There are various instant camera brands available, but Polaroid is without a doubt the most well-known. Polaroid’s latest analog camera is the Now+, which has the iconic appearance of previous cameras from the company but offers new functions via the companion app to allow users to be creative.
I spent some time with the Polaroid Now+ to evaluate how it performs in everyday use and how it compares to competitors.
Polaroid Now+: Specs
- 150.16 x 112.2 x 95.48mm
- 457g (without film pack)
- Lithium-ion battery
- Shutter system: 1/200 – 1sec. (Camera only), 1/200 – 30 sec. and Bulb mode (App Mode)
- Standard Lens focal length: 102.35mm (40mm/35 equivalent)
- Close-up Lens focal length: 94.96mm (35mm/35 equivalent)
- 41° horizontal field of view, 41° vertical field of view
- Auto-Adjust Output Vacuum discharge tube strobe system
- Lens filter kit
- USB charging cable
- Neck strap included
- Tripod mount on base of camera
- Requires Polaroid i-Type film
- Film size – 107 x 88mm
- Image size – 79 x 79mm
Polaroid Now+: Design and Build
The Polaroid Now+ is available in three matt colors: blue-grey, black, and white. The lens, flash, charging slot, shooting button, and film tray are located on the front, while the power and flash toggle buttons are located on the back.
There’s also a stripe along the center of the camera, as well as a Polaroid Now+ logo — ideal for flaunting if you want.
While the style is appealing to retro Polaroid enthusiasts, it is quite impractical. It’s large and has an unusual shape, so it won’t fit easily inside a bag. This is especially true when compared to competitors like Instax, which are slim, rectangular, and considerably easier to transport around.
Having said that, this camera offers a remote shooting option via the Polaroid app, as well as a tripod universal mount. As a result, if you intend to use this camera without holding it, the design may not be as important.
Along with the camera, you get five real lenses that clamp onto it. These also come with a convenient carrying case. The camera does not come with a carrying case, however, these can be purchased straight from Polaroid.
To load the film, open the tray at the bottom and print off the protective layer on the first load. To shield the image from any potential light interference in the first few seconds, the darkslide remains in the camera and rolls out with the image as it prints.
The camera includes a micro USB charger with a port on the right side. The camera has a print capacity of up to 100 prints, and I haven’t needed to go for the cord throughout my time testing it after a full charge. According to Polaroid, charging from flat to full takes about two hours.
Polaroid Now+: Features and Image Quality
This Polaroid camera uses i-Type film, which is a medium-sized square with a little border around it. The images are substantially larger than those taken by the Instax Mini 40, and so cannot readily fit inside a wallet or tiny pocket.
You may use this camera as a point-and-shoot, exactly like the Polaroid Now. Take shots outside in daylight – ideally with light behind you – for the greatest colors and details. The photographs have a definite vintage vibe to them.
When there is less light, such as when you are indoors or taking a shot in the shade, the image quality suffers dramatically. Colors are significantly more muted, and it can be difficult to produce a decent image at all. I took one photo outside in the early evening with adequate lighting and can barely make out any features.
To get the most out of this camera, you’ll need the Polaroid app. Remote shooting, self-timer, double exposure, aperture mode, portrait mode, light painting, tripod, and manual – which offers you complete control over how the camera photographs – are among the modes available.
Some of these capabilities were fun to experiment with, such as light painting, which allowed me to experiment with different effects in an otherwise pitch-black space, and remote shooting, which made capturing images without a photographer much easier.
However, I was unable to get portrait mode to function at all. The software kept telling me that I was either too close to the camera or that the lighting conditions were poor.
If you’re looking for a simple point-and-shoot camera, I wouldn’t recommend this one. It’s far more difficult to take a good image with this camera than with an Instax device, and the abundance of capabilities means it’s better suited to creatives and photography enthusiasts ready to experiment with manual lighting and settings.
Photos are printed as soon as the shutter button (on the app or on the camera) is pressed and develops in about 10-15 minutes. The lighting and temperature conditions in which you find yourself might have an impact on the ultimate outcome of the photograph – visit the Polaroid website to acquire the greatest Polaroid images.
Polaroid Now+: Price and availability
The Polaroid Now+ costs £139.99/US$149.99 and is available on the Polaroid website in both the UK and the US.
Because of the personalization possibilities offered, this is more expensive than other instant cameras on the market. If having the app for remote shooting isn’t an issue for you, but you still want a Polaroid, the Polaroid Now is a less expensive variant that was released last year.
There’s also the issue of film costs to consider. One pack of i-Type film (available in color or black & white) contains eight prints and costs £14.99/$15.99. It is more expensive than Instax prints, which sell for £14.99/$19.95 for a box of 20 images.
These expenses can quickly add up, especially when you consider that capturing a good photo on the Polaroid Now+ can take several attempts.
Other options can be found in our reviews of the top instant cameras. For Polaroid aficionados, we also offer a list of the top instant printers, which includes the Polaroid Hi-Print.
- Range of shooting options
- Classic retro design
- Tripod mountable
- Hit and miss images
- Bulky and heavy
- Expensive camera and film
Polaroid Now+: Conclusion
The Polaroid Now+ is far more versatile than its predecessor, with app features for remote shooting and other custom settings allowing you to be more creative with your instant camera.
However, its large size, uneven shots, and high price make it difficult to recommend to consumers looking for a casual on-the-go camera. This is far more suitable to brand aficionados and aspiring photographers.