The best instant cameras in the UK 2023

Like the Polaroid brand which went bankrupt before being revived, instant cameras have long suffered from the advent of digital cameras. Now more glamorous, but still in small format, this kind of camera has managed to win back the youth and adapt to its time. Here is our best selection of the best instant cameras.

Polaroid Now 1

Best value for money

Polaroid Now

The best instant camera in 2021

The Polaroid Now is a classic in the world of instant cameras. It offers excellent image quality and eliminates unnecessary controls for a smooth and direct experience.

92 £ on Amazon

In addition to a highly visible aesthetic overhaul, the Polaroid Now boasts some technological improvements over its predecessors, the Polaroid OneStep2 and OneStep+. Its main feature is a newly developed autofocus lens system, which automatically switches between distance and portrait lenses to provide more accurate results when shooting.

This instant camera features a lens with a focal length of approximately 35-40mm, a convenient self-timer mode and an automatic flash. The addition of autofocus means that more pictures appear sharp on the frame. Autofocus works mostly at a distance of about 0.5 mBut try to bring something closer and the end result will be blurred.

Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 2

Best value for money

Fujifilm Instax Mini 9

The best entry-level instant camera

A true best-seller among instant cameras, the Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 is used to capture life's important moments. The filters provided and the credit card format make photos more fun.

47,99 £ on Amazon

The Instax Mini 9 has a playful, fun feel to it, with its rounded curves and bright color. Weighing only 307.1 g and available in 9 colors, this model has put the instant camera back in fashion, no less! It prints 46 x 62 mm or credit card size prints. Thanks to the brightness adjustment strip, print, instantly, photos with bright and rich colors.

The close-up lens enlarges models up to 35 cm. In addition, the Instax Mini 9 runs on 2 AA LR6 alkaline batteries, included, with a battery life of about 100 images. To avoid missing your selfies, use the selfie mirror and take advantage of the 3 color filters to have fun. Finally, the built-in flash has an automatic exposure control for easy use.

Polaroid OneStep+ 3

Best premium size

Polaroid OneStep+

The best high-end instant camera

The original Polaroid OneStep was one of the best selling cameras of the 1970s. Polaroid has brought it up to date and renamed it OneStep+. This camera reproduces retro photography brilliantly.

119 £ on Amazon

The Polaroid OneStep+ is the first Polaroid Originals camera that uses Bluetooth wireless technology. This allows it to be associated with the official Polaroid Originals application. In doing so, this instant camera gives access to 6 new features, including remote shutter release, double exposure, light painting light paintinga self-timer, a manual mode and a shutter noise.

The Polaroid OneStep+ is also said to offer for the first time a portrait lens with a minimum focusing distance of 89mm. The traditional lens offering a focal length of up to 103mm. The OneStep+ also includes a high-capacity battery that recharges via a micro USB adapter, a built-in flash and a viewfinder.

fujifilm Instax SQ6 4

Square format

fujifilm Instax SQ6

The best square format instant camera

Vintage and modern, the Fujifilm Instax SQ6 produces photos in square format. The plus? The format larger than a credit card, the brightness control and the selfie mode that will delight more than one!

95,20 £ on Amazon

The Fujifilm Instax SQ6 has a charming design with a pronounced vintage connotation. It works with 2 Lithium CR2 batteries, but its particularity lies elsewhere. Indeed, the format of its photos is square: 62 x 62 mm. Another particularity: this format is larger than the classic credit card format. The camera uses Instax Square instant film with a maximum capacity of 10 sheets. One of the fastest on the market, it develops a picture in only 90 seconds.

The double exposure mode allows you to juxtapose two scenes to have a unique rendering. The integrated flash is adjustable with 3 strobe filters to have a vintage photo by adding more orange or purple colors. To succeed in your selfies, you have a mirror that adjusts the photo before triggering. In addition, the macro mode adjusts the sharpness up to 30 m and the landscape mode captures the scenes at more than 30 m.

Buying guide • November 2023

Best instant camera

Any specific needs?

The best instant camera in 2021

The best entry-level instant camera

The best high-end instant camera

The best square format instant camera

Your guide : Samuel

Rate this buying guide :
4.8/59 votes

By rating this buying guide, you are helping us to reward our best writers. Thank you!

