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The Best Instant Cameras

Last updated on October 24, 2019

We looked at the top 10 Instant Film Cameras and dug through the reviews from 108 of the most popular review sites including iMore, DP Review, Nerd Tech, Slash Gear, Pocket-lint, InstantCameraLab and more. The result is a ranking of the best Instant Film Cameras.

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Our Picks For The Top Instant Film Cameras

Show Contents
Our Take
  Best Overall

Fujifilm

Neo Classic Instant Camera

Overall Take

Fun CameraPreset modes make the Fujifilm Neo Classic Instant Camera easy to set up the ideal shooting conditions for various types of shots.

  Best for Varied Environments

Fujifilm

Mini 9 Instant Camera

Overall Take

All-Purpose CameraWhether you're shooting indoors or outside, this Fujifilm Mini 9 Instant Camera will automatically adjust the exposure.

  Best for Digital Photos

Kodak

Instant Print Camera

Overall Take

High-Quality PrintsIn addition to printing your photos on film, this Kodak Instant Print Camera also saves to a microSD card so you can upload them to your computer.

  Best for Simplicity

Fujifilm

300 Photo Instant Camera

Overall Take

Throwback StyleIf you're looking for the traditional instant film photo, this Fujifilm 300 Photo Instant Camera is the one for you

Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, Simplemost analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.
17

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the instant film cameras available to purchase.
10

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products for our team to review.

View All Product Rankings

108

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources.

87,588

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, Target.

The Best Overall

Fujifilm Neo Classic Instant Camera

Our Expert Score
8.8
17 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
9.0
1,653 user reviews
Our Take

The Fujifilm Neo Classic Instant Camera has all the bells and whistles for the photographer who just wants to have fun. Preset modes like "party," "pet" and "kids" will make it easy to capture the perfect shot. It includes both a tripod socket and a timer, so you can make sure you're always in the shot.


The Best Bang For Your Buck

Fujifilm Mini 9 Instant Camera

Expert Summarized Score
7.6
17 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
9.2
6,803 user reviews
Our Take

For those who plan to routinely shoot in a variety of lighting environments, the Fujifilm Mini 9 Instant Camera is the perfect camera to have on hand. There are separate exposure settings to capture the best images when you're in sunny, cloudy or indoor lighting conditions. A "Hi-Key" exposure option lets you print a softened version of whatever image you've just grabbed.

Our Findings

Fujifilm Neo Classic Instant Camera

Best Overall

Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic Instant Film Camera (Electronics)


List Price:
New From: $118.00 USD In Stock
Used from: $118.00 USD In Stock

What We Liked: The Fujifilm Neo Classic Instant Camera has all the bells and whistles for the photographer who just wants to have fun. Preset modes like “party,” “pet” and “kids” will make it easy to capture the perfect shot. It includes both a tripod socket and a timer, so you can make sure you’re always in the shot.

Fujifilm Mini 9 Instant Camera

Best for Varied Environments

Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 Instant Camera, Flamingo Pink (Electronics)


List Price: $69.00 USD
New From: $52.69 USD In Stock
Used from: $51.98 USD In Stock

What We Liked: For those who plan to routinely shoot in a variety of lighting environments, the Fujifilm Mini 9 Instant Camera is the perfect camera to have on hand. There are separate exposure settings to capture the best images when you’re in sunny, cloudy or indoor lighting conditions. A “Hi-Key” exposure option lets you print a softened version of whatever image you’ve just grabbed.

Kodak Instant Print Camera

What We Liked: With colorful, vibrant prints, the Kodak Instant Print Camera is perfect for ensuring you get a high-quality print every time. One of the best things about this camera, though, is that it can save images to a microSD card, which you can then use to upload photos to your computer. It comes with a rechargeable battery to help you save money and be more eco-friendly.

Fujifilm 300 Photo Instant Camera

What We Liked: If you prefer wider images, the Fujifilm 300 Photo Instant Camera is the camera to choose. Your prints will be closer to what older instant cameras printed out, unlike the small photos other instant cameras provide. It also comes with a built-in tripod socket so you can set your camera up to take steady shots.

Our Expert Consultant

Jay Soriano   
Portrait photographer

Jay Soriano a headshot and portrait photographer in Las Vegas.

Our Instant Film Camera Buying Guide

Instant film cameras have made a comeback in recent years, as a new generation have discovered how fun they are. In a digital-driven world, consumers find it fun to have an instant print of whatever shot they’ve just captured.

These cameras are perfect for you if you enjoy the “instant gratification of a print,” says Jay Soriano, a portrait photographer based in Las Vegas.

“Overall, they’re fun and they’re great gifts,” Soriano says. “It can also be a fashion statement with the accessories.”

Today’s instant film cameras have come a long way from those sold in the mid- to late 1900s, packing features built for a tech-driven market.

