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The Best Instant Cameras

Last updated on December 3, 2019

We looked at the top 10 Instant Film Cameras and dug through the reviews from 107 of the most popular review sites including iMore, DP Review, Nerd Tech, Slash Gear, Pocket-lint, InstantCameraLab and more. The result is a ranking of the best Instant Film Cameras.

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Our Picks For The Top Instant Film Cameras

Show Contents
Our Take
Experts Included
Pros
Cons
  The Best Overall
  The Best Value

Fujifilm

Mini 9 Instant Camera

Overall Take

All-Purpose CameraWhether you're shooting indoors or outside, this Fujifilm Mini 9 Instant Camera will automatically adjust the exposure.

Experts Included
DWYM Electronics Experts plus BestReviews, New York Times Wirecutter, Trusted Reviews, iMore, The Spruce, PG Magazine – SE Asia and 11 more. Along with user reviews from Best Buy, Target and Walmart.
Pros
" This little camera is lightweight and compact. A great option for beginners. Pictures taken with this inexpensive mini cam turn out consistently well. Auto flash and auto exposure help to make picture taking a simple art."
Cons
"It’s a little tricky to turn on, but once you find the lens release/power button, it’s ready to pass around a party without instruction."

Kodak

Instant Print Camera

Overall Take

High-Quality PrintsIn addition to printing your photos on film, this Kodak Instant Print Camera also saves to a microSD card so you can upload them to your computer.

Experts Included
DWYM Electronics Experts plus Digital Trends, iMore, Tom’s Guide, Smarter Travel, GStyle Magazine, Digital Camera World and 3 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon and Walmart.
Pros
" The camera performs best when it’s around four feet or more from the subject, making it better at landscapes and group photos than macro work or close-up portraits."
Cons
"Fewer color options, limited capabilities"

Polaroid

Mint Instant Camera

Overall Take

Experts Included
DWYM Electronics Experts plus iMore, DP Review, Nerd Tech, Slash Gear, Pocket-lint, InstantCameraLab and 1 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" I've found the Polaroid Mint Camera pretty easy to use, especially for selfies. Since it's vertically-oriented, holding it feels just like a smartphone, so there's no learning curve. The selfie mirror on the front is small, but you can definitely..."
Cons
"But there are small issues with the battery. Its standby time is only a couple of weeks, meaning it’s a little bit harder to set-and-forget the Mint Pocket Printer."

Polaroid

Snap Instant Camera

Overall Take

Six Picture ModesThe Polaroid Snap Instant Camera allows you to print photos just seconds after capturing them.

Experts Included
DWYM Electronics Experts plus Tech Advisor, CNET, Tom’s Guide, WishingDwell, Photography Blog, Digital10z and 5 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon, Best Buy and Target.
Pros
" The Snap features a compact and lightweight body with friendly rounded edges, making it easy to operate with one hand or to stow in a handbag or waist pack."
Cons
"There's no flash, and the rechargeable battery isn't user replaceable."
Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, DWYM analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.
17

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the instant film cameras available to purchase.
10

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products for our team to review.

View All Product Rankings

107

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources including: iMore, DP Review, Nerd Tech, Slash Gear, Pocket-lint.

89,733

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, Target.

Our experts reviewed the top 10 Instant Film Cameras and also dug through the reviews from 107 of the most popular review sites including iMore, DP Review, Nerd Tech, Slash Gear, Pocket-lint, InstantCameraLab and more. The result is a ranking of the best of the best Instant Film Cameras.

DWYM is your trusted roduct review source. Our team reviews thousands of product reviews from the trusted top experts and combines them into one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in their category.

The Best Overall

Fujifilm Mini 9 Instant Camera

Our Expert Score
8.4
17 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
9.2
6,803 user reviews
Our Take

For those who plan to routinely shoot in a variety of lighting environments, the Fujifilm Mini 9 Instant Camera is the perfect camera to have on hand. There are separate exposure settings to capture the best images when you're in sunny, cloudy or indoor lighting conditions. A "Hi-Key" exposure option lets you print a softened version of whatever image you've just grabbed.

