New digital-hybrid Instax camera saves a file, spits out a print, and even has a film advance lever

Originally published at: New digital-hybrid Instax camera saves a file, spits out a print, and even has a film advance lever | Boing Boing


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Note that there’s no card slot: you have to use the Instax app if you want digital copies.

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More survived when Polaroid didn’t.

Instax dates to the late 90’s, about a decade before original Polaroid stopped producing film and cameras.

And Fuji had been making Polaroid compatible cameras and film stock since the early 80’s.

Fuji stuff was always primarily popular in Asia, and instant photography stayed popular there this whole time. Instax was launched for the Asian market, and I think it replaced their Polaroid compatible films rather than going along with them. I certainly haven’t seen Fuji brand Polaroid format film since like 2005ish.

Instax didn’t really ship in the west until after Polaroid tanked, but it was pretty established by that point.

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It was available for a while after that. I think the last products were cancelled in 2015 or so. I’d have to check to be sure but I’m pretty sure I could still get it c. 2012 or 2013. That was when I sold off my Polaroid 405’s because the packs were getting too expensive.

Now I am waiting on delivery of the Lomography Graflex back for Instax. That should be fun. I don’t quite get why anyone would bother with this hybrid thing.

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I have an Automat Glass. It’s a blast.

It does the mini films, but square and wide are still tough to come by without ordering online so I was looking at mini cameras for a neat toy. That’s less of an issue if you are playing with backs and shit.

Some people legitimately want a digital copy of the photos on these. Or to make multiple copies. So there are a couple of products directed at that.

Polaroid makes a little film printer. It’s like a clever little duplicator stand, you can stack your phone or a print on it to print or copy a photo. Probably anything else that’ll fit too

Apparently they’re doing better with that than with their Bluetooth photo printers. Those use paper rather than film.

Otherwise the major competitor for instant film right now is that kind of portable printer, or cameras with them integrated. Mainly from Canon and Kodak, using a sort of thermal photo paper called Zink.

Prints are cheaper, they hold more prints, and they go in digital cameras that can save images and contain Bluetooth printers or in separate Bluetooth printers that can print from anything.

They aren’t film, look no different than a regular print, and don’t last as long. There’s big fading problems.

So Polaroid and Instax kinda push “real film” and the look as the point, as well as longevity, and still apparently out sell those Zink cameras. Fuji at least.

Instax Mini can be nearly as cheap per shot as Zink. It’s far more stable with time, beating even Polaroid on that these days. And it’s way easier to find. Every gas station and drug store has Instax Mini carts around. That gives them a chance to eat the Zink cameras with all that real film cool that already makes them more desirable.

Oddly. Zink was originally a Polaroid product, and these kind of portable digital printers/cameras are part of what killed it in the first place. Their own printer is a) a Zink printer b) the last thing put out as a licensed product by the other half of Polaroid before it all merged back up with Impossible.

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Yeah, I already have two cameras that will take Graflex backs, so it seemed the way to go.

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It sounds like it’s going to be a fun setup.

And it’s not a thing that’s gonna lead to an “Oh no, I ran out of film while playing around down the bar” situation. Which is where overpaying for a pack of film at CVS comes into it.

Cute! Would be fun around the family kidlets.

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