1 Best Overall: Polaroid Now+ 2nd Generation I-Type

The 5 Best Polaroid Cameras On Earth Today: Ranked and Reviewed

Key Points
Our choice for the #1 Best Overall Polaroid Camera on Earth today is the Polaroid Now+ 2nd Generation I-Type.
With a Polaroid camera, you can instantly snap photos, print them out, and share them with friends.
These cameras bring back the fun of sharing printed photographs. They give you an instant picture and are popular at weddings and parties.
When you’re shopping for a Polaroid camera, keep the following criteria in mind: film type, features & performance, price, and photo storage or digital transfers.
The best Polaroid cameras are affordable and offer various features. In our experience, these cameras are easy-to-use, which makes them the perfect choice for kids and beginners.
Polaroid cameras bring a sense of nostalgia to any event. They’re perfect for parties and vacations, since you can instantly print your memories at the same time you’re making them.
However, the film leans toward the expensive side. So, you might want to keep that in mind before making a purchase. The best instant film cameras combine affordable film with the features you want.
So, after reviewing the multitude of options, here’s our ranking for the best Polaroid cameras on Earth today.

Best Overall: Polaroid Now+ 2nd Generation I-Type

Best Bundle: Polaroid Originals Now I-Type Camera and Case

Best Waterproof Option: Polaroid IS048 Waterproof Camera

Best for Sharing: Polaroid GO Instant Mini Camera

Best Old-School Option: Polaroid Supercolor 635

Our top pick for the best Polaroid camera is the Polaroid Now+ 2nd Generation I-Type. This sleek, user-friendly camera consistently delivers sharp, vibrant instant photos that you can print and share on the spot.

We love the larger 3.5 x 4.25 inch print size, which captures more detail and is more immersive than smaller instant photos. The dual autofocus lenses ensure your subjects stay razor sharp. And you can get creative with double exposures or light painting using the Polaroid app and Bluetooth connectivity.

The rechargeable battery is convenient, providing up to 15 packs of film per charge. While the film does get pricey, Polaroid runs frequent sales, and you can save by buying in bulk packs. Overall, the image quality, versatile features, and classic Polaroid experience make this a stellar choice.


  • Dual lens autofocus for crisp, detailed shots
  • Creative options like light painting through Bluetooth app
  • Takes large, high quality instant photos


  • Film is expensive over time
  • Struggles in low light conditions

For a Polaroid camera bundle ready to start shooting straight out of the box, look no further than the Polaroid Originals Now I-Type set.

You get the capable Now I-Type camera loaded with features like autofocus, double exposure, and manual mode. It captures nostalgic, fun images with that classic Polaroid look. The rugged protective case keeps it safe while you‘re on the go.

Best of all, this kit comes with a 16-pack of color film to get you started. Once the first pack runs out, you can experiment with other I-Type film varieties like black and white. Overall, it‘s a blast to use at parties or on vacation when you want instant prints to share.


  • Comes with 16-pack of film
  • Protective case for travel
  • Full suite of exposure features


  • Indoor shots may be dark
  • Adds up cost-wise over time

Underwater photo adventures await with the Polaroid IS048, our pick for the best waterproof Polaroid camera. This shockproof, freeze-proof workhorse delivers 16MP digital photos and 720p video at depths down to 10 feet.

Despite its rugged exterior, operation is foolproof with one-touch buttons and a handy wrist strap. Image quality shines with vibrant color and respectable detail. The 2” LCD screen assists with shot framing and reviewing.

Built-in WiFi makes it a breeze to transfer content to your smartphone. And it runs on common AAA batteries. For carefree water-loving fun, the IS048 is a winning choice to capture cherished memories this summer.


  • Fully submersible down to 10 feet
  • Rugged, adventure-ready body
  • WiFi connectivity with mobile devices


  • No image stabilization
  • Slow shot-to-shot time

When you want to snap, print and share tiny instant keepsakes on the fly, reach for the wonderfully portable Polaroid Go. This itty-bitty camera pumps out 2 x 3 inch instant prints bursting with Polaroid’s iconic vintage vibe.

The mini size means you can stash it anywhere, and the neck strap accentuates the nostalgic style. Handy self-timer and double exposure modes facilitate creative shots. Dazzling colors and fun dynamics shine through thanks to the balanced dual-lens autofocus and flash.

Add the affordable price per shot, and the Go is ideal for parties, events, travel and everyday documenting life’s joyful moments. The only knock is the steep upfront cost, but cref="https://interesting-facts.com/best-hard-drives-for-photo-storage/">ongoing savings make up for it.


  • Super portable 2×3” instant camera
  • Vibrant, detail-rich images
  • Great for parties and events


  • High upfront camera cost
  • Smaller prints than standard Polaroids

Our final pick dials up the nostalgia to the max. The Polaroid SX-70 captures the old-school Polaroid spirit in an elegantly designed original format camera from 1972.

It’s manually operated, all mechanical, and uses SX-70 instant film packs that develop gorgeously right before your eyes. Image quality epitomizes that dreamy analog look with saturated colors, striking contrast and a true vintage feel. The focusing system delivers respectable sharpness as well.

Keep in mind the high cost of SX-70 film, roughly $3 per image. And it can be tougher than digital to nail exposure. But real photo nerds will relish the mechanical process, hands-on experience, and living Polaroid history embodied in the SX-70.


