Jump Into the Past: Polaroid OneStep 2

Do you feel a bit overwhelmed with all these “smart” things fighting the way to your home, pocket or bag? Smart TV’s, smart watches, smart bicycles, smart bathtubs, smart dog collars, smart baby pacifiers. Every stuff around us is getting its digital, “smart” version full of electronics, connected to the Internet, synchronized via apps with other “smart” stuff. If you prefer your gadgets really dumb, but still working, you can have the cutting-edge analog camera. The “cutting-edge” in an analog camera is the ability to charge it via USB, but it is fairly enough. No useless buttons, no weird icons, and no options none asked for. Polaroid OneStep 2 is not much different from what was the leading edge 40 years ago.

Polaroid. The Basics

If you were a teenager in late 1970s, the ability to have photos developed straight after being captured made you pretty tech-savvy. Polaroid was a brand of instant photo cameras that were able to develop photos minutes after capture, without the need for film and film developing gear, or booths. Back then, the Polaroid was what we today call “smart”, although it had no screen, nor an array of buttons. Instant cameras were a true advancement over a roll film camera. You did not have to wait to burn all 32 images, just to go to a development booth and then wait 24 hours to see if it is any good.

The Polaroid OneStep 2

This camera is the child of Polaroid Originals, a group of enthusiasts who made first instant films after Polaroid Inc. went bankrupt in 2008. Their success led them to assure future film production through offering brand new Polaroids that use the same old principle. The OneStep 2 is featured at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. It is a sturdy, yet compact device sporting a 1980s design. It has a big, powerful flash and a battery that powers both it and the whole development process. The camera makes vintage-looking photos on the color film, whilst there is also black and white film, for real retro enthusiasts. Yes, you can add retro effects on most digital cameras, but this doesn’t make much sense. And this gadget beats most cheap smartphones in the photo quality category.

Polaroid Originals

Polaroid Originals is a business geared to Polaroid enthusiasts. It started as a team of real brand fans who did not want to live in a world without instant film. For them, digital cameras are not real photo gear. They tackled the change and put a step on the unstoppable tech development. First, they offered films. Second, there came retrofitted original Polaroids. The final phase is homebrew OneStep 2 camera available in two colors – graphite and white. The price of one is $119, thus competing with the cheaper end of the digital compact camera market. It may sound great, but, there is the catch of the instant film. The instant film packs are really expensive, costing around $15 for just 8 photos. There is also a bundle pack, though it’s not much cheaper than buying single packs.

The real excitement and satisfaction lie within a relatively small, but very dedicated community of Polaroid OneStep 2 owners.

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