The Best Instant Camera for 2023

Capture life’s precious fleeting moments and relive them for days on end

Best Instant Cameras

It’s time to enjoy the fresh breeze brought in by the spring season which is a well-deserving moment for photography. Taking photographs demands the production of durable images either electronically through an image sensor or on materials containing light-sensitive chemicals. Cameras come in various types: compact digital, digital SLR cameras, mirrorless cameras, bridge cameras, and smartphone cameras; we’re here to help you figure out the appropriate choice so we’ll focus on the instant cameras.

These nifty devices are great for use at gatherings, parties, or when traveling. They are variable in size and allow you to print out both colored and monochrome images.

Various instant cameras offer diverse capabilities and this list will help you settle on the right choice fast.

 

How We Picked

  • Battery Life

    Instant cameras are powered by batteries. We viewed the battery life aspect of the cameras as an essential determinant more so in terms of battery capacity and battery rechargeability.

  • Film Price and Size

    As simple and as easy as instant cameras are, buying film can put a damper on the whole experience. We took into account the affordability and nature of the film in choosing the best instant cameras.

  • Photo Style and Quality

    Image variety and light-signals-detection are crucial factors of the photo style and quality of instant cameras that we considered while selecting the best.

  • Cost-Effectiveness

    Budget-minded camera manufacturers determine the cost-effectiveness of instant cameras which we consider an essential factor in choosing the best instant camera.

Our Top Picks

Best Pick

Fujifilm Instax Square SQ1

Fujifilm Instant Camera

Great Photographic Performance

This instant camera has a selfie mode, you'll love it.

Buy Now for $119.00

The Fujifilm Instax Square SQ1 will take your snaps and have them on print; a performance that will make you smile.

Runner Up

Polaroid Originals Now I-Type Instant Camera

Polaroid Instant Camera

Point-and-shoot analog instant camera has all you need to catch every life moment

Take advantage of the self-timer feature and take perfectly timed photographs.

Buy Now for $99.18

The Polaroid Now+ features a clean aesthetic and it’s available in ten striking colors, perfect for matching your everyday style.

Most Cost-Effective

Fujifilm Instax Mini 9

Fujifilm Mini Instant Camera

Does the trick without damage to the pocket

Available in so many fun colours!

Buy Now for $90.00

The Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 is pretty affordable but packs all the bells and whistles. You can now capture and print those beautiful life moments at the lowest prices possible.

Everything We Recommend

Best Pick

Fujifilm Instax Square SQ1

Fujifilm Instant Camera

Great Photographic Performance

$119.00

Buy Now

Runner Up

Polaroid Originals Now I-Type Instant Camera

Polaroid Instant Camera

Point-and-shoot analog instant camera has all you need to catch every life moment

$99.18

Buy Now

Most Cost-Effective

Fujifilm Instax Mini 9

Fujifilm Mini Instant Camera

Does the trick without damage to the pocket

$90.00

Buy Now

Who This Is For

The instant cameras listed here are for all photographers and snaps-lovers who would like to see their end product instantly.

Are instant cameras worth it?
Yes, instant cameras are worth it. Although they have expensive films, these cameras have got perfection embodied in them.

Cameras are designed for diverse purposes with few reviews focusing on classic instant cameras. In this review, we have focused on quality instant cameras to perform flawlessly without leaving a significant dent in your pocket.
Are instant cameras good for the environment?

Yes, instant cameras are good for the environment. Instant cameras are among other cameras that use analog signals during processing. Their use will reduce overproduction and promote environmental sustainability.

Why You Should Trust Us

Cameras are designed for diverse purposes with few reviews focusing on classic instant cameras. In this review, we have focused on quality instant cameras to perform flawlessly without leaving a significant dent in your pocket.

How We Picked

Battery life:
We evaluated the number of shots an instant camera’s battery can support. We also looked into the battery charging capabilities.

Price of the film:
We ensured that the price of the film for each camera is reasonable. We gauged the cost of each film by photographic needs and respective cameras.

Size of the film:
We scrutinized the different formats of film available for each product on the market. Although larger film tends to work for larger cameras, we identified the right sizes of film that will suit you and help you meet your expectations.

Photo style:
The instant cameras were tested for their capabilities of taking photos designed for different photographic styles: artistic, lifestyle, documentary, and traditional.

Photo quality:
We noted that the instant cameras produced better results outdoors than indoors. The photo quality was well tested and the instant cameras with the best qualities are listed in this review.