What other experts liked
This little camera is lightweight and compact. A great option for beginners. Pictures taken with this inexpensive mini cam turn out consistently well. Auto flash and auto exposure help to make picture taking a simple art.
- BestReviews
The Mini 9 does have a selfie mirror. We also recommend the Mini 9 as a solid choice for an inexpensive instant camera for kids: It’s built to withstand the occasional drop, and it comes in four bright colors
- New York Times Wirecutter
October 25, 2018 | Full review
Auto exposure takes a lot of hassle out of composition
- Trusted Reviews
December 19, 2018 | Full review
The LED light turns on for the suitable setting, and all you need to do is make sure that the dial's notch is lined up with that scene for optimal output. The "Hi-Key" option gives you photos with a softer...
- iMore
March 7, 2019 | Full review
Its build is lightweight for easy portability, but it also doesn't feel flimsy. Its viewfinder, on the back of the camera, is simple to use; its film exposure counter, also on the back, helps you keep track of how many...
- The Spruce
May 15, 2019 | Full review
It has a built-in flash, which always fires when you take a photo, and is powered by two AA batteries.
- PG Magazine - SE Asia
July 18, 2017 | Full review
New to the Mini 9 are a tiny but surprisingly effective selfie mirror by the lens and the inclusion of a clip-on lens accessory for close-ups.
- Camera Labs
August 14, 2017 | Full review
The close-up lens is much easier to use in tandem with the front-facing selfie mirror.
- DP Review
May 1, 2019 | Full review
The camera has a number of different exposure modes, which can be selected by turning the dial around the lens. There is a light sensor on the front of the camera that will decide which setting would be best for...
- Tech Gear Lab
June 4, 2019 | Full review
With the Instax Mini 9, they’ve tweaked the design, added some great new colors, and improved on what little shortcomings the old version had.
- Nerd Tech
March 31, 2017 | Full review
Robust, lightweight and portable design
- Good Housekeeping
July 13, 2017 | Full review
The settings for shooting in sunny, cloudy, and indoor environments are simple to figure out at a glance, with symbols like a sun, cloud, and house easily transcending language.
- The Verge
August 10, 2018 | Full review
It comes with a rounded grip on the side that is comfortable to hold and helps you compose in both landscape and portrait orientation.
- Instant Camera Blog
August 14, 2017 | Full review
You can adjust for your settings a bit using the light dial on the lens. That way, you can make sure you’re getting the best flash possible for your situation, whether you’re outside or in a dark room.
- Little Coffee Fox
October 3, 2018 | Full review
Selfie mirror to help you keep your shots in the frame.
- Best 7 Reviews
December 23, 2018 | Full review
Instax Mini 9 is very easy to use and for this reason, it is the perfect choice for starters. The best thing about this camera is that it has automatic settings selection which shows you the best settings for different...
- TechTune Hub
September 2, 2019 | Full review
Set to be the most used new feature, the Instax Mini 9 comes with a built in selfie mirror.
- Instant Photo Pro
What other experts didn't like
You can't mount this model on tripod. No timer function
- BestReviews
It’s a little tricky to turn on, but once you find the lens release/power button, it’s ready to pass around a party without instruction.
- New York Times Wirecutter
October 25, 2018 | Full review
Lining up shots can be a little tricky on account of the tiny viewfinder. It has a guidance spot in the centre, but this doesn’t account for the parallax effect, which can lead to some off-centre shots.
- Trusted Reviews
December 19, 2018 | Full review
Somewhat bulky design. Can't manually adjust exposure. No support for microSD card.
- iMore
March 7, 2019 | Full review
One of this camera’s most distinctive design features is its selfie camera, which is located on its front, right next to the lens. In theory, this is a cool idea, but in practice, it doesn't really help you frame selfies—the...
- The Spruce
May 15, 2019 | Full review
The viewfinder is at the side of the body, directly above the front shutter release. In testing, putting the camera to my eye and keeping my finger on the shutter while holding it in landscape orientation was uncomfortable. I wish...
- PG Magazine - SE Asia
July 18, 2017 | Full review
Like other Instax Mini cameras, don't expect 100% accurate framing with the basic viewfinder and beware that prints can often be over-exposed under very bright conditions.
- Camera Labs
August 14, 2017 | Full review
The shutter on the Mini 9 is fixed to 1/60 sec, and the flash always fires (with a max range of 2.7 m / 8.8 ft), which can be very annoying. Exposure is controlled via the various shooting modes, which...
- DP Review
May 1, 2019 | Full review
Tends to overexpose when used in bright sun, smaller photo size, limited image settings
- Tech Gear Lab
June 4, 2019 | Full review
As with any film camera, the cost of prints are a little higher than a digital format.
- Nerd Tech
March 31, 2017 | Full review
Very grainy and rough images compared to a digital compact
- Good Housekeeping
July 13, 2017 | Full review
Size remains the Mini 9’s biggest issue. Its compact body prints likewise compact film. Once you get accustomed to cameras that shoot in a larger square format, it spoils you to want more imagery for your buck and fit more...
- The Verge
August 10, 2018 | Full review
One issue with the film is that black speckles sometimes emerge in extremely overexposed areas of the frame, such as the highlights on the water in the backlit image below.
- Instant Camera Blog
August 14, 2017 | Full review
The Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 is not slim, nor is it super compact. I kept struggling to find the right place to put this camera as I traveled. It was too big for either my proper camera bag or any...
- Little Coffee Fox
October 3, 2018 | Full review
Can’t turn off the flash. If there’s one thing we don’t like about the Instax Mini 9, it’s the fact that its flash always fires.
- Best 7 Reviews
December 23, 2018 | Full review
It is not suitable to take pictures from far distances. Buying a film is a bit expensive.
- TechTune Hub
September 2, 2019 | Full review
Limited shooting range. Missed opportunity for more improvements.
- Instant Photo Pro

