In an era where almost everybody has a top-notch, portable camera inside their pocket by using their smartphone, something interesting is happening. Especially with children, instant cameras have become increasingly popular. You’ve probably seen a child walking while using an instant camera ready to snap a photo at an instant’s notice.
If you’d like to get more information regarding instant cameras and the reason why they truly are great for kids, look no more. Together with a quick rundown about exactly what instant cameras are and how they have changed from old-school technology, we will offer some great modern options for both younger and older children.
What are Instant Cameras?
The name Polaroid should seem familiar to older people. The one-time juggernaut made the instant camera hugely popular — before the age of the digital camera. Though it may no longer appear fascinating in our modern tech-filled society, the humble instant camera still holds a bit of its magical appeal.
To begin with, you will want to load the appropriate film for the camera you have. Next, after framing your shot at the viewfinder and pressing on the shutter button, a not quite complete image develops and subsequently exits its film slot.
That is when the real fun begins. You’ll usually wait anywhere from 30 seconds to one minute whilst the image slowly appears on the film.
Why are they Truly Perfect for Kids?
Instant cameras and children certainly are a great combination for a couple of reasons.
Many kids want to know more about taking great photos like their parents. However, in most conditions, it is not exactly a good idea to hand a child a really costly bit of electronic equipment which may break with a single drop.
Together with ease of use, instant cameras help boost imagination in children, teach basic photography skills, and have better comprehension of the world around them.
Instant cameras themselves have become reasonably priced. While the film may appear costly (averaging between $0.50 and $1 per print), the cameras themselves cost less than $75.
If something should happen to this camera, it is not the end of the world. On the contrary, it is really a great way to teach responsibility before upgrading them to a smartphone years down the road.
And let us face it, instant cameras are just plain fun.
Fujifilm’s Instax 9 is really a perfect instant camera choice for younger children. The camera is available in a number of fun hues including blue, pink, green, and white.
The Instax Mini line has lit up the sales graphs at online retailers such as Amazon — and for good reason. Most importantly, at least for younger kids, the camera is quite easy to use. Oversized and easy to hold for smaller hands, the camera is powered by AA batteries. Therefore, there isn’t any need to be concerned about charging.
The camera’s rear contains a film compartment, print indicator dials, and viewfinder. Adding film takes only a couple of seconds and can be accomplished by kids with only a little practice. The front of the camera sports a flash, shutter button, lens, selfie mirror, and power button.
To take a photo, simply line up the subject and then push on the shutter button. Interestingly, the camera features a couple advanced features that can be used once the kids have mastered the basics. While the shutter speed is fixed at 1/60 sec, the aperture can be adjusted using the brightness dial. The dial has four possible choices: indoors, cloudy, medium, and bright.
The macro lens adapter that snaps on to the lens enables kids to shoot close-up photos of subjects as close as 14-20 inches from the camera lens. Also, a special high-key mode gives photos a cool softer look like an Instagram filter.
Together with the easy-to-use camera, there is a wide variety of film kids may use. There are monochrome film that produces black and white photos to film with borders that contain Star Wars characters.
For a more advanced instant camera, the Polaroid Snap is ideal for helping older kids explore the world of digital photography. Together with having an instant print camera which delivers 2 ×3 inch prints, the Snap comes with a 10-megapixel digital camera sensor that can capture images on an optional micro-sd up to 32GB. Therefore older kids might get an instant print and also share the image on social media later.
The special ZINK paper costs around 50 cents and uses a special thermal process to generate the image in around one minute after snapping the picture. Photographers can pick from three different coloring modes: normal, black and white, or vintage sepia design.
Kids may print images with a Polaroid Classic Border Logo or just an ordinary shot. One other great feature is that the fun Photo Booth mode which takes six quick pictures in 10 seconds. Older children may use the Snap’s timer to be certain they are ready for the shots.
There are six different camera colors to choose from: blue, black, red, pink, white, black, and purple.
You can probably tell by its name, the main selling point of the Fujifilm Instax Wide 300 Film Camera is the larger prints at 3.4×4.2-inches. Other more advanced features include an automatic flash, a close-up macro lens, dual focus zones, tripod mount, and special light and dark control that add high and low-key effects to each picture.
Should your budding photographer want to find out exactly what it was like to shoot an old-school instant camera, you may want to consider the Polaroid 600 by Polaroid Originals. Completely refurbished and backed with a one-year warranty.
Even when your child has graduated to smartphone photography, he or she can still enjoy instant camera prints. The Fujifilm Instax Share SP-2 can create instant prints using a companion app for smartphones or tablets. It can even print images directly from the Facebook or Instagram app.
As a nice touch, the printer uses the exact same widely available film used by the Instax Mini 9. The portable printer uses a built-in rechargeable battery for portability.
As you can see, there really are a huge number of great options to help introduce children, both young and old, into the fun world of instant cameras. Hopefully, with a little time and practice, your child will soon be capturing photos like an expert.