Polaroid Cameras: A Look at Some of the Most Interesting

Sixty-five years ago, Polaroid’s instant film cameras hit the market, and the world embraced the fun new way of taking pictures with nearly immediate results. The company went on to produce dozens of unconventional camera models, stopping production of analog cameras and instant film in favor of digital models in 2008. Two years later, The Impossible Project picked up where Polaroid left off by releasing its own version of instant film, which created a new found interest in instant cameras. Take a look at some of Polaroid’s quirkier vintage film cameras and designs brought to us by DigitalRev in the following video:

Most people are familiar with the iconic Polaroid OneStep, which adorns Instagram’s logo. But the breadth of Polaroid camera models in existence is far wider than the uninitiated might imagine. These are just a few of the lesser-known but more intriguing camera models:


Polaroid 636

Polaroid 636 Talking Camera

The gimmicky Talking Camera came with pre-recorded messages that played on a speaker when the shutter was triggered. Different countries’ models came with different messages. The user could also record his or her own message.


Polaroid Image1200

Polaroid Image1200

The first Polaroid to boast an LCD viewfinder, the Image1200 offered a combination of digital features and analog operation. It had an optical viewfinder in addition to the LCD preview.


Polaroid SE 600

Mamiya Press or Polaroid SE 600

For those who wanted maximum control but instant results, the Polaroid SE 600 was the way to go. It was a fully manual camera with a high quality lens that resulted in great depth of field. Its quirk, aside from its weight, was its left-handed setup.


Polaroid Macro 5

Polaroid Macro 5 SLR

Designed for medical purposes, this hefty camera featured five macro settings that were controlled with a dial at the top of the device. The focus mechanism used two lights, which the photographer had to bring together to create a sharp image.


Polaroid Big Shot

Polaroid Big Shot

Famous as being Andy Warhol’s Polaroid of choice, the Big Shot was produced from 1971 to 1973. It was designed for portraits and featured a fixed lens; the photographer had to move about to focus the image.

Now that instant film cameras are largely a relic of the past, enthusiasts are all the more interested in getting their hands on old Polaroid cameras. Their many different styles and features make them attractive to collectors and hobbyists who yearn for the obscure. And there’s just something about seeing your image on paper within moments of depressing the shutter that would be a pity to lose completely to history. Which Polaroid camera of the past are you looking for?

Like This Article?

Don't Miss The Next One!

Join over 100,000 photographers of all experience levels who receive our free photography tips and articles to stay current:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

New! Want more photography tips? We now offer a free newsletter for photographers:

No, my photos are the best, close this forever