For all the convenience and quality that the cameras on our phones provide, there is still something special about holding an actual print IRL. But since we live in ADHD-addled times, no one has time to wait around for film to develop. That’s what makes the old school Polaroid instant cameras so appealing. Not only did the cameras themselves have a cool, retro design, but the prints they produced had unique analog characteristics and imperfections that no Instagram filter can duplicate no matter how hard they try.
When Polaroid announced they would no longer make instant film, a company called the Impossible Project stepped in and bought the last remaining factory days before it closed down. Tasked with what can only be described as the “impossible project” of reverse engineering the film production process, the company is now ready to launch the first new camera for the original Polaroid film format. The I-1 maintains the lo-fi appeal of older Polaroid cameras. There is a shutter button, an exposure dial, and a focus selector, and not much else. More fine-tuned controls are achieved through an app. There is also a ring flash, which helps you take portraits without everything looking blown out. It also charges via USB, which is infinitely more convenient than the old school battery system.
The I-1 will be available starting May 10 for $300. It will shoot Impossible’s version of the Polaroid 600 film, which comes in black and white and color varieties. A pack of film that produces 8 prints starts at around $23, so make sure that the pics you take are good ones.