Top 10 Best Retro Instant Cameras In 2023 – Reviews & Buying Guide

In the age of smartphones, social media, and digital cameras, the charm of retro instant cameras has become even more appealing. These cameras deliver instant prints that capture the essence of an event, making them a great tool to preserve memories in a creative way. With so many options available in the market, picking the right retro instant camera can be challenging. In this article, we have curated a list of the top 10 best retro instant cameras that will take you back in time. So, whether you’re a photography enthusiast or just looking to capture some fun memories, check out our reviews and buying guide to find the best retro instant camera for you.

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Last update on 2024-01-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Everything you Need to Know About Retro Instant Cameras

Retro instant cameras are a popular trend in the photography world. These cameras are designed to take pictures instantly and produce a physical copy of the image on the spot. They are essentially a modern version of the classic Polaroid cameras that were popular in the 80s and 90s.

Retro instant cameras are known for their vintage looks and styles. They generally have a plastic body and a large, brightly colored button for taking pictures. They are often available in a wide range of colors and designs, so users can choose one that fits their style. Thanks to their simplicity and ease of use, retro instant cameras have become a hit with young people who are rediscovering the joys of instant photography.

10 Best Retro Instant Cameras to Buy This Year

SaleRANK 1
KODAK Mini Shot 2 Retro 4PASS 2-in-1 Instant Digital Camera and Photo Printer...
  • Instant Camera + Photo Printer: The Kodak Mini Shot 2 Retro is a digital camera with a built-in photo printer, so you can print your images or cancel them after...
  • Low Photo Cost: Why pay more to print? Printing has never been easier with our Kodak Mini Shot 2 Retro instant print camera. Photos are even half the cost if...
  • Superior Photo Quality: The Kodak Mini Shot 2 Retro utilizes 4PASS technology, which allows you to print flawless photos in just a few seconds. As the photos...
  • Two Photo Types: It is possible to print both bordered and borderless pictures with the Kodak Mini Shot 2 Retro photo printer. With this instant camera, you can...
  • Download the KODAK Photo Printer application and print from anywhere at any time. It provides decorative features such as beauty, filters, frames, and more! You...
SaleRANK 2
Zink KODAK Smile Classic Digital Instant Camera for 3.5 x 4.25 Zink Photo Paper...
  • A RETRO WAY TO CAPTURE MOMENTS: The Kodak Smile Classic combines an old-school design with advanced modern technology.
  • LARGE AND VIBRANT PHOTOS: This camera produces the largest photos in the Kodak instant print collection. You can prints 16 megapixel 3.51” x 4.25” photos.
  • PACKED WITH FEATURES: Bluetooth connectivity connects to iOS and Android devices. With an optical viewfinder, 10 second timer and automatic strobe flash.
  • DOWNLOAD & SAVE: The Kodak Smile store images that you don’t want to print right away. With the microSD card slot you can download and save images to your...
  • Perfect for travel: never miss a moment anywhere. This small camera is lightweight, durable and great for all of your adventures, trips and explorations. Take...
Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Instant Film Camera (Brown)
  • Automatically detects the brightness of the surrounding and adjusts the amount of flash and shutter speed to optimize photo quality; Lens: F=60 millimeter,...
  • Double exposure mode 2 images are produced on 1 film sheet by pressing the shutter twice, automatic film feeding out
  • Bulb mode the shutter remains open while the shutter button is depressed (10 seconds maximum) and a light trail can be photographed
  • Macro mode short distance photography as close as 30 - 60 centimeter; Film size: 86 millimeter x 54 millimeter; Picture size: 62 millimeter x 46 millimeter
  • Kids mode suitable for photographing kids, pets and other fast moving subjects due to a fast shutter speed
SaleRANK 4
Polaroid Originals Now I-Type Instant Camera - Black (9028)
  • NOW: Polaroid's new point-and-shoot analog instant camera has all you need to catch every life moment in an original Polaroid photograph.
  • NEW & IMPROVED: Now with autofocus, it’s simple to capture moments as you see them, so you can relive them forever in sharp, vivid color.
  • DOUBLE EXPOSURE: Frame two moments in one with double exposure, or get yourself in the picture with self-timer and an accurate flash to make everyone look like...
