Camera Options
- 4 So, What’s The Best Instant Cameras?
Best Instant Cameras In 2021 – Top 10 Rated Reviews
1 Fujifilm Instax Mini 90
Just because you’re looking for an easily produced print, doesn’t mean you don’t want that professional look and feel. Getting the best possible shot is paramount and, let’s face it, aesthetics are important too.
The Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 is a self-described “neo-classic” instant camera in that it utilizes a modern touch on a vintage body. At first glance, it has the appearance of your parents’ or grandparents’ old film camera that has been buried in the closet for years, but upon further inspection, there is much more than meets the eye.
Gone are the days of having to perfectly match shutter speeds and flash before you could actually snap a picture. This camera automatically detects the brightness of the area and adjusts flash and shutter speed to get you the best possible shot. The pre-programmed electronic shutter release ranges between 1.8 – 1/400 second shutter speeds.
But sometimes man knows more than machine…
Fortunately, this camera embraces that possibility. In double exposure mode, press the shutter twice, and two images are able to be produced on a single film sheet. Switch into bulb mode by pressing the shutter button for 10 seconds. This mode will give you the option to capture a long-exposure image like a light trail.
Kids mode will give you the ability to capture more fast paced-moments like your kids and pets. They may move and grow-up fast, but the Instax 90 is here to ensure those precious moments last a lifetime.
- Vintage design.
- Double exposure mode.
- Bulb mode.
- Kids Mode.
- Landscape photos are limited in some modes.
2 Fujifilm Instax Wide 300
If you are looking for a classic looking camera with modern-day features, then it’s likely you are someone who appreciates a good selfie. Usually, smartphones with a front-facing camera are the only devices that can give you a quality selfie. But our next instant camera can do it too.
Front or back…
The Fujifilm Instax Wide 300 comes equipped with an automatic extending 95mm lens with two focus zones (0.9 to 3m and 3m & up). This allows you to flip it around and get a great shot with the close-up lens up to 40 cm away.
This camera also has a programmed electronic shutter release that offers a range between 1/64 and 1/200 of a second. You can also use light and dark control to add high and low-key effects in the picture. Each picture produced is 62 mm × 99 mm, which can easily fit right in the palm of your hand.
Frame the perfect shot…
With the attached optical viewfinder, you can frame the perfect shot. A tripod socket allows you to find steadiness for the clearest possible picture. The camera is powered by four AA 1.5 V alkaline batteries, which come included with the purchase. Keep in mind that the Instax Wide 300 works with Fujifilm Instax Wide Film only, which is sold separately.
- Two focus zones.
- Electronic shutter release.
- Tripod socket.
- Batteries included.
- The film is not included.
- Only works with specific film.
3 Fujifilm Instax Square SQ6
If you are looking for simplicity in a camera, you are probably also looking for simplicity when it comes to size. When you’re on the go, a bulky camera can hamper your ability to take quick shots and pack it away in an efficient way. Our next camera on the list should help with that.
The Instax Square SQ6 from Fujifilm is only 6 x 6 x 4 inches, so it packs away easily to any purse or small bag. It’s also stylish, by combining the perfect balance of retro and modern looks.
This camera will help bring your creativity to life. Choose from one of the many creative shooting modes, such as automatic, selfie, macro, and landscape. If you want to take it a step further, you can manually adjust exposure yourself with light and dark modes. You can even create a double exposure to superimpose two images together.
The Instax Square also comes with auto-exposure control. The high-quality flash automatically detects the brightness in the surrounding area and adjusts shutter speed to match. Whether you are a professional or amateur photographer, this camera has something for everyone.
So how can you use this?
The Instax only requires two CR2 batteries to perform, and what’s more, they are included with the camera! However, keep in mind that this camera only works with Instax Square style film, which is a bit more expensive than your standard film. However, the camera itself is fairly affordable, so that helps offset the cost a bit.
- Several shooting modes.
- Light and dark modes.
- Double exposure.
- Batteries included.
- Only works with specific film.
- The film is not included.
