Polaroid cameras are back.
You might think of a Polaroid camera (also known as an Instant Camera) as an old fashion device from the 70s, but after many years of being left behind, Polaroid / Instant cameras are back. More and more instant cameras have been launched to the market in the past few years, by various manufacturers (not only Polaroid themselves, but also FujiFilm, for instance), and the use of these cameras is becoming popular again.
For your convenience, we summarized the main aspects of our recommended kid's instant cameras in the following table:
Comparison Chart of the Best Polaroid Cameras for Kids
As mentioned above, polaroid cameras are back, and there are a few good reasons for this comeback. Above all, no digital camera can provide the satisfaction of holding a picture in your hand that can be shared and enjoyed right after it is taken. Second, it has a vintage look, feel, smell and noise, which many people seem to miss (think of Instagram's success and popularity – if you remember, they started with giving the user the opportunity to create "old fashion" photos). This may be the reason why it is also popular among artists and photographers in some mixed media art projects. Polaroid cameras are also popular at weddings and other parties where guests are asked to act as photographers. This allows guests to take home the prints as a souvenir that documents the moment.
When it comes to kids cameras and kids photography, instant cameras are extremely popular, mainly if you're considering buying your kid their first camera. The main advantage of a polaroid camera for kids is the ability of your child (and you) to immediately review the outcome of their art, discuss it, give feedback and share some fruits for future improvement. Additionally, most kids polaroid cameras are attractive for kids, either by the camera's color / skin, or by its overall design.
Kids Polaroid Cameras -Buyers' Guide
Let's take a look at this year's top picks.
Kids, including my 6 year old daughter, just love it, which is probably one of the reasons why it is an Amazon Best Seller. If you are looking for the best camera for 6 year old kids and up - this is probably the best choice.
The FujiFilm Instax Mini 8 is a basic, easy to use, point and shoot camera that takes instant photos and develops them like the good and old Polaroid cameras. It has the basic features younger kids need in order to learn and enjoy photography, and above all – it produces a clear picture in less than a minute, so your kid and you can enjoy it quite immediately.
The FujiFilm Instax Mini 8 is a basic camera. All your kid needs to do is point and shoot.
The camera has no autofocus. The shooting range is 3 to 9 feet (0.6m to 2.7m), so you need to get up close.
The FujiFilm Instax Mini 8 looks like a combination of a toy and a vintage camera. It is relatively light weight (around 300 gr), made by plastic and available in 7 different colors. Its design is round, colorful and playful, and the fact that it's a basic, instant analogue camera, adds the vintage feel to it. The newer model is slimmer and lighter – very important for kids – and includes a built in flash and an automatic exposure measurement, which supports your kid in determining the right aperture setting.
There are five different exposure levels to choose from, using the brightness adjustment dial, which is located on the lens at the front; Indoors, Night (F12.7), Cloudy (F16), Slightly cloudy (F22), Sunny (F32). Additionally, there’s a Hi-Key mode to shoot photos with extreme levels of brightness and a softer atmosphere. The camera signals the recommended aperture setting with a flashing LED.
The flash has a recycle time of 0.2-6 seconds. Additionally, the flash always fires, so take it into account when shooting indoors.
The camera has a fixed shutter speed of 1/60 seconds. Therefore, setting the right exposure is critical.
The FujiFilm Instax Mini 8 uses FujiFilm Instax film that comes in packs of 10 and measures 62 x 46mm. Loading is very easy and intuitive (my 6 years old daughter does it by herself, no parent support is necessary).
The FujiFilm Instax Mini 8 is safe for kids. The camera is light and easily carried. It also has hand grips for photo taking. In order to protect the camera, don't forget to guide your kid to always use the hand strap. Additionally, a dedicated case can be used to safely store the camera between photography sessions.
A great choice for younger kids (6-8 years old) which have a basic level of interest in photography, and want to learn and improve. The only caveat being the price for the Polaroid film.
- Essential: Fujifilm Film
- Fujifilm Case
The Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 which was launched recently is the successor of the Mini 8. However, it seems that Fujifilm did not really make a large number of upgrades, in fact there are just a few:
The Mini 8 offered five different colors while the 9 has improved that with the addition of raspberry and grape, making a total of seven.
The selfie mirror is another positive for the newer version. In the Mini 8, if you wanted the selfie mirror, it came as a separate lens that you had to purchase. In the Mini 9 the selfie mirror is automatically included so taking selfies is a whole lot easier without any additional cost.
