Ten years ago Polaroid stopped making instant film cameras. A year later it stopped making the film the cameras use.
For those taking photos with old Polaroids, the decision early last year by Fuji to end production of the peel-apart film that worked great in many of the Polaroid models from the 1960s and 1970s, mean the end for sure.
Today, however, the instant camera is back and with two choices – the new old and the new.
The New Old
The new old is the Polaroid OneStep 2. Although not made by Polaroid, because Polaroid nowadays exists as a brand licensor and due to a nebulous collection of patents and intellectual property.
The new camera that sells in the U.S. for US$99 and in Europe for €119.99, is being made by the Impossible Project, renamed Polaroid Originals in September 2017.
The Polaroid OneStep 2 an instant film camera like many before it. The camera blends classic design with contemporary style. It’s inspired by Polaroid’s original OneStep, but updated to create a simple, easy-to-use instant camera that works straight out of the box. It’s got a high-quality lens and a powerful flash to give you great photos every time, and its long-lasting rechargeable battery means you’ll always be ready to shoot, whether you’re on a brief excursion or a journey around the world.
But before you get too excited about the OneStep2, the camera is available for pre-order only. It’s estimated to ship on November 15, 2017.
Alos, for those of us who still have their original Polaroid land camera (I never threw mine out, almost did a few times) you can buy film at the Polaroid Originals online store.
And for the nostalgic, the store also offers “faithfully restored and lovingly refurbished” SX-70’s for US$399.99 or €399.99. The vintage Polaroid 600 Camera – Sun 660 Autofocus is also available.
Enter the new, the Sprocket smartphone printer by HP. And now available for purchase in Costa Rica.
According to The Verge, HP’s new pocket-sized Sprocket printer might not be the best instant printer, but it’s definitely the most fun.
Perhaps not the same fun as the Polaroid, the Sprocket is HP’s answer to portable instant printers that print photos from your phone.
The Sprocket is rechargeable through a Micro USB, connects to your phone through Bluetooth, and requires Zink / HP photo paper to work. That means you don’t need ink because Zink’s proprietary printing technology puts crystals on every sheet that show up as specific colors when they’re heated up.
The technology is kind of amazing. The Sprocket costs ¢85.000 colones (US$151) and includes 10 sheets of printer paper at Office Depot stores.
A replacement pack of 20 costs ¢6.500 colones (US$11.60). Every sheet of paper is a sticker, too. It just keeps getting better.
The app is the best part. It can pull photos from your camera roll, Instagram, Flickr, or Facebook account, and because it also has access to your camera, you can take a photo of whatever you want to print. But everything good happens in the editing mode.
When editing a photo, you can insert text boxes, change the font, change the colors of that font, change the text box color, add stickers, and add borders. The best part is probably the font and the borders. It’ll really up the cool factor of your photos, if your idea of cool is the same as mine, which it probably isn’t.
For true camera nerds who want their photos to look pristine when they’re printed, the Sprocket isn’t for them. And before you rush out to buy one, unless you are the type that needs to have the latest regardless, The Verge review says the instant printer is more of a toy than anything else.
CNET says the HP Sprocket is exceptionally easy to use. The bad, print quality is average and the cost of replacement paper can add up quickly. The bottom line, iIf you can afford its initial and ongoing costs and aren’t looking to hang your work in a museum, the HP Sprocket Photo Printer is a simple and enjoyable way to get photos off your phone.