Instant cameras you can buy online
Instant cameras are a great way to capture the fun and special moments with friends and family. Sure, smartphones are super convenient for taking quick snaps. But, there’s something extra special about having that tactile feel of a non-digital photo in your hand and the small thrill of waiting a few seconds before seeing how your shot turns out. And, of course, the novelty of having something tangible to pass around with friends or hang on your bedroom wall.
Reminiscent of retro analog cameras, instant cameras also provide a great way to start film photography without the hassle of complicated film techniques. In fact, they often provide super-simple controls that make these hybrid point-and-shoots perfect for both kids and budding film enthusiasts.
So, we’ve rounded up the latest models (2019-2021 release) you can easily find in the Philippines for those in the market for instant cameras. Take a look to see which fits you the best – budget-wise, functionality-wise, and of course, aesthetic-wise.
Fujifilm Instax Mini 40
For those looking for a more retro-styled instant camera, the Fujifilm Instax Mini 40 is a great option. While sharing the same mechanical identity as the Instax Mini 11, the Mini 40 adopts a nostalgic aesthetic – reminiscent of traditional instant film cameras.
It sports a variable shutter speed, an automatic flash, and an auto-exposure system that works in harmony to produce detail-oriented and dynamic print images. In addition, it uses an adjustable lens barrel that makes it highly convenient for taking selfies. And, for those on a budget, the Mini 40 is compatible with the Instax Mini film packs, which is one of the more affordable options in the market.
The Mini 40 adopts a no-fuss, point-and-shoot control. While perfect for beginners or occasional hobbyists, it may leave photographers looking for more premium and flexible shooting modes a bit disappointed. However, the Mini 40’s oversimplified controls are a small trade-off for the price point and sleek retro design.
The Fujifilm Instax Mini 40 retails for PHP 4,949 (body only) and PHP 5,129 (body + 10 pcs Instax plain film) on Shopee.
Fujifilm Instax Mini 11
Featuring an almost toy-like design, Fujifilm’s Instax Mini 11 is the newest addition to the Japanese brand’s iconic instant film cameras. Similar to the Mini 40, the Mini 11 is a great option for those looking for a simple, point-and-shoot instant camera.
Sporting fun and vibrant color-ways, the Mini 11 is exactly how it looks: charming. Its simple controls and harmonious auto exposure and flash system are great for budding photographers or even kids. Likewise, its use of Fujifilm’s more budget-oriented film packs makes it a great option for those who don’t want to break the bank for novelty print images.
The Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 retails for PHP 3,990 on Shopee.
Fujifilm Instax SQ1
Fujifilm’s Instax SQ1 is a great alternative for those looking for larger prints. It sports the same interior mechanical identities as the Mini 11 and Mini 40 but with a significantly larger photo size of 62mm x 62mm (square) – instead of the normal 62mm x 46mm film packs.
Like the Mini 11 and Mini 40, it uses an auto exposure and auto flash to produce reliably dynamic and detailed images even in moderately low light conditions. Likewise, it also sports an adjustable barrel and built-in mirror for more convenient selfie shots. Design-wise, it features a rugged grip for easy handling, neutral color-ways, and a box-like build akin to its photo prints.
However, since it sports the same controls and functions as the Mini 11 and Mini 40, it also lacks premium features like advanced photo modes and adjustable settings. But, it could be its simple controls that make it perfect for beginners or those who don’t want to be overwhelmed with complicated photo manipulation.
The Fujifilm Instax SQ1 retails for PHP 6,164 on Shopee.
Officially the world’s smallest analog instant camera, the Polaroid Go can easily fit in the palm of your hand. And the best part? It utilizes Polaroid’s I-Type film, which means you get the same chemical development process as vintage Polaroid film cameras without the battery. This new film makes photos more akin to the traditional instant cameras of yesteryear – with the bonus of getting them fully developed within the camera in just 15 minutes.
Core features of the Polaroid Go include a self-timer and double exposure mode – both of which are a welcome addition for those who want to practice more advanced photo manipulation. However, while it may hold more flexible photo modes, it still retains the simplicity of hybrid point-and-shoots, making it suitable for both professionals and beginners.
The Polaroid Go retails for PHP 7,899 on Shopee.
Polaroid Now sports a similar design to Polaroid’s popular OneStep 2 but with the added functionality of autofocus. In addition, while almost identical to its predecessor at first glance, the Polaroid Now actually features a more streamlined build with a refined viewfinder and control buttons.
It has also replaced the usual LED lights of older Polaroid models with a more reliable digital counter shot counter. Coupled with a fixed-focus system, new autofocus mode, and Polaroid’s iconic I-Type film, the Polaroid Now provides more consistent and sharper shots compared to its predecessors. So, the Polaroid Now is a great option for those looking for that unique lo-fi look of vintage instant film cameras with the added touch of modern photo modes.
The Polaroid Now retails for PHP 8,500 on Shopee.
Kodak Smile Instant Digital Camera
Deviating from the usual box-type or vintage look of current instant cameras, the Kodak Smile Instant Digital Camera adopts a sleek and slim rectangular design, which is reminiscent of an analog film roll camera that is way thinner and lighter.
Released in 2019, the Kodak Smile Instant Digital Camera uses Kodak’s Zink (zero ink) technology, which essentially makes it a miniature printer with a lens. Inside, the camera sports a relatively humble 5MP sensor that is actually quite vivid and vibrant despite its low resolution. But, really, the big kicker with the Kodak Smile is its ability to produce images that are more of modern print quality rather than the vintage film style of Instax and Polaroid. It also allows you to choose which images to print and has the ability to add up to 256GB of microSD storage. This means you can take snaps to your heart’s content and have the flexibility to save up on film while still keeping images you want to remain digital.
The Kodak Smile Instant Digital Camera retails for PHP 3,980 on Shopee.