Most of us adults are comfortable with the phone cameras. When it comes to kids, you'd agree that we have to do things a bit differently. A kid would be more thrilled to see and hold an actual photograph in their hands, rather than being satisfied with a digital version. And that's where instant cameras come in. Not only can they capture life's fleeting moments, but also can see the labor of their experiments at the same time.
Not to mention the fact that instant cameras are a great accompaniment to school outings, summer camps, and family gatherings. So, if you're looking to buy an instant camera for your kids, we've lined up the best ones for you.
Note: Unlike the regular camera, these instant cameras won't burn a hole in your pocket.
We have also taken into account the cost of special paper for photos. Most importantly, the camera should be durable and comfortable to hold with two hands.
Now that we have established our base, let's see which instant camera is suitable for your little one.
1. Polaroid Snap Touch
If you're looking for a basic instant camera for your kid, this one is your best bet. It has the iconic Polaroid color strip at the front. Coupled with a plastic body and a slim frame, it's easy to carry around.
The Polaroid Snap Touch is the perfect mix between a standard Polaroid camera and an instant camera. It bundles a 3.5-inch TFT touchscreen, a 13-megapixel lens, and a built-in photo printer — all packed in one. It is a no-ink camera and uses thermal paper to print the photos (3x2-inches) which takes about 20 seconds. The touchscreen lets you control almost everything on the camera. There's only power button on the body which also pops-up to reveal the flash.
The Polaroid Snap Touch should be your top pick if you are looking for an inexpensive but functional instant camera. The photo quality isn't top-notch especially in low light, but the daylight captures are pretty decent. Plus, don't expect a long battery life. It's ideal for kids in the 8-9 group if you are fine with the price. A rechargeable battery unit powers it.
Available Colors: Black, Pink, Purple, Red
Size: 1 x 5 x 4 inches
Weight: 1 pound
2. Polaroid PIC-300 Instant Film Camera
Another cool option from the house of Polaroid is the Pic-300 Instant Film Camera. It produces 2.1x3.4-inch color photos which take about a minute to print.
Compared to the Snap Touch camera, the Polaroid PIC-300 has many attributes and is a step up. It bundles automatic low light flash and auto exposure. These two features make it incredibly easy to shoot pictures in different lighting conditions. The camera is a tad bigger and might be a bit difficult to handle. It uses four AA batteries for charging and lacks a USB charging port.
The Polaroid PIC-300 also uses Zink Paper to print photos and a pack of 10 is priced at $13.
Available Colors: Black, Blue, Purple, Red
Size: 4.8 x 2.5 x 5 inches
Weight: 8.6 ounces
3. Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 Instant Camera
If you have been looking at an instant camera, then you must have certainly heard of the Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 for its genuinely good pricing.
A big shell houses the Instax Mini 9 which makes it easy to handle. Carrying a price tag of $60, this funky instant camera has several exposure modes, built-in flash, and a selfie mirror. Two AA batteries power it. Apart from that, kids can play around with the different multicolored films, which costs around $13. The notable point is that unlike the above two, the camera prints photos almost instantly.
Available Colors: Lime Green, Cobalt Blue, Flamingo Pink, Ice Blue, and Smokey White
Size: 4.7 by 4.6 by 2.7 inches
Weight: 1 pound
4. Fujifilm Instax Wide 300
At $89, we have the Fujifilm Instax Wide 300 instant camera which bears the prestigious Amazon's Choice tag. And in terms of looks, it resembles a retro film camera which is a breath of fresh air.
As is suggestive of its name, the Fujifilm Instax Wide 300 can spit out wider photos which measure around 3.4×4.2-inches. It's coupled with an automatic flash, lens, focus shooting dial, neck strap, and even a tripod mount. Coming to the photo quality, it is decent. The camera manages to capture some pretty images. However, you may not find the crispness that is generally associated with snaps clicked using phones.
The Fujifilm Instax Wide 300 is powered by four AA batteries and can hold 10 shots of Instax Wide instant film ($17 for a pack).
Available Colors: Black
Size: 8.3 x 5.9 x 5.9 inches
Weight: 2 pound
5. Lomography Lomo'Instant Wide
Last but not the least, we have the Lomography Lomo'Instant Wide. It's priced at $199 and the photos measure around 3.4x4.25-inches. Also, it seems it is meant for adolescents.
The Lomography Lomo'Instant Wide is your best bet if your kid has some experience with photography. It comes with a manual flash and a slightly wider FOV. This camera is fun to play around, especially with multiple exposure features. Furthermore, this camera comes with a cool IR emitter into the lens cap, which you can use to fire away remotely.
As I pointed out earlier, this camera is meant for slightly older kids who know their way around photography.
Available Colors: White, Black
Size: 13.3 x 7.4 x 4.6 inches
Weight: 3.55 pounds
Yes, we all have our phones with capable cameras capture life's memorable moments, but the joy of owning an instant camera is utterly incomparable. Not only does it let you capture a moment but you can have that 'moment' printed in seconds. In short, it's an amazing experience.