  • All-analog format harkens back to Polaroid’s glory days
  • Truly vintage image quality and camera experience
  • Compatible with modern SX-70 instant film


  • Film is very expensive per shot
  • Full manual operation with learning curve

How to Pick the Best Polaroid Camera: Step by Step

Keep in mind six primary considerations when buying a Polaroid camera:

Film Type
Features and Performance
Price: Camera
Price: Film
Photo Storage/ Digital Transfer
Photo Printer

Let’s review each of these criteria in more detail.

Film Type

Polaroid cameras print your images with a unique instantly-developing film. You’ll choose from:

  • Black and white
  • Color
  • Image size

To get the most from your instant film camera, select a Polaroid that prints the size photos you want. Regular Polaroids print in a 4.2 x 3.5-inch format. The picture has a white border, leaving about a 3×3” image.

However, the smaller Polaroid Go prints a smaller 2×2-inch borderless photo. So, choose the camera that prints the size you like best.

Features and Performance

Some Polaroids are simple point-and-shoot cameras that print your images. But others have a few more advanced features. For example, the Now+ Generation 2 cameras have five color lens filters. So, you can customize shots for artistic views and fun settings.

And these cameras also work with the 600 and the Polaroid i-Type film types. So again, you can choose the film that makes the most sense for the scene you’re printing.

Additional features are self-timers so that you can take selfies easily. And a phone app offers even more flexibility in editing images by using manual mode, light painting, or double exposure features. So, today’s Polaroids are quite a bit more advanced than the originals.

Price: Polaroid Camera

Polaroid cameras offer different functionalities and come in various price ranges. That’s why you can choose the solution which works best for your needs. Expect to pay between $80 and $200 for Polaroid cameras and bundled kits.

Price: Polaroid Film

Knowing the film costs helps you decide which camera model to purchase. Polaroid cameras offer different sizes, as well as some excellent black-and-white film options.

But if you’d like an instant camera that prints on sticky paper, check out the HP Sprocket or Polaroid’s Hi-Print options. Here are some general cost guidelines for film replacement packages:

  • Polaroid Go Color Film in a double pack of 16 photos costs about $20.
  • Polaroid color, glossy I-Type film in a double pack of 16 photos costs about $40.
  • A better value is to buy in bulk. For example, color I-Type Film in a 40-photo pack costs about $70.

Photo Storage/ Digital Transfer

Polaroid may not be your best option if you’re looking for a digital transfer or photo storage capability. This is because these cameras are primarily for imaging and printing rather than storing.

However, you can scan and save images to your phone’s photo gallery using the Polaroid app. So, it’s an alternative to digital transfers. In addition, Polaroid photo printers are an excellent option for transferring images and printing in different formats.

Photo Printer

Polaroid offers perfect print-only solutions to convert digital images into old-school Polaroid photographs or peel-and-sticks. Either of these printers are a suitable choice if you want to print from your cell phone or even your laptop:

  • Hi Print: Pocket printer turns digital pictures into stickers.
  • Polaroid Lab: Turns digital images into Polaroid photos.

What to Know Before Buying Polaroid Cameras

Before you buy a Polaroid camera, make sure it does what you want it to do. For example, do you plan to use the camera on a tripod? If so, choose the Now+ Generation 2 camera.

However, if you want a tiny camera that takes decent photos and you can take it everywhere, choose the Polaroid Go. It’s a compact option without many extras that takes good pictures. Moreover, it’s portable and even wearable.

Choose a camera with a reflective selfie mirror for printing fun party memories. Then, set a self-timer so you’ll have plenty of time to strike a pose.

Using Polaroid Cameras: What it’s Like

Polaroid cameras offer an easy way to take pictures without much fuss. So, there aren’t a lot of buttons to choose from. And that means even kids and amateurs can take great photos.

Instant film cameras give you pictures immediately, so you can share them with friends and keep a copy for yourself. It’s very different from looking at a digital image on your phone since there’s something special about holding a photo in your hands.

Polaroid cameras create instant memories. They make you feel nostalgic if you remember them from the 80s and 90s. Or, they’re just simple fun if you’re a first-time user.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is special about Polaroid cameras?

Polaroid cameras are special because you get a physical photograph seconds after taking a picture. It makes the photos easy to share and feels more special than looking at a phone image. They also look and feel vintage, which is popular since everything cool runs in cycles.

Which Polaroid camera is best for beginners?

All Polaroid cameras are great for beginners since you look through the viewfinder and press the button. But we like Polaroid Now+ 2nd Generation I-Type as a great all-around camera. It has enough functionality to give you some great photos.

What shouldn’t you do with a Polaroid picture?

Even the pop song tells you to “shake it,” you don’t need to do so. It doesn’t help it develop any faster, and there’s an ever-so-slight possibility that shaking the image might blur it.

How long do Polaroids last?

Unprocessed film: Use your Polaroid film within twelve months of when it’s made. The production date is listed at the bottom of the film package. Using it past the 12-month mark may affect how well your pictures turn out since chemical changes occur in the film.

Processed film: Treat your Polaroid picture the same way you would treat other types of printed pictures. If you leave it in the sun, it will fade quickly. If you protect the picture from the elements, it should last decades.

Are Polaroids better in light or dark?

Take your picture outside with the Sun behind you or at your side for the best results. It will fill your subject with light for a bright photo. However, as the film emerges from the camera, the Polaroid company suggests shielding it from bright light. The film is super sensitive to Sunlight during the first few minutes while it develops.

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