Choosing a Polaroid camera: NZ buying guide

Here’s everything you need to know when choosing a Polaroid camera in New Zealand.

Last updated: 17 November 2023

Ah, the Polaroid camera – the time-traveller of photography. Just when you thought it was tucked away in nostalgia, it bursts back onto the scene. Turns out, in the age of social media and filters, sometimes we just want our memories to be candid and tangible. It's like the old saying goes: "Everything old is new again," and boy, are we glad for it. Here’s everything you need to know when choosing a Polaroid camera:

What is a Polaroid camera?

While traditional film cameras will give you that old-school photography look, it also comes with the wait for developing images. Polaroid cameras (AKA instant cameras) develop and print your photos straight away. What makes them even more special — the photochemical exposure method creates charmingly low-fi images with unique contrast, vibrant colours, and dreamy exposures. This straightforward approach to photography makes Polaroid cameras great for beginners and kids. Plus, the images are one-of-a-kind — something no amount of filters can replicate. 

Key features of modern Polaroid cameras

With lots of models and features to consider, it's great to know what each brings to the table. Here are the main differences:

Film type

Different models work with specific types of film. Consider if you want classic square shots or prefer a more nostalgic, vintage look. Choose a camera that matches your film preferences for those picture-perfect moments.

Auto or manual modes

Are you a point-and-shoot type or do you revel in having full control over exposure settings? Auto modes are hassle-free, while manual settings allow for creative freedom. Decide based on how you like to capture your memories.

Viewfinder type

Optical viewfinders give you a classic, true-to-life view, while electronic viewfinders offer a preview of your shot. Consider which style suits your shooting style best - are you a purist or a tech-savvy creator?

Close-up capabilities

Want to capture intricate details or those candid close-ups? Some Polaroid cameras have dedicated modes or lenses for this purpose. Perfect for adding an intimate touch to your snapshots.

Flash options

Lighting can make or break a photo. Look for a camera with adjustable flash settings for different environments. Whether you're indoors, outdoors, or in dim lighting, having control over your flash is key.

Built-in filters and effects

Do you enjoy adding a touch of creativity to your instant prints? Some models come with built-in filters and effects that can add a unique twist to your photos. It's like having your own built-in Instagram!

Size and portability

Are you looking for a compact companion or a sturdy workhorse? Think about where you'll be taking your camera. Will it be in your bag daily, or are you planning to use it primarily for special occasions?

Battery and charging options

Consider how you plan to power your camera. Some models use traditional batteries, while others have rechargeable options. What's going to be more convenient for your photography adventures?

The 7 Best Polaroid cameras in New Zealand

From modern classics to newer brands, there's something here for every instant photography enthusiast. Let's find the perfect Polaroid companion for you:

1. Polaroid Now +

The Polaroid Now + is a modern classic, reimagined. It outshines the reliable Polaroid OneStep2, producing higher-quality images while keeping unnecessary settings to a minimum for a swift and straightforward point-and-shoot experience. Easy to use, with versatile lenses, and Bluetooth connectivity, it’s a perfect blend of nostalgia and modern tech.

Browse Polaroid Now + listings here.

2. Fujifilm Instax Mini 11

The Instax Mini is Fujifilm's latest addition to their wildly popular Instax Mini range. It's taken over from the Instax Mini 9 as Fuji's most affordable Instax camera and is now the go-to entry-level model for anyone venturing into instant photography. 

Find Fujifilm Instax Mini listings here. 

3. Polaroid Go Instant Camera

The Polaroid Go Instant Camera is a portable point-and-shoot companion that works almost anywhere. It produces credit card-sized photos, perfect for sharing, and seamlessly combines vintage aesthetics with modern comforts like a rechargeable battery.

See Polaroid Go listings here. 

4. Lomo Instant Camera

The Lomo Instant Camera is a whole lot of fun. It works with Instax Mini film format and features a built-in flash, manual aperture control for bright lighting, bulb mode for long exposures, and the ability to capture multiple exposures on a single instant film frame.

Check out Lomo instant cameras here

5. Lomo Instant Wide Combo

The Lomography Lomo Instant Wide Combo is a fully automatic instant camera that gives you complete freedom. It comes with a close-up lens, a fisheye lens, and a wide-angle lens, perfect for those looking for a more sophisticated instant camera experience.

Shop Lomo Instant Wide Combo listings here. 

6. Kodak Step Instant Digital Camera

The Kodak Step Instant Digital Camera offers a compact and lightweight option for instant photography. While it may not match the photo and print quality of its rivals, it's a versatile choice for those on a budget.

See Kodak instant cameras here. 

7. Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic

The Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic is a stylish, feature-packed instant camera. It offers a range of shooting modes, including double exposure and bulb mode for creative photography.

Find Fujifilm instant cameras here. 

New vs used Polaroid cameras

Opting for a brand-new camera means you get the latest features, pristine condition, and the accompanying warranty for peace of mind. It's a great choice if you're looking for cutting-edge technology and plan to use the camera extensively. On the other hand, choosing a used Polaroid camera can be a budget-friendly alternative without compromising quality. Many pre-owned cameras are well-maintained and offer excellent functionality.

Shop new and used Polaroid cameras here. 

Happy snapping!

And there you have it — a comprehensive guide to finding your perfect Polaroid companion. In an era dominated by digital screens and endless filters, there's something wonderfully timeless about instant photography. So, whether you're drawn to the classic charm of a Polaroid Now + or the creative versatility of a Lomo Instant Wide Combo, your journey into instant photography promises to be a memorable one.

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