Best Instant Cameras

We are living in an age of instant gratification. From instant coffee to instant sharing of selfies on social media, we want to achieve everything in the present moment itself without a moment’s delay. 

The instant cameras do not match the exceptional quality images captured by DSLR cameras or advanced smartphone cameras. However, they are still immensely popular as they can capture the best images and print them instantly. 

They are photographic tools. Obviously, they are not as good as DSLR cameras or mirrorless cameras.This article provides you with different instant camera typeshow an instant camera works, features to look at when buying the camera, few best picks, and FAQ.

6 Best Instant Cameras in India

Product (Best Brands)Average User RatingPrice RangeBest Price
Our pick
4.4/5
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Self-timer
3.9/5
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Dual shutter system
4.3/5
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Bluetooth integration
4.1/5
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Auto printing
4.3/5
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Reprint button
3.8/5
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How does an instant camera work?

While they are not as good as DSLR cameras or mirrorless cameras, instant cameras are useful if you want immediate prints. It uses a self-developing film that aids in taking the print of the photograph soon after the shot is captured.

Once you capture the image, the film sheet passes through the rollers. The rollers help in spreading the reagent material in the middle of the sheet.

It lies in between the light-sensitive layer and the image layer. The reagent reacts to chemical layers, and the final film is developed.

Types of instant cameras

Polaroid cameras

Polaroid cameras are categorized based on the film type it uses.

In older versions of Polaroid cameras, roll film was used that has a positive and negative that must be loaded in the camera. Thereafter, Packfilm was introduced, and the photographer peeled the positive from the negative while developing the photo.

The next-generation cameras used an integral square format that has positive, negative agents, and it produced efficient prints. As technology evolved, small size and mini formats were produced.

Non-Polaroid cameras

Kodak, Fujifilm, Lomography some companies that developed non-polaroid cameras.

Kodak developed an integral instant film that was incompatible with Polaroid’s SX-700 film.

It was a bit similar to Polaroid film with the only exception being that the negative was exposed from the rear, which reversed the image and thus needed an in-built mirror.

Buying Guide

Size of the photograph

You can find many cameras that can print photos of varying sizes.  This size of the photo will be specified along with the camera, and it may be mentioned as 24 mm X 36mm/ 62mm x 99mm, etc.

Choose the camera that matches your required photo size.

Battery

Every camera uses different batteries. A few instant cameras come with lithium-ion batteries while others have CR2 batteries, and few have AA batteries.

Choose a camera that has a good life span of the battery and is rechargeable.

Shutter speed

Shutter speed is an important feature to be considered when you are buying an instant camera. Shutter speed is the length of time when the film is exposed to light. It is also known as exposure time.

Usually, you can find the shutter speed mentioned as 1/25 sec, 1/175 sec, 1/60 sec, etc. It plays a major role when capturing the images, especially when you tend to capture a moving object.

Generally, slow shutter speed results in blurred images.

User-friendly

The instant camera you are looking for must be easy to use and all the features provided with the camera must be understandable to a layman user.

Instant cameras are used to capture fleeting moments, so choose one where you do not have to spend much time tinkering with the settings.

Brightness adjustment dial

It is a special feature provided only in a few instant cameras. However, every camera auto-adjusts the brightness level to capture the best image.

The brightness adjustment dial helps you to create more perfect images by adjusting or setting the brightness level as needed.

Processing time

The time taken to develop the photo soon after capturing the image is called processing time. The camera must be given enough time to get the best quality photos.

The photo also needs a little time to dry up after printing.

Type of print

Usually, the type of print varies from one camera to another camera, and it may be either i-Type, Instax film, and zink paper.

i-Type has a white border, and the quality of the photograph is classic. Though the quality is good, it takes much time to develop and must be kept in the dark.

Coming to Instax film, it also has a white border and takes 90 seconds to develop the photo. Traditional Instax film must be shaken to develop a complete clear photo.

Zink paper has tiny crystals. When they heat up, they produce different colors resulting in a photo. They do not have a white border, and the photo quality is not as good as other types of prints.

Additional features

Cameras may have additional features like auto flash, flash filters, self-timer, selfie mode. You may not need all the features and since they add to the cost of the camera, make sure you only go for features that you want.

Top 6 Instant Cameras

1. Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 Instant Camera 

Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 is a compact and portable instant camera that is easy to carry with you wherever you go. It comes with a cute and iconic design that makes a good style statement.

