When you talk about instant cameras, the first thing that pops to the mind are the tiny postcard size photos. Whether it's a trek in the mountains or a photo booth moment, these instant cameras add a distinct flavor to the fun. But as it happens, there's no way to get a second copy once the photo has been printed. Or is it? Well, there is a way to store these memories in a digital format, all thanks to the option of SD cards in instant cameras.
Yep, you read that right. Instant cameras these days let you extend the memory via SD cards. Not only can you print these pictures later but you can lay aside worries of you getting bankrupt after buying loads of films.
So, here we are, with our pick of the best instant cameras with SD Card feature.
The Polaroid Snap is the perfect pick for you if you're in the market looking for a compact and light instant camera. This one packs plenty of features and is the perfect middle ground between a true Polaroid camera and an entry-level digital camera. It bundles a 13-megapixel lens, a 3.5-inch TFT touchscreen, and a built-in photo printer. And that's not the end of the story. This mini printer also allows you to apply filters and stickers to photos to make them ready for photo books and albums.
Plus, using the Snap is an uncomplicated affair. The touchscreen lets you control pretty much everything. And it's a no-ink camera. Instead, it uses Zink paper to print photos. Each photo measures about 3x2-inches and printing a single one takes about 20 seconds.
Apart from that, Snap sports a great look. There are no buttons on the body. There's only a power button which also doubles up as a flash.
Now we address the main part — expandable memory. This camera lets you stick a micro SD card of up to 32GB for storing photos. You can use it to create a backup of photos. And well, you can always go on shooting even when you run out of the film, pretty much like a smartphone.
Note that instant cameras do not churn out top-notch photo quality like Deskjet printers. And in this case, the photo quality tends to suffer in low light conditions. Though a rechargeable battery unit powers the camera, do not expect a long battery life.
The Polaroid Snap is available in a bunch of attractive and trendy colors and cost less than $100.
Another cool instant camera with an added functionality is Fujifilm's Instax SQ20. The successor to the Instax SQ10, this hybrid instant camera can not only capture and print your memories but can also record short video clips for you. It also packs a small 2.7 inch LCD screen where you can preview your photos before sending them off to print. Other than that, you can add Instagram-style color filters through it.
Features of the Instax SQ20 include Double Exposure, Collage, or adding Vignette effects on the go. Plus, it's powered by a built-in battery unit which is capable of lasting up to several days.
Daylight photos on this camera are fairly decent. However, you may need to adjust the exposure before hitting the shutter button. However, low light photos tend to have noise.
The internal memory can store around 50 photos, which you can boost by adding the microSD card. Again, the digital quality and resolution of the photos will suffer if you blow up the pictures to print through a photo printer.
Unlike the Polaroid Snap, the Fujifilm Instax SQ20 is bigger and measures around 6.8 x 6.8 x 4 inches. It uses traditional Fujifilm film to print the photos and is available in Black and Beige.
Another instant camera with SD card support is the Kodak Printomatic. It uses Zink paper to print photos, unlike the one above. The Printomatic is perfect if you do not want to fuss around with exposure settings and other things. Instead, this camera takes care of it all. In short, it's a point-and-shoot camera and is suitable for kids.
The Printomatic's prints measure around 2 x 3 inches, and the photo quality tends to have less saturation, thanks to the use of Zink photo paper. However, it still manages to churn out pretty decent images at the $70 price point. And to add to it, all the photo prints are water-resistant and have an adhesive back, making it convenient to stick to scrapbooks and journals.
And when it comes to digital prints, you can expect them to be somewhere around 3680 × 2760 pixels. And the good news is that the digital version contains parts that are otherwise cropped out in the printed version.
The Kodak Printomatic has a simple and straightforward design. It's light and can easily fit in the palm of your hand. And the dual color tone gives it an adorable look. Though it's available in a black and white color variant, I'd say the trademark yellow and white color combo would look great and stand out.
The Canon IVY CLIQ is one of the newest instant cameras to hit the market. And along with that, it's also one of the slimmest cameras out there. It can print photos that measure around 2 x 3 or 2 x 2 inches. Like its counterparts, it uses Zink paper to print photos. Though they tend to have less saturation, the good news is that the photos are waterproof and smudge resistant.
Other than that, IVY CLIQ is powered by lithium-polymer batteries that are rechargeable via the micro USB port at the bottom. When it comes to features, this one comes with a nifty Reprint option which as the name implies, lets you have multiple copies of the same image.
And when it comes to external storage, this trendy instant camera supports MicroSD cards up to 64 GB that can hold thousands of your memories.
However, there's a slight catch to this camera. You can't click pictures without printing. The external memory card is solely for creating digital backup copies, and that's about it. If you are thinking about saving on the Zink photo paper, then sadly, this instant camera is not the one for you.
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With instant cameras with slots for SD cards, you can print out the photos and create a digital backup at the same time. Just remember to copy and store them in cloud service from time to time. And well, when it comes to printing them, a touch of post-processing always helps.
With the holiday season around the corner, it makes sense to invest in a camera that lets you keep and cherish these memories forever. What say?
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