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Back in June I got my hands on the Polaroid Originals OneStep 2. I’m no stranger to instant photography, and film photography in general but I was kind of shocked how much I liked this bad boy! It quickly became one of my favorite cameras. So, if you don’t feel like reading anymore and were just looking for the go-ahead to buy a new camera – here it is! Do it, you won’t regret it. If you still need convincing, read on…
I’m going to assume you’re familiar with the original Polaroid cameras of yesteryear. This camera looks the same, and can even shoot the same film but it’s the modern version! I know a lot of people got turned off by the first 600 instant film that started being made after Polaroid ceased production. It was expensive, took ages to develop, and wasn’t super reliable. Without hesitation, I’ll say that it’s improved by leaps and bounds! Even the 600 film that is being made now is so much better than it was just a couple years ago.
I digress. The Polaroid OneStep 2! Let’s talk details. High-quality lens (2ft to infinity!), powerful flash, rechargeable battery, self-timer function, and a tripod mount on the base. The camera is simple to use – just turn it on and hit the shutter button. It has the standard exposure compensation switch (minus, natural & plus) but to be fair, I never really touch that unless I’m shooting in a much darker location. It also has a flash suppression button you need to hold down while you shoot if you’d like the flash to not fire. Another thing I never use. I’ve found that with instant film, in general, flash on is always a good idea. There’s a small LED indicator on the top that lets you know if you how your battery is doing (green = charged, orange = only a few shots left before the battery dies) and how many frames are left in the pack. It even comes equipped with the ‘frog tongue’ so your film is shielded from light when ejected from the camera.
The settings may seem limited to some but I truly enjoy how straight to the point they are. There’s no fiddling around, just shoot and capture the moment. It’s exactly what I think instant photography should be.
One of the major highlights is that this camera can shoot original 600 film as well as the relatively new i-Type film Polaroid Originals is making. Since the battery is in the camera instead of the film cartridge, they’re able to sell it at a cheaper price point. Approximately $2 per frame, as opposed to $2.37 per frame. It’s not a huge difference but it definitely starts to add up if you’re shooting a lot. It’s still not cheap but to me, nothing beats the tangibility of instant film, and I really am a sucker for that square frame.
Right before getting this camera I had spent a lot of time shooting with my old Polaroid so I was very familiar with what to expect. In my opinion, the photos taken with the i-Type film and the new camera are so much better! The colors are more vibrant and the tones are prettier. I hadn’t even gotten through the first pack before I was hooked and knew that my old Polaroid camera would be retired.
Polaroid albums – not super cheap but if you’re gonna spend the money on film, you might as well take care of it and show it off.
My one complaint is battery life. I’ve found that I can get through one and a half, maybe two, packs of film before it dies. Luckily the cord is just a Micro-USB so you can charge it in your car or with a power bank, if you’re not at home. The thing is, I don’t feel like I should have to worry about it even that often. You have to be super diligent in remembering to turn the camera off after each use. (Although, you’ll probably make the mistake of leaving it on a few times before you really learn your lesson!) Definitely not a deal breaker but I do wish I could worry about it less.
Instant photography will most likely never be cheap. If you love to shoot lots of photos all willy-nilly, your best bet is sticking with a digital camera or your phone. Same things applies if you’re a sucker for perfection. The joy of instant film is the unpredictability. While shooting with this camera, I’ve never wasted any film. Surprisingly, everything has at least developed! The Polaroid Originals OneStep 2 is certainly the closest I’ve ever gotten to perfection with instant film though!
All in all, the Polaroid OneStep 2 is definitely a great choice if you’re in the market for an instant camera. I can’t sing it’s praises high enough. Polaroid Originals’ film is only getting better and better. Give it a shot!