Price vs Quality:
We understand that most people perceive that quality instant cameras are the most expensive. As such, we matched the prices of the cameras to their features. This list should assure you that you’ll derive value from your monetary sacrifice as you invest in an instant camera.

Style:
We picked cameras rated by users as the best in terms of style and design.

Extra features:
We took into account extra features such as photo process time, brightness adjustment dials, and shutter speed to further refine the selection.

Our Picks For You

Our Top Pick - Fujifilm Instant Camera

Our Top Pick

Fujifilm Instax Square SQ1

Fujifilm Instant Camera

Great Photographic Performance

This instant camera has a selfie mode, you'll love it.

Buy Now for $119.00

Who It Is For/Why It Is Great

Get this if you love taking selfies and professional photos with no setup required.This instant camera is one of the few cameras produced by Fujifilm that use square film.

You won't worry about which side is longer when you think about storing your snap and the camera's features will give you the energy to get more square prints.

Potential Flaws

The Fujifilm Instax Square SQ1 tends to accidentally shoot photos as the shutter is placed on the camera's grip. It also seems to struggle in correcting the light exposure in darker conditions although it has an Automatic Exposure Control.

Other Options/Price/Usage

While this camera is one of the most expensive cameras in our review, it’s worth every penny.

The Fujifilm Instax Square SQ1 has an Auto Exposure feature that helps you take photos in dark areas. The selfie mode is also another great feature that will leave you smiling in the mirror and afterward in your photo!

We recommend that you have two CR2 batteries and Fujifilm's Instax Square Instant Film in place by installing them through the backside of the camera. Rotate the lens to turn on the camera and, if you prefer selfie mode, turn the lens the second time. The selfie mode can be used to shoot in macro mode. Fire your shot as you see it in the viewfinder or use the small mirror in the front of your lens to frame your shot if in selfie mode.

The Fujifilm Instax Square SQ1 is easy-to-operate and is a quality photographic tool outdoors.

Product Specifications

Film Type: Fujifilm
Instax Square Instant Film
Photo Picture Size: 2.4 in × 2.4 in
Lens: 2 components, 2 elements, f = 2.59 in,1:12.6
Viewfinder: Reverse Galilean Finder 0.4× with target spot
Shooting Range: 0.98 ft and beyond (use Selfie mode for 0.98 ft to 1.64 ft)
Shutter: Programmed electronic shutter: 1/2 to 1/400 seconds
Exposure Control: Automatic Lv 5.0 to 15.5 (ISO 800)
Film Ejection: Automatic
Film Developing Time: Approximately 90 seconds
Flash: Constant firing flash
Recycle time: 7.5 seconds or less
Effective flash range: 0.98 ft to 7.22 ft
Power Supply: Two lithium batteries (CR2)
Capacity: Approximately 30 Instax Square film packs
Automatic Power-Off Time: After 5 minutes
Dimensions: 5.1 in x 4.7 in x 2.3 in
Weight: 13.76 Ounces (without batteries, strap, and film)

Runner Up - Polaroid Instant Camera

Runner Up

Polaroid Originals Now I-Type Instant Camera

Polaroid Instant Camera

Point-and-shoot analog instant camera has all you need to catch every life moment

Take advantage of the self-timer feature and take perfectly timed photographs.

Buy Now for $99.18

Who It Is For/Why It’s Great:

Get this if you're time-minded and would like to get those pictures for future consideration. The Polaroid Now+ was created by the first developer of instant camera technology who ensured the instant camera is an enjoyable piece of art with good power and control.

Potential Flaws

The Polaroid Now+, unlike Fujifilm's Instax Square SQ1, has no selfie mirror. It's also good to note that the film for the Polaroid Now+ is more expensive than the films for the Fujifilm family of instant cameras.

Other Options/Price/Usage:

Although the Polaroid Now+ is a little cheaper than the Polaroid OneStep+, it's still on the pricier spectrum. The Polaroid Now+ boasts a two-lens autofocus system, self-timer, Bluetooth connectivity, tripod mode, manual control, aperture priority mode, and double exposures.

To capture instants in a fast and fun way, simply switch on your instant camera by pressing the button near the lens, aim, and shoot. The Polaroid Now+ is very effective largely due to its AutoFocus feature.

