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Instant film cameras are fairly inexpensive, yet super cool gadgets to capture and share memories with. Even though they're quite affordable, they require users to purchase film for their shots, so if you're an overly active shutterbug, you might be better off with a digital camera.
This option from Fujifilm is the best instant camera worth your attention, according to USA Today, Wirecutter, and Best Reviews. We agree! It has a cool retro design and a viewfinder, as well as the ability to automatically adjust its settings based on the lighting conditions. Most importantly, it delivers high-quality prints in just seconds.
Other image-capture modes include macro, a slow shutter speed for capturing light trails, and a double-exposure mode, where two images are produced on a single sheet of film. The camera is available in two colors — brown and black, and it has a rechargeable battery so you don't have to worry about swapping batteries when the camera dies.
Polaroid isn't quite what it was decades ago, and at one point the photo giant even stepped away from manufacturing instant film completely.
We're happy to see that Polaroid re-entered the market to sell this awesome instant film camera. This offering has a built-in battery that provides up to 60 days of use. It can connect to your phone over Bluetooth, and has full manual control, double exposure, and a self-timer. It's compatible with Polaroid Originals i-Type and 600-type film.
Best for Wide-Angle Shots
Most instant film cameras print square photos, which doesn't look the best for photos of landscapes or large groups of people. This affordable offering from Fujifilm prints 3.4-by-4.3-inch photographs that are much larger and similar to old-school Polaroid pictures, thanks to their white borders.
Although this camera is bulkier than most, it is still easy to operate and has a built-in flash. Best of all, it costs under $100.
Best Budget Buy
One of the most popular instant film cameras around, the quirky-looking Fujifilm instax mini 9 can capture credit-card-sized prints using the manufacturer's proprietary film. It has an optical viewfinder, available auto exposure mode, and a built-in flash. It also has a dedicated selfie mirror.
The Fujifilm instax mini 9 requires a duo of AA batteries (which are included) to work. The camera comes in five colors, including lime green, cobalt blue, flamingo pink, ice blue, and smokey white. We think it's the perfect option for kids and new photographers.
The Leica Sofort instant camera has great design, intuitive controls, and the ability to produce prints with excellent image quality. Thanks to the storied manufacturer's signature red dot, it'll also remind everyone that you're snapping photos with a luxury product.
The Sofort offers a plethora of shooting modes, which include self-portrait, action, macro, double exposure, and automatic, among others. The camera's battery can last for up to 100 photos between charges.
Leica offers the Sofort instant camera in a trio of colors — white, orange, and mint. Leica wants you to use its proprietary instant paper, though the Sofort can also work with Fujifilm instax Mini film. That's hardly a surprise as, hardware-wise, the Leica Sofort is a close relative to the Fujifilm instax mini 90 we already mentioned, despite being five times more expensive. Although this one does have a rechargeable battery, a feature the mini 9 lacks.
Best for Selfies
Instax square SQ6 is compact, easy to hold, and has a nice little mirror at the front, making it an ideal pick for snapping selfies. We love its vintage aesthetic. The camera comes in blush gold, graphite gray, and pearl white. You can also buy a limited-edition version, which Taylor Swift designed. That model is adorned with newsprint similar to Swift's album art for her newest album, Reputation.
Besides looking cool and eclectic, the SQ6 shoots 1:1 square format shots and features built-in flash filters, including green, orange, and purple. There's macro, selfie, and automatic, landscape, and double exposure modes on board for personalizing your shots. It uses the same film as other Instax cameras we previously mentioned.
Best for iPhone Photographers
The Prynt Pocket, as its name suggests, can print the images you have captured on your iPhone. It has a rechargeable battery and a dedicated app that allows you to edit your photos before printing them, as well as the ability to create cool augmented reality clips.
All but guaranteed to beat any instant film camera in terms of image quality, the Prynt Pocket is a pricey, but cool, gadget. It comes in light and dark gray, purple, and mint green, and it's compatible with the iPhone 5S and up. The Prynt Pocket uses proprietary Zero Ink paper.
Best Mobile Printer
The Fujifilm instax SP-3 uses a Wi-Fi connection to print high-quality square photos from your smartphone or tablet using a proprietary paper. Available in black or white, the gadget takes just 13 seconds to print a photo, using a cutting-edge OLED method.
You can edit and add creative effects to your images before printing via an intuitive mobile app. The instax SP-3 has a rechargeable battery, which can deliver up to 160 prints on a single charge.
Best for the Instagram-Obsessed
The instax Square SQ10 is a new type of camera by Fujifilm. It's a hybrid between a digital snapper and the company's wildly popular instant film cameras, and print photos on a new type of instax Square film.
The SQ10 can also capture digital photos with a resolution of 1,920 by 1,920 pixels using a sensor with f/2.4 lens. You can store up to 50 images in the camera's built-in memory, and a whole lot more on a microSD card (the SQ10 has a slot for one).
A 3-inch LCD display on the back of the camera will help you compose your shots, preview them after capture, and edit them before printing. There are plenty of shooting modes to choose from, including the manufacturer's signature double-exposure option. You may want to hold off on this camera if you can, though! Fujifilm recently announced its successor, the SQ20, which even shoots video!
Best for Larger Prints
What sets the HP Sprocket Plus instant photo printer apart is its ability to print 30% larger photos than its competitors. Measuring 2.3 inches by 3.4 inches, the borderless photos are a noticeable departure from their retro-inspired competitors.
Connecting the printer to your smartphone requires a Bluetooth connection. Of course, the HP Sprocket Plus comes with a free app, which allows you to edit photos to your liking before printing.
Unsurprisingly, the Sprocket Plus works with proprietary paper by HP. You can transform the prints into stickers by peeling off their back, too.