  • COLORFUL FUN: Now is available in the 7 colors of the iconic Polaroid spectrum.
  • POINT. SHOOT. KEEP FOREVER: Now is compatible with both i-Type and 600 film.
Kodak Printomatic Instant Camera (Blue) Basic Bundle + Zink Paper (20 Sheets) +...
  • ALL-IN-ONE PHOTOGRAPHY - The PRINTOMATIC Camera offers a combination of a powerful 5MP sensor with a wide angle f/2 lens that instantly prints vibrant photos.
  • Fast easy and fun – forget computers Forget cumbersome printers just point and shoot the cameras speed allows you to shoot a new photo while printing the...
  • ONE STOP PRINTING - The Kodak Printomatic camera instantly prints 2x3” photos. The camera uses Kodak Zink Photo Paper, so no ink cartridges, toners or film...
  • CHARMING DESIGN – Comes in Variety of Fun, Bold Colors. Compact design Slips neatly into your shirt pocket. Make it easy to carry around as you go about your...
  • INSTANT VALUE - Kodak Printomatic Camera is an easy-to-use product. Saves photos to a MicroSD card. No USB Cable Included.
256 Pockets Photo Album for Kodak Mini Shot,Kodak Mini Shot 2 Retro Instant...
  • ✅【DESIGN FOR】: Compatible with photos taken by Kodak Mini 2, Mini 2 Plus, Mini 2 Retro, Mini Shot, Mini Shot 2 Retro Camera,Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 9 8+ 8...
  • ✅ [AMPLE STORAGE] : fit 256 photos with built-in 64 count 4 pockets sheets. Side loading pockets prevent cards from spilling out and keeps them safe during...
  • ✅ [COMPREHENSIVE PROTECTION] : The cover of the photo album is very strong and not easy to tear. With a lightweight padded layer built into each page the...
  • ✅ [SECURE] : Premium vegan leather cover and clear inner pockets are fashion and durable,Steady bonding between the cover and inner pages ensures high...
  • ✅ [MUITI-PURPOSES] : A light and soft photo album that can be carried with you. It can be used as daily photo storage, wedding guestbook, anniversary,...
SaleRANK 8
wogozan Protective Case for Kodak Mini Shot 3 Retro Instant Camera & Photo...
  • 【kodak mini shot 3 retro case】Classic brown PU protective case specially designed for kodak mini shot 3 retro photo printer camera(Excluding camera).
  • 【High Quality Material】PU waterproof material, soft and textured, effectively protect the camera from rain and external damage. The inside is plush to...
  • 【Shoulder Strap Design】Detachable and adjustable shoulder straps, perfect for people of different heights. Easy to hang and carry around.
  • 【No Burden to Use】The detachable camera top cover can be taken off anytime and anywhere to take pictures. The fine cutout of the back screen does not block...
  • 【Perfect Fit】The retro classic brown protective case is the best companion for Kodak mini shot 3 retro camera, it protects the camera and is convenient to...
Instant Camera Old School Retro Vintage Style Graphic TShirt
  • Instant Camera "Old School" T-Shirt with retro colors and a vintage theme.
  • Great shirt for anyone who loves vintage style shirts. Also great for guest of honor at 50th Birthday Party, 60th Birthday Party, 70th Birthday Party, 80th...
  • Lightweight, Classic fit, Double-needle sleeve and bottom hem
Jollylook Pinhole Instant Film Camera Building Set - 3D Wooden Puzzle for Adults...
  • Unique: This instant film camera is surrounded by nostalgia. The mini camera instant print offers wooden 3D puzzles for adults during assembly that creates an...
  • DIY: These vintage cameras for photography are also adult craft kits. The creative DIY kits for adults require photographers build the cam from laser cut...
  • Vintage: This mini vintage camera offers a Victorian or steampunk look. The mini retro camera offers a unique look with a camera that prints pictures instantly...
  • Instant: This film instant camera is compatible with Instax Mini film (not included). These instant print camera for adults and teens are fun for projects,...
  • Fun: These instant cameras that print photos make a unique option. The 3d mechanical wooden puzzles create a special 3-D appearance for the instant film...

Last update on 2024-01-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Reasons for Buying Retro Instant Cameras

Retro instant cameras have been steadily gaining popularity in recent years. Some may wonder what makes them so special, but there are actually several reasons why people should consider adding one to their collection. Here are just a few of them.


Nostalgia is a powerful feeling that can take us back to happy memories from our past. Many people love to relive those moments and capture them in a tangible way. Retro instant cameras provide a perfect way to do just that. These cameras offer a unique appeal, often resembling the ones that were popular in the past, and remind us of a simpler time.

