Polaroid to take another crack at the instant camera

Image: Squeaky Marmot The instant camera was finally put to pasture early this year, as the Polaroid Corporation stopped producing film for the iconic take-and-shake camera. Polaroid wisely took advantage of the cessation to market their pocket-sized PoGo instant printer, which received modest praise, but did not include a camera of its own, relying instead on Bluetooth- and USB-equipped mobile phones. But now the company has announced plans to release a next generation instant camera with the PoGo's "ZINK" printing technology built right inside, ditching the PoGo's 3-by-2 format for the old instant's familiar 4-by-3. And they've asked the readers of Amateur Photographer magazine to help them design it. One trouble sign: the camera is reported to be "focused on 'professional and business users'". While I'm certain there are plenty of uses for a new instant camera to be used in the workplace, such a pop culture classic should surely be aimed at casual users first. Here are a few of my suggestions for a new Polaroid instant camera: • Keep it retro – If adding the printer inside will preclude the new camera from being pocketable, I'd not worry about making the thing as small as possible but instead try to evoke the shape of Polaroid instant cameras of the past. Perhaps even a rudimentary viewfinder could complement a modern LCD panel in the back. • Add old timey filters – Everybody loves the rather crappy look of an old Polaroid; it melds perfectly with today's hipster aesthetic. A simple mode on the camera that produces slightly milky images would be a lot of fun — and it could still save a more clear version as a file on the camera's internal memory. • Add the handle, not the shake – Shaking an old Polaroid never did anything in the first place. Everyone's asking Polaroid to figure out a way to make their heat activated ZINK technology activate by shaking, but that's a waste of time. Just make sure the thick border on the bottom of the images is there and everyone will shake and Sharpie them like always — whether they need to or not. Polaroid plans to collect everyone's input and put out the new model next year. PHOTOGRAPHERS TO SHAPE POLAROID HISTORY [AmateurPhotographer.co.uk via Oh Gizmo! via Gizmodo via Gadget Lab]
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12 Responses to Polaroid to take another crack at the instant camera

  1. thebluedino says:

    I don’t think any insurance adjusters have used Polaroids in about 4 years. Most of us are issued old Sony Mavicas which are only slightly less ancient than a Polaroid but they get the job done.

  2. A New Challenger says:

    Isn’t Polaroid just a trademark owned by some law firm these days, a name whored out to the most favorable bidders?

  3. Ponchyan says:

    “Shaking an old Polaroid never did anything in the first place. ”

    The original Polaroid photos came out wet (after you peeled off the layer that held the developing chemicals). People would shake them like a fan to speed drying. It seems the habit persisted, even after the introduction of the SX70.

  4. franko says:

    i can’t believe nobody has mentioned the other geek angle about the polaroid land camera — tom scholz (engineering geek guitarist from 70s band, boston) was on the development team for it.

  5. haineux says:

    “Business Users” = Law Enforcement, for one.

    Polaroids played really well in the courts, since they seem unfakeable.

    Also, I guess, Insurance Adjusters.

    I think Real Estate has embraced digital by now.

  6. coal_train says:

    professional and business users and home pornographers.
    It needs retro sleaze appeal.

  7. Thaddeus Smith says:

    i have the camera in the pic. i also have a (now) busted sx-70. good times, good times ..film costs have started to make it a less attractive option, however (especially when i can take some snaps with my dslr and photoshop similar effects)

  8. JG says:

    IMHO one of the most important features would be to replicate the softer, slower fixing emulsions used in the SX-70 film series.
    These more malleable emulsions allowed you to manipulate the images to create all sorts of effects.

  9. peter4d says:

    I love original polaroid sunglasses they are so compelling because of their unique technology. Even the polaroid cameras are also very good there are varieties in them by the type of film that are used in it polaroid make a instant stillimage cameras.
    Crack Cocaine

  10. kittenpanties says:

    I own several sx-70s, a couple regular 600s, Barbie polaroid, vintage polaroids, mini polaroids, and my coveted 4×5 polaroid back. It broke my heart when they went out of business, and I’ll be investing in several of these (if they follow through!), and buy $500 worth of film before this happens again.
    I heard Kodak will be coming out with instant film…OF COURSE THEY ARE.

    I wish Leica would…


  11. Anonymous says:

    Polaroid shaking obviously inspired OutKast, so you can’t say it did nothing at all.

  12. Halloween Jack says:

    I think that they need to keep their key demographic in mind: people taking nudie shots of their SOs. Some sort of feature that automatically adds a black bar across people’s eyes would be nice.

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