Polaroid went bust in 2001, and the company formed from its ashes went bust again in 2008. The Polaroid Corporation that formed from that has had a shaky history, releasing digital 'instant' cameras and instant photo printers. But on the 80th anniversary of the original company's founding, Polaroid is back as Polaroid Originals — and it's making a new instant film camera called the OneStep 2.
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Instant cameras are coming back in a big way. In the past couple years, Fuji, Lomography and "Polaroid" have all thrown their hats into the ring, producing cheap, fun devices that provide a nostalgic experience. Leica is keen to get in on the fun, but it seems to have missed the memo on price point. Which seems logical. Leica's never made a camera it couldn't mark up.
In 2008, Polaroid announced it would no longer produce instant film. Then, the Impossible Project took the opportunity to buy up what little was left of this division of the company and has spent the last eight years reformulating and reviving the once-popular original format instant film. The I-1 ($US300) is Impossible's first proprietary camera, and it has done an excellent job of marrying the old school format with new school technology. It's basically a funky-looking Polaroid camera you can control with your phone.
It can't compete with GoPro's offerings when it comes to image quality, but the Polaroid Cube action cam can do one thing well. The tiny form factor makes it easier to stick it wherever you need to capture your extreme activities — or a night of bar crawling with this new shot glass accessory.
Everybody you know is spoiled rotten: we carry around magical slabs of technology that can capture any moment and instantly share it with everyone we know. It's great, but it didn't used to be this way — amateur photographers used to have to wait weeks to see their pictures.
The Polaroid Socialmatic — more commonly known as the that Instagram camera thing — feels like it has been on the "coming soon" list for years now. But behold! The Socialmatic is finally shipping, and we had a bit of a play with it at this year's CES. So what does a $300 Instagram camera from Polaroid actually do?
Instead of churning out instant photos, this Polaroid has had its camera guts removed and replaced with a simple cheese slicer. For $US10, it still produces fond memories, but instead of a baby's smile or a day at the beach, it's fond memories of eating thin slices of cheese. And that would put a smile on anybody's face — except the lactose intolerant.
We were cautiously optimistic when the concept for the real-life Instagram camera, the Socialmatic, popped up online last year. Now, despite a few concerns, Polaroid is officially making the design a reality. The company is partnering with Socialmatic, and when the camera is available this fall, it will allow photographers to either instantly share their shots on "major social media networks" or just run off a hard copy using the device's built-in instant ZINK printer.
These days, everything is instant photography, but no matter how many filters you smear onto that smartphone picture, it's never going to have the wonderful feel of the photos a Polaroid used to spit out. But now you can approximate that level of satisfaction thanks to Fujifilm's new Instax Share SP-1 printer.
Polaroid is a non-entity these days, but instant photography lives on in the digital photos we produce at dazzling speeds. We're addicted, and that's what made Polaroid the hottest tech company in the world when its first blockbuster consumer product, the Model 95 Land Camera, went on sale. That was 65 years ago on Black Friday, November 26, 1948.
Even though digital cameras provide us the same instant gratification after snapping a photo, Polaroid's instant snapper still has a cult following. Of course, that also means that instant film is more expensive than ever, so if you're just a fan of the Polaroid camera's iconic design, this Pola Roll toilet paper holder is a cheaper way to keep one around for posterity.
We couldn't be happier that Lego master Chris McVeigh — aka Power Pig — is continuing to use his formidable skills to create brick versions of iconic cameras. Following up on his Leica M9-P he brings us this gorgeous Lego version of the Polaroid Land Camera 1000.
Best known for their iconic lounge chair that's still in production 57 years after it was introduced, Charles and Ray Eames were actually masters of design across many fields. In 1972, Polaroid asked them to produce a promotional video for its now iconic SX-70 instant camera, and what they created was nothing short of magical.