Taking high-quality pictures and watching them develop in front of your eyes in a matter of seconds feels whimsical. But to take high-quality pictures, you need the best instant camera in 2017 for beginners, which has an in-camera printer and, ideally, an affordable instant camera film.
With dozens of brands and hundreds of products, choosing the right camera can be a hassle. From searching products to reading reviews to comparing features and prices, it can take forever, and still you might end up choosing a camera that doesn’t suit your style.
To solve this issue, after comprehensive research and effort, we’ve compiled a list of the top cameras. One of these can be the best instant camera for you.
Impossible Project I-1 Analog Instant Camera - Best Classic Instant Camera
Larger Picture, Phone App
Fujifilm INSTAX Mini 8 Instant Camera - Best Budget Instant Camera
Light Weight, Automatic Exposure
Polaroid Z2300 10MP Instant Digital Camera - Runner-Up
10MP Camera, Store Picture
Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Instant Film Camera - Best Instant Camera
Multi Settings, Best Quality Image
Polaroid ZIP Mobile Printer - Best Phone Printer
Edit, Save, Print, Bluetooth Connection
The Prynt Case - Best Case Printer
Picture To Video
$ below $100 / $$ between $100-$200 / $$$ over $200
The Polaroid One Step Silver Express Instant 600 Camera looks like the old Polaroid camera in a new body. It has two switchable lenses and folds down like the old Polaroid. It yields a 3 x 3-inch print.
The Polaroid One Step Silver Express Instant 600 Camera has a built-in flash, however, it’s not adjustable. It measures 4 ½ x 6 x 6 inches, and weighs 1 ½ pounds. You can take pictures in color as well as black and white. It comes with a strap for convenience, and the batteries are built into the film pack.
The best feature of this camera is the ability to make a full-sized snapshot. I in our opinion, it is a little overpriced.
The Polaroid OneStep 600 Express camera is bulky and retro. We have seen the original One Step and this just is no bargain. It is a little expensive and users complain about the film getting stuck, which reminds the 70s.
The Impossible camera has plenty of features that make it a contender in the best instant camera with an in-camera printer contest. The appearance is that of an old-fashioned Polaroid.
It has an attached light ring on the lens that diffuses the light that works nicely on portraits. It can use two kinds of instant camera film and doesn't leave that harsh glow. You can use the Android app or the IOS app to give the pictures special effects. You can remotely use the camera, or use a timer.
The best feature is its Manual Mode. In the Manual Mode, it performs like a regular camera; you can adjust aperture, shutter speed, and flash. The Impossible Project I-1 Analog Instant Camera is a slightly more expensive for the options it has to offer.
The Impossible Project I-1 Analog Instant Camera has great potential. For a first edition, it has loads of features, but they are hard to learn.
The biggest issue with the camera is that it doesn’t have a rechargeable battery. On top of that, the battery life is short. Although it comes with a plethora of features which are nice to have but can be hard to learn for an amateur photographer.
The Fujifilm Instax Wide 300 Instant Film Camera has a tripod mount and a wide format for taking big 3 ½ x 4 ½ sized pictures. It also has a real image finder. The lens ring dials and has a focus zone setting. It is a big camera, not a mini. It weighs 2 pounds and is 8x6x6 inches in size.
The camera comes with a macro close-up lens with a mirror to take selfies. The Fujifilm Instax Wide 300 Instant Film Camera comes with 4 AA batteries and a neck strap. The best characteristic is the ability to take larger photos, compared to the mini cameras that take the business card size photos.
The modern design of this camera overcomes the plastic finish. The bigger pictures only take a little longer than the minis to develop, but they make a more satisfying shot in our opinion.
The Polaroid PIC-300 Instant Film Camera takes bright photos with some good lighting effects. It is a basic camera that comes with a wrist strap and 4 AA batteries. It might not be the best instant camera but offers four different lens lighting adjustments, which are more than enough for any amateur photographer.
It is lightweight (1 ½ pounds), plastic, and comes in four colors. The film is a little pricey though. Amazingly, according to the company the Polaroid PIC-300 Instant Film Camera only uses Polaroid 300 film we, however, used Fuji and it worked just fine. The best characteristic of this camera is the price point.
The batteries burn through pretty fast on this camera, but they are the affordable and readily available. It is a point and shoot kind of camera, even a young child could use it. The plastic shell makes it look like a toy, there is no question this is a novelty item. We love that it only takes a minute or so for the picture to develop.
