Despite the advent of digital cameras that allow us to capture and store thousands of high quality photos, the joy of watching a little photo pop out of your camera and develop before your eyes is something that cannot be replaced. While Polaroid invented the instant photo camera, they had shut down the production of these cameras back in 2008. Now, with the increase in popularity of instant film cameras, Polaroid is back in the market with some really nice offerings that are perfect for kids and vintage photographers.
Fuijifilm is the other major contender in the instant film market and began to capitalize on Polaroids absence by releasing a number of cheap, easy to use instant cameras of their own. So, if you are looking to buy an instant film camera for your kids then you have two major brands to choose from, although product features and usability varies between the two.
One thing you must keep in mind is that you won’t be getting high quality photos from your little instant film camera. These cameras are meant to be inexpensive, easy to use, and will capture a moment instantly on film so that you can store the photo in your journal, or stick it on your fridge. Read our review below to find out which camera we chose as the best instant camera for kids.
Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 Instant Film Camera
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It packs everything we expect from a simple, compact instant film camera and has a reasonable price tag on top of it. It is easy to use, because of the large well-spaced button, and a really useful automatic exposure management system. This exposure management system detects when the exposure is just right, and a blinking LED will signal that you are ready to shoot the photo.
Weighing in at just under 1 lb, this camera is suitable for children that are 4+ years old. It is smaller in size and volume than most other competitors and is therefore easy to hold in the hands of a child. The viewfinder is absolutely amazing and provides a clear, wide angle view of the subject so that your child can always get a great shot even when they are not trying to focus. A flash on the front face of the camera ensures a perfect shot even in low light conditions, and a variable focus allows you to zoom in on your target.
Keep in mind, although the camera does have a zoom feature, it is limited in its ability and does not provide the type of zoom you would be used to with a regular camera zoom lens. But for an instant film camera we don’t expect much zoom or exposure control to begin with. In summary, this camera is great for any child who just wants to pick up the camera and shoot some photos, then see the photos develop in front of their eyes as they slide out of the camera.
STAR BUDGET PICK
Fujifilm Instax MINI 7s Instant Film Camera
Definitely an inexpensive option, but it is by no means inferior in terms of quality or usability. The reason this camera is lower in price is the slight lack of customization regarding focal length and exposure. But since a typical child does not really use the zoom or focus to its maximum potential, it is still a great option for kids who want a simple and compact instant film camera.
One of the best features of this camera is the auto flash feature that automatically releases the flash while capturing photos in low light. One less thing for your kid to worry about, and guaranteed decent quality photos even in low light. It has a 60mm lens and the shutter speed is a decent 1/60 seconds, so there isn’t a lot of shutter lag meaning that your child can use this camera to capture photos of animals playing, or any fast moving object such as a car or a bird. With dimensions of 3″ x 5.25″ x 5.75″, this camera is a bit on the larger side and is therefore better handled by 8+ year old kids. It is extremely light however, at just over 11oz.
Polaroid PIC-300 Instant Film Camera
Polaroid is known to be the inventor of the extremely popular original instant film camera, and they are back with a new line of instant film cameras that pack some really cool features. For starters, the automatic low light flash and auto exposure adjustment makes it really easy for even the most unskilled photographer to capture great looking shots at night time. This makes it a great choice for those wedding functions, and evening birthday parties.
It ejects business card sized photos with a white border. The photo itself measures 1.8″ x 2.4″ while the size of the photo paper is 2.1″ x 3.4″. What makes this camera super kid-friendly is the usage of special ZINK photo paper that utilizes zero ink and helps the photos develop faster as they come out of the camera. Kids tend to lack patience, and this is perfect for those who want instant results. ZINK photo paper also has a peel-away adhesive coating on the back that allows your children to capture a photo and use it like a sticker, and as we know well enough, kids love stickers.
Fujifilm Instax Mini 70 – Instant Film Camera
While this is still a great choice for kids, the extra controls and added optimization means that it is better for those that are aged above 10 years. It has a little mirror in the front, and a special selfie mode that enables you to click cool looking photos of yourself in any light condition, since the camera has an automatic exposure control. This camera, unlike the others on this list, can be used both by children, as well as amateur photographers or budding photography enthusiasts.
It comes with a built-in tripod mount so that your child can learn to use a tripod in order to take steady, high quality photos. The size is a little big for smaller children, as it measures 7″ x 4.5″ x 3.2″, so as already stated, it is best used by kids who are over 10 years old. There is a self-timer on the camera that lets you take group shots while keeping the camera on a platform, or you can use a tripod. It includes a macro mode for close-up shots of objects that are within 1 or 2 feet, and there is a landscape mode for capturing wide angle shots.
Choosing the Best Instant Camera for Kids
With instant cameras, you get what you shoot, no editing or deleting. And instant camera photo film is expensive, so these are best used on special occasions such as tours, weddings, birthdays, etc. Some of them come with features such as automatic exposure which tells you when the exposure is just right for the perfect photo. Some other models have a selfie mirror in the front for helping you capture those amazing selfies on your road trips or parties.
For children, you want to choose a model that does not have too many buttons and controls, since most kids just wants to hold the camera, point it at a target and click. Children are not too observant about the exposure, red eye, or image quality and they just like a camera that shoots photos, with the press of a button, and the photo pops out. Polaroid instant cameras come with a neat little feature called ZINK paper, or zero ink paper. This paper has a peel-away adhesive coating on the back which your kids are going to love, since the photo can be used as a sticker.
