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Wow, this camera is OLD, but boy did I love it. Back in the days before digital cameras, the only way to hold a print (or even see) a picture you'd taken was to take the print to a developer's and wait three days, or pay a premium to get it done in an hour. Back in the 80s/90s, Polaroid meant you could hold your snap in minutes - they were the ultimate in camera, from the Instamatic to the Joycam and they're still going today, albeit in digital form!
So, all you have to do is insert the special instant film, which usually came in 16 exposures, and go - you just point and click. There's a built in flash which is pretty good, and the autofocus works well. Once you've taken your pic, the square film pops out - you can take another photo almost instantly. To 'develop' the film simply wait three minutes and peel of the cover - your photo will be waiting right there!
Obviously now it's a somewhat obsolete technology but I absolutely loved my Polaroid Image 2 - it was a great way to take and share pictures in an instant and when I went to Uni some of those old Polaroid photos were amongst my treasured possessions.
So as much as I can't recommend you buy one now - I have to review this for the time that I had it, and it was a 5/5 purchase.
Some of the younger readers out there may not remember this but in the days before we had digital cameras we used to have a thing called film. We would then have to take the roll of film to be developed somewhere and in my town it was to the local chemists where we would give them the film and come back a few days later to pick up our photographs.
The only way to bypass the dropping off and collecting of pictures other than posting your film away which took weeks to get your pictures was to buy a Polaroid camera.
Polaroid instamatic cameras were the digital cameras of their day and they allowed you to capture a photo and be able to see it instantly. Well not exactly instantly but as close to it as was possible back then.
We had quite a few Polaroid cameras in my family throughout the years with most of them sitting in my attic saved from the recycling by me when my parents moved house and wanted to throw them away.
The reason I couldn't bring myself to throw them away is because our family photo albums are strewn with photos from the Polaroid cameras and I guess a sense of nostalgia stop me from being able to get rid of them.
My favourite one to use was always the image 2 camera which was given to me by my aunt as a present when I was a teenager and was my favourite possession for many years. You will have to forgive me as I forget the exact year but it was sometime in the mid 90's.
The camera itself is nothing like the small compact cameras that we use today but is a big bulky black plastic thing that was surprisingly rather compact compared to some of the other Polaroid cameras but is still huge to carry around with you.
On the back there is a view lens that you have to put your eye on to see the picture you are taking. The view from it is nice and clear and allows you to be able to see quite a wide panorama considering.
On the front of the camera is the lens for the view finder and a large square flash.
The camera also shuts closed to minimise the bulk but this doesn't exactly make it pocket sized and you open it by pressing a button on the side and it pops open.
To use a Polaroid you need to buy their own film which came in packs of ten and was a large square shape due to the fact that it also incorporated the paper for the photo.
To insert the film into this camera is easy all you need to do is open the up the front of the camera by pressing down on the button and then push the film pack into the opening making sure to have it correctly lined up. Just shut the front of the camera back up and the camera will eject the cover that was on the film.
On the back of the camera there is a counter that tells you how many pictures are left to take and you are all set. Oh one last thing as it takes batteries make sure that you have them installed or else it wont work obviously!
Taking a picture with this camera is where the real joy is and it is a complete pleasure to use. Once you have the picture lined up you want to take you just hold in the button and the camera will take the picture.
The flash is so bright it could quite possibly blind your subjects but the absolute best thing about this camera for me is the noise it makes when it is developing your picture. I can't really explain why but I love the whirring noise it makes so much.
Once you have took the picture it then comes out the front of the camera and viola instant pictures. Well sort of instant because you now have to wait for the picture to actually develop. I remember taking pictures with this camera and as soon as it came out everyone would gather around the picture waiting for the image to show up like it was some kind of magic or something.
After about a minute or so the picture will be ready but make sure that you don't touch the paper whilst it is developing or you will ruin the shot. For this reason the pictures come with a black margin on the bottom for holding and I defy anybody not to take a picture and flap it about trying to dry it and make the picture appear earlier.
The pictures are of a really good quality and colour shows up really well and they manage to capture the moment in all its glory. The pictures aren't as crystal clear as today's cameras but they have a charm and a quality all of their own that makes them appear just a bit more special.
Obviously as there is no zoom the camera is more suitable for taking shots of people than outdoors but as long as you make sure the shot is lined up well then it's pretty hard to take a bad picture with this camera.
I was looking through our family albums the other week and the Polaroid pictures have fared much better than the ones that were taken with a film camera. The colours are still bright and they look fresh almost as if they were taken only a few days ago. The fact that the paper appears to have a laminated effect obviously must make them more resistant to time.
The same obviously applies to the camera as I put some batteries in it and everything still appears to be functioning after all these years.
I realise that this isn't the most technical review and if you were looking for that I'm sorry but as this camera is discontinued its hard to find any technical details on it and I don't know them so I'm just giving my opinion on the camera as someone who used it for pleasure.
Unfortunately I haven't used the camera in a few years as Polaroid no longer make the film for it and any that is about is far too expensive for me to consider buying it. I do have a more modern Polaroid that I still continue to use occasionally as I just find the whole process of taking a picture with one such an enjoyable experience.
I read in the paper that Polaroid have hired Lady Gaga to collaborate with them on making a range of all new instamatic cameras and if they manage to make them as enjoyable to use as this and not try and make them too modern I will be first in line to buy one.