Polaroid is BACK! The New I-2 Instant Film Camera Is Worth Every Penny

Polaroid sets a whole new bar by introducing their the most capable (and most expensive) instant film camera available yet.

9 Moment

Polaroid, synonymous with instant photography, is back with a groundbreaking release: their brand-new, all-manual instant film camera, the Polaroid I-2. This release marks the first of its kind in nearly 50 years, seamlessly intertwining the nostalgic essence of analog with the precision of contemporary engineering. Armed with comprehensive manual controls, photographers are offered an expansive canvas, allowing for a more intricate connection with the world of instant film. This camera is about taking risks, pushing boundaries, and fine-tuning your art. With full manual control, you can execute your vision as you see fit, exploring instant film's true possibilities. I've had the utmost privilege to test this bad boy back in my hometown with new friends, putting all the settings to the test to really unleash my creativity in a comfortable space. Let's dive into what this camera is about and my honest thoughts on whether it's worth the hefty price tag.

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Embracing the Creativity

The Polaroid I-2 champions the ethos of the 'imperfectionist.' It invites photographers to appreciate the beauty in spontaneity, urging a celebration of serendipitous moments. Yet, it's not a tool of chaos like other instant film camera brands can feel. It acknowledges the reality that some of the most compelling photographs stem from unforeseen instances, truly capturing the heart of instant photography.

Recognizing that the journey of creation can be equally, if not more, rewarding than the final piece, the I-2 advocates for the value of those unintentional deviations, those endearing quirks that lend character to a photograph. It's what makes photography so fun! And I always appreciate this kind of experimentation.

Nonetheless, the creators, the artists — and every passionate soul out there, the Polaroid I-2 suits you. It's perfect for folks who love to snap the world as it truly is and for those who value the art of intentional engendering. This camera is definitely more advanced than the other point-and-shot style instant film cameras you see from Fujifilm or Kodak, pioneering yet another intriguing step in analog photography. Polaroid just wins.

⚡ Pros:

  • 6 different shoot modes in the camera.
  • All-new built-in manual mode. ⁠
  • It has the sharpest lens EVER. ⁠
  • Continuous focus 3 lens system.
  • An F/8 gives us the most depth of field in a Polaroid camera. ⁠

⚡ Cons:

  • Pricey with a $599 tag.
  • It still holds that instant film charm (slightly unpredictable).
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Lens, Quality, and Performance

Stepping up the game in instant cameras, the I-2 comes with a three-element autofocusing lens to ensure every shot is super crisp. And thanks to its LiDAR sensor, it's smart enough to adjust the lens based on how far away your subject is, even when the lighting's tricky.

Even though the lens is made from a mix of acrylic and polycarbonate instead of the usual glass, Polaroid's got our backs, promising it's still top-notch (this material actually helps keep the price down). And don't let the vintage film vibe fool you! The I-2 is packed with modern touches and vibes well with popular film stocks like the i-Type, 600, and the nostalgic SX-70. Adding a sprinkle of the 21st century, it's got Bluetooth and an app for some cool remote control action.

Regarding performance, — the I-2 is a clear winner in the Polaroid lineup. As per Polaroid's comparison, it possesses a swift 98mm f/8 lens, which aligns closely with a 50mm f/2.8 on a conventional 35mm camera. It's undeniable that the I-2 offers a wider aperture than many of its Polaroid counterparts, some of which have maximum settings of f/11 or even f/16. Regarding speed and aperture, one might need to journey back to the 1980s to find a Polaroid camera of comparable prowess. I've undoubtedly noticed a unique bokeh style never seen in my instant film work, creating a whole level of standout visuals in my images.


For many of us, adopting this new yet nostalgic way of shooting has been challenging in the best possible sense. The Polaroid I-2 isn't about hurriedly capturing moments; it's a deliberate move between the photographer and the subject. An intricate ritual where you pause, think, and act. With this camera, every shot means something. It's like taking a deep breath, thinking about your shot, and then going for it.

Rediscovering this old-school vibe has made many of us fall in love with photography all over again. It's about savoring every step, from tweaking the settings to geeking out watching the film develop. Even though we all see things differently, the Polaroid I-2 is a cool tool that lets us share our unique views. Every shot isn't just a picture; it's a bit of who you are.

And here’s the saddest part: using this camera builds a connection. Whether you’re snapping scenic views or your best friend's smile, it’s about getting to know your subject better. I've never felt more excited to scan a collection of instant film before; it's entirely rekindled my love for instant film in the best way. For once, I have better control over my instant film images, just like I do over my other film cameras. The I-2 steps it up and keeps it up.

What We Rate

Skill Level

Just getting started Understands manual settings Shoots regularly Professional

Photo Quality

Passable Pretty Good Really good Best Out There

Auto Focus

Always hunting It Works It Works Quickly Quick and Locked In

Low Light

Very Noisy Average Clean Crisp And Clean

Rugged Ability

Leave it in the studio Daily Carry Traveler Mountain Goat

Build Quality

Cheap What You’d Expect Solid Top Of The Line

Worth The Price?

This camera isn't for folks looking for a simple point-and-shoot experience for parties or wedding receptions. It comes packed with a suite of features beyond just the basics. Its lens and sophisticated internals aren't built for fast, mindless snaps.

However, if you have a taste for top-notch mechanics similar to what you'd see in iconic cameras like the SX-70, the price tag of the I-2 makes sense. It offers the most advanced features yet for an instant-film camera. While Polaroid might release even better products in the future with more attractive pricing, the I-2 is currently unparalleled. For die-hard Polaroid fans or analog lovers wanting something beautifully crafted and reliable, it's a worthy addition to the collection.

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