It comes with a selfie mirror and close-up lens so that you can capture and instantly print high-quality selfies with great clarity. It is bundled with a host of advanced features including high-key mode, automatic exposure measurement for aperture settings, etc.

Main Features
  • Instax mini 11 features a high-key mode that allows you to capture brighter images with a soft appearance.  This makes it a suitable camera for clicking images of portraits.
  • This instant camera is equipped with a high-performance flash that automatically calculates the surrounding brightness. Then it makes adjustments to the shutter speed accordingly without requiring any special settings.
  • It features advanced aperture settings that include automatic exposure measurement that allows you to capture credit-card size images instantly on-the-spot.
  • This camera is designed to capture perfect close-up photos in the range of 30 to 50cm.
  • This camera employs Instax mini film with image size 46 (w) x 62 (H) mm and print size 54 (w) x 86 (H) mm. 
  • You can customize your Instax mini 11 by using two shutter button accessories and a strap for easy handling.
PROS (What we liked)
  • Instax mini 11 features a high-key mode that allows you to capture brighter images with a soft appearance.  This makes it a suitable camera for clicking images of portraits.
  • This instant camera is equipped with a high-performance flash that automatically calculates the surrounding brightness. Then it makes adjustments to the shutter speed accordingly without requiring any special settings.
  • It features advanced aperture settings that include automatic exposure measurement that allows you to capture credit-card size images instantly on-the-spot.
  • This camera is designed to capture perfect close-up photos in the range of 30 to 50cm.
  • This camera employs Instax mini film with image size 46 (w) x 62 (H) mm and print size 54 (w) x 86 (H) mm. 
  • You can customize your Instax mini 11 by using two shutter button accessories and a strap for easy handling.
CONS (What we didn’t like)
  • It does not have a selfie-timer option.

2. Fujifilm Instax Square SQ6 Instant Camera – Self-timer

Fujifilm Instax Square SQ6 Instant Camera (Blush Gold)
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SQ6 from instant camera Fujifilm has a self-timer and auto flash option. It is provided with different functionalities like selfie mode, macro mode, landscape mode, double exposure mode, light/dark mode.

You can add different color filters to flash like purple, orange, green. It also supports a 1:1 image format.

Main Features
  • The product comes with alkaline batteries.
  • With 1:1 square format, you can capture the images without deciding whether you need to go for portrait or landscape
  • With automatic exposure control, you can brighten both the subject as well as background.
  • Selfie mode aids in capturing the images by adjusting the brightness, focal length, and in a selfie mirror, you can check the selfie capture area.
  • Macro mode is useful in capturing images from a close range.
  • Landscape mode helps to capture the images from a distance.
  • Double exposure mode allows you to capture the images by pressing the shutter twice to get two images in a single print.
  • Light / Dark mode provides you with the feature of controlling the brightness of the photo.
  • You can add low-key effect and high-key effect.
PROS (What we liked)
  • Lens movement is pretty smooth.
  • Easy to use.
CONS (What we didn’t like)
  • Cartridge replacement is a bit expensive
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3. Fujifilm Instax Square SQ10 Hybrid Instant Camera – Dual shutter system

Fujifilm Instax Square SQ10 Hybrid Instant Camera (Black)
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SQ10 is different from other cameras as it comes with tripod holes. This allows you to mount the camera on a tripod and take professional and high-quality photos.

It has a dual shutter system to capture the same moment twice. It features a date selection function. You can also print your photos that are saved as thumbnails.

Different shooting modes are provided for the best picture quality. Though the camera has an internal memory that can save 50 images, you can also insert a Micro SD card.

Main Features
  • SQ10 has autofocus and self-timer functions.
  • It includes lithium batteries and has a 3-inch screen.
  • Innovative user interface design by providing a command dial for editing and printing the photos.
  • Image editing features include filters, partial color, vignette control, and brightness control.
PROS (What we liked)
  • Print quality is good.
  • It has a unique design with a round, symmetrical shape for holding the camera easily.
  • You can save the images for printing later.
CONS (What we didn’t like)
  • The quality of the picture is not very good in the indoor environment.
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4. Kodak Mini Shot Instant Print Digital Camera  – Bluetooth integration

Kodak Mini Shot Instant Print Digital Camera LCD Display, Full-Color Prints (Black)
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Eastman Kodak Company, popularly known as Kodak, is a renowned company that produces camera related products. The company is best known for its photographic film products.

