Which Polaroid instant cameras are best?

In 1948, photography and instant gratification converged when Edwin H. Land invented the first Polaroid camera. Since then, a plethora of new technologies have been developed, yet the Polaroid continues to be a memorable party favorite to cherish. When it comes to quality, convenience and technology, the Polaroid POP 2.0 3X4″ Instant Print Digital Camera is the top choice.

What to know before you buy a Polaroid instant camera

Refilling costs

Most Polaroid instant cameras require either ZINK paper or film. Considering film and ZINK paper usually contain only enough for around 10 prints per package, it gets expensive taking pictures with instant cameras.

Limited prints

As there is usually a small number of prints per package of paper or film, shooting with a Polaroid instant camera means you have a limited amount of shots available, so click wisely. Even if you buy a bulk supply of film or paper, when you run out, you still have to stop and refill, which can be an inconvenience when you’re in the moment creating memories.

Battery power

While some Polaroid instant cameras have rechargeable batteries, most take alkaline batteries. This is another form of frequent maintenance and cost involved in an instant camera that should be taken into consideration.

What to look for in a quality Polaroid instant camera

In the modern world, the top quality Polaroid cameras not only have the classic nostalgia of the past but also the technological upgrades of today. Now, you can find many Polaroid instant cameras that include features such as printing and editing options, an app to sync your smartphone with and a rechargeable battery.

Rechargeable battery

If you don’t want the hassle of changing batteries continuously, look for a Polaroid instant camera with a rechargeable battery and charging cable. This way, all you’ll have to do is plug it in to charge and get back to snapping photos!


Many Polaroid cameras are now extremely sophisticated and high tech. If you wish to send your Polaroid photograph straight to social media without having to capture a picture of the shot itself, look for the app feature. This is not on every modern Polaroid instant camera, but many have this option.

Printing options 

Unlike with the original Polaroid cameras, many modern models allow you to select which shots you want to print out instead of being stuck with ones you don’t like. Another great option is being able to select where to print it to if you have other printers you want to send it to.

How much you can expect to spend on a Polaroid instant camera

Depending on where you purchase, for a small basic model, anywhere between about $50-$200. However, for the larger, vintage looking Polaroids, their prices can go all the way up to around $500.

Polaroid camera FAQ

Why are my prints blown out?

A. Due to most Polaroids being automatic cameras, you can’t control or edit light the way you can with digital. However, you can increase the quality of your prints by capturing soft, natural light, such as standing by a window sill in the daytime rather than in direct sun or under light bulbs.

Do I have to buy ink for my Polaroid instant camera?

A. No. Models in the past required ink cartridges, but through modern developments, the Polaroid technology does not currently need it.

What are the best Polaroid instant cameras to buy?

Top Polaroid instant camera

Polaroid POP 2.0 3 by 4-inch Instant Print Digital Camera

Polaroid POP 2.0 3 by 4-inch Instant Print Digital Camera

What you need to know: This is a great camera filled with digital enhancements while retaining the classic Polaroid touch.

What you’ll love: This compact camera conveniently prints from many different devices and the photos can be customized on the app before printing. It is the perfect gift or item to bring to any party. With Wi-Fi, you can instantly share photos from the camera to social media sites. It has a rechargeable battery, so all you have to do is plug in the included charging cable.

What you should consider: Some users complain that the ZINK paper quality is poor. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top Polaroid instant camera for the money

Polaroid Snap Touch Instant Print Digital Camera 

Polaroid Snap Touch Instant Print Digital Camera 

What you need to know: It has many capabilities that include an LCD display, which doubles as a viewfinder or photo editor.

What you’ll love: It can sync with iPhone or Android devices via Bluetooth for printing and has the option to download and store 13 Megapixel photos on an SD card for easy transferal to a computer. It features a built-in “selfie mirror” as well as a timer to get the perfect group shots.

What you should consider: ZINK paper is less costly than film but still expensive regardless.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Polaroid Instant Film Camera

Polaroid Instant Film Camera

What you need to know: This instant film camera gives classic photo booth vibes with its pocket-size photographs.

What you’ll love: This little camera has four scene settings and an automatic flash feature with sharp focus and vibrant colors. With instant printing that allows you to hold the photographs in your hand, it makes events fun, festive and memorable.

What you should consider: The film creates small, business card-sized photographs, not the classic blank square “Polaroid” look.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

One Step 2 VF Coral Camera

Polaroid One Step 2 VF Coral Camera

What you need to know: This is a bright, fun and stylish Polaroid instant camera with some modern features to enjoy.

What you’ll love: This cheery looking camera features a self-timer, flash, as well as a flash override for outside scenery with harsh light. It includes a USB cable for charging and a neck strap for safety.

What you should consider: It does not feature high-tech abilities such as storing photos on an SD card.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Mary Hicks​​​​​​​ writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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