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10 Instant-Print Cameras Recommended by a Travel Photographer

SmarterTravel

It’s official. Analog is back. Instant-print cameras are making a comeback, and for travelers, they offer a new-old way to capture precious travel memories. With instant-print cameras, there are no hashtags and no uploading involved. Instead, they offer an immediate physical keepsake. As a photographer, I’ve been traveling with an instant camera for a long time and have found that the instant prints also make great gifts for new friends I meet on my travels.

The Best Instant-Print Travel Cameras

Now that instant-print cameras have been back for a while, there are a lot of choices on the market, but they’re not one-size-fits-all. Here are the best instant-print cameras perfect for every kind of traveler, from the professional photographer to the point-and-shoot amateur.

Fujifilm Instax Mini 9  

(Photo: Amazon)

The Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 is one of the most popular instant cameras and the one you’ve most likely seen before. The cute bubble-like design, pastel color choices, and endless accessory options make this a great instant-print camera gift for kids. This camera is very easy for novice photographers; however, its settings are limited and you are unable to turn off flash. Additionally, it requires two AA batteries.

Price: $60 on Amazon

Film Type: Fujifilm Instax Mini Twin Pack

Fujifilm Instax Mini 90

(Photo: Amazon)

Get a little more creative with the Fujifilm Instax Mini 90, which can help bring your instant photography to the next level. With the Mini 90, you can experiment with double exposures and  long exposures, and have the option to disable the flash. It also has a self-timer and a great retro look, so you can shoot in style. Unlike the Instax Mini 9, the Mini 90 includes a rechargeable battery.

Price: $120 on Amazon

Film Type: Fujifilm Instax Mini Twin Pack 

Fujifilm Instax Wide 300

(Photo: Amazon)
 

If you long for the days when photos didn’t have to be vertical or square, the Fujifilm InstaxWide 300 is the right camera for you. More comparable to Mini 9, the Instax Wide does not have as many features and options as the Mini 90. However, if you’re interested in shooting landscapes or capturing a large group of people, this is a great camera to choose.

Price: $88 on Amazon

Film Type: Fujifilm Instax Wide

Polaroid Originals OneStep 2

(Photo: Amazon)

If you want stay true to the throwback, check out the Polaroid Originals OneStep 2, which is Polaroid’s answer to the second wave of instant-print photography. With a high-quality lens delivering great imagesand a self-timer, this is a great option if you’re looking to capture the clearest image possible. Note that it’s slightly larger and more cumbersome than some of the other cameras.

Price: $100 on Amazon

Film Type: Polaroid Originals Instant Film

Polaroid Snap

(Photo: Amazon)

If you’re loyal to Polaroid, but not into the bulkiness of the OneStep camera, the Polaroid Snap is a great option. What makes this camera special is the Micro SD slot, which automatically saves every picture you take so you can have a digital copy. This is perfect for the photographer who loves the idea of instant-print cameras, but sleeps better knowing everything backed up. This camera also has the advantage of using ZINK photo paper, which means there is no ink or film cartridges involved.

Price: $90 on Amazon

Film Type: Polaroid 2×3 Inch ZINK Photo Paper

Kodak Printomatic

(Photo: Amazon)
 

For the casual photographer, the Kodak Printomatic is a fine starter instant-print camera, and isn’t as expensive as some of the others. While it is comparable in usability and image quality to the Polaroid Snap as it also uses ZINK photo paper and you can save your photos by taking advantage of the Micro SD slot, its ultra-thin size makes it very easy to keep on hand during your travels.

Price: $70 on Amazon

Film Type: Kodak 2×3 Inch ZINK Photo Paper

Fujifilm Instax Square Hybrid

(Photo: Amazon)

If you like your Fujifilm instant-print camera, but also want a digital copy, the Fujifilm Instax Square Hybrid is the answer. Not only does this square-photo printing camera come with a screen (so you can see exactly what you’re shooting) it will save any image you take onto an SD card and you can control which image to print, which is what really makes it the best instant camera for perfectionists. You can also print your photos with filters and vignettes without altering the image saved to the memory card.

Price: $245 on Amazon

Film Type: Fujifilm Instax Square Instant Film

Leica Sofort

(Photo: Amazon)
 

In the photography world, Leica has a reputation for making high-quality cameras that take clear and beautiful images; so it’s no surprise that its instant-print camera, the Leica Sofort, has taken instant photography to the next level. With this instant-print camera, you’ll have more control to change exposure settings—but what really sets this one apart is its manual focus system. This will allow you to be more selective with your focus, so you can play with depth of field, making the Sofort best suited for more experienced photographers who are comfortable shooting manually.

Price: $275 on Amazon

Film Type: Fujifilm Instax Mini Twin Pack

Impossible Project I-1

(Photo: Amazon)

In a world where just about every gadget out there has a way to connect to your phone, of course there’s an instant-print camera that can do so too. The Impossible Project I-1 is for serious pros, blending analog printing with digital perfecting, giving you total control over the image. It also features a sophisticated ring of lights around the lens for a more flattering flash that won’t blow out your subject. The manufacturer also suggests buying its “Frog Tongue” accessory to maximize image quality.

Price: $160 on Amazon

Film Type: Impossible Project Polaroid 600 Instant Film

Lomography Lomo’Instant San Remo

(Photo: Amazon)
 

The Lomo’Instant San Remo is a fun instant-print camera for any creative photographer who is interested in taking double and long exposures. It features a large aperture, which allows for better exposure and higher-quality images. It even includes three lens attachments: fish eye, portrait, and macro. This is a great option for the traveler who wants to bring creativity to their travel photographs.

Price: $135 on Amazon

Film Type: Fujifilm Instax Mini Twin Pack

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Jamie Ditaranto is a writer and photographer who is always looking for her next adventure. Follow her on Instagram @jamieditaranto.

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