What are the best instant cameras for weddings?
We live in a time when almost everyone has access to a multi-megapixel, AI-enhanced phone camera, but nothing seems to replace the magic of instant film cameras. With their immediate results and unique photographic quality, instant cameras give us the perfect blend of modern instant gratification and vintage imagery. Bringing an instant camera to a wedding is a wonderful way to capture some truly unique memories.
What to Look for in an Instant Camera
More instant cameras work the same way: just press the shutter button and a chemical reaction takes place on the film which gradually develops into your photograph. To make them easy and convenient to use, instant cameras tend to feature autofocus and flash. Depending on what you are looking for in an instant camera, you might be interested in other available features:
- If you want to be able to take flawless selfies easily, look for an instant camera with a built-in selfie mirror to help you line up your shot.
- Let your creativity run wild with double exposure modelight painting or other artistic features.
- Some instant cameras automatically manage exposure and shutter speed, while others allow the user to customize these settings. Some high-end instant cameras even connect to apps via Bluetooth that let you control it like a manual camera.
- For guaranteed stability when taking photos, look for an instant camera that can attach to a tripod.
- If you’re worried about missing out on the convenience of your digital camera, look for instant cameras that can store your photos on microSD cards or even let you preview your photo on an LCD screen before it’s printed.
Film formats for instant cameras
Instant film is available in three sizes. Wide film, the type used in classic Polaroid cameras, takes an image size of 2.4 inches by 3.9 inches. The mini film, used in popular instant cameras such as the Fujifilm Instax Mini 11, takes rectangular photos measuring 2.4 inches by 1.8 inches. Finally, a square instant camera film is also available, taking 2.4-inch square photos.
Since instant camera film isn’t usually interchangeable between brands, it’s important to consider its cost when shopping. Depending on the size and brand of film, instant camera film can cost between $0.80 and $2 per shot. The price will also be higher for instant camera films with novelty frames, such as metallic or rainbow colors, or adhesive-backed films that can be used as stickers.
How to develop instant photos with a camera
Instant photos can take up to 15 minutes to fully develop. Although you’re probably familiar with the notion of shaking an instant photo to help it grow faster, it’s not necessary. The film doesn’t “dry” because it’s covered in a layer of clear plastic, and the shaking motion can disrupt the chemicals in the film and ruin the photo.
To safely develop your instant camera shots, place them face down on a flat, level surface. Shielding the image from extra light and movement will help it develop clearly.
The best instant cameras
With vintage styling and user-friendly features, this analog camera can let you easily take selfies with its built-in selfie mirror. It prints high-quality, credit card-size photos and offers auto exposure, auto shutter speed, and auto brightness for effortless shooting. It comes with a wrist strap. Sold by Amazon
This smartphone-sized mirrorless camera can take color or black-and-white photos up to 10 megapixels. Photos print on 2-inch by 3-inch sticky-back photo paper that comes with the camera, or you can save photos for later by storing them on a microSD card. It is available in several bright colors as well as black. Sold by Amazon and Staples
The popular Mini 11 has a chunky, cheerful shape and a pastel plastic body that’s small enough to slip into a bag. It offers automatic exposure, so it’s easy to use for everyone. Bundles including a wrist strap, decorative shutter button covers, instant film and more are also available, making this camera a great value. Sold by Amazon, Kohls and Staples
This analog camera may look like the classic Polaroid you remember, but it offers several modern features to help you take even better photos. Autofocus helps eliminate the risk of blurry photos, while double exposure lets you play with composition. Plus, it comes in multiple color choices. Sold by Amazon, Kohls and Staples
If you love the look of your square Instagram photos, consider capturing memories on this square format instant camera. Activate its selfie mode by twisting the lens and enjoy final image sizes 1.5 times larger than rectangular Instax Mini prints. The camera is available in three vintage-inspired shades. Sold by Amazon
This analog camera enhances the Polaroid Now by connecting to an app for creative and technical control, unlike almost all other instant cameras. Play with creative modes like double exposure, portrait mode, light painting and more, or use one of the included lens filters. Sold by Amazon
Best Instant Camera Film
Take beautiful black and white photos with this film compatible with Fujifilm Instax Mini cameras. The photo area measures 2.4 inches by 1.8 inches. They are sold in packs of 10. Sold by Staples and Amazon
This set allows you to take 20 high quality exposures with a square format Fujifilm Instax camera such as the SQ1 or SQ6. The photo area measures 2.4 inches by 2.4 inches. Sold by Amazon
Capture the memories of a truly special occasion with these gold framed instant photos. This instant film fits Polaroid I-Type cameras and offers 16 photos with smooth gold frames. Sold by Amazon
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