What is the best Polaroid camera? Once upon a time, Polaroid reigned king in the world of instant cameras, but it struggled to retain market share due to growing competition and a cultural shift to video. Today, Polaroid is back – and amateur and professional photographers have begun to take notice. We’re going to rank the best Polaroid cameras to buy in 2021 by looking at price, quality, and ease of use. By the end, you’ll know which camera makes the most sense for you.

Types of Polaroid Cameras Explained by Marques Brownlee  •  Polaroid Retro Tech

What is the Best Polaroid Instant Camera to Buy?

Polaroid Now i-Type Instant Camera

Best Polaroid Cameras - Cheap Polaroid Camera i-Type

Best Polaroid Cameras  •  Cheap Polaroid Camera i-Type

TECH SPECS:
  • Dimensions: 3.7 × 4.4 × 5.9 in (94 x 112.2 x 150.2 mm)
  • Weight: 0.95 lbs (434 grams) (without film pack)
  • Battery: High performance lithium-ion battery (750mAh), rechargeable via USB
  • Outer shell: Polycarbonate + ABS plastics
  • Lenses: Optical grade Polycarbonate and Acrylic lenses, coated
  • Shutter system: Custom design, using precision step motor for shutter
  • Autofocus system via 2 fixed focus zones 0.55m-1.3m, 0.6m-infinity
  • Focal length: Close-up (lens 1) 94.96 mm, Distance (lens 2) 102.35 mm
  • Field of view: 41 degrees vertical, 40 degrees horizontal
  • Flash system
  • Vacuum discharge tube storage
  • Neck Strap and USB charging cable included

Best Polaroid Cameras via Mark J. Draper  •  Polaroid i Type Cameras

The Polaroid Now i-Type Instant Camera is a retro-lover's aesthetic dream. The body of the camera is well-designed, and colorful enough to turn heads. The i-Type features a dual-lens system that’s capable of intuitive auto adjustment.

Some reviewers argue that the i-Type is overpriced for two reasons: the body of the camera isn’t super-durable and the quality of the photos are outclassed by other instant cameras in its price range.

50%
price
75%
quality
95%
ease of use
73%
OVERALL SCORE
  • Retro Aesthetic
  • Easy to Use
  • “Film Remaining” Counter
  • Arguably Overpriced
  • Photo Quality
  • A Little Bulky

Cheap Polaroid Camera

Conclusion

Price: $99.99

Those looking to buy the i-Type Instant Camera should know they’re paying for aesthetic quality and brand recognition.

A Good Polaroid Camera Option

Polaroid OneStep Plus Instant Camera

Best Polaroid Cameras - Polaroid OneStep Plus

Best Polaroid Cameras  •  Polaroid OneStep Plus

TECH SPECS
  • Dimensions: L 5.9 × W 4.3 × H 3.8 in (L 150 × W 111 × H 97 mm)
  • Weight: 1.08 lbs (493 grams) (without film pack)
  • Battery: High performance lithium-ion battery (1100mAh), rechargeable via USB
  • Outer shells: Polycarbonate + ABS plastics
  • External viewfinder barrel
  • Lens: Optical grade polycarbonate lens, coated
  • Shutter system: Custom design using precision step motor
  • Optical System: Lens: Fixed focus lens
  • Standard lens focal length: 103 mm
  • Portrait lens focal length: 89 mm
  • Field of view: 41° vertical, 40° horizontal
  • Flash System: Vacuum discharge tube strobe
  • Bluetooth LE connectivity
  • Neck Strap and USB charging cable included
  • Tripod mount on base of camera

Best Polaroid Instant Cameras  •  Polaroid OneStep Plus Review via Luis Cameraman

The Polaroid OneStep Plus combines the novelty of point-and-shoot cameras with the control capabilities of modern digital cameras. The OneStep Plus is able to connect to smartphones via bluetooth for double exposure control, light painting, noise control, and more.

Personally, I feel as though the process of using two devices – camera and phone – takes away from the fun of instant cameras. If you don’t care about the remote control aspect of the OneStep Plus, then I recommend you go for the cheaper i-Type.

