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Key Takeaways

  • The Polaroid I-2 is an advanced instant camera that rivals entry-level DSLRs in terms of pricing, costing £599.99, $599.99, or €699.99.
  • It offers manual controls over shutter speed and aperture size, as well as a complex auto-focus system that uses LiDAR for precise focus.
  • The camera has a classic design, a sharp lens, and the ability to use various film types, making it a high-end option for those who want more control over their instant photography.

Polaroid has unveiled an absolute stonker of an instant camera - the I-2, which without question takes its place as one of the most advanced instant cameras you can buy right now.

This is practically a full high-quality manual film camera, but one that happens to print its film instantly, and it comes with an eyebrow-raising price tag: £599.99, $599.99, or €699.99.

That's the realm of some very solid entry-level DSLRs in pricing terms, so it's a pretty bold tag to attach to an instant camera, albeit one that offers some features you won't find anywhere else.

Polaroid I-2 2
Polaroid, Coco Capitan

On that front - this is an instant camera in so far as it prints your photos as you take them, but it's also basically a nearly manual film camera, with controls over shutter speed and aperture size letting you take way more control.

It has a complex auto-focus system that uses LiDAR to get just the right focus (which does mean it's not quite fully manual), and Polaroid says that its lens is the sharpest that it's ever made.

It even has a thread mount for lens filters if you've got a particular one you love - 49mm filters will slip on easily, for that added bit of customisation (and safety from more costly scratches).

All this should translate to great performance across a range of lighting conditions, but that's not the end of it. There's Bluetooth for remote control and firmware updates, and the I-2 can also take multiple film types, working with Polaroid's i-Type, 600 and SX-70 film.

The camera is probably the most classic Polaroid has made in a while in terms of looks, thanks to a flatter build that makes it much less boxy and more portable.

Polaroid I-2 3
Polaroid, Max Siedentopf

It prominently showcases that all-important lens and offers access to the manual controls around it over the top with a contrasting finish that honestly looks lovely.

There's also a little OLED display on the top of the camera so you can see what combination of settings you have before shooting (which will also be visible through the viewfinder).

Polaroid says the battery should last you through 15 packs of film, which is a slightly odd way of measuring things, but that seems solid - and it's rechargeable via USB-C when you do need to top it up.

All of this adds up to what could be a bit of a Rolls-Royce in the instant camera world - Polaroid already had some premium options for those getting more serious about instant photography, but this kicks things up a notch.

That price means it won't be a mainstream option for many people compared to the spontaneity of a lower-cost Fujifilm Instax, but this looks like an exciting launch for those looking to take a slightly more active role in their photography.