best instant camera for the beach-Sometimes, you need a break from the toxic social media full of constant comparisons of how to eat your friends better,
and travel to more exotic places than you. Well,
there is a lot of attraction in instant cameras. These devices are physical that you can keep your memorabilia in your hand,
and it is an enjoyable reaction
you need a break from the toxic social media full of constant comparisons of how to eat your friends better,
and travel to more exotic places than you. Well, there is a lot of attraction in instant cameras. These devices are physical that you can keep your memorabilia in your hand,
and it’s a fun and unpredictable reaction to analog days
when I had to manually adjust camera settings for the best shot.
You’ve probably seen someone carrying the Fujifilm Instax Mini,
but there are plenty of other modern options as well, like Kodak Prismatic,
Lomography’s Lomo’Instant Square and Fujifilm’s Instax Square SQ6. Some are analog, some are partial digital, but all are fun in their own ways.
What is an Instant Camera?
Before we dig any deeper, let’s define what exactly is meant by ‘instant’, or ‘Polaroid cameras’.
Polaroid is the company that popularised the technology of allowing people to see a photograph within moments of taking it.
Whilst Polaroid cameras are still around,
(and we’ll dig into the best Polaroid camera to buy below), other instant camera manufacturers have recently stolen the limelight.
Part of the appeal of instant cameras is the imperfection of the final print, much like popular Instagram filters
which are designed to make a photo look old and faded.
Due to their huge popularity among both amateurs and professional photographers,
there’s a wealth of different instant camera models available on the market here in 2020.
So as not to overwhelm you, I’ve narrowed down the selection to just 4 key models,
plus one great little printer to give any regular digital camera an instant camera printing experience.
Here’s the criteria I used to make the choice:
- Price – a teenager should be able to afford one with saved-up pocket money!
- Size/weight – needs to be portable enough to have with you relatively un-noticed
- Features – needs to do more than a disposable camera
- Print Quality – needs to be as good as is possible with a Polaroid-type film stock
- Design – is it easy and fun to use?
You may have heard about the Polaroid POP,
or other ‘modernized’ instant cameras featuring built-in editing functions
and color LCD screens – in my opinion, don’t waste your money on these overpriced,
The essence of instant photography is to keep it simple! No amount of fancy modern features will be able to improve on what is essentially a flawed process,
and therein lies its beauty – the imperfection of the instant photography experience is endearing and unique.
Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic
Design is rather subjective, but in my opinion,
this is the best looking instant camera on the market right now.
Sure, brands like Leica have the funky Leica Sofort for the fashion-
conscious photographer, but you’re paying a lot just for the brand name.
There’s also the standard Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 in faux-leather brown which has all the same functionality as the Neo Classic,
but with a different look. I’ll refer to both models as simply the ‘Mini 90’ from now on.
The Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 has a classic,
fun and friendly design which begs you to pick it up and start shooting.
It’s small and lightweight enough to hold with one hand,
and takes up little room in your bag.
(If the size is a major factor for you when choosing something to shoot with,
here’s my recommendation for the best pocket camera.)
As for the quality of the photo, thanks to a range of genuinely useful features for getting a correct exposure,
the Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 produces surprisingly vivid and clear photos.
Whilst even cheap compact cameras can take a photo in relatively low light without using the flash,
instant cameras rely on their flash for every photo.
You can disable it, but for most situations, it’s best to leave it turned on, (even if it’s the middle of the day),
since the camera uses the flash to ‘meter’ the exposure of the photo.
Thankfully, the flash on the Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 is excellent
powerful enough to ‘freeze’ a moving subject without being too bright to complete wash-out a subject’s skin.
Whilst part of the appeal of the Polaroid camera prints is that typical white-face-on-a-dark-background flash look,
it’s also nice when the instant camera’s flash emits the ideal amount of light to adjust for the distance to subject and ambient brightness to help optimize the exposure.
By using ‘Party Mode’ on the Fujifilm Instax Mini 90, the camera automatically slows the shutter speed slightly
to ensure that any background light is also captured in the photo.
This is ideal when shooting a subject in front of a Christmas tree at night, or during a fireworks display, for example.
It’s also the mode that you’ll be using the most if you take the Fuji out for a boogie on the dance-floor!
Whilst the other models tested in this pick of the best instant cameras all had good flash functionality,
the Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 stood out as being able to preserve the ambient exposure the best.
In other words, using Party Mode
we were able to capture the ambient light behind a subject at night the best with the Fuji.
The Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 also has a good range of manual controls,
the most useful of which being the ability to under or over-expose an image just by pressing L or D (lighter/darker) buttons.
Polaroid Originals One Step 2
Back in 2017, a company known as The Impossible Project attempted to do the impossible,
resurrecting the Polaroid name to attach it back on to where it belongs –
instant film cameras.
Rebranding itself as Polaroid Originals,
TIP bought the last functional Polaroid instant film plant and restarted film production for Polaroid-compatible cameras.
Let’s start off with the good – the Polaroid Originals OneStep2,
despite the rather unusual name, sports something of a retro cult design.
There’s literally no other camera that looks like it, instant camera for the beach
and I particularly like how they’ve kept the iconic Polaroid instant camera design reminiscent of models from a long time ago –
it’s actually a modern take on the classic OneStep Land Camera 1000.
All the essential controls are there,
including an exposure slider, self-timer, flash on/off
by now, you’ll be aware that even the best instant cameras don’t have a lot of functions!
Orange LEDs on the top of the OneStep2 tell you how much battery you have remaining,
and there’s even a micro-USB plug for recharging the internal battery instant camera for the beach
a nice touch, not seen on other models. I particularly like the big yellow on/off switch, which looks like it’s been designed for a hipster baby.
Fujifilm Instax Mini 70
Size: 3.25 x 4.5 x 7 inches / 8.2 x 11.4 x 17.7 cms
Weight: 0.5 lbs / 226 g
Fujifilm offers several Instax instant cameras and the choice of which one to buy can become rather confusing.
The fact of the matter is, they all use the same or similar Fuji Instax film stock,
so the end result is very similar.
Aside from the Neo Classic mentioned previously as one of the best instant cameras of the year,
the Fujifilm Instax Mini 70 isn’t far behind. It also makes a fantastic camera for kids.
Camera review site DPReview awarded it top place in its own selection of the best instant cameras, describing it as having “…some of the best ergonomics with the right balance of settings and automation, ensuring fewer wasted shots,
and operation that is easy to figure out.” instant camera for the beach
In comparison to the other similarly priced Fujifilm Instax instant cameras available today,
the Fujifilm Instax Mini 70 strikes the best balance between size and usability.
In my relatively large hands, it feels good to hold,
and not like a cheap toy which is how the other Minis in the series felt – it’s still above all a cheaply-made plastic instant camera for the beach, but this one feels better quality than the others.