The Fujifilm INSTAX Mini 8 Instant Camera is a fun buy. It is tiny, almost like a toy like. It weighs only 15 ounces, and measures about 5" x 5" x 3". It comes in several different colors, our favorite one is the Hello Kitty option. In addition to the camera, the box also contains two AA batteries and a wrist strap.
This is a very reasonable price for what the camera is designed for. It comes with a close-up lens that snaps on. The instant camera printer with the new no-ink technology makes it very easy to use and have a physical reminder of times with friends.
This camera has an automatic exposure setting. The flashing LED light tells the user where to set the lens for the best shot. The viewfinder has been improved from the previous models and is sharper and clearer. We think the best feature is the price point.
Thanks to the ease of use, Fujifilm INSTAX Mini 8 can be the best instant camera for weddings, parties and kids. You can see the subjects but don't expect a photo similar to a regular camera. There are more accessories available, this is the bare bones camera.
The Polaroid Snap Instant Digital Camera is a good buy for the price. It is more compact than the less expensive models and has a memory capability. You can either instantly develop the photos or use it as a normal camera. It definitely has most of the desired features of the best instant camera and yet also works as a regular point and shoot camera.
The Polaroid Snap Instant Digital Camera comes with a USB cord for charging, a rechargeable lithium battery, and a wrist strap. It weighs 14 ounces and is approximately 5x1x2 inches in size.
We like the quirky six picture mode, but the best feature is the light indicators, one for low battery, and one for the paper.
There are aspects of this camera that are still a little "off," even though it is one of our favorite cameras on the list. Depending on the lighting, the pictures can be colored very strangely.
It will take pictures with just a little wiggle sometimes. Overall, it is good for the price because it has more features than the other cameras in the price point.
It also has black and white or color film available, plus an option for cheaper film, which is great if this is for a shutterbug. All in all, we recommend this camera for new photographers who want to test the water.
The Polaroid Z2300 10MP Instant Digital Camera has so many amazing features that it had no competition to become the second best instant camera on our list.
It comes with a USB cord, four kinds of plug adapters for international travel, a wrist cord, and a sample of photo paper. It takes one rechargeable lithium battery, which is included with the purchase.
The camera takes a 32 GB SD card. It has the capacity to film a short video plus take the business card sized pictures. The total weight of the Polaroid Z2300 10MP Instant Digital Camera is ½ pound, and the size is a tiny 1 ½ x 3 x 4 ½ inches. The user has the ability to turn the flash on/off and auto.
The best feature is the ability to view the pictures before printing. The polaroid Z2300 can be worth your money because it is a digital camera that also has an in-camera printer.
It is fast and works good. The pictures are sharp, once you get past the learning curve. There are a few rumblings about the camera dying after a month; we suggest you buy the extended warranty. We really like the 10mp and the battery life. We took over 50 pictures and the battery was still going strong.
You can add, delete, and crop pictures, or even add special effects. The Polaroid Z2300 10MP Instant Digital Camera will also let you print three copies of the same picture, which is a nice feature, especially if you take group photos so everyone can get an instant copy.
The Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Instant Film Camera not only looks very sleek, in silver and black but is also one of the most efficient cameras available. The build quality, features, and picture quality, everything justifies for it to be the best instant camera.
The dimensions are 4 x 2 x 3 inches and it weighs ½ pound. It has a double exposure capability and a macro mode. The self-adjusting on the flash and shutter speed is pretty nifty.
But what really sets it apart?
The answer is: a plethora of amazing features.
These pictures are bright and crisp. We have no complaints about weird colors or fuzzy images.
The Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Instant Film Camera has the option of a vertical or a horizontal shot. It was the only instant camera that offered this feature. It was another feature we didn't realize was important until we couldn't do it.
There were very few jamming issues with the built-in printer, unlike the Polaroid cameras. There were no photos with red heads or blue skin, another complaint we often had with the Polaroid prints.
It has a kid-mode for making photos of fast moving things like pets and vehicles, and running children. It comes with a rechargeable lithium battery. It comes with a camera, strap, battery, and battery charger and user manual. The camera is made of plastic, but it doesn't feel cheap or like a toy.
The Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Instant Film Camera has a timer for self-portraits. However, the best features are the night photography and the double exposure.
Yes, you can expect digital quality pictures.
The Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Instant Film Camera has a lot of fun features packed in this mini. The special effects options are easy and fun. The camera prints fast.
Unless you accidentally get a lemon, we have no real complaints. This camera is a clear winner because of the amazing pictures you can take with it.
Do you want to turn your cellphone into the best instant camera ever?
