The Kodak Step Touch instant camera does more than just print photos

Originally published at: The Kodak Step Touch instant camera does more than just print photos | Boing Boing

So… do you shake the picture when it comes out to “make it dry faster”?

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I would, due to ancient habit

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It’s $49.99 US on Amazon, $75 US with the cam & 50 print bundle.

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My experience with Zink (my subjective experience):

I have bought printers and camera+printers that use Zink “film”/paper and in my opinion they just are not good. I really want them to work. I have terrible handwriting; My sketches are passable, but still not great. But I like to send postcards and letters when I am out and about to my love (who has saved most of all them for decades). A picture sometimes really helps- I started with an old Polaroid (too big) and later the little iGo and Fuji Mio instant film cameras. None were great, but Zink just hasn’t replaced the old process.

I hate to type something negative, but year after year a new Zink product is rolled out and every few years I get a new one, hoping that it comes close to providing the promise of a photo with some fidelity and a digital file that can be saved or done with as I please.

If somebody has a lovely story about this camera, please share it. Currently, my go to is my phone and a Polaroid Hi-print. It’s a tiny little dye sub printer that makes tiny prints with colors that come close to what I just took a photo of, instead of nearly hinting at the color.

Wired has a more positive view than mine and the reviews of Zink products from September of 2019 are in the link.

Buyer beware: before you jump into this with hope that it is a more durable and compact version of a small format instant film camera with the benefit of a digital file should first look at the end product.

I really want Zink to work, but so far, the product has lacked clarity and color, and the products generally have been irritating to use. I don’t like writing negative things on BoingBoing, but Zink has vexed me long enough that I felt the need to share.

Edit to add: Techmoan has some reviews of cameras and printers that use Zink. I like his reviews, and he is more positive. Just search Zink on his Youtube page.

Second Edit to add: Hey BoingBoing post some video and photos of the products being used by the content writers and show us what made the products you present via your store so fantastic.

Last edit to add: The video does make it look like it has improved, but past experience makes me not trust videos from manufactures that sell Zink products. Rant over.

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I happen to own both a prior version of this camera (the Kodak Snap) and a Fuji Instax camera.

Honestly, they are very different cameras. The optical Fuji system gives you a clearer picture with all the advantages and disadvantages of film. It looks better, IMHO.

The romantic thing about the Fuji is that the image you hold in your hands was at the site that you took the photo; it interacted in the environment that you took the photo of. It was there with you when you took the photo. It is from that environment. You have to carry it back with you, and it’s a chunk of there that you are bringing back. But that’s also it’s big problem: all you have with the Fuji, all you will ever have with the Fuji is that one, single, small print. No second copy, no digital file, no negatives.

The Snap, on the other hand, gives you a digital copy; you can reprint the photo (but not on the camera itself). But the optical system isn’t very good, the digital camera is a bit flat, the clarity of the print isn’t so good, and the digital file is very much a mid-2010’s cell phone quality file. The print itself doesn’t feel like an artifact or a relic (like the Fuji’s does), but more like a ephemeral wisp or a novelty folly that is good for sticking on something or having fun with. It’s a good thing that you don’t have to scan the sticker because the printer is… OK.

I wanted the Snap to be good. Zink paper is a lot less expensive than the Instax film. But it just feels lacking sometimes.

Both are fun at parties. The Snap has the advantage that you get to keep the digital copy of the photo, while if you use the Fuji and gift the photo you don’t get a copy. Both are fun for casual photos. I’d probably just use a cell phone if you don’t need a right-now print.

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