Best Instant Film Camera to Buy in 2016

By Rachael E Stout

Polaroid Pic 300


Instant print cameras were first created in the 1940’s. Many of us remember using a Polaroid camera when we were younger. Even thought it could take 30 minutes for the film to develop, the cameras gave us pictures without having to go to the store. Kids of all ages love creating pictures. Adults love to create that magic. After all, there’s something about holding a picture.

Instant cameras have recently undergone some major changes. Their lenses, ability to focus, and capabilities now mimic a digital camera more than the click-and-print cameras of the past. Most cameras print pictures in as little as a minute. The reduction in processing means you can see your results and enjoy them quickly.

Best Instant Camera Comparison Table







Instant Camera

High-Key mode, Light adjustments


Polaroid Pic 300

Polaroid Pic 300

Instant Camera

Scene Settings, Flash Adjustment


Polaroid Zip Mobile Printer

Polaroid Zip Printer

Phone Printer

Bluetooth, Edit & Print


Instax 90 Neo Classic

Instax Neo Classic 90

Instant Camera

High Quality Images, Multiple Settings


Fujifilm Instax Mini 25

Instax Mini 25

Instant Camera

Lightweight, Selfie Mirror


Instax Mini 50s

Instax Mini 50s

Instant Camera

Auto Adjustment, Small


Instax Wide 300

Instax 300 Wide?

Wide Instant Camera

Wide Pictures, Adjustable Focus


Prynt Phone Camera Case

Prynt Case

Phone Printer

Edit, Movable Images


Polaroid Z2300

Polaroid Z2300


Store Pictures, 10MP


Polaroid One Step

Polaroid One Step


Larger Pictures


Types of Instant Cameras Available

Wondering what is the best camera to buy? First you need to know about the differnt types of instant cameras.

Although all cameras have the same purpose – to take amazing pictures – how they go about it will vary. Instant camera’s now come in a variety options including cameras, printer attachments for your phone, and old models. It is important to know these different types so you can determine what will best suit you.

Instant Film Cameras

The modern take on a classic camera. These cameras mix modern day functionality with great features. They take instant pictures and print them out on credit card size film. The result is a high quality picture in under a minute.

Hybrid Digital and Instant Cameras

One major fallback of instant cameras is the inability to save pictures. If you lose the hard copy then the picture is gone. A hybrid camera has three main advantages. First, all your pictures are stored to a memory device. Second, you get to chose which pictures print. Finally, you can print more copies whenever you want.

Instant Print for Digital Phones

Much like the hybrids, this allows you to store you pictures. Since a large majority of people use their phone for most pictures it is a great option. A phone printer is definitely something to check out.

Vintage Polaroid Cameras

Sometimes you can’t beat the classics. Vintage Polaroid‘s are still out there. While the film may be more expensive, the bring back memories.

Top 10 Best Instant Cameras of 2016

An instant film camera generally costs about the same as a good digital camera. Knowing your options is key in deciding what camera to buy. Bellow your will find reviews for the best instant camera for 2016.

1. Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 Instant Film Camera

The best instant film camera of 2016 is the Fujifilm Instax Mini. This camera is well-loved by everyone that uses it. Light weight and portable, this camera would make a great addition to any vacation. While it does have less features than some of the higher priced products, it still takes amazing pictures.

The camera will print off credit card size pictures that can be purchased with sticky backs. It has a high-key mode to help it find the light in any situation. It also has different day and night settings. Best of all, Fuji makes the cheapest film available for instant cameras on the market today.

Fujifilm Instax Mini 8

2. Polaroid PIC-300 Instant Film Camera

A close second for the best instant print camera is the Polaroid 300. Polaroid’s film is a little more expensive, but it also works with Fuji’s film.

With great design, this camera comes with the ability to change your scene setting. This feature allows you to adjust the camera for optimum picture quality. The Pick 300 will adjust it’s flash depending on the ambient light. This for anyone who wants more functionality and doesn’t mind paying the small price bump.

Polaroid Pic 300

3. Polaroid ZIP Mobile Printer

One downside to instant cameras is that you can’t save pictures or edit them. Nowadays most of us carry around an amazing digital camera in our pocket- our phones! We often take our phone out throughout the day to take pictures.

Polaroid has thought of the perfect solution: their printer connects to your phone via bluetooth!

Polaroid Zip Mobile Printer

Portable, slim, and lightweight the printer is easy to cary around. It comes with an app that allows you to edit the pictures before you print. Better yet, your pictures are stored on your phone for repeated printing as needed. The ZIP printer takes the same credit card size film as all other modern instant cameras.

4. Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic

Another homerun from Fujifilm, the Mini 90 Neo Classic is as timeless as its design. Designed to look like a 90’s camera it is easily recognizable. This camera comes with more features than the Fuji Instax 8.

These include: the ability to go into macro mode to shoot close up and an action mode to capture kids. A rechargeable battery.

This camera produces higher quality images that will have you wanting to use it all the time. While it is quite a bit more expensive, this camera is defiantly worth a look.

