The Polaroid brand has languished in recent years. The original company shuttered its doors and sold off its name as part of bankruptcy proceedings at the turn of the century, and stopped making its iconic instant film in 2008.
Efforts were soon made to restart film production. An upstart company, the Impossible Project, purchased a factory soon after, and brought its film for vintage instant cameras to market. It followed with its own hardware, and in 2017 started selling cameras and films under the Polaroid Originals banner.
Today it’s dropping the Originals and going just by Polaroid. It’s also got a new camera, the Polaroid Now. It’s similar in style and function to the current offerings, the OneStep 2 and OneStep+, with some refinements.
The Now includes a dual focus lens, like the OneStep+, but you don’t have to switch between close-up portrait focus and distant focus manually. The Now has an autofocus system instead. Other features include a built-in flash, self-timer shooting, and an internal battery with enough power for 15 packs of film—120 photos. It’s charged via micro USB; a cable is included.
It doesn’t include Bluetooth wireless control, like the OneStep+ does, but the Now can make multiple exposure images, capturing several moments on a single film frame.
As for film, both color and black-and-white materials are available. Prices go down when you buy in bulk, but expect to spend about around $16 per pack when buying singles. It’s a higher operational cost than Fujifilm Instax, but the Polaroid film is physically larger.
And you can spend a little more on special edition films, too. Polaroid is releasing a limited-edition Color Wave version, which surrounds each shot with a different colorful border. It’s a dollar more per pack, but you may find it worth it to get something other than a plain white border.
Color Wave is a limited edition, though. The company is also rolling out color film with a black border, also at $16.99 per pack. It’s a permanent addition to the catalog.
As for the camera itself, the Polaroid Now can be yours for $99.99. It’s available in a proverbial rainbow of colors: black, blue, green, orange, red, white, and yellow. All include Polaroid’s iconic rainbow logo.