Instant Film Guide

Instant film is FUN. Watching your photo appear right in front of your eyes is pretty much magic, and this genre of photography is a blast for everyone. Read on to learn more about instant film photography, and check out of the different cameras so you can start shooting amazing instant film shots of your very own!

 SO WHAT IS IT? 

Way back in 1948, Edwin Land introduced the model 95 Land Camera - the first commerical instant camera. And thus a legend was born. Land would call his company Polaroid, and the craze took the world by storm. 

Very simply, instant film photography is where you take a shot, and out pops the film. After about 90 seconds, the image develops and you have the result.

Why Care About Instant Photography?
So what's the big deal? Well, there is something incredibly special about holding your photo in your hands, mere seconds after you've pressed the shutter. Even in today's high tech digital world, the value of this hasn't worn off. In fact, I'd argue it's even more important! With most photos never being printed at all, the tangible results from instant film make it incredibly special.

The Big Name In The Game
Here's who is in the instant film game right now. The big name in instant film is Fujifilm with their extensive Instax line of cameras and film. Polaroid has a few products, but nothing really notable. Lomography has three different cameras out there that use the Instax film. Then there's a group called The Impossible Project has been working to try re-create the original Polaroid film stocks, and you can use that film with some older Polaroid cameras. But if you're going to be shooting a lot of instant film, you'll want to look into Instax.


 CAMERAS 

There are three different types of Instax film - mini, square and wide. We'll look at the different camera options for each flavour!

NOTE ON PRICING: Prices tend to change over time, and so the prices you see below are accurate as of July 2017 but may be different when you check them out! And yes, there tends to be different prices for different colors. I don't understand it either, but it is so.

  VIDEO: Ultimate Instax Comparison

  • What's included when you buy the Instax Mini 9
  • Top tips for getting the best shots out of the camera
  • How to load the film, and get set up to shoot!

Instax Mini

 Top Pick! ⭐️  

Instax Mini 9
(Cobalt Blue)

If you want to get into instant film photography for the lowest price, this is your camera. It's cheap, light, and wicked fun. It's also great for kids (this is the model our 4-year-old uses). 

 Top Pick! ⭐️  

Instax Mini Film

When buying your Instax mini camera, don't forget to grab a ton of film! There's nothing more fun than having a stack of film just waiting to be shot! (If you think you'll be shooting a lot, check out this big bundle of film for an even better deal.)

The Instax Mini 9 comes in 5 delightful colours. Which one will you pick??

Mini 9
Lime Green

$64

Mini 9 Flamingo Pink

$64.99

Mini 9
Ice Blue

$65

Mini 9
Smokey White

$65.49

  VIDEO: Ultimate Guide to the Instax Mini 9

  • What's included when you buy the Instax Mini 9
  • Top tips for getting the best shots out of the camera
  • How to load the film, and get set up to shoot!

Instax Mini 90
Neo Classic

This is the cream of the Instax Mini crop. The features on this camera are endless - double exposure, manual mode, bulb mode, and more. If you are gifting for a serious instant film shooter, or a pro who really wants to get into instant, this is the one.

  Video: Instax Mini 90 Guide

  • Features of the Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic
  • Full rundown of all the different shooting modes
  • Tips and tricks for using it!

Instax Mini 70

This camera is one step up from the Mini 9, and has a few more features, like a selfie mirror, auto exposure, and improved image quality, especially in low light or indoor situations. It comes in three colors - yellow, blue and white.

Instax Mini Albums

You can't go wrong with a stack of these Instax albums! They make a perfect stocking stuffer for the Instax Mini lover in your life. There are a ton of colors, they're cheap and feature the awesome title: Pieces of Moment. These are the best.

Instax SP-2 Printer

The perfect gift for someone who loves both instant film and smartphone photography. With this printer you can print out your smartphone (or DSLR) photos onto instant film. Super handy for parties or just having around the house! Uses Instax Mini film

  Video Review: SP-2 Printer  

  • Our thoughts on Instax SHARE SP-2 Printer
  • What's new compared to the older SP-1 model
  • Tips and tricks for using it!

For Instax Mini cameras there's a HUGE assortment of film to explore!

Star Wars Instax Mini Film

$9.99

Rainbow Instax Mini Film

$8.99

Black Frame Instax Mini Film

$9.34

Monochrome Instax Mini Film

$9.99

Stripe
Instax Mini Film

$10.49

Shiny Star Instax Mini Film

$9.19

Candy Pop Instax Mini Film

$9.19

Instax Mini Film Value Pack - 60

$34.99

Instax Square

Instax Square SQ10

This is a brand new Instax camera that is full of innovative features. It's a hybrid digital/film camera - it takes a digital image and gives you the option to print it on Instax square film. With a ton of other creative features, this camera is well worth a look for a serious instant enthusiast.

Instax Square Film

Instax Square film really touches on the nostalgia factor. The original Polaroid film was square, so this film will really appeal to those who loved Polaroid, as well as those who enjoy shooting in square formats.

  Video: Square SQ10 Unboxing

  • What's in the box with the SQ10
  • First impressions of the design and build
  • Loading film and turning it on! Yay!

  Video Review: SQ10 Test Shoot

  • First shots from the Square SQ10
  • Testing out the different shooting modes
  • Initial impressions and quirks we found

Instax Wide

Instax Wide 300

Instax Wide film is twice the size of Instax Mini, and this is the camera to shoot it. It has two focus modes, a tripod mount, a close up lens, and more. It's big, but Instax Wide is really awesome, and this is the camera we find ourselves using around the house the most.

Instax Wide Film

Don't forget to grab some film to go with your Instax Wide camera! A big stack of film helps to make any instant photographer feel excited to get out and shoot!

Lomography Lomo Instant Wide

This camera from Lomography is full of fun creative features. It has a variable aperture, three zone focusing options, multiple exposures, two flash modes, a remote control, and more! A little trickier to use than the Instax Wide, but great if you want more options with your instant shooting!

  Video: Instax Wide Shoot-Out!  

  • Testing two Instax Wide cameras
  • What's the different between the Instax Wide 300 and the Lomography Lomo Instant Wide?
  • Which one should you pick??

  INSTANT: A Short Documentary

We wanted to take instant film out to the streets, and show people what happens when you give a stranger a photo, instead of just taking one. Check out our short documentary below to see what happened!


Well, that's a look at some of the instant film options out there, as well as lots of videos to help you get started! The big idea is to grab a camera, get out and shoot! Instant film is way too much fun not to play with!! 

Happy (instant) photographing!

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