Instax 90 Neo Classic

5. Fujifilm Instax MINI 25 Instant Film Camera

A midrange instant camera, the Fuji 25 doesn’t skimp on options. It has a self portrait mirror for your selfies. Featuring a stylish design, durability, and small size you are sure to love.

With a 3 position collapsible lens it can find objects far away easily. Even with the collapsible lens, you can’t zoom in on targets. Also, while the camera has intelligent flash it can’t be turned off.

Fujifilm Instax Mini 25

If you are looking for a smaller instant camera with better quality and some options, this may be the one you want.

6. Fujifilm Instax Mini 50S

A sleek, square camera that is ready to help you make memories. It adjusts the shutter speed and flash based on the lighting. Also includes three shooting modes; it will make every picture great.

The camera comes in black or white. It has a self portrait timer so you can walk away and get that great group picture.

As the smallest instant camera, it is sure to provide tons of fun. One issue: the manufacturer won’t ship this camera outside of the US.

Instax Mini 50s

7. Fujifilm Instax Wide 300 Instant Film Camera

Love the idea of a instant camera, but don’t like the idea of the small film? The Fujifilm Instax wide has you covered. Printing off film double the size of other instant cameras, it will remind you of a classic Polaroid.

With two different modes of focus, it allows you to take close up and far away pictures. The tripod socket it a nice feature too.

Instax Wide 300

The good part about it being a wide camera is that you get larger pictures. Bad part? Bigger, bulkier camera. Fuji still managed to make small for the film size. Also, the wide film costs a little more, so keep that in mind.

8. The Prynt Case

Another take on using your cell phone as an instant camera. The Prynt phone case is a great solution for the tech savvy. Working with iPhone 5, 5s, 6, and 6s as well as the Galaxy S5, it allows you to edit your pictures before printing.

Prynt Phone Camera Case

A nifty feature is the ability to embed video in the pictures. Friends who scan the pictures will be able to access your video off of the cloud. To use this feature you will have to buy the Prynt film.

The case is bulky and you won’t want to keep it on your phone all the time. Also, you can’t get your pictures out of the app currently. I am sure as time goes on more features will be added. This camera is definitely worth the look.

9. Polaroid Z2300 10MP Instant Digital Camera

Looking for an instant camera that stores high quality pictures? The Z2300 is for you. The most expensive instant camera, it doubles as an a 10MP digital camera.

The camera lets you take pictures and print them or upload to an SD card (not included). It has the advantage of letting you edit the pictures before you print. Uploading pictures to a computer and printing them out with higher quality is also an option. If you want to occasionally print off an instant memory, yet save the rest- look at this camera.

Polaroid Z2300

10. Polaroid One Step Silver Express Instant 600 Camera

This is the classic Polaroid we fell in love with during the late 90’s. Durable, easy to use, and memorable with the pop up flash system.

Due to large production they are easy to buy for cheep. While the camera will cost you half of the cheapest instant camera, an 8 pack of film will cost you just as much. Since Polaroid no longer makes the film, you will have to go through a third party.

Polaroid One Step

If you are looking for the classic Polaroid, this is still the best instant camera.

Instant Camera Film: Types and Where to Purchase

You may remember square instant film with a white boarder. It’s not what you will find today. Modern instant cameras use ZINK (no-ink) technology to print.

All film for instant cameras now comes standard in credit card size – 2.1 inches x 3.4 inches. Some cameras will automatically print a border, while others won’t. Every type has different quality.

While every manufacturer makes the same size film, they are all interchangeable. Polaroid film is widely available. Fuji makes the cheapest Polaroid film.

Some instant cameras require special film to function fully. The Prynt will need their film in order to store videos. Fujifilm’s wide camera prints with film twice the size of other instant cameras.

If you are looking for old Polaroid film it is still available! While Polaroid shut down their production facilities after their bankruptcy, another company took over. Due to the lower production this film is more expensive than the newer types.

Ordering instant film can be confusing because it is sold in packs. The packs fit into the camera in one unit. In the case of vintage cameras the pack also contains the battery. Packs usually contain 10 film sheets (8 for vintage). So if you buy 2 packs, it usually will make 20 pictures.

Instant Camera Quality Review


When looking for the best instant camera the best thing to keep in mind is what functions you want. Keep in mind if you are in it for the novelty or will be using the camera a lot.

While the Instax 8 may be the best overall camera there are many other options out there. If you take more pictures with your phone you might consider getting a phone printer. If you want double duty with a actual digital camera, consider the Polaroid Z2300. Finally, don’t forget some vintage Polaroid cameras are still good options too.

Want to look at more instant camera options? Discover the best Polaroid cameras or best Fujifilm cameras. Or you could compare the two. You may also want to check out the cheapest instant cameras.

I hope these instant camera reviews will help you on your search. Like all cameras, instant cameras are there to make memories. Consider which one you think you will use the most: this could take into account film price and ease of use. Once you have figured that out the only thing left to do is start making timeless memories. Have fun!

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