People are feeling a bit nostalgic these days with everything moving towards the digital realm. Remember film cameras? Or the now defunct Polaroid? Physical photographs that you can hold or tack onto your wall are nice keepsakes of memories from trips or events. Uploading the picture to Instagram does not have the same feeling as being able to flick through some prized moments. That is why instant cameras have seen a rebirth and after some trial and error, these three appear to be at the top of every amateur photographer’s list.
Fujifilm Instax Mini 9
This is one of the more affordable instant cameras and it is extremely easy to use. It is a point and shoot model where you look through the viewfinder, power up the flash, choose the mode you want and take the photo. It prints out rectangular photographs which are of a decent quality. This is a no-frills camera, do not expect landscapes to be extremely defined they tended to be overexposed if it was a sunny day when we tested this one. It is also a little bit on the bulky side so if you have a backpack then you can bring it along for a night out no problem.
The creator of Kodachrome has come out with its own version of the instant camera. Unlike the Instax, the Printomatic uses ZINK (zero ink) photo paper and it has a preset color or black and white mode. If you want black and white photos with the Instax you have to buy specific black and white paper which gives the Printomatic a bit of a leg up. It also is charged via a USB cable but the real issue is that the photographs look more like photocopies then nice photos. Its small size, that of a credit card does make it a good instant camera for those concerned with space.
The Automat comprises elements of both the Printomatic and the Instax. It requires Instax film but takes CR2 batteries which allow for longer battery life. The major bonus that it has is that the lens is mirrored for the selfie lovers. You can easily line up your reflection and take the selfies you want even though there is no digital screen to see. The quality of the prints is also a lot crisper than that of the Instax. Size wise it is right in the middle of the previous two which makes it the best of both worlds.
Just pick the camera that fits your budget and gives you the quality you want. If you just want a fun camera to take quick snaps with and give to travelers you meet on the way any of these will do in a pinch.