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Remember when The Blackeyed Peas told you to “shake it like a Polaroid picture?” Naturally, I grew up thinking that Polaroid was the best option, but I did a little digging and found that the Fujifilm Instax Mini may be a better option. I’m going to compare the Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 to the Polaroid 300 to figure out which instant camera reigns supreme.
Usually Polaroid has a higher price, although in this case both cameras are about the same price. This depends on where you purchase it, but the Polaroid PIC-300 may be a little more expensive. Another thing to keep in mind is that Fujifilm released limited edition colors through retailers like Urban Outfitters, which may be more expensive than the usual colors.
Unlike a digital camera, where you can print the picture on a regular piece of paper, instant cameras need special film. All Polaroid cameras insist that you use Polaroid brand batteries and instant film. The Polaroid 300 requires you to use Polaroid 300 film, which is slightly more expensive than Fujifilm Instax film. Not by much, but it’s easy to go through the film because they’re sold in packs of 10. Overall, the Fujifilm Instax may end up being cheaper than the Polaroid 300.
Some reviewers claim that you can use Fujifilm in the Polaroid. This can save you money, but the quality of your pictures may not turn out the same.
Instant cameras are usually pretty small to make them more portable. Both instant cameras on this list are about the same size, but they don’t take the same number of batteries. Fujifilm’s Instax Mini takes two AA batteries while the Polaroid 300 takes four AA batteries. More batteries translate to the Polaroid instant camera weighing more than the Fujifilm model. You could also end up paying more money for batteries, especially if you purchase Polaroid batteries.
Both of these cameras are highly portable. You can stash it in your bag quickly, but that also means the picture size is pretty small. Polaroid 300 film size is 2×3 inches, which is about the size of a business card. Fujifilm is not much larger at 2.1×3.3 inches, which is approximately the size of a credit card. In short, they’re about the same size. I’m not too jazzed about the picture size, but this size is perfect for pinning on a corkboard or hanging on string lights.
Instant cameras can come with a ton of different features, just like regular cameras. Can you imagine manually adjusting the light levels of a picture? The Polaroid 300 focuses on features that’ll make it easier for you to use. It comes with a countdown display, automatic shut down after five minutes, wrist strap, and automatic light adjustment.
When it comes to extra features, the Fujifilm Instax Mini instant camera easily wins. After all, what’s a camera without a selfie feature? The Fujifilm Instax Mini comes with a selfie mirror so you can check the framing before snapping a picture. Less film waste? I’m down.
It also comes with a close-up lens attachment so you can take pictures of up to 35 cm away. Finally, the last mode is called “high-key mode,” which lets you adjust the brightness and create softer pictures. Without this mode, you can choose one of four modes that adjust the light levels automatically.
At the end of the day, I’d go with the Fujifilm Instax Mini 9. It kept all the features of the Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 that everyone loved, which gives it a huge leg up. I couldn’t imagine taking selfies with friends without the mirror on the Instax Mini. The other features also give you a wider array of image options to turn your pictures into something really unique. Don’t get me wrong, I like Polaroid instant cameras, but the Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 just came out ahead as the winner this time.