From Instax to Polaroid, These are our Favorite Instant Cameras


Despite nearly dying off a decade ago, analog photography has come roaring back. In fact, one of the most popular types of film photography is now instant photography. Between Fujifilm, Polaroid Originals, Lomography, and even Leica, there’s a wealth of new cameras on the market today. Sure, smartphone cameras are great. But there’s nothing like watching a freshly-snapped instant photo develop in front of your eyes. These are the best instant cameras you can get in 2017.

Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic

This Fujifilm camera is the best instant camera the company makes. Even though you’ll have to spend around a hundred bucks to get it, it has features that make it worth the money. Compared to some of the other Instax Mini cameras, the Mini 90 Neo Classic is compact, comes with a long-lasting rechargeable battery, and lets you have more creative control with a push-button closeup lens and a double exposure mode. I like its dual shutter buttons, which make it super easy to take a selfie from about any angle. $124

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This Fujifilm camera is the best instant camera the company makes. Even though you’ll have to spend around a hundred bucks to get it, it has features that make it worth the money. Compared to some of the other Instax Mini cameras, the Mini 90 Neo Classic is compact, comes with a long-lasting rechargeable battery, and lets you have more creative control with a push-button closeup lens and a double exposure mode. I like its dual shutter buttons, which make it super easy to take a selfie from about any angle. $124

Fujifilm Instax Mini 9

For penny-pinchers or parents shopping for tweens, the Instax Mini 9 is the best camera to buy. It’s by far the cheapest, which is its main virtue. Because the Mini 9 is so affordable, you don’t have to feel quite so bad if your son breaks it, or if your daughter goes through film like it’s chewing gum. Unlike past low-end Mini cameras, the Mini 9 now has a high-key exposure feature and a standard selfie mirror up front. Keep an eye out—the Mini 9 routinely sells for around $55, making them the best value in instant photography. $69

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For penny-pinchers or parents shopping for tweens, the Instax Mini 9 is the best camera to buy. It’s by far the cheapest, which is its main virtue. Because the Mini 9 is so affordable, you don’t have to feel quite so bad if your son breaks it, or if your daughter goes through film like it’s chewing gum. Unlike past low-end Mini cameras, the Mini 9 now has a high-key exposure feature and a standard selfie mirror up front. Keep an eye out—the Mini 9 routinely sells for around $55, making them the best value in instant photography. $69

Lomography Lomo’Instant Glass Magellan

If Fujifilm’s cameras leave you cold, then check out what Lomography’s whipped up. Its Instax Mini-compatible Lomo’Instant Automat cameras are actually pretty great, but my personal favorite was the top-tier Automat Glass Magellan. It has an impressive wide-angle lens packing high-quality glass elements. In the box, you also get colored gels to alter the hue of the flash and a multiple-exposure Splitzer lens cover to encourage creativity. Read our Review | $189

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If Fujifilm’s cameras leave you cold, then check out what Lomography’s whipped up. Its Instax Mini-compatible Lomo’Instant Automat cameras are actually pretty great, but my personal favorite was the top-tier Automat Glass Magellan. It has an impressive wide-angle lens packing high-quality glass elements. In the box, you also get colored gels to alter the hue of the flash and a multiple-exposure Splitzer lens cover to encourage creativity. Read our Review | $189

Polaroid Classics OneStep 2

Polaroid Originals is picking up where the old Polaroid left off around a decade ago. Its first new camera, the OneStep 2 is competitively priced and very easy to shoot. It has a USB-rechargeable battery, too. The biggest problem with the OneStep 2 is that film is very expensive (around $2 per frame) and I found my photos came out looking less colorful than what I expected. But, if you need your fix of that square film, Polaroid Originals has the camera for you. Read our Review | $99

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Polaroid Originals is picking up where the old Polaroid left off around a decade ago. Its first new camera, the OneStep 2 is competitively priced and very easy to shoot. It has a USB-rechargeable battery, too. The biggest problem with the OneStep 2 is that film is very expensive (around $2 per frame) and I found my photos came out looking less colorful than what I expected. But, if you need your fix of that square film, Polaroid Originals has the camera for you. Read our Review | $99

Fujifilm Instax Wide 300

Fujifilm’s wider film requires you buy a separate camera to shoot it. Unfortunately, the Instax Wide 300 is the only first-party camera to shoot said Instax Wide film and it’s only an OK camera. Sure, it has the right features, but its huge, plasticky body means you sacrifice portability compared to a Polaroid-compatible or Instax Mini camera. Its biggest drawback is that the viewfinder can make framing close-up shots challenging to frame the way you want. $89

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Fujifilm’s wider film requires you buy a separate camera to shoot it. Unfortunately, the Instax Wide 300 is the only first-party camera to shoot said Instax Wide film and it’s only an OK camera. Sure, it has the right features, but its huge, plasticky body means you sacrifice portability compared to a Polaroid-compatible or Instax Mini camera. Its biggest drawback is that the viewfinder can make framing close-up shots challenging to frame the way you want. $89

Fujifilm Instax Mini 70

For those of us who value portability, Fujifilm offers the Instax Mini 70. This tiny camera can go anywhere with you, and doesn’t skimp on things like the valuable selfie mirror. There are two wrinkles that I think make the Mini 70 less desirable than either the Instax Mini 9 or Instax Mini 90: it’s more expensive than the Mini 9 and it requires the less common CR-2 batteries. Thankfully, you can usually find it sold at a discount just about anywhere. $139

For those of us who value portability, Fujifilm offers the Instax Mini 70. This tiny camera can go anywhere with you, and doesn’t skimp on things like the valuable selfie mirror. There are two wrinkles that I think make the Mini 70 less desirable than either the Instax Mini 9 or Instax Mini 90: it’s more expensive than the Mini 9 and it requires the less common CR-2 batteries. Thankfully, you can usually find it sold at a discount just about anywhere. $139

Leica Sofort

This stylish but expensive camera is actually good, but it’s simply not for everyone. Unless you value eye-catching design and the signature Leica red dot over getting what you’ve paid for, the Sofort has little to offer. I enjoyed shooting with it but routinely questioned why it costs more than twice as much as the incredibly similar Fuji Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic. Don’t let its aesthetic loveliness fool you: unless you’re a dedicated Leica owner, you should probably just get the Fujifilm version. Read our Review | $299

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This stylish but expensive camera is actually good, but it’s simply not for everyone. Unless you value eye-catching design and the signature Leica red dot over getting what you’ve paid for, the Sofort has little to offer. I enjoyed shooting with it but routinely questioned why it costs more than twice as much as the incredibly similar Fuji Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic. Don’t let its aesthetic loveliness fool you: unless you’re a dedicated Leica owner, you should probably just get the Fujifilm version. Read our Review | $299

Fujifilm Instax Square SQ10

The first Fujifilm camera to shoot square pictures, the SQ10 is underwhelming for the price. It’s essentially an analog camera tethered to a printer that exposes analog film. Though that setup should yield some unique benefits, I found it to be less than the sum of its parts. Unlike the Instax Mini and Wide film, the new Instax Square film packs are significantly pricier, which is another bummer. Read our Review | $279

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The first Fujifilm camera to shoot square pictures, the SQ10 is underwhelming for the price. It’s essentially an analog camera tethered to a printer that exposes analog film. Though that setup should yield some unique benefits, I found it to be less than the sum of its parts. Unlike the Instax Mini and Wide film, the new Instax Square film packs are significantly pricier, which is another bummer. Read our Review | $279

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