4 Lomography Lomo’Instant Wide
If you’re looking for an instant camera that gives off a retro vibe in its look, feel, and utility, look no further than the Lomography Lomo’Instant Wide camera. This is equipped with a fully programmatic shutter that allows you to enjoy the true meaning of instant in every image you snap. The shutter will automatically detect how much light is required for perfect exposure.
This camera also has three different zone focusing areas. Whatever distance you are shooting from, this Lomography camera allows you to effortlessly switch between short, medium, and long-distance shooting.
With the exposure settings on this camera, you can get whatever shot you’re looking for. Use a long exposure to get that perfect amount of light in for unique photo sessions. When one isn’t enough, use multiple exposures to combine numerous shots into one.
Snap the perfect selfie of you and your friends by utilizing the mirror that is situated next to the lens. You won’t even have to push a shutter button thanks to the remote controlled lens cap!
Three built-in lenses…
With this camera, you will have lens attachments for every occasion. The Lomo’Instant includes three different lenses to help you make the most of every moment. The 90mm lens is built-in and is perfect for everyday shooting. A wide-angle lens can help you capture more of an area in the same size print. Finally, a close-up lens is there to help you get those selfies or portraits.
- Selfie mirror.
- Three lenses included.
- Three focusing zones.
- Long and multiple exposures.
- Color filters.
- Learning curve required.
5 Polaroid Originals OneStep+
When you think of instant cameras, there is usually just one word that comes to mind: Polaroid. You probably have even gone as far as referring to all instant cameras and their prints as Polaroids. This classic brand revolutionized the photography world and still provides great instant cameras to this day.
The Polaroid OneStep+ has the look and feel of the original Polaroid camera that you may remember from your childhood with special features that make it the ideal instant camera for the 21st century.
Great for low-light conditions…
The format is all the same as the original Polaroids making it easy to use for just about any age or skill level. An above average flash allows you to get beautiful shots even in low lighting situations. Plus, a self-timer lets you get in on the action as well.
This camera also comes with different lenses to help you capture the right moment. Portrait lens is ideal for shots that are between 1 and 3 feet away. This is great for instant headshots or single-subjects. The standard lens is going to give you your best shots of subjects or scenes that are over 3 feet away. Whatever your needs, this camera has you covered.
The Polaroid OneStep+ goes one step further by bringing you Bluetooth connectivity. Compatible with both iOS or Android, you can connect to your camera via the Polaroid app. This enables you to control the camera remotely and adjust its settings accordingly.
- Classic look.
- Can use I-type or 600 film.
- Bluetooth enabled.
- Learning curve required.
- Some users report difficulty with pairing Bluetooth.
6 Polaroid Originals OneStep 2 – Stranger Things Edition
This limited edition Stranger Things OneStep2 is the perfect instant camera for any Polaroid enthusiast who also loves the Netflix show Stranger Things. It’s color and “upside down” inspired orientation, will make a great gift for any fan.
This classic Polaroid camera is easy to use. It is as simple as point, shoot, and press. Click that shutter button, and your Polaroid print will appear in seconds. No guesswork or instructions required!
Timed to perfection…
This camera features a self-timer function that allows you to include yourself in your ideal photograph. A powerful built-in flash gives you the option of getting great shots in low lighting situations.
This camera runs on a built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery. You can get up to 60-days of photography on a single charge, and you won’t ever need to go out and buy new batteries.
What’s in the box?
Along with the camera, a USB charger is included for the rechargeable battery. You can use it to charge from the wall or directly into your computer. Also included is a removable neck strap that you can use to carry around your new camera in comfort and style.
- Different color and design options.
- Easy to use.
- Rechargeable battery.
- Neck strap.
- The film is not included.
- Film is expensive.
7 KODAK Smile
Many instant cameras can be a bit bulky, which can make carrying them around a bit inconvenient. However, with the next best instant camera on our list, those inconveniences are a thing of the past.
The KODAK Smile Instant Print Digital Camera is similar in size to your smartphone, making it easy and discrete when it comes to storage. Simply slip it into your pocket and go! This camera also sports a unique sliding design. The durable polyresin case glides wide open to reveal an 8mm lens with automatic focus.
