I do enjoy my instant camera from time-to-time, I was gifted a Leica Sofort by B&H Photo many years ago. It uses the Fuji's Instax Mini film. The Sofort is now selling on ebay for more than its original $299 pricetag.

I have done silly things like use the Sofort on safari. Silly aside, it does makes a nice show piece when you frame 20-30 of these little images. House guests tend to spend more time staring at those sorts of things than the other giant prints on the walls.

Now we have Polaroid, who today have announced a $599 USD “high-end” instant photography camera. I am not versed in the market of these types of cameras or photographers, but there must be someone out there who has asked for such a thing. If no one did ask, and they made it anyway, I like that sort of thing too.

The Polaroid I-2 is available for preorder at B&H Photo $599

Press Release

AMSTERDAM, Sept. 7, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — The new Polaroid I-2 combines traditional analog experience with modern camera technology to establish a new benchmark in instant photography. 

Armed with the sharpest-ever Polaroid lens and built-in manual controls, the I-2 produces exceptional image quality and empowers photographers with the tools to master their craft. 

“For a long time, it was our dream to make a high-end Polaroid camera and give people more choice in the world of analog photography – a choice that many passionate photographers told us they were craving,” said Polaroid CEO Oskar Smolokowski. “To develop the I-2, we expanded our engineering team and spent more than four years designing and finessing every element. It is the most capable camera we've ever made and a true milestone in our journey.”

At the heart of the I-2 is the continuous autofocus three-lens system capable of making the sharpest shots of any Polaroid instant camera for integral film, while a wide aperture delivers a gorgeous depth of field. The lens has been designed in partnership with Japanese optical engineers with decades of experience developing marquee analog products.

The autofocus takes full advantage of the lens with a LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) sensor, which precisely detects the distance to the subject and auto-adjusts the lens, ensuring accurate focus. LiDAR enables longer focusing distance and is reliable even in difficult scenes with high or low light conditions.

The I-2 is the first Polaroid camera for integral film with built-in manual controls allowing more creative freedom. A large, bright viewfinder offers a traditional optical experience and communicates camera settings via an integrated display. Shutter speed, aperture size and six different shooting modes are directly selectable on the camera.

Further extending creative choices for photographers, the Polaroid I-2 is the first instant camera compatible with i-Type, 600 and SX-70 film and has a built-in lens thread mount compatible with 49mm filters.

The design of the I-2 is a celebration of its functionality. The exterior is built around the lens and the camera's manual controls. It is made with high-quality materials and has a modern look while remaining uniquely and unmistakably Polaroid. 

Made for the digital age, Polaroid I-2 features Bluetooth connectivity, and the accompanying app allows firmware upgrades over the air as well as complete remote control of the camera.

Coco Capitán, Kotori Kawashima, and Max Siedentopf became the first artists to try the new I-2 camera. Polaroid commissioned their work for the “Imperfectionists” campaign designed to mark the launch and celebrate instant photography as a creative medium that is beautifully unpredictable and imperfect.

“I am not interested in perfection. Chaos. Spontaneity. Randomness. That's where reality exists,” remarks Coco Capitán, the celebrated Spanish artist. “Working with the I-2 and the Polaroid film is remarkable. As a creative tool, it has a lot of capabilities, while you cannot always predict what the photo will look like. Every shot is unique, and the process is as meaningful as the result.” 

Polaroid I-2 key features:

  • Lens: 3-element lens with continuous autofocus system. Capable of ƒ/8 aperture across 0.4m (1.3′) – ∞ range controlled via a stepper motor. Material: optical grade polycarbonate and acrylic with anti-reflective coating.
  • LiDAR: high-accuracy ranging system
  • Built-in manual controls: camera modes, flash mode, distance to the object, shutter speed, aperture, and light meter indicator value are selectable on the camera and communicated through an integrated viewfinder display and external OLED display.
  • Camera modes: auto, aperture priority, shutter priority, manual, self-timer, multi-exposure
  • Flash: vacuum discharge tube strobe, 2.5m (8′) range. Accurate, human-friendly flash system
  • Design: modern design that echoes past iconic Polaroid machines. The technical requirements and the lens dictate the camera's shape. The exterior is made of high-quality ABS and PMMA plastic that is more impact-resistant and finished with a special coating giving it a premium look and feel.
  • UX design: working with I-2 is engaging, I-2 technical performance is on the surface – complexity is highly accessible
  • Premium materials: ABS, PC, PMMA, Aluminum Alloy
  • Internal rechargeable lithium-ion battery, rechargeable via USB-C – 15-pack battery life
  • Compatible with Polaroid i-Type, 600, and SX-70 film
  • App-enabled: download iOS or Android Polaroid App to enable full remote control and firmware updates via OTA Bluetooth
  • Tripod mount: standard 1/4-20 UNC thread
  • Built-in lens filter thread mount: Compatible with 49mm filters
  • Compatible with external flashes: 2.5mm audio mono-jack flash sync interface
  • Polaroid I-2 Camera MSRP: $599.99, £599,99, €699,99
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1 comment

  1. What does "human-friendly flash system" mean? I have a few guesses but couldn't find any details on the Polaroid site.

    I enjoy shooting instant films but really prefer the colors and lower cost of INSTAX films.
    Fujifilm needs to compete and offer a full manual-option camera like this.

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