Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Polaroid is still making instant print cameras?

This is an ad I saw for the Polaroid 14MP Instant Print Digital Camera. You can Google it and probably find it on Amazon or something. It's currently on sale at a daily deal website for $179.99 which they say is a savings of $119.96. So, retail on this is somewhere in the area of $300 give or take a few dollars.

I would buy this thing 1) if it was cheaper like around $100 and 2) if I knew I wouldn't be screwed in the near or distant future with Polaroid no longer able to support this product.

I love the Polaroid instamatics of old. It was the one that spit the photo out the front and there was no tearing off the cover like the other Polaroids that you pulled a tab from the side. I guess that's not an instamatic though, huh.

I remember going on a high school trip for a week in the late 80s and took one with me along with several packs of film cartridge refills. I also had my, well my brother's, trusty old Minolta 35mm film camera. The cost of the replacement cartridges for the Polaroid was much greater than the 24-36 exposures of 35mm film. So, using them in tandem was much more cost effective for a high schooler.

There's just something about instant gratification of seeing a developed picture...okay, it was more like three minutes because you had to shake the photo to help dry the developing chemicals and to make sure the photo didn't get smeared. I had that happen a few times on accident. Anyway, it's not like digital cameras these days because yes, digital gives you instant gratification of seeing what you took but it doesn't automatically give you a printed, archival copy that you can give away or share. Digital images are great but there is always a chance they could get deleted, damaged or whatever before you get a chance to get them printed. Yes, yes, not everyone cares about printing them but for me, I like to print for physical archival purposes the images I want or like most and would like to have two versions of: digital and physical.

I think my office had a few Polaroids that I willingly took off their hands. I figured if they still worked maybe I could find film for them and have some cheap or expensive fun. Also, if I can't find film, maybe I could eBay or Craigslist them and get some dough since I didn't spend anything on getting them. If I can remember where they are, there are like six of them, I'll see about finding film or selling them.

I just thought it was interesting to see something that most see as archaic finding a way back into the world. The real things is way better than Instagram.

My other thought about this one is: how does it print without ink? And if there is no ink, which along with paper is usually considered when saying something is archival for so many years, is this an archival photograph and for how long? If it's not long enough, then digital and "professional" printing is still a better choice.

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