Back in the old days, the instant-sharing of photos typically followed the click of a button, whirring of gears, and quiet swish as excited hands waved Polaroid film about while images resolved. The advance of the digital age has certainly redefined how we preserve and share memories with friends and family; many cameras and smartphones make it easy to upload images online for all to see. Polaroid’s newest camera, the Snap, revisits the company’s roots by combining instant prints with modern digital technology.
While storing and viewing digital photos may be practical, having an actual tangible print is fun and nostalgic. The Polaroid Snap instant digital camera, unveiled at IFA 2015 in Berlin, is designed to combine the best of both worlds in a pocket-sized form.
Now, we’ve seen this technology in action from some of Polaroid’s recent offerings. But unlike the Polaroid Socialmatic digital camera, the Snap looks sleeker with more of a standard style, nodding to Polaroid’s Color Spectrum camera. It almost seems like the company figured out how to integrate a 10 MP digital lens with interface into its Zip portable printer in order create the Snap.
The Snap features the company’s ink-free Zero Ink printing technology. Instead of having to hassle with ribbons, ink or toner, this system uses paper that layers a composite material, embedded with cyan, yellow, and magenta crystals, underneath a protective polymer overcoat. The printer within the Snap camera heats the paper to activate and colorize these crystals. So in less than a minute, everyone can enjoy full-color, 2×3-inch, smudge-free photos that are dry to the touch. These prints also double as stickers by peeling off the back, exposing the tacky side.
Users can change how pictures are taken with a variety of capture modes. ThePolaroid Snap shoots in color, black-and-white, and, for a total retro throwback, vintage Polaroid. A photo booth mode fires off six shots in 10 seconds, offering prints with or without Polaroid’s classic border format. Those who want to get in the photos and/or are fond of selfies can do so with the camera’s self-timer.
Without a screen, zoom lens, flash, or advanced features, the Snap may feel a little lean in terms of operation. It does, however, have a pop-up viewfinder to center shots easier. The camera is compatible with Micro SD cards cards ranging up to 32 GB in size, allowing users to save and digitally transfer their 10 MP images later on. As for the consumables, packs of Polaroid’s premium Zink photo paper run US$29.99 for 50 sheets.
With an expected retail price of $99.99, the Snap makes for a more budget-friendly option for those looking to experience spontaneous photos and prints. It is expected to be available in red, blue, black and white sometime later this year.