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The Best Instant Cameras

Last updated on December 3, 2019

We looked at the top 10 Instant Film Cameras and dug through the reviews from 107 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 Mini 9 Instant Camera

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.

  Runner Up

Kodak Instant Print Camera

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.

  Strong Contender

Polaroid Snap Instant Camera

Polaroid

Snap Instant Camera

Overall Take

Six Picture ModesThe Polaroid Snap Instant Camera allows you to print photos just seconds after capturing them.

  Best for Simplicity

Fujifilm 300 Photo Instant Camera

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

  Also Great

Polaroid Originals Bluetooth Instant Camera

Polaroid

Originals Bluetooth Instant Camera

Overall Take

Classic DesignUse the Polaroid Originals Bluetooth Instant Camera's self-timer and portrait lens to capture a picture of the entire family.

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

107

Expert Reviews Included

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

89,733

User Opinions Analyzed

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

The Best Overall

Fujifilm Mini 9 Instant Camera

Our Expert Score
9.3
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 Instant Film Camera Findings

Fujifilm Mini 9 Instant Camera

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.

Polaroid Snap Instant Camera

What We Liked: Available in seven vibrant colors, the Polaroid Snap Instant Camera is an excellent choice if you love sharing photos immediately after taking them. In addition to digital sharing, this camera allows you to instantly print photos without ink, ribbons or toner cartridges. Not only will users love the selfie feature, but they’ll also appreciate the six different picture modes for capturing the best photo.

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.

Polaroid Originals Bluetooth Instant Camera

What We Liked: The Polaroid Originals Bluetooth Instant Camera gives you the option of using the portrait lens to take up close pictures of your family or the standard lens to take pictures at a distance. There’s even a self-timer mode so the picture taker can join in on the photo. This camera is also a top choice thanks to its long battery life and Bluetooth connectivity.

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 Polaroid Snap Instant Camera, which lets you switch up the type of photos you take with just the press of a button. It has a built-in mirror for taking selfies. There are also six different easy-to-use portrait settings. 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 Polaroid Originals Bluetooth 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 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. Some instant cameras automatically adjust 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 average rechargeable camera takes about 100 shots before needing to recharge again. The Kodak Instant Print Camera 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 top tech sites. When she isn't writing about technology, she's often checking out the latest news on the upcoming iPhone release.