Best Polaroid Cameras 2022

If you want the instant gratification of snapping a photo and sharing it on social media, use the cameras built into your smartphone. But if the idea of immediately sharing a physical print with other people intrigues you, one of the best Polaroid cameras or instant cameras is the way to go. Such cameras—including our pick for the best Polaroid camera overall, the Polaroid Now+—combine a film cartridge with paper to capture and develop an image in front of your eyes, just like the iconic Polaroid cameras of yesteryear.

Today’s best instant cameras, which still include Polaroid cameras, have a more diverse set of features than the vintage models from the 1970s. Some even have memory card slots, so you can capture a digital version of the image as well as print it instantly. Whether you’re with a group of friends and want to share candid photos, or you’re attending a special event and want to capture spontaneous memories, taking photos with an instant camera is both fun and rewarding. People of all ages still love the instant gratification of watching a color print come to life in their hands, which is why these cameras make great gifts for teens and adults alike.

After testing and research, we’ve rounded up the best Polaroid and instant cameras available right now, so keep reading to learn about all of your instant camera options. If you’re looking for something less retro and more digital, we’ve got you covered. Check out our coverage of the best action cameras, best point-and-shoot digital cameras, and best mirrorless cameras.


Film type: Polaroid i-Type | Print size: 3.1 x 3 inches

Best for: The vintage Polaroid instant picture-taking experience, with a few modern twists.

To make getting started with instant photography easier, Polaroid shifted to selling its popular Now+ camera as part of specialized sets. For example, there’s the Starter Set, Travel Set and Gift Set. Each comes with at least one box of instant film and includes at least one camera accessory. This Starter Kit bundles the Now+ camera, two boxes of color i-Type film, one box of black and white i-Type film and five camera lens filters.

This modern twist on a vintage Polaroid camera can wirelessly link with a smartphone, and you can remotely control the camera via your phone—making it easy to focus, adjust aperture priority and create cinematic photos using light paintings or double exposure techniques.


  • Camera comes with three boxes of film
  • Includes five special effect camera filters
  • Camera pairs wireless with a smartphone via Bluetooth


  • Additional film is expensive

Film type: Polaroid Go Film | Print size: 2.1 x 2.6 inches

Best for: Taking instant photos while you’re on-the-go.

Polaroid Go offers the same instant gratification of being able to snap a photo and then have a print in your hand within minutes, but the camera is shrunk down to make it much more portable. Features include a self-timer and the ability to capture instant selfies. However, with the smaller camera size comes smaller size prints that are just 2.1 x 2.6-inches.

This camera works exclusively with Polaroid Go Film (sold separately). Amazon separately sells a discounted film bundle that includes five double film packs—enough to shoot 80 photos—for $110.


  • More compact than the Polaroid Now+
  • Film is less expensive


  • Print size is just 2.1 x 2.6 inches

Film type: Kodak Instant Print | Print size: 3 x 3 inches

Best for: Creating digital and instant prints.

The Kodak Mini Shot 3 Retro has a different design than the Polaroid Go, but it’s as compact and portable. It serves as a 10-megapixel digital camera stores images on internal memory, as well as an instant camera that can create 3 x 3-inch prints.

The camera connects wirelessly with any smartphone, so you can transfer images from your phone’s camera to print on the Mini Shot 3. You can also snap photos on the Mini Shot 3, create instant prints and then transfer the digital images to your mobile device. It comes with two boxes of Kodak Instant Print 3 x 3-inch film cartridges—enough to create 60 instant prints.


  • Create instant prints and digital versions of images
  • You choose which images to print
  • Additional film is more affordable than competitors


  • Digital images are relatively low resolution

Film type: Instax Mini Film Sheets | Print size: 2.4 x 1.8 inches

Best for: Kids, thanks to its oversized buttons.

The Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 is one of the simplest and most affordable of Fujifilm’s instant cameras. The camera features a curvy, ultra-simplistic design, and its casing comes in bright colors. It has automatic exposure so you don’t have to fuss with settings, and a built-in flash for shooting in low-light situations.

The Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 comes with a pair of shutter buttons, so you can choose among a jewel or glow-in-the-dark button. Want to take a selfie? Pop the lens out to configure the camera for a closeup and take aim. A tiny selfie mirror embedded beside the lens helps you frame your shot, perfect for a gaggle of friends on an afternoon out. Film comes in packages of 20, 50 and 120 sheets. A package of 20 Instax Mini film sheets sells for $14 on Amazon, while 50 Instax Mini film sheets costs about $41 and 120 sheets costs $80.


