Which instant camera should you buy

Which instant camera should you buy

Fujifilm is no stranger to the game of instant photography. The Instax Mini 9 has revolutionized this scene, all thanks to its compact size and good value for money. And this year the company is ready with its successor, the Instax Mini 11. Like its predecessor, the Mini 11 is affordable and stylish, making it the perfect budget choice for adults and children alike. Another instant camera that debuted in 2020 and rivals the Mini 11 is the Polaroid Now.

Priced at $ 99.99, the Polaroid Now is the first instant camera to come out after Polaroid ceased production of instant films in 2008. Well, the new camera has some pretty nifty tricks up its sleeve. On the one hand, it combines in an original ergonomic body. Second, it also brings the benefit of autofocus to the table. Yes, you read that right.

The Polaroid Now can change its focus depending on the object and change the camera lenses accordingly. Neat, right?

Is this new feature enough to put it at the top of the best instant camera list of 2020? We’re going to explore this post today as we pit the Polaroid Now against the Fujifilm Instax Mini 11.

Let’s start. But before that,

Specifications that matter

PropertyPolaroid nowInstax mini 11
PropertyPolaroid nowInstax mini 11
Printing methodMovieMovie
Paper capacity15ten
Charging methodMicro USB2 AA batteries
Tripod mountNoNo

Specifications and design

When it comes to design, the Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 doesn’t make any drastic changes. It has the same design, but this time the camera is slimmer and more stylish. This makes it easy to handle. However, don’t hope, because you still won’t be able to fit it in your pocket and you will need a small tote bag to carry it around. And yes, it has the same matte plastic construction.

Polaroid Now vs. Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 2

Other than that, the structure is essentially the same, with the sole exception of exposure control. Unlike the previous model, you don’t get any controls to adjust the brightness. Exposure control is fully automatic. Another change is that it brings to the table is the exclusion of the tripod socket. On the upside, the bottom is flat enough for the camera to sit upright.

Rev Polaroid Now vs Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 7

The film goes to the back and there is a neat viewfinder on the front to see your photos. The size of the film is still the same as its popular predecessor. Each shot measures approximately 46 x 62mm and is large enough to fit in wallets and purses. The camera can hold about 10 movies at a time.

Interestingly, the Polaroid Now is nothing like one of the sleek new instant cameras. Instead, it packs a rather square look. On the plus side, the design is quite unique and will catch its fair share of looks when you take it out for a spin.

It sports the usual polaroid look with a wide slit on the front of the camera. The viewfinder extends into the camera, making it easy to view your photos.

Polaroid Now vs. Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 4

Polaroid had chosen the manual route with the landscape and portrait settings with the OneStep camera if you remember. That changes with the Polaroid Now, and now this camera incorporates an interesting autofocus feature, which can automatically switch between the two modes. On paper, the camera detects objects and automatically switches between the 35mm and 40mm lens. In reality, this is more of a capricious process and sometimes gives unsatisfactory results.

This time, the company has chosen to remove Bluetooth connectivity. From now on, it is no longer possible to connect your smartphones to the camera to select different modes or shots from your phone.

The Now also includes a handy selfie timer on the front. Strangely, there is no selfie mirror. While you can always turn the camera towards you and click on a photo, it will take a bit of expertise before you take the perfect shot.

Apart from that, you can also experience spectacular double exposure shots. All you have to do is double tap the selfie timer button. Cool, right?

Polaroid Now vs. Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 5

The advantage of Polaroid Now is that the printed photos are larger than those of the Instax Mini 11. It uses modern i-Type films and classic 600 films. Their larger size makes them perfect for hanging in the fridge or sticking them on a scrapbook.

Both cameras come in a glorious accent package. The Polaroid Now offers a bright combination of red and white of the Polaroid Now. While you choose a soft powder blue from the Instax Mini 11.

2. Charging and battery

When it comes to charging, the Polaroid Now makes it easy. It comes with a Micro-USB port on the side and is rechargeable with the included USB-A to Micro-USB cable. A single refill gives a lot of juice and you can shoot about 15 packs of films.

Polaroid Now vs. Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 1

Meanwhile, the Instax Mini 11 contains no battery. So you will need to add two AA batteries to it, and a single pack lasts about 100 takes (10 packs of films).

3. Performance and photo quality

Compared to its predecessor (OneStep 2), the Polaroid Now has a better flash in place. It is solid and its strength is designed to match the brightness of the photo or frame.

Sometimes photos tend to be blurry without the flash. Fortunately, you won’t see bright, overexposed images with the flash on. Counting does its job well, and you’ll end up with some pretty presentable photos, which you can share with friends and family, or just keep them as keepsakes. The best part is that the color reproduction is almost exact.

Polaroid Now vs. Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 8

Interestingly, Fujifilm has been working on the exposure of its new camera and it handles exposure quite well compared to the Mini Instax 9. Nonetheless, it still tends to overlight photos, especially in bright conditions. brightness. Fortunately, it does its job as expected in low light conditions and indoor environments.

You will need to take into account that instant and polaroid cameras will rarely produce DSLR-like quality.

The good thing about the Instax Mini 11 is that it is affordable and a single pack of film costs around $ 12.

Capture beautiful moments

Instant cameras are fun to use. The ability to physically capture and hold a frozen moment in time is a whole different experience. It’s something we quickly forget in the digital age. The instant camera helps to solve exactly this problem and creates some lovely memories.

So which camera can you choose? If you’re looking for an affordable option with good photo quality, go for the Mini Instax 11. Photo quality is acceptable and you can do without the hassle of manual exposure control. Plus, they’re great options for gifts, especially at Christmas.

On the other hand, the Polaroid Now is the only instant camera (at least for now) to integrate the autofocus function. Images are clear and color reproduction is almost perfect. I say almost because you would like the essence of an instant camera to be captured, right?

It costs around $ 40 more than the Instax Mini 11, and if you’ve got a few bucks to spend, why not go for it? The quirky body will definitely make people take a double look, take my word for it.


It doesn’t hurt to store photos digitally, right? Read the article below to check out some of the cool instant cameras with external memory.

Last updated Jul 24, 2020

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