5 Best Instant Cameras in India for personal use and gifting

Don’t let life’s special moments slip by into some forgotten folder. Cherish them with a copy of the best moment or scene. Fujifilm Instax Square is the best instant camera for this purpose. It is affordable and prints high quality photos. Whether you stick them in your journal or gift a signed copy to your friend is up to you. The possibilities are endless!

Check out gadgetfriend’s other favourite instant cameras in India below.

5 Best Instant Cameras in India

 

Polaroid Pop

 

Polaroid is the original instant camera that has been in business for more than 80 years! It has now made a trendy comeback with its ‘Pop’ series by merging utility with design.

In terms of instant camera, this one can do all! Click pictures, shoot videos, record audio and make gifs. The only limit is your imagination.

It comes with an LCD screen and a photo editing software that lets you tinker with selfies and other photos. You also get a timer function along with zoom.

Pros

  • 20mp camera
  • Touchscreen display
  • Records 1080p high quality video and audio
  • In-built photo editor
  • Wi-fi (connects to your Smartphone)
  • No waiting period for image to appear on film

Cons

  • Expensive

On the price side, this one’s quite expensive. This is because Polaroid doesn’t have any outlets in India and has to be specially imported.

This makes Polaroid instant cameras even more exclusive. And its just right if you frequently want to switch between the camera and your Smartphone for clicking photos.

If you want the best instant camera with the latest features, look no more! You can also buy the compatible instant film now so you can immediately start clicking and printing cool photos.

The instant films you get have peel-off sticky backs that you can stick on shelves and study tables.

If the Polaroid above seems too expensive, then consider buying this instant camera from Fujifilm. In the last few years Fujifilm has established itself as an innovative and reliable brand in the instant camera segment.

Understanding the Indian consumer’s needs, Fujifilm has kept their instant cameras functional, attractive and more importantly, affordable.

You get a 3.7mp camera with the basic flash and zoom functions along with a basic photo editing software that you can operate from the camera’s LCD screen.

Pros

  • Dual Shutter buttons
  • Photo editing software built-in
  • Prints in 12 seconds
  • LCD display
  • Internal & external storage memory

Cons

  • No Smartphone connectivity
  • A little wait time for the image to appear (after film is out)

The only drawback is you cannot connect it to your Smartphone. But its price makes up for it!

You also have to wait a few seconds after the film comes out, for the image to appear on the film. This instant camera is ideal for users who want to stick to the camera and enjoy taking instant pictures.

Since, the camera doesn’t come with starter film pack, you’ll have to buy yours separately. Here’s a link to the instant film that’s compatible with Fujifilm’s Instax Square.

Overall, this is the best instant camera in India!

If you prefer the brand, Kodak which is known to most Indian consumers, then you’re in luck. Kodak has its own range of instant cameras.

This Printomatic offers the basic instant camera features. There’s not a lot to do because of its limited features but that means you cannot go wrong with this camera or press a button accidently.

Even if there’s no accompanying user manual, its easy to figure out what does what. All you have to do is load the film, point, and shoot.

Pros

  • 10mp camera
  • Ideal as gift option for teens
  • Minimalistic design and features
  • No wait time for image to develop

Cons

  • No internal memory
  • No display

The picture quality is decent and could have been better. But when the camera is about old-school feels and the instant joy of seeing your photo in hand, the downside doesn’t matter much.

Also, make sure to buy a pack of films, as you don’t get any with the camera. Here’s a link to save you the search efforts.

This one is the coolest looking instant camera out of all (almost looks like Instagram’s logo doesn’t it?). Ideal for hobbyists and enthusiasts, this Fujifilm instant camera is no doubt economical and stylish.

This instant camera doesn’t distract you with a horde of features. It lets you focus on what you bought it for— capture and print photos! And the camera is designed to make this as easy as possible for you.

 With a simple power switch, you can turn on the camera. The lens comes out and the camera is ready to do its job.

Pros

  • Pocket-friendly
  • Attractive design
  • Selfie mirror for better focusing
  • Battery lasts for about 30 prints
  • Automatic light exposure adjustment

Cons

  • No internal memory
  • No display

To add more fun, you can also choose between a few modes on the camera like landscape, macro, double exposure, different colour filters and so on.

Its best to pre-order a pack of films so you can immediately start shooting and printing awesome photos!

This Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 is the best budget instant camera in India!

Just turn the camera on with a button, adjust the aperture settings depending on the environment (indoors, cloudy, sunny etc.) and you’re ready to start clicking! Labelled as the ‘cutest camera’ by Fujifilm this makes an ideal gift to teenagers or beginners.

Pros

  • Budget buy
  • Cute look
  • Easy operation

Cons

  • No internal memory
  • No display
  • Limited features

You get basic features like flash, a view finder and an indicator for number of films in the camera.

