Instant Cameras

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FAQ About Instant Cameras

Think of an instant camera as the analog grandfather of apps like Instagram. A retro blast-from-the-past, these cameras have returned to the mainstream. Ideal for creating one-off memories at parties, weddings, and other social events, instant cameras are not about social media sharing and all about in-person, face-to-face sharing.

What is an instant camera?
An instant camera creates a fully developed print within a few minutes of pushing the shutter, so you don't have to make a trip to the photo lab. It uses an all-in-one specialty film that includes the negative, chemical developers and substrates used to make a photographic image, and the photo paper for the final print.

What are the benefits of using an instant camera?
The benefit of an instant camera is the instant gratification you get having the developed print in your hot little hand, tout de suite. And while you might think the ubiquity of social media would make something like an instant camera obsolete, there's something incredibly personal about a photo that you can literally share with only a single person. Plus with an instant camera you won't need to apply any Instagram-style filters as your photo will already have a retro, nostalgic quality to the image.

What are some key differences with regular cameras?
The biggest difference between an instant camera and a regular film camera is instant image processing and printing. Regular film cameras need to have the film developed before any images can be printed. Compared to a film or digital camera, an instant camera has simple automatic exposure settings and limited in- and on-camera features. But, that's kind of the point. Instant cameras are meant to be simple to operate and super fun to use.

What things should you look for when buying an instant camera?
If you're familiar with photography look for an instant camera that gives you more exposure features. This allows you to tweak the settings and offers a little more flexibility when shooting. Other features such as a flash, tripod mount, and viewfinder can also come in handy. If none of that matters to you, the best instant camera for you is, of course, the one that's going to fit within your budget.


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