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Polaroid vs Instax

In today’s digital age, people usually use smartphones to take photos or selfies, and only a few knew about instant film cameras. But surprisingly, there are still people who love snapping photos and then printing them in just a few seconds.

When it comes to instant photo cameras, Polaroid and Fujifilm are considered the two major manufacturers. First-time buyers of this type of camera get confused, about which brand is best for them.

Traditionally, Polaroid cameras produce photo prints instantly instead of relying on the film for recording images, which will be printed later on. The brand today is under different ownership and does instant photography differently, where the image is being recorded digitally.

Developed by Fujifilm, Instax started as clunky yet robust cameras along with the large square film. Later on, the manufacturer developed the “mini” camera range with a vast array of color options, which produces credit card-sized photos.

Both polaroid and Instax are instant cameras that allow you to see images in just a matter of seconds. However, these cameras are not equally designed and built. In this polaroid vs Instax comparison, you have the best chance to discover their shared features and weaknesses. Not only that, but you will also learn their body comparison and the reason why it is better for you to choose Polaroid over Instax and vice versa.

From this Fuji Instax vs polaroid, we used different camera models of each brand for better comparison like Polaroid Snap and Instax Mini 9. We make sure to keep this guide informative and simple for both and seasoned photographers. For more ideas, you can take a look at the side-by-side comparison of polaroid snap vs Instax. You may also like Instax Mini 8 vs. 9

Polaroid vs. Instax

Head-to-Head Comparison of Polaroid vs Instax

Polaroid (Polaroid Snap)Instax (Instax Mini 9)
Size1 x 4.7 x 3 inches3 x 5 x 5.5 inches
Weight7.52 oz.10.8 oz.
Photo Size2 x 3 inches2.44 x 1.81 inches
BatteryBuilt-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery2 AA
Prints Per Charge15 to 20100
No. of Sheets1010
Exposure ModesAutomatic ModeFull Manual
White Balance TypeAutoCloudy, Sunny
Manual FocusN/AYes
Lens ConstructionN/A2 components, 2 elements
ViewfinderOptical TTLOptical TTL
Built-In FlashN/AYes
Focal Length25.8 mm60 mm
Shutter SpeedAutomatic1/60 sec

Polaroid vs. Instax Shared Features

To start the polaroid snap vs. Instax comparison, let’s take a look at their shared features. Both of them come in a very simple setups, although they differ in battery use. The Polaroid Snap has a built-in lithium battery that needs to be charged using a USB cable, while the Instax Mini 9 requires 2 AA batteries.

When loading the paper, you need to fill each of the camera rear doors with 10 sheets. The process is very straightforward; all you need to do is to open the rear cover and insert the paper. Both of them share a native focus range of 60 cm onwards.

Another shared characteristic that you can find in both polaroid snap vs Fujifilm Instax is their viewfinder, which is optical TTL (through-the-lens). Without the help of other camera equipment, you can use the flash of each camera.

In the TTL metering, the intensity of light that has been reflected from a particular scene can be measured through the polaroid and Instax lens. This is opposed to the use of an external hand-held light meter or a separate metering window. You may also like to read more about best vlogging camera reviews.

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Camera Body Comparison

The photo or film dimensions of today’s Polaroid are much smaller than the old models, while the Instax series delivers photos that are about as small as a size of a credit card with a border of 2.4 x 1.8 inches.

Meanwhile, the photos produced by the Polaroid are larger, measured 3 x 2 inches, and borderless. You can print the smaller image using paper with a white border.

As for the camera size of the polaroid vs. Instax camera size, you might like to take a look at the comparison table below for better ideas.

Polaroid SnapHeight: 1’Width: 4.7”Depth: 3”Weight: 7.52 oz
Instax Mini 9Height: 3”Width: 5”Depth: 5”Weight: 10.8 oz

One of the main advantages of the Polaroid over the Instax range is its size and shape bring more convenient and smaller. Measuring about 1 x 4.7 x 7.52 inches, the camera can perfectly fit your pocket, which is a bit impossible with Instax cameras.

To be particular, the design of the Instax Mini is the reason why it is a little bulky. On the bright side, you can easily hold the upside. In case you worry that you might drop the camera, you can attach a strap to its body.

Overall, if you wish for a smaller instant camera, the Polaroid Snap suits your needs. However, if a more modern look is your thing, the Instax Mini 9 will work best for you. We have some superb! review guides about Smallest Spy CameraBest Disposable Cameras

Why Consider the Polaroid Over the Instax

Why Consider the Polaroid Over the Instax?

In this section, you will learn the reasons for choosing the Polaroid over the Instax. Again, we will take the Polaroid Snap and the Instax Mini 9 as examples so that you can have a clearer idea.

When it comes to paper options, the Polaroid Snap comes in ZINK (Zero Ink) paper, which refers to the type of thermal printing process. This ink technology helps in preserving the photos since they are smudge-and-fade-proof. Then, you can choose between 2 qualities, Standard and Prime.