The camera doesn’t come with film pack so you need to get one separately. Instead of waiting for the camera to be delivered first, why not simultaneously order a pack of films too?

Here’s a quick link to the films compatible with this Instax Mini9.

What to expect and not to expect from an instant camera

  • Don’t expect Smartphone-like quality
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Instant cameras either don’t have as good a camera as today’s Smartphones or don’t print such high-quality photos. The small size and instant nature of these cameras give you the instant joy of seeing your photo in hand.

But the image quality may not be as high definition as you may expect. So, buy an instant camera keeping this in mind.

  • Avoid going on a printing spree

If you plan to go on a printing spree with your new Instant camera, you might find yourself in trouble, cost-wise. Buying a pack of instant film can be quite expensive even if you buy in bulk.

In fact, each film costs anywhere between 50 to 100 Rupees depending on the brand of your instant camera.

This doesn’t mean you should be stingy in taking pictures. Just keep the film count at the back of your mind as you have fun.

  • Do learn some basic Photography skills

If you want to make full use of your instant camera’s abilities then a basic photography knowledge will help you a long way. Many users end up having a bad instant camera experience just because they lacked certain tips to improve the image quality.

So, here are a few tips and tricks to help you get started:

Tip #1

Check the light

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You don’t have to be a genius photographer to understand how important light is for a good picture. With an instant camera you have to be more conscious of it, just like back in the old days before digital cameras.

Too much light can make your picture look faded and blurry. Too less light, on the other hand, will give you a dark, unrecognisable mess.

If you’re deliberately aiming for a faded or dark effect then it’s a different matter. But to consistently get good quality prints, be aware of the light around you.

Most instant cameras come with some sort of indicator, where you can adjust how much light gets into the camera. Some cameras adjust their settings automatically without your help, you just need to point & shoot.

Simple guidelines like clicking pictures with the sun behind you, contribute a lot to improving picture quality.

Tip #2

Check the distance

Whatever you click, is going to be printed on a small credit-card like instant film. Most times, the camera even prints within a border of the film, further decreasing the size of the image.

In such a case, if you’re far away from the subject of your photo (like a person, object etc.) it will be hard to make out who’s who in the image. Hence, when using your instant camera, try to fill up your view-finder or digital screen with the subject of your photo to maximise its clarity.

As the space you get in an instant film is quite tiny, make sure you use it wisely and creatively.

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Instant Film Camera— Direct and Indirect costs

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Direct Costs

The price you have to pay at the time of buying an instant camera becomes its direct cost. Instant cameras cost between 3000 to 50000 Rupees.

Depending on your budget and how professional a camera you want, you can choose between instant cameras for personal and recreational use or high-end instant cameras.

However, I would recommend not spending too much on an instant camera as the affordable ones do a good enough job. Whether it’s for decorating your room, clicking photos on a trek or capturing an event, instant cameras between the 10000 to 20000 range meet the needs of most users.

It’s the indirect costs, that you should be careful about. The indirect costs of an instant camera include its film and any accessories you buy like the cover, stickers, sling bag etc.

Mainly, indirect costs are the instant film costs which are recurring in nature. Depending on many how you go, click, click, click with your instant camera will decide how much you must spend on refilling your film stock.

There are two main producers of instant camera films— Fujifilm and Polaroid. However, most instant camera brands produce their own films as it’s a source of recurring income for them.

And it’s better to stick with the branded films as those will give you the best results with your instant camera.

Here are a few pointers you should know about the major instant film producers:

Fujifilm instant films

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  • Fujifilm sells its instant films under the ‘Instax’ banner.
  • The film is available in 3 formats, viz. mini, wide and square
  • The mini and wide films are available in monochrome (black & white) and colour format
  • Instax Mini: Compatible with Fujifilm’s Instax Mini cameras, these films come in the 2.1 in x 3.4 in size. The image gets printed within the film (leaving borders) in 1.8 x 2.4 inches area.
  • Instax Wide: Compatible with the Instax Wide Cameras, these films measure 4.3 x 3.4 inches in dimensions giving you a wider shot compared to a mini
  • Instax Square: These go with the Fujifilm Square (SQ) cameras and as the name suggests, print a square-shaped photo. The film itself measures 2.8 x 3.3 inches with a 2.4 x 2.4 inches image.
  • Whenever you buy a pack of films compatible with your instant camera, go for a bulk option as those are cheaper like a pack of 20, 40 or 80 films.
  • The film comes out of the camera, blank. The image then slowly appears. Waiting for the image to develop has its own charm.

Polaroid Instant films

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Polaroid Instant films go by a variety of names like PIF-300, Premium Zink etc. So instead of getting confused, find compatible films by checking the model name of your camera.

Then compare it with the film’s label and check which instant camera models is the film compatible with. (Or you could just refer to the instant film links I’ve given with each instant camera).