Product Specifications

Dimensions: 3.7 in × 4.4 in × 5.9 in
Weight: 0.95 lbs
Battery: High-performance lithium-ion battery (750mAh)
Outer shell: Polycarbonate and ABS plastics
Lenses: Optical grade Polycarbonate and Acrylic lenses
Shutter system: Precision step motor for shutter
Autofocus system: 2 fixed focus zones: 1.80 ft - 4.27 ft, 1.97 ft - infinity
Focal length: Close-up (lens 1) 3.74 in
Distance (lens 2) 4.03 in
Field of view: 41 degrees vertical, 40 degrees horizontal
Flash System: Vacuum discharge tube storage

Most Cost-Effective - Fujifilm Mini Instant Camera

Most Cost-Effective

Fujifilm Instax Mini 9

Fujifilm Mini Instant Camera

Does the trick without damage to the pocket

Available in so many fun colours!

Buy Now for $90.00

Who It Is For/Why It’s Great:

Get this if you're young at heart. The Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 is the cheapest and most affordable instant camera in our review. It’s designed for anyone who is on a budget but wants to capture bold and vibrant pictures even in low lighting.

Potential Flaws

The Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 has very few improvements from its predecessors and it’s not the best for taking photos of distant objects.

Other Options/Price/Usage:

The Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 comes with a decent price tag but still offers most of the cool features available in pricier options. Besides a selfie camera, it has an Automatic Setting Selection and comes in five stunning colors. To use your Fujifilm Instax Mini 9, switch it on by pressing the button near the lens, aim, and shoot to get your instant photo prints.

The Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 is very reliable as it has a few seconds of recycling time and a neat capture range.

Product Specifications

Product Dimensions:‎ 3 in x 5 in x 5.5 in
Item Weight: 12.8 ounces
Batteries: ‎2 AA batteries are required.
Min Shutter Speed: ‎1/60 seconds
Item Weight: ‎0.8 Pounds
Camera Lens Description: ‎2.36 ft
Viewfinder Magnification: 1.97 ft

Almost Made The Cut - Lomography Instant Camera

Almost Made The Cut

Lomography Instant Camera

Lomography Instant Camera

An efficient camera with a wide view range

Comes with Wide-Angle Lens Attachment, Close-Up Lens Attachment and Fisheye Lens Attachment

Buy Now for $199.00

Who It Is For/Why It’s Great:

Get this if you're a fan of cool landscapes, ambient environments, and magnificent architecture. The Lomography Lomo'Instant Automat Glass as its name suggests has one of the few glass lenses on an instant camera. This, besides its good colors and contrast, makes it a great choice for photographers.

Potential Flaw

The Lomography Lomo'Instant Automat Glass has minimal camera controls and a small viewfinder that may force a trial-and-error fiasco that would lead to the unintended spent film.

Other Options/Price/Usage:

The Lomography Lomo'Instant Automat Glass is the most expensive instant camera on this list, maybe due to its glass lens. The camera’s Lomography Lomo'Instant Automat Glass includes a bulb exposure option and an infrared remote clicker in the form of a lens cap.

To use your Lomography Lomo'Instant Automat Glass, choose your desired focal length and rely on the automated aperture, flash output, and shutter speed settings. Although the Lomography Lomo'Instant Automat Glass is the most expensive instant camera reviewed, it won the Editor's Choice Award by PCMag just like Fujifilm's Instax Square SQ1.

Product Specifications

Aperture: f/4.5 to 22
Focus Type: Zone Focus
Minimum Focus Distance: 11.81"
Viewfinder Type: Optical
Exposure Modes: Automatic
Shutter Speed 8 to 1/250 Seconds and Bulb Mode
Built-In Flash: Yes
Flash Modes: Auto
Tripod Mounting Thread: 1/4"-20 Female
Battery Type: 2 x CR2
Package Weight: 1.10 Pounds
Box Dimensions: 3.5 in x 6.7 in x 10.5 in

Care and Maintenance

To keep your camera and film safe, avoid direct sunlight. The longer you aim your camera towards the sun, the longer your instant camera’s film is exposed. We recommend avoiding direct sunlight by staying in the shade as much as possible. Ou can also prevent high moisture or humidity from affecting your instant camera by using silica gel or drying your camera with a lens cloth.

Avoid touching the face-up side of your photos as it transitions from black to gray and then to color. Once your print is fully developed, you’re free to hold the photos and you can store them in your pocket or a cool dry place. As the developing process of the instant prints of your instant camera will take some time, leave it to sit for 10 – 15 minutes before storing.