  • A large camera body with big buttons
  • Extremely easy to use
  • Comes in several youth-friendly colors


  • Expensive film
  • Lacks tripod or stand mount

Best Features

Film type: Fujifilm Instax Mini | Print size: 2.4 x 1.8 inches

Best for: An advanced photographer who wants instant prints.

Back in the day, the popularity of Lomo’s simple point-and-shoot cameras gave birth to an entire style of photography, called Lomography. Today’s rendition of this camera, called the Lomography Lomo’Instant camera, is for the more adventurous instant photographer. Like most instant cameras, it’s fully automatic, however, it’s focus is not automatic. This camera is more advanced than the typical instant cameras: It comes with three interchangeable lenses—for far, moderate, and close focus distances. And it has other advanced features like multiple exposures and long exposures using a “bulb” setting that leaves the shutter open for as long as you hold the button down (up to 30 seconds). This is a popular technique for night photography and for creating artistic light trail photos. The removable lens cap for this camera has a wireless remote control built in for triggering the shutter from a distance. The camera uses Fujifilm Instax Mini film cartridges to produce its creative prints.


  • A wonderful modern-day rendition of a Lomography camera
  • Three interchangeable lenses
  • Has three shooting modes


  • Generates small size prints
  • Expensive camera

Film type: Polaroid i-Type | Print size: 3.108 x 3.024 inches

Best for: Gifting an instant camera.

The Polaroid Now+ Gift Set is very much like the Starter Set, but it includes the camera, just one box of i-Type film and a camera strap which uses Polaroid’s iconic color scheme. This bundle also includes a set of five lens filters. Unlike the Polaroid cameras of yesteryear, this one has a built-in rechargeable battery. As its name suggests, this is a great gift for someone who would enjoy discovering the art of instant photography.

The biggest drawback to this camera is the cost of the film. A single box of i-Type film (enough for just eight shots) costs around $17, so you wind up paying slightly more than $2 per image.


  • Includes five special effect filters
  • Camera pairs wirelessly with a smartphone via Bluetooth
  • Includes a camera strap


  • Comes with enough film for just eight shots

Canon Ivy CLIQ+2 Instant Camera

Film type: Zink photo paper | Print size: 2 x 3 inches

Best for: Taking digital photos and choosing to print your faves on sticker paper.

The Canon Ivy Cliq+2 serves three purposes. It’s an instant camera, a digital camera and a photo printer for your smartphone or tablet. As an instant camera, it can take photos and instantly print them on low-cost Zink paper (which has a peel and stick adhesive backing). As a digital camera, it can take digital images, store them on a microSD card and print your favorites at will. Or you can transfer those images to a computer or mobile device and then share them online. The Ivy Click+2 can also receive images from your mobile device via Bluetooth wireless and quickly create prints of those images.

The camera has a two-inch selfie mirror and eight LED ring lights, making it perfect for selfies and group shots, too. With a compact, easy-to-carry design, this instant camera is great companion. Its biggest drawback is its comparatively low-resolution, 8-megapixel image sensor—which is enough for images printed at 2 x 3 inches, but less compelling if you ever want to print the image at a larger size.


  • Hybrid digital and instant camera
  • Uses low-cost Zink paper
  • Creates 2 x 3-inch prints


  • Low-resolution sensor (just 8MP)
  • Limited capabilities as a digital camera
  • Requires a microSD memory card to store images (sold separately)

Film type: Proprietary Canon ink/paper set | Print size: 4 x 6 or 2.1 x 2.1 inches

Best for: Printing 4 x 6-inch prints from digital images.

If you care about the instant print aspect of instant cameras but prefer to use your own digital camera or smartphone camera, the Canon Selphy CP1500 standalone photo printer can get you started. This printer produces 4 x 6-inch prints from digital images sent to it via Bluetooth wireless or from an SD memory card. While compact, it weighs two pounds and is large enough you won’t necessarily carry it around with you all day, but it can be a great asset at a party or on your desk. It can work via a battery (sold separately).

The Selphy uses special label paper from Canon. Its proprietary ink/paper cartridge can generate 108 glossy prints before needing to be replaced. Cartridges cost around $33, which brings the print cost down to around $0.30 each. Each print uses dye-sublimation printing that’s water resistant and will not fade for up to 100 years. It’s easy to preview an image before it’s printed using the printer’s built in 3.5-inch display. It can also output 2.1 x 2.1-inch square prints on sticker-paper.


  • Creates 4 x 6 or 2.1 x 2.1-inch glossy prints
  • Printer battery lasts for up to 50 prints
  • Low cost per print


  • Built-in display is not a touchscreen

Film type: Proprietary HP ink and paper cartridge | Print size: 4 x 6 inches

Best for: Creating 4 x 6-inch prints from a mobile device.

