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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Polaroid is not dead

Polaroid, the company, is dead and gone, a poster child for poor corporate planning,  executive greed, and, in the end, a vicious Ponzi scheme.

However, instant photography made popular by Polaroid lives on at the site Polanoid. Here the love of photography continues unabated. People from all over the world upload pictures they have taken to be shared by all the world.

Some are amateurish, some are very professional. Some are frivolous, some are serious. Some are very good and some are very bad. But the one underlying theme is that all of them are fun. An Artsy-Phartsy theme is predominant.

Polaroid used to have a vast program supporting artists with grants of money and material. This site seems to be paying back that investement.

Fuji is still making instant film with their Instax cameras.
Fujiilm Instax MINI 7s White Instant Film CameraFuji Instax 200 Instant Film Camera

To be honest, the Fuji pictures are far superior to the old Polaroid film. If you look closely the Mini 7s is the same as the Polaroid Mio in a different case. Fuji made them for Polaroid in a cross license deal. You can pick these up on eBay or at yard sales for $5-10.

Polaroid CZA-10011B PoGo Instant Mobile Printer (Black)

The Zink brand digital media used by printers made by several companies is an interesting twist on instant photography. The PoGo printer will connect with a cel phone and print instantly using Bluetooth and battery power. You get a credit card sized picture to hand to a friend immediately. Great for traveling and making instant friends.

One word of caution: You might see Polaroid digital cameras and be tempted to think they are a good deal because of the name. Don't! They are generally poor quality cameras with the Polaroid name pasted on. As one reviewer put it,
"You might think that since it is so cheap it might make a good camera for a kid. Don't do it! It is so bad that it will forever kill the kid's interest in photography!"

Also, Polaroid TVs and electronics are of generally low quality, as is the identical Element brand. You have been warned.