Note- A pack of 20 Fujifilm films is cheaper than a pack of 20 Kodak films which is cheaper than a pack of 20 Polaroid films. So do consider these after sales costs when you’re buying an instant camera.

Also, when the film comes out of the camera the image already appears on the film. There’s no wait time involved. This makes Polaroid cameras fun to use.

Most popular instant camera brands in India

  • Fujifilm

Fujifilm is a Japanese multi-national Company offering a range of products from cosmetics and medicine to digital imaging. In the instant camera market, Fujifilm offers a large collection of instant cameras and instant films for users of all age groups.

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Fujifilm has long been eyeing India’s market and it’s no wonder that Fujifilm instant cameras are currently the most popular in the ‘instant camera’ category.

Fujifilm has an instant camera for every user. A sophisticated design for the broody and serious, while a cutesy style for laidback users. In fact, the largest collection of instant cameras on Amazon is from Fujifilm.

  • Polaroid
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Polaroid Corporation is an age-old brand that once reigned the market. Although the Company changed quite a few hands, it continues to produce instant cameras and instant films.

Keeping up with the trend, Polaroid has introduced a variety of instant cameras with a modern touch. The designs are both stylish and functional and will easily catch your eyes.

However, you’ll find Polaroid’s instant cameras more expensive than others. This is because Polaroid hasn’t fully focused on Indian market and the cameras are mostly drop-shipped (imported) into India.

  • Kodak
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Kodak has long been a trusted brand in India when it comes to cameras and picture quality. If you’re a loyal Kodak fan, you’ll be glad to know they even have their own range of instant cameras!

Labelled as Kodak Printomatic and Kodak Mini shot, both series aim to please with their attractive design and colour choices.

  • Others

Lomography, and LG are other well-known brands with their own instant cameras. However, they aren’t as popular and well received among Indian consumers yet.

This might be because they were late to the party, as Fujifilm and Polaroid are too famous in the instant camera segment.

The difference between a Polaroid and an instant film Camera

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 Just like the major photocopy machine brand— ‘Xerox’ is used interchangeably with ‘photocopy’, a polaroid is used in the same context for instant cameras.

We see many such instances of one major brand name becoming synonymous with the category itself, in our day-to-day life. For example, Bisleri for water, Coke for soft drinks, Aquaguard for water filters and so on.

Similarly, the original Polaroid Corporation, (founded in 1937) was the pioneer in developing and selling instant film cameras commercially. This led to instant cameras being called polaroid cameras, their film as polaroid films and the instant photos were called as polaroids.

Even though the Company went bankrupt, twice, the name stuck. Today, after several acquisitions, Polaroid cameras and films continue to be sold and are giving a tough competition to the other major player— Fujifilm.

In short,

Polaroid is a brand selling instant cameras while instant film cameras are a broad category that include all brands of camera-cum-printer models.

5 Creative ways to use your Instant film Camera

  • Visual memories (Diary, travel journal etc.)

If you’re in the habit of writing Diary or journal every day, you can make it more vivid by sticking an instant photo. On special occasions or achievements, instead of just writing your experience why not stick a picture with you and your trophy?

You can turn Journals into picture books by attaching memorable events and revisit them every time you get nostalgic.

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Many trekkers even keep a journal for every trek, noting things like the route taken, places visited, how the day was, and anything unique they saw or heard.

The same can be done if you love travelling. Stick a picture of you on a beach as you write about it.

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Having a little photo beside that entry can immediately trigger your memories. And wouldn’t it be fun showing it to others?

  • Personalized tokens

Is your friend going abroad or settling in a new city? Why not gift him an instant photo with a signed goodbye message?

Personalized tokens or instant photos with messages or autographs can be used in many ways. On college cultural days, farewell parties, family functions and so on.

Pair it with a nice quote, sticker or simply a name and your friend will love it!

  • Room décor

Want to add some personal touch to your hostel room or study table? Why not decorate it with a string of your favourite memories.

You can print motivational quotes or your goals and stick them on your shelf. If you miss your family, print your favourite photo of each family member and make a collage.

You can create a collage from your latest travels, cherished events or future goals!

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You can even create awesome backdrops for house parties by printing out letters and other themed instant photos. You can reuse them again next year or during some other event.

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  • Photo booth

Although instant photos go best with a retro theme, no one needs a reason to start clicking and printing pictures when everyone’s having fun around. Hence an instant camera becomes the best prop in parties whether it’s in the house or in an outside venue.

Designating a corner as a ‘photo booth’ with a variety of props, keeps the guests entertained and happy. Add an instant camera to the setup and your guests will love taking a memento home!

  • Picture of a Picture
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If you regularly post on social media, an instant camera will become your ideal sidekick!

Taking instant photos is already fun and a creative challenge, but you can even go a step further and post photos of instant photos.

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Arrange them in a pattern or add a quirky background. Your polaroid (instant photo) snaps will definitely be worthy of a status update or Instagram post.

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