As you start shopping for an instant film camera, it’s important to keep those more modern features in mind. You’ve probably gotten used to taking photos using a smartphone camera, which is a completely different experience than capturing a shot using a viewfinder. If you wear glasses, you’ll also need to pay attention to the size of the viewfinders. Some of them are so small, it can be tough to get your eye close enough to see the image.

You’re probably also used to taking selfies. There are cameras that build in selfie mirrors to make this easier, but it’s not like seeing your image on a smartphone screen. If you want to take group pictures, you’ll also need to look for an instant camera that has a tripod mount and timer. Without the timer, someone will always have to be near the camera to press the shutter button.

There’s a big difference in the type of camera a pro shooter needs compared to someone who just wants to have fun. Instant cameras build in automatic features, similar to what your smartphone has. Serious photography enthusiasts will want to be able to override these automatic features for manual control, but not all instant cameras have that capability.

Perhaps the most important factor, though, is the quality of the print you’ll receive. This can be subjective, but look for cameras with prints that are as true to life as possible. Instant cameras that both print pictures and allow a microSD card to save images digitally can be especially useful.

Simplemost Fun Fact

Instant prints kicked off in 1948 with the release of the Polaroid Land Model 95 camera, invented by scientist Edwin Land. While on vacation, Land was inspired by his daughter, who asked why she couldn’t see the photo immediately. But long before Land came up with his idea, Samuel Shlafrock invented a camera that came with a portable darkroom. His invention never quite caught on, though, because it lacked the convenience of Land’s model. Instead of a built-in darkroom, Land’s creation used self-developing film.

The Instant Film Camera Tips and Advice

  • Most of these newer instant cameras are built for ease of use. That means you’ll have a variety of settings options. If you’re creative, you’ll love the Fujifilm Neo Classic Instant Camera, which lets you switch up the type of photos you take with just the press of a button. It has built-in exposure settings for portraits, fast action and double exposure. Easy-to-use settings include modes like “party,” “pets” and “kids.” A macro mode helps maintain focus for those extra-close shots. With the Kodak Instant Print Camera, there is a delay between pressing the trigger and capturing the shot, so it may not be the best camera for action shots.
  • The Fujifilm Mini 9 Instant Camera also has a variety of exposure options, including one called “Hi-Key,” which softens the image when you print it.
  • Print quality is something to consider, as well. With the Fujifilm 300 Photo Instant Camera, you get wider shots than you typically see with an instant film camera, which means you can squeeze more into each picture. The color saturation and separation are also impressive on this model. The Kodak Instant Print Camera prints colorful, vibrant, 10-megapixel images. The Fujifilm Mini 9 Instant Camera can be prone to black specks in overexposed areas of your image.
  • The film on the Kodak Instant Print Camera makes it stand out. You’ll get prints that resist smudges, water damage and tears. You can also print in black and white with this model.
  • Chances are, you won’t always be shooting in the same type of lighting. The right camera compensates for that, giving you just the amount of exposure you need for your current environment. With the Fujifilm Mini 9 Instant Camera, you get separate settings for shooting in sunny or cloudy outdoor environments, as well as indoors. In bright sun, though, you may find your shots are overexposed. The Fujifilm Neo Classic Instant Camera works best in indoor settings with plenty of light. If you routinely shoot in low-light conditions, you’ll want to steer toward the Kodak Instant Print Camera, which has a wider aperture specifically for those situations.
  • Instant film cameras have reemerged in a digital era, which means some consumers are going to want digital features, too. The Kodak Instant Print Camera both prints out a photo and saves a digital copy. You can then take the SD card and insert it into a card reader on your computer to upload it to all your favorite social media sites.
  • If you find you’re always behind the camera and never in any pictures, consider a camera with both a timer and tripod socket. You can just set your camera up, hop into the frame and say, “Cheese.” The Fujifilm Neo Classic Instant Camera has both a timer and tripod compatibility. The Fujifilm 300 Photo Instant Camera has a tripod socket, but someone will have to be behind the camera since there’s no timer.
  • Flash can be an issue with instant cameras. The flash on the Fujifilm Neo Classic Instant Camera automatically adjusts to fit the current lighting needs. The Fujifilm Mini 9 Instant Camera’s flash always goes off, which can be a problem if you prefer to take advantage of natural lighting.
  • Having rechargeable batteries can be very useful if you want to save money. The Fujifilm Neo Classic Instant Camera is rechargeable, taking about 100 shots before needing to recharge again. The Kodak Instant Print Camera also has a rechargeable battery. The Fujifilm Mini 9 Instant Camera and Fujifilm 300 Photo Instant Camera run on AA batteries.

About The Author

Avatar
Stephanie Faris 

Stephanie Faris is a former information technology professional who spent most of her career working with computers and printers. Now a novelist and professional writer, her writings on electronics have been published on Online-Tech-Tips.com and Switching to Mac, among many others. When she isn't writing about technology, she's often checking out the latest news on the upcoming iPhone release.