Overall Product Rankings

1. Fujifilm Mini 9 Instant Camera

Overall Score: 9.3
Reviews Included: 20

2. Kodak Instant Print Camera

Overall Score: 8.6
Reviews Included: 12

3. Polaroid Mint Instant Camera

Overall Score: 8.5
Reviews Included: 9

4. Polaroid Snap Instant Camera

Overall Score: 8.5
Reviews Included: 14

5. Fujifilm Neo Classic Instant Camera

Overall Score: 8.4
Reviews Included: 19

6. Fujifilm 300 Photo Instant Camera

Overall Score: 8.2
Reviews Included: 10

7. Polaroid Originals Bluetooth Instant Camera

Overall Score: 8.1
Reviews Included: 10

8. Fujifilm Mini 70 Instant Camera

Overall Score: 8.1
Reviews Included: 13

9. Fujifilm Mini 8 Instant Camera

Overall Score: 8.0
Reviews Included: 21

10. Fujifilm Instant Camera + Instant Film

Overall Score: 7.9
Reviews Included: 8

Our Findings

Fujifilm Mini 9 Instant Camera

Best Overall

Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 Instant Camera, Flamingo Pink (Electronics)


List Price:
New From: $55.95 USD In Stock
Used from: $55.95 USD In Stock

What We Liked: For those who plan to routinely shoot in a variety of lighting environments, the Fujifilm Mini 9 Instant Camera is the perfect camera to have on hand. There are separate exposure settings to capture the best images when you’re in sunny, cloudy or indoor lighting conditions. A “Hi-Key” exposure option lets you print a softened version of whatever image you’ve just grabbed.

Kodak Instant Print Camera

What We Liked: With colorful, vibrant prints, the Kodak Instant Print Camera is perfect for ensuring you get a high-quality print every time. One of the best things about this camera, though, is that it can save images to a microSD card, which you can then use to upload photos to your computer. It comes with a rechargeable battery to help you save money and be more eco-friendly.

Polaroid Snap Instant Camera

Strong Contender

Polaroid Snap Instant Digital Camera (White) with ZINK Zero Ink Printing Technology (Electronics)


List Price: $89.99 USD
New From: $79.99 USD In Stock
Used from: $79.99 USD In Stock

What We Liked: Available in seven vibrant colors, the Polaroid Snap Instant Camera is an excellent choice if you love sharing photos immediately after taking them. In addition to digital sharing, this camera allows you to instantly print photos without ink, ribbons or toner cartridges. Not only will users love the selfie feature, but they’ll also appreciate the six different picture modes for capturing the best photo.

Fujifilm 300 Photo Instant Camera

What We Liked: If you prefer wider images, the Fujifilm 300 Photo Instant Camera is the camera to choose. Your prints will be closer to what older instant cameras printed out, unlike the small photos other instant cameras provide. It also comes with a built-in tripod socket so you can set your camera up to take steady shots.

Polaroid Originals Bluetooth Instant Camera

Also Great

Polaroid Originals OneStep+ Black (9010), Bluetooth Connected Instant Film Camera (Electronics)


List Price: $119.55 USD
New From: $119.99 USD In Stock
Used from: $118.69 USD In Stock

What We Liked: The Polaroid Originals Bluetooth Instant Camera gives you the option of using the portrait lens to take up close pictures of your family or the standard lens to take pictures at a distance. There’s even a self-timer mode so the picture taker can join in on the photo. This camera is also a top choice thanks to its long battery life and Bluetooth connectivity.

Our Expert Consultant

Jay Soriano   
Portrait photographer

Jay Soriano a headshot and portrait photographer in Las Vegas.

Our Instant Film Camera Buying Guide

Instant film cameras have made a comeback in recent years, as a new generation have discovered how fun they are. In a digital-driven world, consumers find it fun to have an instant print of whatever shot they’ve just captured.

These cameras are perfect for you if you enjoy the “instant gratification of a print,” says Jay Soriano, a portrait photographer based in Las Vegas.

“Overall, they’re fun and they’re great gifts,” Soriano says. “It can also be a fashion statement with the accessories.”

