“ Manufacturer: Polaroid / Instant Camera / Compact. „
I had always dreamed of having a polaroid camera, but they had become hard to get hold of, and the films for them were even harder to get my hands on. On my birthday one year I was given this as a present and was very excited to use it!
Compared to your average point and shoot camera, this polaroid is rather large in size, it is probably around triple the size. It is not easy to carry around like most are these days, but I find that polaroids are more for special occasions or very special moments that you want to capture anyway, not for everyday use.
The lens and flash of the camera lift up from the main part and click into place before you can use it. There is a viewfinder at the back of this part, which is easily accessible. To take a picture you simply have to press the button on the top, and you will hear a noise as it takes the photograph and pushes the film out of the flap in the front. A couple of minutes later and the photograph should be fully developed on the film and ready to be stuck in your photo album!
For picture quality, polaroids are no longer the best option. The film is no longer being made, so the film that does exist and is being sold is likely to be very old. The pack that I got was just about out of date, which made for varying picture quality. Some were very light and you were unable to really see the photographs subject. But if your film is within date and good quality you may get better results.
If you can get your hands on this camera, or any of the original polaroid snappers, I would definitely recommend it. Modern day printed photographs are nothing like having your very own collection of special polaroid photographs. Your best bet for finding one is probably an auction site like ebay.
I have owned my Polaroid instant camera for 12 years now and its still going strong! Unfortunately Polaroid have stopped manufacturing both the camera and the film that it uses.
You can still get the camera fairly cheaply on ebay, but maybe not for very much longer so if you want to snap (excuse the pun) up a piece of photographic history now might be your best chance. The film is also available on ebay but the price is creeping up as it becomes rarer, so use it wisely.
The camera is quite large, especially compared to modern digital cameras, it probably won't fit in your handbag and definitely not your pocket. There is an adjustable handle on one side of the camera to make holding it easy.
To load and unload the film, you push a button on the side of the camera and a flap drops to reveal a slot for the cartridge, there is an arrow to let you know which direction to load the film. When you have used all the pictures, simply press the button to re-open the flap and pull the empty cartridge out using the tab provided. Its really very simple and user friendly.
To take a picture, you lift a large flap on the front of the camera to reveal the lens and the flash. The viewfinder is at the back of the camera to the left and the shutter button is on the right hand side. After pressing the shutter button, one exposed film will come out of the slot at the front, all you have to do is wait for it to develop and hey presto, you've got your photo!
Each film cartridge gives you ten pictures, and you can check how many you have left by looking into the little round peephole on top of the camera on the left. The price per photograph is quite high so thankfully its very hard to take an accidental photograph of your shoes or the wall, as the shutter button requires quite a bit of pressure, it would be hard to press it fully without meaning to.
The polaroid may seem a bit obsolete in the world of digital photography. After all, the initial appeal was being able to see your photographs as soon as they were taken and this is now the case with most new cameras, you can see them on the LCD screen or use a home printer to have almost immediate high quality prints. But a lot of people are still very fond of the old Polaroid cameras, and most of my friends and family are still very pleased and excited when I bring the Polaroid to an event. There is something iconic and nostalgic about it, and about the little square pictures with the white borders that everyone recognises.
The Polaroid 600 isn't the camera to use if you want perfect results though, its more for fun snapshots as its quite unpredictable. It never seems to focus properly, the colours are always a little off and its easy to get blurry results. As the existing film gets older and older, results with it will probably deteriorate as well. Most of the film available is technically past its 'best before' date now but you can still get similar results for a long time after this date.
It doesn't really have many special features, there is a nice bright flash, and an option to slide a template in front of the viewfinder to help you frame portrait shots but that's about it! Its design, while not exactly a thing of beauty, is a classic and instantly recognisable.
The Polaroid 600 is easy to use, fun and makes a nice change to using a digital camera. They won't be around forever, which is a real shame, but while they're still here, I would recommend a used one to anyone who has never had an instant camera before or to people who had them in the past and have fond memories.
Instant Polaroid cameras are great fun! I used one at my wedding, where my guests took photos of themselves and then put the photo into a guestbook. Then they wrote what they wanted next to their picture. All our guests commented on what a great idea it was and how much fun they had. It's also a wonderful memento of the day. You can get the specialised guest books from http://www.instantforever.com/
I think they are great to use at special occasions. They are easy to load and this version has a feature where you can zoom in and out. The films come in packs of 10, so you do have to be quite picky with the photos you are going to take. The films can also be pretty expensive, especially now as Polaroid has stopped making them. You can still buy them; ebay is a good bet, and the cost around £10 a pack. I bought a 2x 10 pack from Asda for £16 about a year ago, I'm not sure if they still do them. I was lucky enough to get my camera from Free Cycle.
You rarely see them these days, but people love using them. I still have mine and don't want to part from it, even though I don't use it regularly. It's a shame Polaroid have stopped producing them as I think they're a timeless classic.