Polaroid Cameras Buying Guide

Polaroid Cameras Buying Guide


Jump to...


Polaroid cameras are a well-known brand of instant camera. The concept of instant cameras involves developing photos instantly, as opposed to taking digital photos. This first instant camera was invented in 1923. Polaroid offered its first commercially available camera in New York in 1948. At that time, Polaroid cameras were very popular and preferred by photographers who liked to see the captured images immediately. These instant cameras were also used in various business and commercial settings. Before digital cameras were invented, Polaroid cameras were the fastest medium to get photographs for ID cards or passport cards. In fashion photography, they were used to take a shot of the setting to check if the lighting and set up is perfect. After this, fashion photographers shot using expensive film to get those perfect shots.

The advent of digital cameras has caused the older instant cameras to become less popular. However, there is still limited demand for instant cameras, both from enthusiasts as well as photography fans worldwide. Polaroid cameras are famous for the convenience they provide to beginner and keen photographers.

Purpose of the Guide

The popularity of Polaroid cameras had diminished slightly after the advent of digital cameras. However, it has made a comeback into the camera platform in recent years. As such, there are many varieties of Polaroid cameras available for sale. When choosing a particular Polaroid instant camera, there are many factors that need to be considered before buying it. This buying guide will help you understand these features and buy the ideal Polaroid camera.

What is a Polaroid Camera?

There are three different types of Polaroid cameras currently available in the market. They are SX-70, 600, and 1200. There are many similarities between SX-70 and 600. However, the SX-70 is an older model that uses a lower ISO film, while the new 600 cameras are more sensitive to light. Polaroid created a new line of cameras at professional industries known as image, spectra and type 1200. Image cameras use a wider film that provides the same sensitivity as 600. These cameras are rare but offer high quality, making them ideal for serious photographers.

Back to Top

Features of Polaroid Cameras

Polaroid cameras are full-featured digital cameras that offer integrated color printer. Like digital cameras, these cameras allow photographers to shoot pictures, review them and then print the pictures the way they want.


Polaroid cameras come equipped with a large full color TFT LCD display. Photographers can use this display to compose images, play recorded images/videos, as well as adjust menu settings. It also provides the capability to rotate still images 90 degrees to the right or left. However, video clips cannot be rotated using the LCD display.

White Balance

This feature is used to set the white balance for a particular picture. Photographers can use it when the pre-selected white balance is not producing the required image quality. It can be set to adjust the color of the images based on the surrounding lighting conditions. The different white balance options include incandescent, fluorescent, daylight, cloudy and manual white balance.

Dynamic Lighting

This feature is used when lighting conditions are not perfect to capture the desired image. It brightens the underexposed areas and balances the overexposed areas, thus compensating for the unfavorable lighting conditions.

Blur Function

This is a new feature available in Polaroid cameras that automatically selects the continuous mode when it finds a blurry photo.

Red-eye Effect

This feature allows photographers to remove the red-eye effect from the captured images.

Multiple Image Layout

The Album Shot is a feature that lets photographers record images easily and combine three shots together to make a single image. To be precise, this feature creates an album-like layout that combines three different shots into a single image.


The ISO depicts the sensitivity required for shooting a particular image. Photographers can easily set the ISO higher in low lighting conditions to make the image visible. However, higher ISO means more pixelated or grainy image quality. The ISO range available for Polaroid cameras are ISO 100, ISO 200 and ISO 400.

Sharpness and Saturation

The sharpness feature allows photographers to set the sharpness of an image using options like hard, standard and soft. On the other hand, the saturation feature can be set at high, standard and low as required in a particular image.


Polaroid cameras can adjust the exposure of each shot automatically. However, the photographer can override its automatic exposure setting if the subject is very dark or very bright. This is known as EV compensation. It can be adjusted from -2.0 EV to +2.0 EV.

Self Timer

Polaroid cameras provide the feature to set a timer for a few seconds to capture a picture. The timer can be started after the shutter is pressed.

Video Mode

This mode allows photographers to record video clips at 1280 x 720 pixels resolution. It also provides resolution of 320 x 240 and 640 x 480 pixels to capture photos. This camera also gives the ability to record a maximum of 30 seconds voice memo for still images. Photographers are allowed to record only one voice memo per image.


The Polaroid camera allows photographers to copy their files from its internal memory to a SD or SDHC memory card. This feature can help to make backup copies of the images that are taken from the camera.

Back to Top

Utilities of Polaroid Cameras

All kinds of Polaroid Instax cameras offer amazing image and video quality. They provide various scene modes like portrait, landscape, candlelight, night scene, sunrise, splash water, snow, beach, natural green, fireworks and much more. Photographers can select from these scene modes depending upon the shooting environment they are in. There are certain cameras like the Polaroid 300 instant camera that produces high quality, full-color glossy pictures without using a printer. Most Polaroid cameras have a cheap price, which makes them ideal for amateur and even serious photographers. The most reasonable option for amateur photographers is Polaroid OneStep Classic Land cameras. On the other hand, serious photographers can opt for the Polaroid OneStep Close-Up 600 camera. Apart from the Polaroid camera, the photographer also needs to select the perfect film for it. This will assure the captured pictures look amazing and realistic.

Back to Top


It is necessary to be aware of some important terms that are used for Polaroid cameras. This can aid in selecting the perfect Polaroid camera. Let us check out some of these important terms used in Polaroid instant cameras.

Most Polaroid cameras offer full-color TFT LCD display to compose pictures, adjust menu settings and also to view the recorded photos and videos.
White Balance:
It is used to set the color of the images based on its surrounding lighting conditions. There are two modes - automatic white balance and manual white balance.
Dynamic Lighting:
It is used to brighten the darker areas and balance overexposed areas of an image when the lighting conditions are not favorable.
Blur Function:
It automatically sets the continuous mode when the photo is blurry.
Single Mode:
It gives the ability to capture a single image at a time.
Continuous Mode:
It is used to capture up to three images continuously.
Red-eye Effect:
Additional feature to remove the red-eye effect after the photo is taken.
Album Shot:
It is used to combine three shots into a single image.
Pre-shot Mode:
It allows to capture the background first after which the photographer can shoot with the subject in front of it.
It signifies the overall sensitivity of an image. Higher ISO creates grainy or pixilated images.
It is used to change the sharpness of a particular image.
EV Compensation:
It can be used to adjust the exposure of each shot automatically.
This feature is used to set a timer after which the camera takes a shot automatically.
Continuous Flash:
Available in some Polaroid models. It gives the ability to shoot up to three images with flash continuously.
Video Mode:
It is used to record high quality video clips easily.

Back to Top

Still have questions or need more information on Polaroid Cameras or any other Polaroid product? Contact us so we can help!