Article updated on 14/12/2017 – Driven by actors such as Fujifilm and Lomography, who took advantage of the arrival in the public domain of patents formerly held by Polaroid, the Flash cameras have made their comeback on the front of the stage. Practical to keep on paper its most beautiful memories of evenings, they even conquered the heart of the youngest, the "digital natives" who have not yet known the great hours of silver photography.
Point of the megapixel race here, the images delivered are far from being at the level of the best compacts, SLRs or modern digital hybrids. But it is precisely their flaws that give these products a vintage charm and tinged with nostalgia. These devices, generally sold between 100 and 200 euros, also display reasonable rates. The same can not be said of the films they use.
3 main types of films
Currently, there are 3 main types of films on the market. The Impossible Project has resumed the production of the square footage used by the old Polaroid, allowing many nostalgic to bring out their old devices. They are sold about 16 euros a box of 8 on Amazon.
There are also Fujifilm Instax films in the formats "Mini" (86x54mm) and "Wide" (108x86mm). Cheaper (10 euros a box of 10 films "Mini" and 12 euros the 10 films "Wide" or 1 euro the picture), these are not reserved for instant cameras of the Japanese manufacturer, contrary to what one might think. Indeed, Lomography or Leica also use them for their products.
Finally, there is the Polaroïd Zink, intended for Snap and some other products of the brand. These films with thermal sublimation, producing images of 50x75mm, are the cheapest on the market: count 16.50 euros 30.
But first of all, you have to choose a camera. To help you, we have concocted a selection of the best snapshots of the moment:
The Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic is for us the best instant camera on the market right now. It is very easy to use and boringly effective, so that you almost never miss his shots. In addition, it has many modes and features to vary the pleasures and embeds a rechargeable battery. The only thing we could blame him for is his plastic finish and the imprecision of his viewfinder, but this is true for the majority of modern snapshots. The icing on the cake, its price is not excessive: so you can darken with your eyes closed.
Very close to the Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic, the Leica Sofort proves to be an excellent instant camera if you leave aside its exorbitant price. With a technical sheet and a range of interesting features, almost identical to its Japanese counterpart, it nevertheless benefits from a better design and a more qualitative finish. This is the main element that differentiates them. The question is: Are you ready to pay twice the price of the Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic for a device simply better finished and stamped Leica? It's up to you.
The best quality / price ratio
No need to go far to learn the snapshot. The Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 is a safe bet. It is easy to use, very effective and cheap. What more ? Additional features perhaps, because this model embarks only the bare minimum. It is also a little big and made of a plastic that could have been of better quality. Nevertheless, this instant camera clearly presents the best quality / price ratio of the market. Note however that the most demanding will probably find it a little limited in the long run.
The best large format
A direct competitor of the Fujifilm Instax Wide 300, the Lomo'Instant Wide takes a slight advantage with its many features and accessories. Thus, the most creative photographers will undoubtedly find their account. On the other hand, the uninitiated may feel frustrated at its relative difficulty of use. Format "Wide" requires, also know that this device is very impressive and its rather average finish. It will fulfill its function very well nevertheless, and will even allow you to play the artists for a rather high price against.
For those who want butter and buttery money
The Fujifilm Instax Share SP2 is not an instant camera but a photo printer for smartphones using Instax "Mini" movies. This allows him to bring together the best of both worlds. Since they are digital, you can edit the photos on your mobile, apply effects and print them quickly as if they were taken with a snapshot, smart. We thus obtain the same result, but by sacrificing the "authenticity" of the experience. If you do not mind, this printer will prove to be an excellent choice. Note that it is still more expensive than Fujifilm Instax cameras.