Whilst it may seem like the times in which we waited for tangible photos to develop have long gone, there is one breed of print photo camera that has managed to stay — even in the digital era.

That’s right: we’re talking about instant cameras; those cameras that produce an image pretty much instantly with the click of a button. It’s great for impatient souls like ours, as the chic and quirky cameras use self-developing films to print out photos on the spot. There’s something so deeply satisfying about capturing life’s most fleeting moments in one go, along with the thrill of shaking the little white film until we are taken by surprise by the final picture. For some of us, it’s even more exciting to have these developed photos tangible in hand as opposed to the digital copies on our Instagram feeds.

With the revival of the little gadgets in recent years, there are now many options to choose from when looking to purchase. If you fancy buying one of these vintage-style cameras, we’ve made it easier for you to pick the best-suited instant cameras for your needs below.

[Hero image credit: Pixabay/congerdesign ]

Instax Square SQ20

instant cameras

Shoot. Rewind. Print. This is as good as it can get. The Instax Square SQ20 (THB 7,990) captures the beauty of moving subjects so you can capture multiple pictures without worrying too much, as the hybrid instant camera allows you to monitor, re-shoot, and even edit photos on the camera with a variety of filters. While this instant camera isn’t quite pocket-friendly, it is worth the purchase for a couple of reasons. It ensures you get the right picture at the right time, and uses square Instax films which are significantly wider. You can shoot a video of up to 15 seconds, and choose the frame you want. You can create a time shift collage with four different pictures in one frame or have two pictures blended together. The camera essentially matches many of the capabilities of a digital camera — inclusive of a zooming option. The SQ20 is the first in the Instax series to have this, and also holds a Mirco SD card, so you can save photos and store them on your computer. Multi-functional, the SQ20 is available in matte black or beige.

Available to purchase at FujiFilm or Powerbuy at all stores in Thailand. 

Polaroid Originals OneStep 2

instant cameras

Looking for a simpler way to take photos? Continuing the legacy, this Polaroid Originals OneStep 2 (approx. THB 4,900) will remind of you of the good old days when things weren’t too complicated. You just need to click and shoot. While this camera boasts a vintage old school vibe, it has been infused with newer technology and is contemporary and sleek in design. The retro-styled instant camera works just like the polaroids of yesteryear and is convenient and easy to use. It makes for a great travel buddy because of its long-lasting rechargeable battery, self-timer option, and Mirco-USB connectivity, and features a high-quality lens and viewfinder feature to do plenty of the magic. In the classic rendition, there is no digital back-up, but then again, that’s the fun of using Polaroid, right?

instant cameras

Just in time for Stranger Things Season 3, there’s also a special Polaroid Originals OneStep 2 Stranger Things Edition (approx. THB 4,500) allowing fans to decorate their images using themed films. Again, the camera is suitable for all beginners, as a very easy-to-use and fun option.

Both are cameras are available to purchase at www.ubuy.co.th

Instax Mini 9

instant cameras

You have probably seen this one sitting on the shelf at your neighbourhood camera store. The adorable Instax Mini 9 (THB 2390) is available in an array of pastel-coloured options and is the easiest pick for those just getting into the game. For beginners, the camera suggests the most suitable lighting based on the given setting, yet still allows you to adjust the dial yourself in high-key mode. There’s a mirror next to the lens so you can check your framing and angle before shooting, and if you’re new to instant cameras, it’s certainly the most user-friendly and affordable at its price. It’s also very light-weighted to carry around.

Available to purchase at FujiFilm and BigCamera.

Lomo’Instant Square Glass Combo (Pigalle Edition)

The retro red Lomo’Instant Square Glass (Pigalle Edition) is the first dual-format glass-lensed instant camera that gives us a choice to switch between the Instax Square Film and Mini Film. The 95mm glass lens (45 mm equivalent) has an automatic mode with sharp shooting ability which takes care of the exposure settings for you, yet still leaves plenty of room to get creative. There’s a self-timer option too, as well as a ‘real image viewfinder’ to guide you throughout. It’s a bit bulky so it’s advisable to handle carefully, and in terms of design, it’s certainly the most out of the box. Quite literally.

Available to purchase at Powerbuy Thailand. 

Leica SOFORT

This is Leica’s first-ever instant camera. With its straight-edged and colourful design, it’s hard not to fall in love at first sight. The Leica SOFORT (THB 12,900) is a blend between the retro and the modern, with a display screen to direct shots, and varied features and settings such as macro mode and self-timer. Pick a spot and let Leica SOFORT do the trick or take control yourself and set the flash and exposure however you like. Whilst Leica have their own film packs too, this one also accepts the Fujifilm Instax Mini Films. The 60mm f/12.7 lens allows two different focal distances with preset modes, so photo enthusiasts can have the most fun with this one. Go for the classic black which has its own unique special signature or go for the avant-garde colours ranging from white and orange to mint.

Available to purchase at BigCamera

Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic

The Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic (THB 5790) is a show-stopper. Classic yet stylish, it features an LCD display strip at the back, offering lots of options for camera settings and features. Photo enthusiasts will enjoy the manual control over exposure, as well as macro and slow shutter speed modes to choose from. The camera is finished with a gorgeous faux leather, and has a tripod socket mount for those who want more stability in their shots. All the attractions of a traditional analogue camera, but for high-quality polished prints. The Neo Classic comes with a choice of coffee-brown or matte-black.

Available to purchase at Powerbuy Thailand. 

Lomo’ Instant Automat and Lenses (South Beach Edition)

Smart and Stylish. Lomography sure did flip us with its Lomo Instant Automat and Lenses South Beach edition (THB 7,990) which actually boasts a series of additional lenses to experiment with. The Lomo’s Instant Automat has a built-in lens (equivalent focal length of 35 mm) and can pair up with close-up lenses, wide lenses, and fisheye lenses to take your photos to the next level. The feature includes unlimited multiple exposures and a bulb option, as well as allowing you to layer up as many shots as you want. Thereby, you can combine many shots together for a show-stopping effect and play with the filters to add an artistic flair to your instants. Nightcrawlers will be delighted to have this one as the Lomo Instant Automat allows you to open your shutter as long as you want for night-time shooting or light painting photoshoots. It’s the real deal in that sense, though it’s a shame it doesn’t feature a self-timer option. The Lomo Instant Automat comes with numerous editions to choose from and is compatible with Instax Fujifilm, too.

Available to purchase at Powerbuy Thailand. 

Alisha Pawa
Writer
Alisha is a passionate dancer and is always creating her own choreographies. She is a fan of rom-com novels, a coffee-drinker who loves tea, and is always on-the-go for her midnight chocolate cravings. She hopes to tick-off her never-ending bucket list one day by hosting her own travel show.