Try to get a camera that is the right size for your child, since you don’t want them to drop it on their first day of learning photography. Also, make sure that the buttons are in easy to reach places, and are large enough for your child to comfortably use them. Lastly, a lot of these instant cameras come in a variety of colors so try and choose a color your child likes and will be drawn to. We hope you’ve enjoyed reading our review to identify the best instant camera for kids.
Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 Buying Guide
Recently, sales of vinyl records surpassed digital downloads for the first time in history. The rebirth of vinyl is something nobody could have predicted a decade ago and has set the stage for the return of other retro favorites. One such product is the instant film camera, which went out of fashion even prior to the rise of digital photography. Over the past couple of years, however, these cameras have been enjoying an increase in popularity. Film companies have managed to claw back from the brink of extinction thanks to the renewed interest in instant cameras, with some even using them as their flagship product.
Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 Instant Film Camera
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The Fuji Film Instax Mini 8 Camera is perhaps the most popular instant camera on the market today. The Fuji Film team has merged a retro design with modern technology to create something truly unique. It will remind older photographers why they loved these instant cameras in the first place while introducing teens and millennials to the joys of film.
Five Exposure Levels
The Fuji Film Instsax Mini 8 Camera comes fitted with five different exposure levels, so you can always get the best shot possible. Given that most of us have been away from manual cameras for so long, it may be a little difficult to figure out which level you should use and when you should use it. But with a bit of practice, you will master the art of exposure.
This camera will provide you with clear and colorful snapshots from 55mm away. In the world of digital cameras, this won’t seem all that impressive, but it is vastly superior to the shooting range offered by most instant cameras. Shooting long distance using instant film is not a great idea, but if you are determined to do so, the Fuji Film Instax Mini 8 Camera will get you closest to the results you seek.
A common complaint about instant cameras during their heyday was that they were far too bulky to carry around. If you were walking for an extended period of time or traveling without a car, an instant camera would do nothing but weigh you down. The Fuji Film Instax Mini 8 Camera has remedied that issue. It features a slim and compact design, so it can be taken with you to capture all of your crazy, improbable adventures.
The major advantage of a digital camera is that it makes it possible to view your pictures instantly. However, a slight glitch or drop of water could make the photo disappear forever. With an instant film camera such as this one, you can enjoy immediate physical photographs, giving you the best of both worlds.
Intro to Film
If you’re an aspiring photographer, it’s a good idea to have some knowledge of how film works, even if you gravitate more towards digital cameras. Film can be difficult to master, so you should start off with something relatively inexpensive and straightforward, such as an instant camera. Using an instant camera, you will be able to experiment with exposure and angles while getting some hands on experience with film.
STAR BUDGET PICK
Fujifilm Instax MINI 7s Instant Film Camera
Why Teens Love It
Believe it or not, teens love the Fuji Film Instax Mini 8 Camera. In fact, kids as young as eight and nine have expressed their love for the product. But just why is it so popular with the next generation?
These days, a camera phone can set you back some serious cash. Needless to say, you don’t want to saddle that type of responsibility onto a kid. This camera provides children and teenagers with an inexpensive means of capturing high quality photographs so they can document their adventures with friends and family.
When you’re climbing up trees and jumping in lakes, it’s very easy to crack or downright decimate the screen of your camera phone. The Fuji Film Instax Mini 8 Camera, however, is designed to make it through knocks and drops without so much as a scratch. When treated with care, this camera will continue producing high quality snapshots for years to come.
Film isn’t as widespread as it was a couple of decades ago, so finding the right film for any sort of film camera can be pretty difficult. The Fuji Film Instax Mini 8 Camera requires specifically designed film. The film is similar to a credit card in size, so it can be easily held in your wallet, eliminating the need to carry any extra film canisters. The film can be loaded with ease, so you won’t have to worry about your child pestering you for help every time the film requires changing.
Mini 8 Accessories
If you love the Fuji Film Instax Mini 8 Camera, you should definitely consider buying some accessories to heighten your experience using it. Among the most popular accessories for this model are:
PLR Snap & Clip Camera Case
If you don’t want to risk damaging your camera by dropping it or it getting knocked around, you should consider buying a camera case. The PLR Snap and Clip case is the perfect way to store your Instax Mini 8 whether you’re on the move or letting it rest across your bedpost. It is composed of sleek faux leather and features an opening for the lens, so you can grab comprehensive snaps without even taking your camera out of its case.
64 Pockets Photo Album for Mini Fujifilm Instax Mini 8
When you take a great picture using your Mini 8, the last thing you want to happen is for it to become crumbled in your pocket or wallet. To avoid such an occurrence, you should think about investing in a photo album, such as this model from Sprite Science. The 64 Pocket Photo Album will provide your photos with protection from spills, tears, and the incessant marching of time. It has a capacity of 64 Instax Mini 8 photos and is reasonably priced.
Elvam Camera Neck Shoulder Strap
If you want to capture the world’s truly unique occurrences on film, you always need to be prepared to take a picture. With this shoulder strap from Elvam, you can have your camera out and ready at all times while leaving your hands free. The length of the strap can be easily adjusted, so kids, teens, and adults will all be able to enjoy its benefits.