The simplicity of the Polaroid is what makes it very appealing. You do not need to focus the lens or tweak it with the flash. The easiest way to use this camera is by directly looking through the pop-up viewfinder and then clicking.

Being a Polaroid model, the Snap lets you shoot 10MP photos with filter options of black and white, normal, and vintage sepia tone. Not only that, it supports a micro SD card at a maximum of 32GB storage.

Another feature that will make you choose the Polaroid is the option of printing photos along with the Polaroid Classic Border Logo. You can also take advantage of photo booth mode, giving you an opportunity to take 6 rapid-succession photos in just 10 seconds.

The Polaroid Snap is a nice camera for tech-driven photographers, but it is also ideal for kids and beginners. Both camera and printer are effectively integrated into one eye-catching, portable design. When shooting, you can opt for the self-timer mode to help you take a beautiful selfie. Before printing, you can apply the filter of your choice for more personalized results.

Overall, the best reason why you should opt for Polaroid is its ability to save photos on a micro SD card.

Why Consider the Instax Over the Polaroid

Why Consider the Instax Over the Polaroid?

The next section of this polaroid snap vs. Instax comparison is discovering the reasons why it is best for you to choose the Instax over the Polaroid.

Like the Polaroid cameras, the Instax cameras have also their strengths. It comes in a wider focal length of 60mm and features a small mirror located on the rear of the camera for the more effective taking of selfies. Regardless of the lighting conditions, the flash of Mini 9 will automatically fire. You can also check out about Best Camera for Filmmaking on a Budget

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Interestingly, you can change the value of the aperture by simply adjusting its brightness dial, including f/32 for very sunny, f/22 for sunny, and f/16 for cloudy, and f/12.7 for indoors. Since it has a close-up that you can attach to the camera’s lens unit, it’s a lot easier for you to focus at a maximum of 35 cm for semi-macro work or selfies.

Due to the round toy-like design, the Instax Mini 9 looks more appealing to the users. It is designed with a chunky grip allowing you to use the instant camera in portrait or landscape orientation.

The Instax Mini 9 is also known for its basic controls like an optical viewfinder, shutter button, and flash. Besides, it also features a brightness dial with 5 settings.

Polaroid vs. Instax Shared Weaknesses

In instant photography, the use of film is high-quality film is essential. On the other hand, many people find the film of both Polaroid and Instax to be expensive, making it not very practical for those who are on a tight budget.

Polaroid and Instax are designed with a cool and interesting look, but they still have a downside when it comes to ergonomics. Although Polaroid is lighter and smaller than Instax, the backside remains to be bulky. So, users might feel uncomfortable when using these cameras.

If you love using a tripod when taking a picture, these cameras will not work best for your requirements. Both polaroids vs Instax do not come with a tripod, so taking pictures could be challenging for you.

What the Reviewers Say

Despite the trend for using a smartphone in capturing precious and memorable moments, there are still people who appreciate the uniqueness and nostalgic effect of instant cameras like polaroid vs Instax.

To help you decide and get more ideas about the polaroid and Instax cameras, you can take advantage of the following online reviews:

Reviewer’s Take on the Polaroid

For many users of instant cameras, the rechargeable battery of Polaroid made it stand out from other cameras. This means that users can save from frequent buying of batteries. All you need to do is to recharge the camera, and you will get hundreds of beautiful photos.

The Polaroid camera comes in cool filters, making it a lot easier to produce images based on your personal preference. Not only that, you can choose whether you want the paper with or without the border.

Despite the vintage vibe it offers, the Polaroid made it possible to take, print, and share photos according to the modern taste of many. In other words, it delivers very nostalgic photos but in a modern package.

Reviewer’s Take on the Instax

For sure, those who are new to instant photography will fall in love with the Instax series. This camera lets you express yourself more effectively through a vast range of colors. Thus, it is a perfect companion for fast-printing photography.

The selfie mirror, along with the close-up lens is among the reasons why Instax is more interesting. Despite having a vintage style of photography, it can give you a modern-day way of enjoying photos since you can easily take selfies.

No matter the lighting condition, you can achieve the perfect balance of light. Whether you are in a dark or too light environment, taking clear and crisp photos is very easy.

Final Verdict

Whether you are a fan of Instax or you are loyal to Polaroid, it is necessary for you to keep in mind that these cameras are worth the investment if you appreciate the beauty of instant photography. With these cameras, you do not need to buy a printer; all you need to do is to insert a film, shoot, and then print fantastic photos.

In this polaroid vs. Instax, you have discovered that the two cameras have differences as well as similarities. So, the next big thing you need to do is to choose which camera will suit your needs as well as your budget.

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Jason Baxter

Jason is a professional photographer based in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Loyd has been doing photography for over 14 years and specializes in fine art landscape photography. Loyd's work has appeared on book covers, CD covers, television, internet galleries, and on the walls of private residences.