Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Product review: Polaroid Snap Instant Digital Camera with ZINK Zero Ink Printing Technology

Polaroid Snap camera is fun to have at a party. Instant prints are fun to share with friends. However, as a camera on its own right it is not the best. The prints you get are not as good if the ones I can take with my phone camera, for example, and print later. But that's the key "later" vs "now". I am including a few prints taken with the camera (indoors and outdoors) and they all have a blueish tint. The camera has a flash and the documentation says that the camera focuses and flashes automatically, but in all the pictures I have taken so far the flash has not triggered. The auto focus has been good in 99% of the photos.

The package does not include a manual or any documentation other than a small pictogram. I had to Google for documentation and then click "buy" on Polaroid web site to get to the place where I could download the documentation and download a firmware update. I have done both, the photos you see are using the latest firmware.

To turn on the camera you have to pop up the view finder, which looks like a retractable flash from the first glance. The pop-up opens easily, often accidentally when I just brushed my hand over the camera. The lens is covered with a magnetic cap. It is not attached in any other way to the camera and is fairly easy to loose if you remove it to take pictures.

The big red button on top of the camera is the shutter. When you press it there is no clear feedback that the photo has been taken until the printer starts making a whirling noise and the print comes out. From experienced I learned to press and wait a second in order not to waste paper by pressing twice because I did not think I made good contact the first time.

Zink paper is placed into the camera with the bar code facing down, shiny side up. The camera can hold only 10 pieces of paper at a time. Each paper sheet is 2" x 3". The images appears on paper by heating the Zink paper in different ways. The camera uses no ink which makes the print come out of the camera totally dry, you cannot smudge it. The print feels thick and very glossy. Unlike a regular glossy photo print Zink paper does not show finger prints.

The camera generates 5M images. The images can be saved as well as printed if you insert micro SD card into the camera. The camera supports micro SD cards up to capacity 32G. The micro SD is not included. In attached video I show both the scans of printed photos and the image saved to disk. You can see that the blue tint appears only on the paper print.

The camera runs on rechargeable 7.4V battery which is non-removable. This means at some point non-rechargeable battery will become a problem as it will hold less and less charge as the battery ages.

I received this camera for testing and review. Bottom line? A lot of fun at a party but not the best camera if you discount the ability to get instant prints. So how much weight does this unique feature have? For me taking in account all pluses and minuses it fell somewhere between 3 stars (ok) and 4 stars (good).

You can find Polaroid Snap on Amazon via this link.

Ali Julia review

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