Miniaturising a digital camera is relatively easy because all you’re creating is digital files that sit on a tiny memory card. Miniaturising an instant film camera? That’s a monumental task by comparison, given you have to shrink all the moving parts that expose and spit out physical prints, as well as the film itself. But Polaroid claims its new Go camera is the smallest analogue instant camera in the world.
Can you find smaller cameras that will instantly spit out hard copies of the photos you snapped? Yes, but those use a combination of a digital sensor and a built-in printer to create tangible photographs using special heat-activated colour paper like Zink, or for a more lo-fi aesthetic, the same thermal paper that’s used in cash registers to print out receipts. They’re instant cameras, but they’re technically not analogue instant cameras, which is how the new Polaroid Go is making its world’s smallest claim.
Is it as tiny as a digital point-and-shoot? Not by a long shot, but by Polaroid’s standards the 4.1-inch long, 3.3-inch wide, Go is a noticeably compact instant film camera. But with a footprint that’s smaller than Polaroid’s classic 3.5-inch film stock, the Go is only compatible with the company’s new smaller 2.2-inch film, which also appears to be slightly cheaper giving you 16 shots for $US20 ($26).
Functionally the Go doesn’t stray far from the tried-and-true Polaroid formula, there’s a simple shutter button on the back, a counter that lets you know how many shots you’ve got left, and a built-in flash. But despite its size, the Go still offers a self-timer, the option to create double exposures, and a new mirror finish for the eyepiece so that it doubles as a way to see yourself and how a shot is framed when capturing selfies. It’s not officially available until April 27, but you can pre-order the Go on Polaroid’s website now for about $150 which includes a 16-shot double pack of the new smaller instant colour film.