Polaroid launches I-2 high-end instant camera with manual controls and LiDAR autofocus
It’s no secret that instant cameras have made a strong comeback in the last few years, partly because of their unique charm in a world saturated with smartphones and social media. Fujifilm's affordable Instax range has captured a huge share of this booming market. However, Polaroid, the brand still synonymous with instant photography, believes that the time is ripe for a high-end instant camera that caters to the more advanced, discerning photographer, and it has launched the Polaroid I-2 to fill that niche.
Unlike other instant cameras on the market, the I-2 gives complete control over shutter speed and aperture, allowing photographers to consciously dial in depth of field and motion blur (though not with quite as much granularity as a mirrorless or DSLR). Rather than typical scene-specific presets like ‘Indoor’ or ‘Beach’, the I-2 offers modes more familiar and useful to advanced users – Manual, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority and Programmable Auto – in addition to two for self-timer and multiple-exposure.
The new “autofocus 3-lens system”, claimed to be the sharpest ever in a Polaroid camera, has adjustable apertures from f8 to f64 and LiDAR assisted continuous autofocus. All shooting parameters are displayed inside the optical viewfinder as well as outside on a small monochrome LCD screen. For creative effects, users have access to shutter speeds from 1/250 to 30 seconds, a Bulb mode (up to 99 hours), and a multiple exposure mode with up to four exposures on a single frame.
The I-2 also has an in-built flash, a Li-ion battery chargeable via USB-C, and can be controlled remotely from a mobile app. The camera accepts Polaroid’s three square frame films, the i-Type, 600 and SX-70 (all of which come in 8-packs), and is available now for US$599.