Polaroid is considered a pioneer of instant cameras. Like hardly a second term, the name Polaroid stands for the instant camera for many people.
Especially in the 70s and 80s, the Polaroid instant camera was extremely popular. Photo enthusiasts, hobby photographers, artists, and photographers made extensive use of the Polaroid camera.
But in 2008, Polaroid film was discontinued at the Dutch plant in Enschede.
However, the idea of the instant camera had not been completely abandoned. In 2010, a Polaroid 300 Fujifilm Instax Mini camera with Polaroid lettering was added to the program.
In 2010 the company Impossible took over the plant in Enschede and film cassettes and film materials were produced there again.
New Polaroid instant cameras
In this post we will review Polaroid One Step 2 and One Step +, two new analog i-Type instant cameras from Polaroid.
Also, the Polaroid Snap and Snap Touch are two digital cameras available, which include an instant photo printer and can print images on the ZINK photo paper immediately.
Polaroid OneStep +Review
The OneStep + can connect to the Polaroid Originals app via Bluetooth, where several creative tools are waiting to be discovered. So this model offers even more options to play with.
Double exposure and remote triggers are possible with the OneStep +.
Keep still. Smile. Click srrrrrrr. Polaroid instant cameras were once the hottest hit on the photo market. With the new analog, app-based camera OneStep +, Polaroid wants to get back to this tradition.
Under the name Polaroid Originals (formerly The Impossible Project), people are happily shooting again.
And indeed, the pictures in the Instagram-friendly square format are extremely popular again. Despite comparatively cumbersome operation and minimal setting options, you get creative with this camera.
Polaroid OneStep + brings retro feeling with charm
We were lucky that an original Polaroid camera was dead in the attic. So we were able to make a rough comparison of sizes. It is not difficult to see the similarities.
The new OneStep + is not particularly handy either. But it comes with the old retro charm. Unfortunately, the OneStep + cannot be used with the old Polaroid films.
The Polaroid OneStep + is based on older designs and looks like the older model.
The housing of the OneStep + is completely made of plastic. With a dimension of 5.90 x 3.80 x 4.37 inches, the camera is not exactly easy to take along.
You won’t find a lens protector either. Although the manufacturer includes a practical shoulder strap, there is no camera bag to take with you.
The Polaroid OneStep + can be operated intuitively – at least as far as the cartridges are concerned.
The settings on the camera are easily explained. In addition to the red, striking release button on the front, there is also the flap into which the film cassette is inserted. There is also a slider for the brightness levels. The Bluetooth button is new here.
New: Bluetooth button and the diodes on the top.
The lens can be adjusted with the toggle switch. The on and off button is on the back. It has USB port for the built-in battery and the button for the flash override.
The flash cannot be switched off completely. There is an eye-catching toggle switch on the upper side of the OneStep + camera housing. It can be used to slide one of the two built-in lenses in front of the viewfinder.
Here you have the choice between the portrait lens (from 0.3 meters away to just under one meter) and the standard lens (object distance from half a meter to infinity).
Also, a small diode scale shows how many films are left in the cassette. It also indicates how much battery the camera has left. The design is unobtrusive and contemporary.
That means: It looks like you have an old Polaroid camera with you. And that’s the way it should be.
All in all, the OneStep + presents itself in a coherent look that should please retro fans and photo enthusiasts alike. Polaroid also includes an extensive manual and a large-format information sheet.
Old format, the new function
The Polaroid Originals app is part of the Polaroid OneStep +. It offers some tricks and shows what you can do with the camera. In addition to video tutorials and background information, it is particularly practical: the app serves as a remote control for the various settings.
With seven functions, much more life comes to the booth.
· Double Exposure – Double exposure photos for creative snapshots
· Light painting – Here you use the cell phone flashlight or other lights as a brush, while the camera exposes longer.
· Self-timer – Up to 25 seconds to position yourself.
· Remote release – the smartphone triggers at the push of a button.
· Noise trigger – clapping hands or the sound of your choice can trigger the image
· Manual mode – here you can control aperture, exposure time, etc.
· Scanner – for social media feeding with cropping function and error correction
Handling the Polaroid OneStep +: Simple is different
Polaroid has vigorously stirred the drum for the camera with the app function. The app, for example, offers a fairly coherent service at first glance.
After all, who wants to carry the entire manual or a large-sized piece of paper around with them when they just want to take a fun snapshot?
The minimalist designs of the retro camera are great, but you have to be familiar with them to successfully elicit the functions advertised from the camera.
There are even app-specific tutorials that give tricks and instructions for use. It is questionable why an app is needed if it only serves as a pass-through to YouTube or the in-house homepage for many menu items.
No risk, no fun with Polaroid OneStep +
You have to work out how to operate the camera beyond click-surrr because unfortunately, the app doesn’t explain much. So it happens that the first few snapshots with our rare photo material, unfortunately, happen rather involuntarily.