Kodak Mini Shot instant camera with 10MP uses 4Pass printing technology and comes with Bluetooth connectivity. The camera does not print every photo that is captured and gives you the choice to decide whether you want to print the captured image or not.

Main Features
  • The camera has Bluetooth functionality and is compatible with smartphones.
  • 4Pass printing technology allows for high-quality printing.
  • The product comes with a USB cable, a Kodak cartridge, and a quick guide.
  • A micro USB 620mAH lithium battery is included that takes 1.5 hours to charge.
  • It takes 50sec per sheet to print.
  • The screen size of the camera is 3.5 inches.
PROS (What we liked)
  • You can transfer the photographs from social media accounts or a smartphone to the camera for printing.
  • The camera can be used like an independent printer.
CONS (What we didn’t like)
  • Picture display is average
  • The quality of the picture especially in wide angles could be better
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5. Kodak Printomatic Instant Camera – Auto printing

Kodak Printomatic Instant Camera (Blue) Gift Bundle
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Kodak prismatic camera is a stylish camera with vibrant colors that instantly catches the eye. It has a micro SD card slot, in-built lithium batteries, in-built flash. It comes with a user manual for easy understanding.

You can also add a neck strap to the camera for convenient carrying. You can choose between color or black & white picture modes. The printed copies are water-resistant, tear-resistant, smudge-proof.

Main Features
  • The product comes with a USB cable.
  • The 10 MP camera offers an f/2 wide-angle lens that allows printing color or black & white photos instantly.
  • You can also capture another photo while printing the previous photo.
  • A light sensor is provided along with the camera for turning on the flash in low light.
  • It is designed in such a way that it easily fits in the pocket.
PROS (What we liked)
  • The build quality of the camera is good.
  • It is easy to use, and you can attach the neck strap to the camera to use while traveling.
CONS (What we didn’t like)
  • You will have to hold the camera still for a few seconds after clicking the picture, or else will it lead to a blurry picture.
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6. Canon Ivy Cliq Instant Digital Camera – Reprint button

Canon Ivy Cliq Instant Digital Camera Printer (Bumble Bee Yellow)
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Canon India Pvt. Ltd set up in 1997 is a subsidiary of Canon Singapore Private Limited. They are known for their products in photography, printing, scanning, cinematography solutions, presentation.

Canon Ivy Cliq is a 5MP camera that instantly prints a 3-inch photograph with a simple button press. It has a micro SD slot so you can save pictures on your memory card if you do not wish to print them.

Main Features
  • It can be used to capture selfie photos with the help of a selfie mirror.
  • You can print 2inch X 3inch photos in less than 50sec.
  • It uses economical and environmentally friendly zero ink technology.
  • It does not require any cartridges or toners or ribbons.
  • You can reprint the same photograph by just pressing the reprint button.
PROS (What we liked)
  • Built quality is good, and it does not bleed colors allowing users to take good quality images.
  • Portable and compact and hence easy to carry.
  • The pictures that are printed can be used as a sticker.
  • The camera has is colorful and attractive to look at.
CONS (What we didn’t like)
  • The capture button is too sensitive.
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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do instant cameras come with an SD card?

Many instant digital cameras provide you a micro SD slot to store the photographs that you want to print later. However, this differs from model to model and brand to brand.

2. Does the photograph taken from the instant camera fade?

No, photographs taken from an instant camera do not fade.

The photographs must be stored properly, and care must be taken to preserve them.

3. Can I take an Instax camera in flight?

The carry-on luggage is placed in the x-ray machine, and the films are exposed to x-rays. There is the possibility of x-rays damaging the images. So it is advisable to buy the films after you reach the destination, or you can carry it with you on the flight.

Conclusion

Capturing beautiful memories instantly and keeping them for a lifetime makes these cameras very alluring.

They also come in handy during completing projects that require simultaneous capturing and printing of images. It’s great for pasting instant photos and creating stickers. 

Some advanced instant cameras feature wireless Bluetooth connectivity that enables you to print your favorite images from Instagram or other social media platforms. They are ideal for capturing images during weddings and sharing printed photos among friends.

Go through our reviews and buyer’s guide for picking the best instant camera that perfectly matches your needs. Out of the listed products, we highly recommend any of the Fujifilm cameras that fit your budget. 

Vibha Navarathna
 

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