Close Up Lens
If you are looking for better close up shots in the Mini 8, you are required to buy the mirror that allowed you to take selfies. This became an extra purchase with this version of the camera. Because the lens is included automatically in the Mini 9, you are not in need of buying an additional lens or piece to be able to take a better close up images.
Despite the fact that there are additional features added to the Mini 9, it only comes at a price of about $5 to $10 more than the Mini 8. Most stores are discounting both of these cameras in sales so you can get either or both of these options at a highly affordable price regardless of which option you would choose.
Which Model Works Best for You?
As you can see, there are not a large number of differences between the FujiFilm Instax Mini 8 and Mini 9. They are very similar in most of the features of the camera with two major differences. It is really about the lens allowing you to take a better selfies or to get better close up pictures that separates the 9 from the 8.
The Polaroid Snap
lets you and your kid enjoy the advantages of both a digital and a "film" camera: it has the quality of a digital camera with the ability to immediately print the photo (it's a camera and a printer), discuss it with your kid, analyze it and later on stick it on almost any surface (note – photo paper is needed in order to print photos) .
The Polaroid Snap
is a kids instant digital camera with a 10 MP sensor. The prints come with stick-able backs for easy posting on the fridge door. Of course, a digital copy of the photo is preserved for uploading and that also means you can keep snapping when the print paper runs out.
The Polaroid Snap has a stylish design with a retro feel and a cool looking object for kids to slip out of their pocket, take a photo and get an instant digital camera print. The lack of controls on the camera adds to the retro cool look and it is a great way to learn photography by experimentation. There are controls on the top to allow for full color, B&W or sepia tone. You can (and better) choose between different color cases for a perfect coolness fit (see below).
A very good choice as a kid's instant camera, if your kid's level of interest in photography is medium-high.
- 10 megapixel camera
- 1.4" LCD color screen (only in the more advanced model)
- Weight – 13.4 ounces
- Colors – White, Blue, Black, Red.
- No zoom
- Zero Ink printer (2*3" prints)
- Various capture modes and photo booth mode
- Selfie self-timer
- Essential – Polaroid 2x3-Inch Premium Zink Photo Paper (50 Sheets)
- 32GB Memory Card
The Polaroid Snap TOUCH Instant Digital Camera - Does it worth it?
The Polaroid Snap camera reviewed above has a more advanced model, the Polaroid Snap Touch Instant Digital Camera, which has the following additional features:
- A cool, 3.5" touchscreen display, which is also the camera's viewfinder.
- Smartphone compatible.
- Its price, compared to the basic Polaroid Snap, is about 60% higher.
Overall, the ease of use and the touch screen makes the TOUCH model more attractive, but the price difference is huge.
This camera is not targeted necessarily for kids, but your kid will enjoy a few of its advantages: the photo quality is a lot better than the Mini 8 quality, some advanced features are added, it has retro camera design (so your kid will also look like a real photographer), and it produces great and immediate polaroid pictures that your kid and you can review, analyze and later create an album with.
A great kids Polaroid camera for older kids (9-12 years old) which have a higher interest level in photography.
- Automatic brightness detection
- Double exposure mode (2 images are produced on 1 film sheet by pressing the shutter twice)
- Macro mode: for short distance photography (as close as 30-60cm)
- Weight – 10.4 ounces
- Colors – Black, Brown
- Essential: Fujifilm Instax Film
- Fujifilm Case
Last but not least – another great Fuji kids polaroid camera, it's intended for adults but older kids will also enjoy it. It is well featured and produces vivid photos. The main change versus the Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic is the ability to take wider pictures, thanks to its wider lens. A very good, though relatively expensive, Polaroid camera for kids.
- Automatic extending 95mm f14 lens with two focus zones (0.9 to 3m and 3m to infinity)
- Tri-pod socket
- Light and Dark control to help add high and low-key effects in the picture
- Weight – 2.1 pounds
- Essential: Fuji Wide Film
- Fujifilm Case
Aspects to Consider Before Buying
Before providing you the details of each of the polaroid cameras we recommend for kids, let's remind ourselves what are the main considerations when buying a kid's camera:
Can your kid hold it safely?
Will your kid use it without harming it?
Will your kid find the camera easy to use?
Will your kid find all the functions they need in order to enjoy it?
Shape & Color
Will the camera's design make your kid enjoy having it and showing it to their friends?
Will the images be good enough to enjoy, share and encourage your kid to improve their photography skills?