The battery-powered HP Sprocket Studio Plus printer can generate a single 4 x 6-inch, glossy print in about a minute. The printer connects to Android and iOS devices via Wi-Fi, so you can output images from your smartphone or tablet with ease via HP’s app.

It uses dye sublimation technology to create vivid prints that are tear-resistant, smudge-proof and waterproof. Prints are dry to the touch as soon as they come out of the printer. Replacement ink and paper cartridges cost about $30 and generate 80 prints, making the cost per print around $0.40.


  • Low cost per print
  • Generates 4 x 6-inch prints with vivid colors
  • Add borders, text and other effects to images before printing


  • Relies on a Wi-Fi connection
  • No display
  • Requires a smartphone app to control the printer

What Is An Instant Camera?

These days, most modern instant cameras—including Polaroid’s instant cameras and Fujifilm’s Instax cameras—take a similar approach. These cameras develop their own prints, ranging from nearly instant output to up to 15 minutes to fully develop after a sheet of film leaves the camera.

While Polaroid and Instax cameras expose traditional, chemically treated film with light, a very different—and less costly option—is a Zink camera. Short for “Zero Ink,” these instant cameras are digital cameras with a built-in Zink printer. Instead of using ink cartridges, like normal inkjet computer printers, Zink embeds all the ink into the paper itself, similar to how Polaroid prints carry their own chemicals for printing. The benefit, of course, is the nostalgic thrill of snapping a photo and then having a full-color or black and white print in your hands in a matter of minutes.

What Should You Consider In An Instant Camera?

Ease-of-use, focus, features and film/paper price and size are all aspects of instant cameras worth looking it before you buy. Options vary by model and manufacturer. Instant cameras are all about fun, so they mostly offer the most basic point-and-shoot functionality, and they have similar features and performance. A few, however, add a few modern twists as compared with the original instant cameras from decades ago.

Are Instant Cameras Easy To Use?

Yes. Most instant cameras are simple point-and-shoot cameras. You look through a viewfinder, frame your shot, press the shutter button and an “instant” print pops out of the camera. Some models, however, offer additional functions that require a bit more tinkering with the camera when snapping photos.

Is Instant Camera Film Expensive?

The price of instant film is often the biggest deterrent to purchasing and using one of these cameras. Each instant camera model requires a very specific type of instant film. In some cases, you could pay between $1 and $2 per image, so as you’re choosing an instant camera, pay attention to the cost of the film and how many shots (image sheets) are included with each film package.

Do Instant Cameras Have A Lot Of Controls And Features?

Additional features built into some instant cameras give you more creative control over your photography. These features may include a selfie mode, a remote shutter, advanced exposure controls (like flashbulb photography), a landscape shooting mode, a macro shooting mode or the ability to transfer images directly to a smartphone via Bluetooth. Some of the latest instant cameras even allow you to remotely control the camera from a smartphone while you’re taking pictures.

The design of each instant camera is slightly different, although most offer the same core set of features and functions. Choose a camera that will fit well in your hands and has intuitive controls.

Another consideration is the size of the camera itself. If you plan on carrying the camera around while on vacation or taking pictures at a special event (such as a wedding), a smaller size camera may be more convenient. The smaller instant cameras, however, generate smaller size prints. Figure out what size prints you want to generate and then choose an appropriate camera.

Do Instant Cameras Have Removable Batteries?

Most of today’s instant cameras rely on a built-in rechargeable battery. Pay attention to the average number of shots you can expect to take per battery charge and make sure this matches your needs. Once the camera’s battery goes dead, you need to plug it in and wait for it to fully recharge, which could take up to several hours.

Which Is The Best Instant Camera To Buy?

This decision comes down to answering three main questions. First, how large of a camera do you want to carry around in order to take instant pictures? Second, how much are you willing to spend on film? Third, beyond simply point-and-shoot functionality, what additional features are you looking for? Once you answer these three questions, which instant camera is the best camera to buy for your needs becomes much more obvious.

Should I Get A Polaroid Or A Different Instant Camera Brand?

Again, this decision comes down to what you’re looking for out of your instant camera experience. Polaroid offers a selection of updated instant cameras that look very much like the instant cameras from yesteryear, but they include some modern features. If you’re looking to recreate the picture taking experience you had back in the 1970s, the Polaroid Now+ is a great option.

However, some of the instant cameras offered by Fujifilm or Kodak, for example, offer a different camera style altogether, support different film types, and create different size instant prints.