Also, the camera is intended for indoor shots. Outside, the picture becomes blurred and awkward when the sun is not shining. Also, during the first few testing, we forget to change the lens using the toggle switch and get a few more blurred images as punishment.
The devil is in the details.
With a little more practice and patience, the double exposure effect works by hand.
Here you have to use a few tricks that we only find after a few searches on the net: Expose the first motif, at the same time a finger on the switch before the film is transported. Then switch the camera on again and take the second subject. Only then can you let the image jump out of the camera. Not easy.
The fun factor that awaits you in addition to the composition and surprise effect is and remains extremely high. Exactly so high that you may regret the missed, failed pictures, but then consider which of the many film cassette packages you should try out next.
Here Polaroid offers the whole spectrum, from colored frames to the output in black and white.
Conclusion: OneStep + brings fun to the device
The Polaroid OneStep + is a real fun factor, but you have to work it out first. Operation is not that intuitive. But the retro charm and the desire to take risks predominate.
But what you can do is: have a lot of fun composing the picture.
The best way to do this is via the app. The OneStep + is a real party cam with a surprise effect for casual, creative people. And who wouldn’t like to be part of this group of people?
Polaroid Originals OneStep 2 VF Review
The range of functions of the camera is, in keeping with the original models, deliberately kept manageable.
Simply hold the target motif through the VF (ViewFinder), press the red button and watch your masterpiece during the development process a few seconds later. This is the classic instant picture magic.
What does the OneStep 2 camera offer?
In addition to an overdose of nostalgia and practically the same handling as then, the camera offers a powerful lithium-ion battery with a runtime of up to 60 days.
Charging is via the supplied USB charging cable and an included carrying strap increases comfort.
The instant camera is available in many different colors.
Recordings made with this camera are unique and capture the moment in all its authenticity. A photo does not have to be technically perfect to leave a lasting impression of a beautiful memory.
Handling and tips
An instant camera needs a little more attention and care than your digital camera. It’s best to store film in a cool place (for example in the refrigerator) – this way the photos can develop optimally.
You should regularly clean the rollers behind the film flap of your camera with a damp cloth if there is visible dirt.
The following applies to have good pictures: the more light, the less movement, the better.
It is best to take pictures with flash, especially inside. Of course, you don’t need to flash in bright sunshine. Photos are the most beautiful outdoors, in natural, indirect light (cloudy sky).
It’s best to flip the photos directly when they come out of the camera. Hold it face down, protect it from light, and don’t bend it.
Contrary to popular belief, shaking or blowing on it is a hindrance to the development process. Black and white films should be able to develop for about a minute, color films for up to six minutes at rest, protected from light.
We recommend a wide bag in which you can store a cardboard box in which the photo can be placed without touching the front of the bag or box.
You can achieve particularly charming photos by the so-called composition, i.e. the positioning of the motif in the image section. Experimenting is half the fun, but photos get more dynamic if you take them from an unusual point of view, for example, or if you don’t place the main subject completely centrally.
Colored foils that you place with adhesive tape over the flash allows you to continue being creative. Because it is an instant picture, your supposedly fantastic shot gets even more authenticity.
If you take several packs of film with you on vacation, keep in mind that it can get very hot in the car in summer. These temperature peaks damage the film. For long-term transport in summer, or even in winter, you should transport the film boxes in a small thermal bag.
Extensions and accessories for the Polaroid One Step 2
The Polaroid OneStep 2 battery lasts up to 60 days and there is also a USB charging cable. If you do not have excess charging cables from other devices available, it is advisable to buy an additional one so that your One Step 2 instant camera is always ready for use.
As mentioned above, a small thermal bag is recommended for storing the instant film, which protects the sensitive films from temperature peaks. A simple shoulder bag, a so-called messenger bag, is the ideal place to store your instant photos when you are on the go with the camera.
Of course, you also need the right film for your Polaroid. The Polaroid Originals i-Type film in color (4668) or black/white (4669) fits in the One Step 2 9008 with ViewFinder.
You can often save on bulk packs!
For the safe storage of your Polaroid instant camera, the camera bag from Polaroid Originals is recommended.
Simple handling and therefore very user-friendly
Nostalgic retro feeling
Absolute eye-catcher in different colors
Wonderful color and grayscale reproduction with the analog instant film
Long battery life
No setting options for exposure time, etc.
Film rolls are expensive
In comparison to modern cameras or smartphones bulky
Fixed focus lens with a fixed focal length
Conclusion on One Step 2
The One Step 2 from Polaroid Originals does what the first impression promises. A unique, analog photo has a charm that one of many digitally shot smartphone photos cannot match.
The instant camera itself is relatively cheap and easy to use. With just a little practice, you can take very nice pictures.
If you are looking for challenge, where you are limited to the basics of photography (light and shadow, composition, distance, choice of subject), you will certainly be happy with the One Step 2 from Polaroid Originals.