Today’s instant film cameras have come a long way from those sold in the mid- to late 1900s, packing features built for a tech-driven market.

As you start shopping for an instant film camera, it’s important to keep those more modern features in mind. You’ve probably gotten used to taking photos using a smartphone camera, which is a completely different experience than capturing a shot using a viewfinder. If you wear glasses, you’ll also need to pay attention to the size of the viewfinders. Some of them are so small, it can be tough to get your eye close enough to see the image.

You’re probably also used to taking selfies. There are cameras that build in selfie mirrors to make this easier, but it’s not like seeing your image on a smartphone screen. If you want to take group pictures, you’ll also need to look for an instant camera that has a tripod mount and timer. Without the timer, someone will always have to be near the camera to press the shutter button.

There’s a big difference in the type of camera a pro shooter needs compared to someone who just wants to have fun. Instant cameras build in automatic features, similar to what your smartphone has. Serious photography enthusiasts will want to be able to override these automatic features for manual control, but not all instant cameras have that capability.

Perhaps the most important factor, though, is the quality of the print you’ll receive. This can be subjective, but look for cameras with prints that are as true to life as possible. Instant cameras that both print pictures and allow a microSD card to save images digitally can be especially useful.

DWYM Fun Fact

Instant prints kicked off in 1948 with the release of the Polaroid Land Model 95 camera, invented by scientist Edwin Land. While on vacation, Land was inspired by his daughter, who asked why she couldn’t see the photo immediately. But long before Land came up with his idea, Samuel Shlafrock invented a camera that came with a portable darkroom. His invention never quite caught on, though, because it lacked the convenience of Land’s model. Instead of a built-in darkroom, Land’s creation used self-developing film.

The Instant Film Camera Tips and Advice

  • Most of these newer instant cameras are built for ease of use. That means you’ll have a variety of settings options. If you’re creative, you’ll love the Polaroid Snap Instant Camera, which lets you switch up the type of photos you take with just the press of a button. It has a built-in mirror for taking selfies. There are also six different easy-to-use portrait settings. With the Kodak Instant Print Camera, there is a delay between pressing the trigger and capturing the shot, so it may not be the best camera for action shots.
  • The Fujifilm Mini 9 Instant Camera also has a variety of exposure options, including one called “Hi-Key,” which softens the image when you print it.
  • Print quality is something to consider, as well. With the Fujifilm 300 Photo Instant Camera, you get wider shots than you typically see with an instant film camera, which means you can squeeze more into each picture. The color saturation and separation are also impressive on this model. The Kodak Instant Print Camera prints colorful, vibrant, 10-megapixel images. The Fujifilm Mini 9 Instant Camera can be prone to black specks in overexposed areas of your image.
  • The film on the Kodak Instant Print Camera makes it stand out. You’ll get prints that resist smudges, water damage and tears. You can also print in black and white with this model.
  • Chances are, you won’t always be shooting in the same type of lighting. The right camera compensates for that, giving you just the amount of exposure you need for your current environment. With the Fujifilm Mini 9 Instant Camera, you get separate settings for shooting in sunny or cloudy outdoor environments, as well as indoors. In bright sun, though, you may find your shots are overexposed. The Polaroid Originals Bluetooth Instant Camera works best in indoor settings with plenty of light. If you routinely shoot in low-light conditions, you’ll want to steer toward the Kodak Instant Print Camera, which has a wider aperture specifically for those situations.
  • Instant film cameras have reemerged in a digital era, which means some consumers are going to want digital features, too. The Kodak Instant Print Camera both prints out a photo and saves a digital copy. You can then take the SD card and insert it into a card reader on your computer to upload it to all your favorite social media sites.
  • If you find you’re always behind the camera and never in any pictures, consider a camera with both a timer and tripod socket. You can just set your camera up, hop into the frame and say, “Cheese.” The Fujifilm 300 Photo Instant Camera has a tripod socket, but someone will have to be behind the camera since there’s no timer.
  • Flash can be an issue with instant cameras. Some instant cameras automatically adjust to fit the current lighting needs. The Fujifilm Mini 9 Instant Camera’s flash always goes off, which can be a problem if you prefer to take advantage of natural lighting.
  • Having rechargeable batteries can be very useful if you want to save money. The average rechargeable camera takes about 100 shots before needing to recharge again. The Kodak Instant Print Camera has a rechargeable battery. The Fujifilm Mini 9 Instant Camera and Fujifilm 300 Photo Instant Camera run on AA batteries.

About The Author

Avatar
Stephanie Faris 

Stephanie Faris is a former information technology professional who spent most of her career working with computers and printers. Now a novelist and professional writer, her writings on electronics have been published on top tech sites. When she isn't writing about technology, she's often checking out the latest news on the upcoming iPhone release.