Polaroid Cameras

  

1. Best Overall – Polaroid Originals OneStep+

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Editor’s Rating: 4.6/5

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The Polaroid name is synonymous with the instant cameras of times past, and the resurrected company is successfully spearheading their revival with the OneStep+. It’s a blend of traditional aesthetics, physical film that develops before your eyes, and modern-day connectivity features combined into a charming camera new and nostalgic users will both enjoy.

Overview of Features

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You’ll recognize the OneStep+ instantly if you were around in Polaroid’s heyday. It’s a tribute to the original OneStep, from the iconic rainbow stripes and red shutter button to the optical viewfinder positioned to your left. Improvements to the camera consist of a better lens that supports close focusing mode, onboard EV adjustment, and a series of LEDs that tell you how many photos are left in the film pack.

All of the above could exist on an analog camera, but a black button with the Bluetooth symbol betrays the OneStep+’s modern origins. Pressing it will light up a blue LED and establish a connection to your smartphone if you’re running the OneStep+ app.

It’s intuitive and designed to improve your user experience in every way. You can turn your phone into a remote shutter, manually set aperture and shutter speed, or set up a timer that’s ideal for group photos. It supports double exposure and a mode that leaves the shutter open so you can draw light paths. The app even lets you turn on a noise-sensitive mode that will trigger the camera as people cheer or clap.

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The OneStep+ is compatible with old Polaroid 600 films as well as the new I-type available in color or black & white. The older film type has a battery that drives the ejection mechanism, but the OneStep+ doesn’t take advantage of that. Rather, it has a rechargeable Li-ion battery you can top up using micro USB good for dozens of snaps.

What’s Bad About It?

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The OneStep+ isn’t expensive, but Polaroid Originals needs to rethink their film pricing. A pack contains only eight exposures and doesn’t come cheap, so the value per image is low. On the other hand, you get square black & white photos and quality a step above most other instant cameras. The film is also delicate, requiring dark and warm conditions to develop correctly.