Comparison table of the best instant cameras

Polaroid Now 5
Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 6
Polaroid OneStep+ 7
fujifilm Instax SQ6 8
Polaroid Now
Fujifilm Instax Mini 9
Polaroid OneStep+
fujifilm Instax SQ6
The Polaroid Now is a classic in the world of instant cameras. It offers excellent image quality and eliminates unnecessary controls for a smooth and direct experience.
A true best-seller among instant cameras, the Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 is used to capture life's important moments. The filters provided and the credit card format make photos more fun.
The original Polaroid OneStep was one of the best selling cameras of the 1970s. Polaroid has brought it up to date and renamed it OneStep+. This camera reproduces retro photography brilliantly.
Vintage and modern, the Fujifilm Instax SQ6 produces photos in square format. The plus? The format larger than a credit card, the brightness control and the selfie mode that will delight more than one!
580 g
470 g
715 g
393 g
Photo size
8.8 x 10 cm
4.6 x 6.2 cm
8.8 x 10 cm
6.2 x 6.2 cm
35 mm
60 mm
89-103 mm
65 mm
Lithium-ion 710 mAh
Alkaline batteries
Lithium-ion 1100 mAh
CR2 batteries

Help us improve this table:
Report an error, request the addition of a feature to the table, or suggest another product. Thank you for your kindness!

Buying guide - instant camera

Primary Item (H2)Sub Item 1 (H3)

Why can you trust us?

Why you can trust us
Our mission
How to support us
We do NOT accept any sponsored posts or advertising.

We spend thousands of hours each year studying the major specialized websites, analyzing products of hundreds of brands and reading user feedback to advise you on the best products.

Our mission is to simplify your purchasing decisions.

We are a product review company with a single mission: to simplify your buying decisions. Our research and testing helps millions of people every year find the best products for their personal needs and budget.

We are a small team of geeks and enthusiasts.

To support us you can: use our links to make your purchases (which often earns us a small commission), share our articles on social networks, or recommend our site on your blog. Thanks in advance for your support!

How to choose your instant camera

In order to make the best choice, you need to understand the differences between the different models of instant cameras. We list below the 5 criteria to take into account.

#1 - The film used

Instant cameras do not use the same films. Depending on the brand and model, you can use the classic polacor from Impossible Project, the Instax from Fujifilm or the Polaroid Zink. Produced by Impossible Project since 2010, the polacor classics are used for older cameras and are available in four formats: the 600 Pack, the SX-70 Pack, the Image/Spectra Pack and the large format chamber sheets.

Specially designed for Fujifilm Instax cameras and Lomography Instant cameras, Fujifilm Instax are available in two main formats: Mini (86 x 54 mm image) and Wide (99 x 62 mm image).As for Polaroid Zink, it is the only digital instant process that allows you to take pictures like any other DPP. The only difference is that the image is then immediately printed on dye-sublimation paper thanks to a built-in printer. The images obtained measure approximately 5 x 7.5 cm.

#2 - The development

The strong point of instant cameras is the instant development of the image on the film that allows the shooting. Depending on the brand, the pictures can take between 5 and 30 min before being visible. With Fujifilm it is very fast, because the development takes 2 min, while for the old Polaroid and Impossible film it can take between 20 and 30 min. The development time is good to know especially when you want a very fast printing of the pictures.

#3 - The functions

With instant cameras, simplicity is the key word, and this is what makes their originality and their reputation. Indeed, many users choose this type of cameras to avoid the complicated settings of digital cameras. However, it is not uncommon to see some manufacturers expand their products with more advanced features to improve the quality of rendering.

You can have cameras with a flash, variable focus, brightness sensors, double exposure, exposure compensation or various modes to play with the effects. For those who like to take self-portraits, some models include a convenient selfie mirror. The self-timer is also a feature that can be used. Depending on your needs, make sure the camera has all the options that are useful to you.

#4 - The design

Instant cameras are best known by their vintage design and many, like some Polaroid and Lomography, have retained that original look. To make it more modern, manufacturers like Fujifilm have rebranded their cameras with designs that better meet the aesthetic demands of younger users.

#5 - The artistic aspect

It's more a matter of taste. The artistic aspect of the photos is very variable going from vintage quality that gives an original, unique aspect to each photo, with notably the oldest Polaroid, to a more modern quality with the Fujifilm Instax. Some cameras include creative modes that give the possibility to add different effects to photos. This is the case of some Fijufilm Instax which, to allow customizing the shots, give you the possibility to use the "lightening-darkening" command to give a touch of creativity to your images via the "high-key" and "low-key" effects. In addition, the "fill-in" mode guarantees clear and sharp shots even in dark or poorly lit places.

#6 - The cost of the films

When buying an instant camera, you should know from the start that the costs are not limited to the purchase price of the camera, which often varies between 70 and 300 € for high-end cameras. Indeed, you will also have to foresee an operating budget, in particular for the purchase of films. The cost is estimated between 10 € and 20 € per refill, knowing that a refill contains 10 prints, which is about 1 €/photo for Fujifilm, while for Impossible films it's slightly more expensive, since it's about 2 €/photo.

How to maintain an instant camera?

Since these cameras have their own built-in photo processing studio, it is recommended to clean them regularly so that the mechanism does not get stuck. Above all, do not use chemicals at any time during your cleaning. Chemicals will damage the device.