HD quality photographs…
The Smile also uses no ink with patented ZINK technology to create crisp, HD quality photographs. The back of the ZINK paper is also adhesive. Simply peel off and stick them anywhere you want. This makes scrapbooking or wall decorating as easy as ever.
In this case, the simplicity of the design also means simplicity of use. Whether you’re a child making their foray into photography or a more knowledgeable adult, this camera makes it easy to take, edit, and share photos anywhere. Automatic flash, fixed focus, and 2 picture modes make producing beautiful photos effortless.
Easy to re-charge…
Don’t worry about running out of batteries in the middle of a spontaneous photoshoot. This KODAK camera is rechargeable with the included mini USB cable. You can enjoy up to 40 shots on a single charge.
It may be small, but it can do what other instant cameras simply cannot. With internal storage, you can store up to 5 photos on the camera. But what’s more, if you need more space, you can insert a microSD card for up to 256 GB of photos.
Plus, unlike a lot of the cameras we’ve reviewed, you will be ready to start shooting immediately upon receiving your camera because it comes with 20 sheets of the patented ZINK paper. It also includes a canvas tote bag and a camera neck strap for the photographer that loves to accessorize.
- Rechargeable battery.
- MicroSD compatible.
- ZINK technology.
- Strap and bag included.
8 Leica Sofort
The next best instant camera on our list is for the photographer that wants the convenience of an instant camera, but doesn’t want to spare any expense when it comes to features.
The Leica Sofort has a preprogrammed mode for every occasion. Just select from any number of options such as macro, bulb, party, sport, or selfie let the camera do the rest. However, if you prefer to control the focusing distance, flash, and exposure yourself, this Leica allows you the freedom to do just that.
Attention to detail is central to the design…
The only button along the top is the shutter-release control. The power button is kept on the back plate to avoid accidentally switching off the camera while trying to get the perfect shot. Along with the power button are the other controls neatly laid out in a vertical row.
With this camera, you can be both the photographer and the subject. With a convenient self-timer, you can place yourself in the midst of a beautiful shot. An intelligently placed mirror on the front allows you to perfectly frame selfies with you and your friends.
Two years peace of mind…
Lecia is confident as one of the most trusted camera brands. They back this up by offering a limited 2-year warranty to cover any and all manufacturing defects.
- Sleek design.
- Automatic and manual modes.
- 2-year warranty.
9 Fujifilm Instax Mini 9
Next up is one of the best instant cameras for the photographer looking to bring a little fun and brightness into their world. The Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 brings together a high-performance camera with a unique design that is ideal for all ages.
Simply power on the 2 AA battery-powered camera, point, and shoot, and your camera will instantly produce high-quality 62 x 46 mm images of any range of subjects.
Simply follow the instructions…
Shooting modes are selected by turning a unique brightness adjustment dial. The camera automatically determines the best brightness for capturing a moment and informs you of the best mode to choose from. Simply turn the dial to the illuminated lamp and instantly create your image.
If you are looking for a portrait camera, then look no further. This Fujifilm Mini 9 comes with a close-up lens attachment for shots 35 cm away and up. The selfie mirror on the front end allows you to perfectly frame shots of yourself as well.
Match your style…
The Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 comes in eight pastel-like colors. You can easily select a camera that will go with other accessories or one that matches your own personality.
- Easy to use.
- Brightness dial.
- Many color options.
- Plastic build.
- Film not included.
10 Lomography Lomo’Instant Square Glass
Last but not least, on our list of high-quality instant cameras, is one that will give you a boost to the quality of your photographs. The Lomography Lomo’Instant Square Glass boasts the world’s only dual-format, glass-lensed instant camera. This, coupled with its perfectly balanced square frame, allows you to get stunning, sharp portraits of any subject you choose.
Does the thinking for you…
The Lomo’Instant Square Glass sports an advanced automatic mode that adjusts your shutter speed, aperture, and flash to your immediate surroundings. However, you can also use it manually for more creative shots. You can also attach the glass portrait lens attachment for subjects within 0.5 meters. With an aperture range of f/10-f/22, you can shoot in just about any lighting situation.