Using a retro instant camera can feel like taking a trip back in time. It allows us to capture moments in a tangible way, unlike digital photos that are easily lost in the vastness of our phone galleries. With the instant gratification offered by these cameras, we can experience the excitement of seeing our photographs develop before our eyes. This feeling of nostalgia can be comforting and help us relive happy moments from our past.


Retro instant cameras offer a certain level of authenticity that digital cameras simply cannot match. They provide a physical, tangible object that captures a moment in time, unlike digital images that can be easily deleted or lost. The instant nature of the cameras also adds to the authenticity, as the photos cannot be edited or retouched before being printed. This creates a sense of nostalgia and a connection to the past that digital photography does not provide.

Additionally, retro instant cameras can be used to create unique and personalized keepsakes. The physicality of the photos allows them to be shared, displayed, or even gifted to others. This creates a sense of bonding and connection between people that is not possible with digital images. Retro instant cameras can also be used for creative projects, such as scrapbooking or journaling, allowing individuals to express themselves in a unique way. Overall, the authenticity provided by retro instant cameras adds value to the memories captured, making them more meaningful and special.

Unique physical prints

Retro instant cameras are popular among photography enthusiasts because they offer a unique way of capturing and preserving memories. Unlike digital cameras or smartphones, instant cameras produce physical prints of the images they capture. These prints are often small and have a retro vibe, which adds a unique touch to any photo album or scrapbook.

In a world where most of our photos are stored online or in digital format, instant cameras provide a tangible way of sharing photos with friends and family. Instant camera prints can be passed around, pinned on a bulletin board, or even stuck onto a fridge, which is why they are often used for special events like weddings, parties, and family gatherings. Additionally, because these cameras produce physical prints on the spot, they offer a certain level of spontaneity and unpredictability, which makes the whole photo-taking experience that much more fun and exciting.

Instant gratification

Instant gratification refers to the desire for immediate satisfaction or pleasure without delay or effort. In our digital age, we have become accustomed to having instant access to information, entertainment, and communication. We can order food, products, and services with just a few clicks and receive them within a few hours or days. However, with the convenience of digital technology, we have also lost some of the tangibility and nostalgia of physical items.

Retro instant cameras provide a solution to this problem. With an instant camera, we can capture a moment and have a physical photo to hold and admire within seconds. This tangible experience satisfies our desire for immediate gratification and gives us a souvenir that we can share with friends and family. Additionally, the retro aesthetic of these cameras appeals to our nostalgic tendencies and allows us to relive the charm and simplicity of older times. Overall, instant cameras provide a unique experience that satisfies our need for immediate gratification while also reminding us of simpler times.

A Comprehensive Guide to Choose the Best Retro Instant Cameras

Before making a purchase, it is important to identify the most significant aspects one should take into account when seeking the Best Retro Instant Cameras.

Brand reputation

Brand reputation is an important factor to consider before making a purchase of a retro instant camera because it will directly affect the quality of the camera and its reliability. Established camera brands with a good reputation are more likely to produce retro instant cameras that are durable, long-lasting, and of high quality. This means that the camera will give you good results, it will endure long periods of use, and it will not frustrate you with malfunctions.

On the other hand, brands with a bad reputation may produce retro instant cameras that are of low quality and less reliable, potentially breaking easily or not performing as well. This could lead to wasted money and a disappointing experience with the camera. Therefore, It is best to research a brand’s reputation and listen to other customer’s reviews before making a purchase decision to ensure that the camera you buy is of high quality and well-loved by previous users.

Film cost and availability

When purchasing retro instant cameras, it is important to consider the cost and availability of film as both factors impact the practicality of owning the camera. Film can be expensive and difficult to find, particularly for older models. Additionally, certain types of film may be discontinued or have limited availability, which can make film purchasing more challenging.

Ultimately, the cost and availability of film should be taken into account when deciding whether to invest in a retro instant camera. It may be a fun novelty item, but if film costs and availability are too high, it may not be practical for regular use. Additionally, if buying film becomes a hassle, it may deter one from using the camera altogether.

Quality of prints

The quality of prints is a crucial factor to consider before buying a retro instant camera because it directly impacts the final output of the camera. The main attraction of retro instant cameras is their ability to print the pictures in an instant, and therefore, the print quality should be satisfactory. A good quality print is defined by the sharpness, clarity, and color accuracy, and it should reflect the precise details of the photograph. Buyers should consider the resolution, lens quality, and the type of film used in producing prints before making a purchase.