  • The exterior

On all cleaning steps, use a microfiber cloth or a brush. Moisten the cloth lightly and wipe it over the surface of your instant appliance. If any stains remain, rub with pressure. Then, using a specific cloth, always in microfiber, clean the lens. On the market, you can find tools dedicated to cleaning from about ten euros.

  • The inside

Using a dry microfiber cloth, clean the rollers that allow the magic to happen. Regularly check the condition of your rollers, because if they are dirty it will alter the quality of your photos. Then, test the fluidity of the rollers if you feel resistance when you turn it, it will be necessary to call a professional in a specialized store.

The different types of instant cameras

The most important thing about an instant camera is the quality of the film that will affect the final result. It is therefore wise to consider the different types of film available on the market.


This is the type of film that is most commonly found on instant camera models other than Polaroid. It is also called the credit card format

. The film size is 5.4 x 8.6 cm and the image size is 4.6 x 6.2 cm, on average. The format is very practical and it also exists in black and white. Moreover, it is one of the cheapest formats, about 1 euro per image. In terms of quality, the rendering of photos on Instax paper is variable depending on the model of the camera.

Versatile, you can use it on all the Instax range of Fujifilm as well as on the models produced by Lomography. Finally, you have 3 formats of Fujifilm paper:

  • Mini
  • Wide
  • Square

Polaroid Originals

Old style, these films take up the square format with white borders of the photos so dear to the old Polaroid models. For those who want vintage

or to remember the good old days, this is the film model that you should prefer and it only works with cameras designed by Polaroid. Obviously, the Polaroid brand has revised the quality of the film so that it corresponds to the current standard. And the bet is successful! The photos have rich colors and the light level is well controlled. On the other hand, the replacement packs cost twice as much as on the Instax models.



newcomer to the market, Zink films don't need ink or toner to print your photos. They have a special feature, the film is stain, water and tear resistant. Moreover, it is a self-adhesive film. The devices using this type of paper work thanks to the process of dye-sublimation paper via the printer integrated in the device. The size of the film is 5 x 7.5 cm, as is the size of the image, and there are no white borders. The paper used is the most economical, count about 0,55 €/photo.

Fujifilm Instax or Polaroid?

Fujifilm Instax

Polaroid is produced by the company that created the instant image bearing the same name. A camera that had its glory days between the 70s and 90s. But it was without counting the current fashion which gave the taste of the day this emblematic device. Having made improvements to its camera, Polaroid offers a very competitive and efficient model. The only downside is the price of its replacement films. But after all, vintage is priceless, it's stylish!

Fujifilm Instax

Having taken over the photography business in the 80's, Fujifilm has entered the instant camera market in recent years with the Instax range of films and cameras. They are cheap and other brands use Instax films. But more than that, Instax cameras are more modern and have more interesting features.


For purists and vintage lovers, there will be no photo. They will choose the models produced by Polaroid and they will not hesitate to pay the price. For those who are new to photography or have a limited budget, it is better to choose Instax models with cheaper film packs.

Why buy an instant camera?

The instant camera is a simple accessory and very popular for its retro and modern design. It must be said that it has many advantages:

For instant printing

The instant cameras seduce especially by this magic which makes that the photograph is developed a few minutes after the catch. It's like clicking on an album, as some enthusiasts say. Indeed, there is no need to transfer the pictures to a computer, to do retouching or to proceed to a long and tedious operation of development. You just have to take a picture and wait to see the result, which also allows you to share photos of the ceremony on the spot.

For the vintage side

Straddling two eras, the reappearance of instant cameras on the market is a real return to the roots of photography. In fact, some models still proudly display this unusual, simplistic and vintage look that changes the big digital camera bodies, too imposing and too sophisticated for those who are not really interested in technology, but who are more attracted by the primary vocation of photography, which is none other than to allow to keep traces of the strongest moments lived.

It must be said that by its physical and tangible side, the instant photo has a real advantage over the digital photo which has become an ephemeral virtual object, often doomed to disappear after a few days of sharing on social networks.

To share unique moments

The almost immediate printing of instant photos allows to leave memories during travels or family ceremonies. In addition, to meet the needs of younger generations used to the more advanced functions of digital cameras, some manufacturers do not hesitate to integrate options such as saving to memory card or sharing via Bluetooth. The most ambitious ones go as far as associating to their instant cameras applications allowing to edit the shots from a smartphone, and to share them on social networks.

For the fun of it

Using an instant camera is a moment of pleasure and relaxation for many amateurs. Unlike the digital camera that allows you to photograph the same subject several times, and then sort it out on a computer, with an instant camera each photo has a cost and the film is not unlimited. Thus, its use is a real work of art.

