Every photographer’s needs are unique, but with a little research into the differences between each camera model, you’ll be able to work out which model best suits your style. Here’s a comparison between 4 of the most common Polaroid model types.
1. Polaroid® 600 Box-Type Cameras
First released in 1981, the 60-series is the camera most people think of when they hear the word “Polaroid”, with a boxy design that made them a pop culture icon.
- Simple, point-and-shoot design that's fun, quick, and easy-to-use
- Comes with a built-in automatic flash and (usually) a fixed-focus lens
- Flash override capability and lighten/darken slider
- Does not contain a battery (battery is integrated into each 600 film pack)
- Fitted with a Polaroid Originals film shield to protect new photos from light as they exit the camera
- The most affordable camera option
- Offers a wide selection of film, from classic color and black & white to special edition packs
Perfect for: Beginners, casual shooters, and fans of special edition film packs. More serious users could consider a step up to the Sun 660 or high-end SLR 680/690 models.
2. Polaroid® SX-70 Cameras
Released in 1972, the SX-70 was the world’s first folding instant camera, and shoots at a lower ISO than other Polaroid cameras. This means they need more light to shoot, allowing for greater depth and detail. It’s this which has made them the favored model for artists and professionals.
- Sleek, well-built, and folds flat to carry
- Glass lens with minimum focus distance as close as 10.4 inches
- Does not contain a battery (battery is integrated into each SX-70 film pack)
- Available in both manual-focus and auto-focus models
- No built-in flash (sold separately)
- Shutter speed ranging from 1/175 (for action shots) to 10 seconds (for long exposures at night)
- Cross compatible with 600 film (when using a Neutral Density filter)
Perfect for: Polaroid enthusiasts who want to shoot with a more technical camera, and professional photographers looking to experiment with instant photography. If you’ve got a little technical knowhow about analog photography, the SX-70 is a great camera for you.
3. Polaroid® Image/Spectra Cameras
Debuting in 1986, Image and Spectra were the last generation of Polaroid instant film cameras, introducing a new wide-format film and a range of digital controls.
- Spectra film has a unique rectangular shape – 3.5” x 2.9” (90 mm x 73 mm) – as opposed to the more familiar square Polaroid format
- Both experienced and beginner photographers love experimenting with Spectra – the wide format is great for landscapes, portraits and creating photos with a more cinematic feel
- Only compatible with wide-format Spectra film – available in color or black & white
- Built-in flash
- Range of manual controls (depending on model)
- Glass-coated lens (on some models)
Perfect for: Cinema lovers, party photographers, and anyone who loves fiddling with buttons and settings.