60%
price
75%
quality
80%
ease of use
72%
OVERALL SCORE
  • Solid Build Quality
  • Control Options
  • Flash Sensor
  • A Bit Cumbersome
  • Film Cost
  • Niche Features

How Much is a Polaroid Camera Like the OneStep Plus

Conclusion

Price: $139.99

The Polaroid OneStep Plus Instant Camera is unlikely to attract as many customers as its cheaper companion, the i-Type, but those looking for more features will find a good option here.

What’s the Best Polaroid Camera in the 600 Series?

Polaroid 600 Camera

Best Polaroid Cameras - Polaroid 600 Camera

Best Polaroid Cameras  •  Polaroid 600 Camera

TECH SPECS
  • Automatic flash (with override)
  • Fixed focus lens
  • Lighten/darken slider
  • Fitted with protective film shield
  • Refurbished by Polaroid – may show small signs of wear
  • Due to stock availability, the model you receive may differ slightly from product shown
  • 1 year limited warranty

Best Polaroid Cameras  •  Polaroid 600 Camera Review via Analog Things

The Polaroid 600 camera is a classic analog camera that’s now available for purchase via Polaroid’s refurbish program. It doesn’t get much more simple than the 600 – simply line up your subject/landscape, then shoot!

The 600 hs an optical zoom lens for portrait photography – which is a nice feature, especially for a vintage camera. Again, the film stock is very expensive, so just be mindful that you’ll be paying a premium for the “cool” factor.

65%
price
80%
quality
95%
ease of use
80%
OVERALL SCORE
  • Classic Design
  • Simple and Easy
  • Optical Zoom
  • Expensive Film
  • Lacks Some Features
  • N/A

Which Polaroid Camera is Better: 600 or 600 Impulse?

Conclusion

Price: $119.99

If you’re interested in the Polaroid 600 camera, check out the 600 Impulse Autofocus or 660 Autofocus models too. Both are in the same price range and offer unique benefits over the base model.

What is the Best Polaroid Instant Camera to Buy?

Polaroid SX-70

Best Polaroid Cameras - Polaroid SX-70

Best Polaroid Cameras  •  Polaroid SX-70

TECH SPECS:
  • Polaroid SX-70 SLR camera
  • Manual focus as close as 10.4 in (26.4 cm)
  • Automatic variable shutter speed/aperture system
  • Lighten/darken wheel
  • Flashbar slot
  • Comes with protective film shield (requires installation)
  • Refurbished by Polaroid – may show signs of wear
  • 1 year limited warranty
  • Due to stock availability, the model you receive may differ slightly from product shown.
  • Please note: This camera does not come with a flashbar fitted. Compatible with the MiNT SX-70 Flashbar.

Best Polaroid Cameras  •  Polaroid SX-70 Review via Willem Verbeeck

The Polaroid SX-70 changed the course of photography forever when it was released in 1972. Many photographers regard the SX-70 as the first commercial camera that was capable of producing instant film photographs without chemical residue.

The design of the Polaroid SX-70 is beyond iconic. The refurbished model is available in three colors: silver, black, and white – but let’s be honest, you have to go for the classic silver right?!

The SX-70 is the most expensive Polaroid camera on this list – but it’s something most retro enthusiasts covet on their shelves.

75%
price
90%
quality
85%
ease of use
83%
OVERALL SCORE
  • Revolutionary History
  • Compact Design
  • Manual Focus
  • Expensive Models
  • Difficulty of Use
  • N/A

Top Polaroid Camera

Conclusion

Price: $389.99

The Polaroid SX-70 is available in three models: base, autofocus, and autofocus with flashbar. Whichever you choose, you’ll be receiving a legendary piece of photography history.

UP NEXT

Best Mirrorless Cameras

If you’re thinking about purchasing a digital camera in addition, or instead of a film camera, consider checking out our article on the best mirrorless cameras! In this article, we break down the best mirrorless cameras to buy in various price ranges. By the end, you’ll know which digital cameras make the most sense for you.

Up Next: Mirrorless cameras →
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