Indeed, although it has fewer settings compared to digital cameras, we take more care to control the light, focus, before pressing the shutter, this to achieve the most beautiful shot possible. This is the charm of these cameras, because each photo is unique.

For original shots

Modern instant cameras are equipped with various functions that allow you to customize your shots. Depending on the model, you can choose between a "landscape" or "portrait" mode, adjust the brightness when there is little light, add a vintage effect to the photos, and much more. The most efficient ones even offer different shooting modes, but also, a double exposure, a self-timer and a mirror for framing selfies.

The best brands of instant cameras

In our opinion, the best brands of instant cameras in 2022 are :


Polaroid is the flagship of instant imaging. Since 1948, the brand has developed affordable cameras for the general public.

Creator of the Instax range, Fujifilm has several years of experience in the field of imaging and photography. The brand's know-how is based on years of active research in various fields. Solid and with a great image quality, their products rhyme with performance.

It is a company founded in 1992 to bring out the famous Lomo LC-A. Lomography now produces models with a wide-angle lens with a young and trendy design.

A Japanese company specialized in the world of photography for many years, Canon designs very high quality, high-end cameras. Equipped with Japanese technology, Canon products are solid, durable and reliable.

What is the price for an instant camera

The diagram below will help you to get an idea of the typical prices for each price range (entry-level, mid-range and high-end).

However, more expensive does not necessarily mean better.

We therefore advise you to always consult our ranking before deciding, rather than blindly relying on price ranges.

0 £ to 70 £
70 £ to 115 £
more than 115 £
Price range diagram


Think of moving around to get a better view

Be aware that most instant cameras have a fixed focal length. In other words, they do not have a zoom lens to enlarge the image in the frame. So think about moving around to get a little closer to the subject you want to photograph. Similarly, if your image happens to be not sharp enough or not well contrasted, don't hesitate to take a few steps back.

Use monochrome film

Often, monochrome film is better quality than color film. So consider changing your habits and trying black and white rendering using monochrome film. This will give you superior quality photos, immersed in a unique and charming atmosphere.

Center the subject for sharpness

When you take a photo with a polaroid, you will find that the outer sides of the photo tend to be poorly contrasted as opposed to the center of the photo. Because of this, it is advisable to always center the subject if you want to emphasize it within a composition. It will actually be sharper and more distinct.

Make your own photo filters

Although most instant cameras offer different filters, you can also make your own photo filters. For example, tape a translucent colored paper over the lens to create a warmer or cooler mood depending on your taste. You can also spray fine droplets of water on the lens to get very nice reflections of the sun.

Store your instant camera in a case

Highly used during parties and vacations, your instant camera is exposed to all kinds of shocks and jolts. It is therefore important to keep it in a case to protect it from drops and scratches. In addition, some models of cases are equipped with a strap for more convenience.


What is the best instant camera?

The best instant camera depends on your needs and budget. Read our buying guide to find out which products are the best right now.

What is an instant camera?

It is a camera that takes the bases of the old Polaroid cameras. They are equipped with a mechanism allowing them to develop your photos instantly on paper films. The new models have new features to improve the rendering of your photos.

How much do instant camera films cost?

It depends on your camera and the type of film it supports. Unlike the 1980s, each camera has its own type of film; you should only buy the type of film recommended by the manufacturer. Instax papers start at 7 euros while Polaroid Originals cost twice as much, about 20 euros.

Why are the pictures coming out of my instant camera white?

As with film development, if the film is exposed to light during the process your photos will look white. So, once the film is in place, do not open the camera again. This also happens if you use cheap or counterfeit film.

How do I use an instant camera?

You need to turn it on and all you have to do is take pictures. Most of them have a sufficient automatic mode, but if you want to adjust your settings, you must have a camera that allows it.


Note: Below are some of the sources we have consulted in writing this article. Links to other sites are not continuously updated. It is therefore possible that a link may not be found. Please use a search engine to find the desired information.
  1. ,
  2. ,
  3. ,
  4. ,
  5. ,
  6. ,
  7. ,
  8. ,
  9. ,
  10. ,
  11. ,
  12. ,
  13. ,
  14. ,
  15. ,
  16. ,
  17. ,
  18. ,
  19. ,
  20. ,
  21. ,
  22. ,
  23. ,
  24. ,
  25. ,
  26. ,
  27. ,
  28. ,
  29. ,
  30. ,
  31. ,
  32. ,
See more


March 2022 : Translation of this buying guide from our partner

See more
Our selection
Polaroid Now 9
Polaroid Now
Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 10
Fujifilm Instax Mini 9
Polaroid OneStep+ 11
Polaroid OneStep+
fujifilm Instax SQ6 12
fujifilm Instax SQ6


Every month we help more than 1 000 000 people buy better and smarter.

Copyright © 2022 - Made with by

Your reviews and buying guides 0% advertising, 100% independent!