Moreover, the print quality also adds to the longevity of the photograph, as it determines how long the photo will stay in good condition. A low-quality print may fade or deteriorate over time, leading to a loss of the precious memories captured in the photo. Therefore, it is crucial to invest in a retro instant camera with good print quality to ensure that the pictures taken will remain in good condition for years to come.

Features and settings

When it comes to buying a retro instant camera, it is important to consider the features and settings before making a purchase. Retro instant cameras come with a variety of features and settings, including autofocus, exposure control, flash mode, and film type compatibility. These features determine the quality of the images produced by the camera and its ease of use.

Additionally, some retro instant cameras also come with added features such as a self-timer, double exposure modes, and a built-in flash. These features give the photographer more control over the final image and make it easier to capture the perfect shot. It is important to consider these features and settings when buying a retro instant camera to ensure that it meets your specific needs and preferences.

Size and portability

Size and portability are important factors to consider when buying a retro instant camera. These cameras are meant to be taken with you on the go, capturing memories and moments as you experience them. A camera that is too large or heavy can become cumbersome and burdensome to carry around, defeating the purpose of having an instant camera. Additionally, a smaller and more portable camera is also easier to use and can be pulled out at a moment’s notice to capture a spontaneous moment.

Moreover, the size and portability of the camera also determine its practicality and versatility. A smaller camera can be carried around more easily and can be used in a variety of settings, whereas a larger camera may only be practical for specific events or occasions. Additionally, a portable camera can be easily transported between locations, making it easier to capture a variety of different experiences and memories. Overall, it is important to consider these factors when purchasing a retro instant camera to ensure you get the most out of your investment.

Price range

When considering buying a Retro Instant Camera, it is important to keep the price range in mind. Retro Instant Cameras can range in price from under $50 to over $300. By understanding your budget, you can make a decision that is both affordable and practical. It is also important to consider what features are important to you, such as film quality, lens options, and adjustability. By taking all these factors into account, you can find a Retro Instant Camera that meets your needs and fits within your budget.

Additionally, understanding the price range of Retro Instant Cameras can also help you avoid overpaying for a camera. Some models may seem like a good deal at first, but they may not offer the quality or versatility that you need. It is important to research different models and compare their features and prices. This can help you find a camera that is both high-quality and affordable, allowing you to create memories that last a lifetime without breaking the bank.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does a retro instant camera work?

A retro instant camera, also known as a Polaroid camera, works by using self-developing film. When the photo is taken, the film goes through the camera and gets exposed to light. The film then gets pulled out of the camera and a series of chemicals inside the film start to react, which then starts the development process.

The film develops from the bottom up and after about 30 seconds, the image starts to appear on the film. The development process is complete in a few minutes and then the image is fully visible. The final product is a physical print that can be touched and held immediately after it is taken, which is one of the reasons these cameras are so popular.

Are retro instant cameras easy to use?

Retro instant cameras are relatively easy to use, even for beginners. These cameras usually have a simple design and come with basic features, making them user-friendly. Most retro instant cameras have a simple, point-and-shoot operation, where all you need to do is aim the camera and press the button to take a photo.

Additionally, the instant printing feature of these cameras allows you to see the results right away, which is not only fun but also helps you learn quickly how to adjust exposure, focus, and other factors to achieve a better result. However, it’s important to note that some models may have more advanced features that may require a bit of practice, but in general, retro instant cameras are designed for ease of use.

Is the photo quality of retro instant cameras as good as digital cameras?

The photo quality of retro instant cameras, such as Polaroid cameras, is typically lower than that of digital cameras. Retro cameras use film to capture images, which can result in less sharpness and clarity than digital cameras. Additionally, the size of the images produced by instant cameras is usually smaller than that of digital cameras, making it harder to zoom in or crop photos without losing significant detail.

However, the lower photo quality of instant cameras can be seen as part of their charm and appeal. Many people enjoy the unique and vintage look of instant camera photos and appreciate the gratification of having a physical print immediately after taking a photo. Ultimately, the choice between instant and digital cameras comes down to personal preference and the desired outcome for the photos.

Wrapping Up

Retro instant cameras have made a remarkable comeback, and it’s no wonder why. They offer the perfect blend of vintage charm and modern convenience, delivering instant prints in a matter of seconds. The top 10 best retro instant cameras reviewed in this article are some of the best options available on the market today, providing exceptional image quality, affordability, and user-friendly features. Whether you’re a professional photographer or just looking for a fun camera to capture memories, these retro instant cameras are definitely worth a try. So, if you’re looking for the best retro instant cameras, make sure to check out the options listed above and enjoy the timeless magic of instant photography.

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