You have many different exposure options with this camera. You can choose long exposure for creative lighting photos or multiple exposure to bring multiple shots into one. Whatever your creativity can think of, this camera can produce.
Choice of sizes…
Fortunately, you don’t have to settle for a one size fits all approach to your prints. With this camera, you can use both square and mini Instax films without having to adjust any settings. Get classic square prints or compact credit card sized ones.
- Glass lens attachment.
- Different exposure modes.
- Compatible with square and mini Instax film.
- Remote control.
Now that you have perused some of the best quality instant cameras on the market, you are probably a lot closer to know which is the perfect one for your needs. But choosing one that is the “best” really depends on YOU. That’s why we have put together this handy buyer’s guide with some of the most important factors to consider before making your purchase.
- Size and Portability
If you are purchasing an instant camera, then you are probably someone who is a fan of convenience. Instant cameras are known to be a bit bulky, but with advancements in technology, it is possible to find one that meets your requirements.
Because of the nature of an instant camera, they are generally big and bulky. They need to instantly produce a small or medium-sized print in seconds, and that’s simply hard to do in a small device. The more high-end your camera, the larger it will likely be. But you can mitigate that issue by finding a tailor-made carrying case, or a camera that includes a neck strap.
However, there are some smaller models, some even as small as a smartphone, that can help you get the job done. Understand, though, that they won’t be able to deliver traditional square film prints because these cameras are smaller than the film itself!
- Film Type
This can be a bit tricky. Even though instant cameras are popular, they just aren’t as popular as typical digital cameras. This means that finding film for your instant camera can be difficult and expensive if you use a specialized film.
Instax wide film is probably the most common film used in instant cameras. It produces credit card-sized prints for any number of subjects. Generally, you can assume that your camera will be compatible with this type of film. But given its size, it can leave a lot to be desired.
Instax Square more closely resembles the type of film used in the retro Polaroid cameras. However, this type of film is a lot tougher to find and is generally a lot more expensive. The trade-off is larger and higher-quality images.
Can’t decide? How about both! There are a small selection of instant cameras on the market that are compatible with both Instax mini and square film. Everyone loves options, so why not give yourself the ability to choose.
- Power Source
This basically comes down to rechargeable or non-rechargeable batteries. If you go the route of standard AA, AAA, or CR2 batteries, you will get a lot more life out of them for the camera, but over time the cost of batteries is going to add up. What’s more, if you don’t have any on hand in the middle of a shoot, you can just plug in and wait a little while.
Rechargeable batteries are a great way to go in this case. And it’s not like you have to constantly charge them. A good option is a lithium-ion battery that can give you up to 60 shots on a single charge.
- Special Features
This type of camera might be like a relic from a bygone era, but it doesn’t have to act like it. There are tons of features available to instant cameras that can add a modern touch to a vintage style instant camera.
Just because instant cameras instantly print out your shots, doesn’t mean you can’t store them to look at later. Some instant cameras come with that digital touch and have an internal memory storage or microSD slot to store and save some images for later.
Another great modern addition to instant cameras is the compatibility with Bluetooth devices. This can allow you to remotely control your camera from your phone or tablet and adjust settings to give you the perfect image.
Also, if you are someone who is serious about photography, some instant cameras allow you the ability to manually control settings like exposure and aperture. This can help you bring that professional touch to your instant photos.
If you’re not sure that an instant camera is your perfect solution for whatever reason, then check out our Best Compact Cameras reviews, our Best Waterproof Camera reviews, our Best Dash Cam reviews. Or if you fancy some real action, take a look at our Best Camera Drones reviews.
We are confident that we have given you enough information to find the best instant camera for you. But if you’re still not sure and are looking for our recommendation, well, it’s the…
This combines all of the classic components and features of a classic Polaroid camera with some awesome modern technologies like Bluetooth connectivity. With this camera, you will be able to give off that old school vibe while utilizing subtle yet advanced technologies to get the absolute most out of your photography.