If you are interested in instant cameras, you are likely familiar with Polaroid and Fuji. Both are exceptional brands with a long history of providing high-quality products. But which one is the best fit for your needs?
Fuji will be best for most people. Their cameras and film are less expensive than Polaroid. Furthermore, the Fuji cameras produce more vivid colors. Fuji also provides more compact cameras, though Polaroid has a broader range. Polaroid is best for those who prefer a vintage experience.
Finding the right camera can be tricky, with multiple areas to consider.
Often, it’s best to consider how you will use the camera to discover what aspects will be most important to you. Read on to learn more about the distinctions between Polaroid and Fuji to see which one will better suit your needs.
Let’s start by looking at one of the most important considerations, the quality of the images. The good news is that both of these will be able to take clear photos, which will last a long time. But they will offer a slightly different type of experience.
Let’s start by talking about the Fuji cameras.
These are very simple to use; point and click. The newer Mini models will even automatically adjust the exposure for you. But there is no way of disabling the flash. As a result, there is a risk that some photos will become overexposed.
On the other hand, the Polaroid cameras will allow you to toggle the flash on and off.
They also have cool features like the ability to double-expose your photographs. This is ideal for more advanced photographers.
Generally, though, both of these cameras will allow a slightly different type of photo.
The Instax range has become known for its ability to take life-like images. The colors are often more vibrant than those produced by the Polaroid.
Plus, these types of cameras come with lots of film options.
There are plenty of different colored frames to choose from, giving you more customization to explore. Because of this, the Instax range can blend a modern feel with the nostalgia of instant photographs.
Alternatively, the Polaroid retains the same style as the classic camera.
This is reflected in the type of pictures it takes. Even modern cameras have sepia-toned images, recalling how they were in the 1970s. Sometimes, this can result in washed-out colors or create a muddy picture.
But for those who want to lean heavily into the vintage appeal of instant cameras, the Polaroid is the better choice.
Both of these brands offer an extensive range. Usually, the offerings can be broken down into some products suitable for beginners and those better suited to more experienced users.
Here’s a quick rundown of what’s on offer and whom they are targeted for.
There are currently four types of Polaroid cameras available:
- Polaroid 600. This is the classic camera, which was most popular in the late 70s and early 80s. You can find these types of cameras online. Though Polaroid will sell refurbished models. These are great for those who want a more classic retro look. But you will need to purchase a specialized film, which is very expensive.
- Polaroid Now. This is a modern camera. It is effortless to use, making it a good choice as an entry-level model.
- Polaroid Go. This is designed as a compact model, so you will be able to slip it into your pocket.
- Onestep. This range includes the Onestep 2 and the Onestep+. They are aimed at more experienced users, so they have a more comprehensive range of features than the Go and Now. For example, Onestep+ can be controlled through Bluetooth.
Fuji also has a broad mix of cameras, which can be broken down into three distinct lines. They are:
- Mini. This is their most popular option, with many colors and styles. You can even get a camera that is shaped like Hello Kitty. These cameras are compact. Plus, they are designed to be easy to use, even for a beginner.
- Square. This is larger than the Mini, though it has more advanced features, like Selfie Mode, and will allow you to produce more oversized prints.
- Wide. Fuji’s largest instant camera, with photos twice as big as the Mini. Despite this, there isn’t a significant upgrade to the features available.
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Fuji And Polaroid Camera Costs
The costs can be broken down into two areas, the cost of the camera and the cost of buying the replacement film. Here is how each brand stacks up.
Polaroid Cameras And Films Cost
|Type of Camera||Cost of Camera||Cost of Buying Film|
|Polaroid 600||$140||$2.50 per shot|
|Polaroid Now||$150||$2.00 per shot|
|Polaroid Go||$99||$1.30 per shot|
|Onestep 2||$100||$2.00 per shot|
|Onestep +||$159||$2.00 per shot|
Fuji Cameras And Films Cost
|Type of Camera||Cost of Camera||Cost of Buying Film|
|Instax Mini||$80||$0.88 per shot|
|Instax Square||$209||$0.90 per shot|
|Instax Wide||$170||$0.98 per shot|
There might be some slight differences in the costs of buying replacement packs.
For example, you can find packs with colored frames or those designed for monochrome pictures. Though these will be more expensive. To keep the comparison fair, we looked at essential colored film. Furthermore, you can save money by buying in bulk.
Regardless, it’s clear that Polaroid is the most expensive brand.
While it might be a little more costly to buy the more upmarket Fuji models, the cheap film cost will lower the ownership costs over the long term.
Other Considerations When Choosing A Camera
While we’ve covered some of the most important aspects, a few other things to consider when choosing your camera.
1. Camera Size
Fuji will produce a more compact range of cameras. Though you have limited space available, consider the Polaroid Go, which was designed to be a smaller model. Furthermore, some users report that the Polaroid is a little bulky, especially some larger models.
2. Size Of The Print
It should be noted that print size can vary from camera to camera. The Mini, for example, will produce small prints, which are about the right size to slot into the card slot of a wallet.
On the other hand, most Polaroid cameras will have larger images, which can slot into a photo album.
3. How The Camera Is Charged
One of the unique features of the Polaroid 600 is that when you load in a new packet of prints, you will be charging the battery. As a result, you’ll never have to plug in the camera.
Most other types of cameras, though, will require you to either charge them with a USB or be powered by batteries.
Choosing between Polaroid and Fuji can take time, as they are geared toward different audiences. The Instax range by Fuji tends to be more popular with younger people. The cameras are cheap, the film is expensive, and the photographs have vivid colors.
On the other hand, Polaroid is geared toward those who appreciate the vintage aspect, from their classic camera look to the sepia-toned photographs.
Mark PlummerMark Plummer is a co-founder and blogger on Instant Cameras. Together with his wife, Susana, and daughter Scarlett he loves capturing special family moments with his Instax Mini 11. He is passionate about sharing knowledge and tips on Instax and Polaroid cameras through the Instant Camera Blog.
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