If yes, we have the good news:
The Polaroid ZIP Mobile Printer is an amazing gadget that works as an instant mobile phone printer. It comes with free software for the Android and the IOS Smartphones, NFC, and Bluetooth.
The Polaroid ZIP Mobile Printer also works with tablets. It is a tiny add-on to the phone that is only 3 x 4 ½ x 1 inch in size, and weighs just 6 ounces. After charging for an hour and a half, it has enough battery to print 25 pictures.
The phone printer comes with a lithium battery that is rechargeable. It uses a micro-USB port and comes with the USB to micro-USB cable. It comes with 10 sheets of photo paper. This is a great value, well worth the money.
The Polaroid ZIP Mobile Printer offers the best of both worlds. This is an instant phone printer that lets you choose the phone camera for your photos. Now you have the option of serious editing of your photos, or delete, or print the best. You can add all sorts of things to your photos, emojis, text, time, and date stamp, just to name a few.
The Prynt case is a phone printer that is lightweight and easy to use, but this has a lot more and better options. The Prynt Case has the right idea and a very nifty hidden feature; it releases a small video with each picture that can be viewed by the recipient.
The box has the Prynt Case phone printer, the USB cable, and photo paper. It has a real instruction manual and a website for videos. It has no batteries; it can be charged directly from your computer. The app will tell you how much charge is on the Prynt Case. This is a good value for the price point and we wouldn't hesitate to buy it for a friend.
The video part of the photo print is just amazing. This is like having a 3D photo or a Hogwarts photo. The instructions aren't as easy to understand as one would wish. We spent the better part of the day trying to make the app work.
We understand it was "user error" but a better-written manual and clearer video would make a big difference. All in all, this is a great option for a separate camera and printer set.
The Fuji products won hands down the top brand category, with Polaroid as a close second. Polaroid has the experience of making an instant camera for more than 50 years. Fuji, on the other hand is the new instant camera producer. They offer a wider variety of features that are more in tune with today's market.
Fuji instant cameras are not only better in terms of design and performance, but their picture quality is also much better. Moreover, their instant camera film is more affordable, which can save you a lot in the long run.
The best instant camera will be more than just a camera and printer. But what features should it have?
Firstly, the picture quality should be good. What’s more, it should have adjustable lenses, the film should be affordable, and the battery rechargeable. Some special features like saving pictures on your phone or sharing them can be icing on the cake.
The most important quality is the ease of use. You should be able to take pictures instantly, or you might miss that priceless moment. But if it takes all day to figure out the dials or how to print a photo, the camera doesn't fit our criteria for the best instant camera.
The best feature worth paying extra for is the ability to view the photos and choose whether to print them or not. Some of the instant cameras have no photo choice’; you shoot, and it prints right away. That means the precious film will be wasted on bad shots.
The instant camera is made for parties and special occasions where someone wants memories. Being small and compact, printing right on the spot, and delivering pictures with sticky backs is just the thing for a memory collage.
Several people take these to weddings and print photos for the newlyweds of the guests for their picture albums. We are thinking this would be a great addition to a baby shower, sneaking pictures of people oohing and ahhing over the pretty presents for the baby. The best instant camera makes candid photos that are priceless.
Before buying the instant camera, decide who will be the main user. The ones that cost the less look like toys and have only a few features. They look appropriate for pre-teens. The ones in the middle price range have better photography options and would be good for teens. The more expensive cameras have multi-lens options. We recommend them for adults or responsible teens.
All the instant cameras can break pretty easily. We did not find even one that worked correctly all the time. Quality seems to be a serious issue with this type of camera.
There are three major providers of the instant camera films:
All instant camera films come in the same sizes, the business card size, or the full print size. They are not priced the same, however. Some are interchangeable with the others, while others aren't.
One of the main differences is that Polaroid builds a battery into some films. The ZINK and the INSTAX can work in both Polaroids and Fuji. The Impossible instant camera film and the Polaroid film can work in the instant cameras of both of those brands.
In our opinion, the best instant camera is the Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Instant Film Camera. It had the most features for the price. It makes a better-quality picture. It has extra lens options like taking night photos, macros, and double exposures. It has a bunch of features, and yet is very easy to use.
Not to mention, there are some other great options on the list too, which depending on your needs and expectations can make an ideal choice. For example, if you want to have the best of both worlds (i.e. digital and instant), or want to save pictures on your phone directly, you might have to look at some other options.
We believe the Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Instant Film Camera is the best instant camera with the best options for any amateur or moderately experience photographer who wants to capture the precious moments of their live, which otherwise will be lost forever!