Part of the magic of photographs is that they allow us to freeze and revisit moments in time. Some moments may carry more significance than others, but all of them interest us enough to take a picture in the first place, whether we’re watching our friends say “I do” or documenting lunch at our favorite sandwich spot. The problem is most of our photos exist solely in the digital realm and they quickly disappear into cyber-oblivion. We might make an effort to print some of our most important moments, but we rarely revisit our shots of the moments in between. Fortunately, we have an affordable,  hassle-free means of printing more of our photos, and we don’t have to wait to hold them in our hands. I’m referring, of course, to the wonderful innovation known as instant cameras. Below, you’ll find a list of the best instant cameras that you can use to capture and instantly deliver your photos.

A Quick Guide to Choose from the Best Instant Cameras

Not all instant cameras are built alike. While they may share the same primary function, each make and model offers unique features that set it apart. As a result, the best instant camera for someone else may not be the best instant camera for you. The following guide will help you choose an instant camera that will suit your specific needs. Here are some factors to consider before choosing an instant camera.

  • Photo Development Speed

Depending on the brand of instant camera you choose, the development times may vary. Keep this in mind if you need to see the photos immediately.

  • Film Size

Are you looking to compile your photographs in an album? Do you want them to fit into your pocket for a quick memory recall? Identifying how you’ll want to eventually store and access the photos can help narrow your choices between the best instant cameras.

  • Additional Functions

When it comes to finding the best instant cameras, simplicity is generally key. However, some photographers may want to move beyond basic point-and-shoot functionality and take advantage of more advanced features. For example, would you like to have your instant camera equipped with a flash? How about other effects or a selfie mirror?

  • Cost of Film

Purchasing an instant camera requires more than a one-time payment. For instance, you have to buy film to continually capture moments. A quick search on film costs for instant cameras may help you determine how much you’ll need to spend in the long run.

To help kickstart your search for the best instant cameras, check out our picks below and get ready to snap and print to your heart’s content!

Polaroid Now+

polaroid now+Polaroid has long made waves with their line of instant cameras. The Polaroid Now+ brings innovation to a wide field of instant cameras as it merges the best features of the older Polaroid Now with the Polaroid OneStep+. Among this camera’s more interesting attributes we find the inclusion of physical lens filters, such as red vignette, starburst, orange, yellow and blue colors. You can use these filters to create cool, in-camera effects.

Reasons You May Want to Buy:

  • Excellent image quality
  • Dual Lens Autofocus for sharp photos
  • Micro USB powered rechargeable battery
  • Full-size prints
  • Can be fully utilized by a beginner
  • Comes with an intuitive and Bluetooth-connected interactive app

Reasons You May Want to Avoid:

  • No selfie mirror
  • Some features can only be accessed through the app
  • Print works are expensive

Fujifilm Instax Mini 40

Instax 40 FujifilmIt’s on surprise to find a Fujifilm camera on this list (several times, in fact). One of the leading camera manufacturers, Fujifilm has earned its place as a producer of some of the best instant cameras on the market with its arsenal of devices. The Fujifilm Instax Mini 40, in particular, makes for a perfect instant camera for beginners who value curb appeal. With its textured finish and retro design, this camera checks all the stylish boxes. More importantly, however, is that the Instax Mini 40 is probably one of the easiest cameras to use on this list. It literally comes packed with only two settings and two buttons. It’s hard to mess that up.

Reasons You May Want to Buy:

  • Sharp and high-quality prints
  • Retro charm is on-point
  • Intuitive functionality, ideal for beginners and advanced users

Reasons You May Want to Avoid:

  • Flash cannot be deactivated (although camera automatically adjusts based on ambient brightness)
  • Fiddly selfie mode
  • Exposure concerns under bright lights

Fujifilm Instax Wide 300

Instax wide 300 1Do you normally take photographs of scenic landscapes? If you do, typical instant cameras don’t usually do well at revealing the epic nature of grand scenery. The Fujifilm Instax Wide 300, however, does a great job at allowing instant camera photographer to capture some terrific wide-angle wonders. The wider-than-usual instant film also works well for capturing group shots at family gatherings or parties. You can get a few more people into the frame without having to ask your subjects to smash together. What’s more, and somewhat unusual for a wider lens, you can get up close (with a minimum shooting distance of only 40cm) to capture amazing detail in your imagery, especially for an instant camera.

Reasons You May Want to Buy:

  • Optimal grip for easy handling and use
  • Perfect for beginners
  • Produces larger prints

Reasons You May Want to Avoid:

  • Chunky build
  • Tiny viewfinder

Related Read: Best DSLR and Lenses for Beginners

Polaroid OneStep+

Onestep 2Itching for the classic Polaroid feel? Enter the Polaroid OneStep+. Aesthetically speaking, this instant camera takes its cues from the iconic flagship camera from the brand’s early days. The OneStep+ also brings with it adjustments from the previous OneStep 2 and is now better than ever, offering modern app amenities and classic, large prints in a perfect juxtaposition of form & function. Finally, the exposure compensation options and variable flash settings place this model comfortably on the list of the best instant cameras on the market today.

Reasons You May Want to Buy:

  • High-quality, large prints
  • Iconic retro design
  • Suitable for macro mode
  • Bluetooth-enabled shooting modes

Reasons You May Want to Avoid:

  • Expensive prints
  • Comes with a built-in battery

Fujifilm Instax Mini 11

Instax mini 11Hip, fun and available in a variety of exciting colors, the Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 represents a modern instant camera for modern users. This compact, lightweight, and intuitive camera derives its charm from its simplistic functions. Whether you’re snapping a fun picture with friends at a party or taking a picture of the sunset at the end of a memorable day, the Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 is an easy-to-use device that produces quality (albeit small) prints. It’s also one of the most affordable options on the list (coming in at just under $70).

Reasons You May Want to Buy:

  • Point-and-Shoot function attractive for beginners
  • Compact and hip design
  • Close to accurate auto exposure
  • Includes a selfie mode

Reasons You May Want to Avoid:

  • No advanced features
  • Prints are quite small

We hope you find our list of the best instant cameras helpful in your search for the perfect instant camera to capture (and print) everyday moments. Of course, this list is by no means exhaustive. If you think we missed an item on this list that you feel deserves to be here, share your thoughts and let us know in the comments below.