Best printers and cameras for printing photos
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There is some inexplicable joy in instant gratification. Take photography, for instance—some of us instantly want a physical reminder of the memory we capture on our smartphone or camera.
This is perhaps the reason why there is an increase in the popularity of mobile photo printers and instant cameras. While history may be repeating itself with more and more people opting for instant photos, you don’t need to restrict yourself to instant cameras or bother with instant film. This being the digital age, no ink shall be spilled during the process of clicking and printing photos. If you want your image then and there, here are some of the best instant photography accessories to carry in your backpack.
*Prices may vary
Print on the go
Portable photo printers are making it easier to get a physical copy of the photographs you click on your iPhone or Android phone.
The compact design means that it is easy to carry in your handbag or backpack—and it prints photos from your phone, Google Photos, Instagram and Facebook. It relies on the Zink technology which uses the thermal print head inside the Sprocket to activate the heat-sensitive and initially transparent colour dyes (cyan, magenta and yellow) on special sheets of paper. The photos that you get are 2x3 inches in size. These are larger than passport-size photos but smaller than what we know as postcard-size photos. The prints are well detailed, and the Sprocket app (free for Android and iOS) is easy to use.
This instant mobile printer also uses the Zink print technology (on the same lines as the HP Sprocket), which means there is no ink involved in the print process. The photos it prints are 2x3 inches in size. It pairs with your phone via Bluetooth or near field communication (NFC). The print quality is excellent, as one would expect on high-quality Zink paper. However, the apps for Android and iOS aren’t the slickest to use, when compared with the HP Sprocket app in particular. However, this is something that software updates can resolve.
$149.99 (around Rs9,800; Prynt.co)
This accessory lets you dock your iPhone to it using the Lightning Port in iOS devices, and becomes an instant printer. It uses the Zink technology with special transparent dye paper that converts to colour when heat is applied to it during the printing process. The Prynt app for iOS has optional augmented reality features too, and the ability to edit images and apply filters before printing. The Prynt Pocket gives 2x3 inches photo prints. This works with the Apple iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone SE, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 5s and iPhone 5.
These cameras let you print photos as soon as you click them and you don’t need a separate printer or a phone for that.
Lomography Lomo’instant camera
Instant cameras do not offer the sort of flexibility that the Lomo Instant offers, including a range of lenses. This has a standard 27mm equivalent wide-angle lens, and can click long-exposure photographs (remember those beautiful night shots with streaks of light?). You can also add filters on the flash, for more control over the warmth or coolness of colour tones. It uses the Fujifilm Instax Mini Film (Rs1,049 onwards; Amazon.in) and can be mounted on a tripod.
Polaroid Snap Touch
This rather cool-looking camera has a 13-megapixel sensor and uses the Zink printing technology to instantly give 2x3-inch prints of the photos you click. There is a 3.5-inch LCD display as well, something that will help you frame your photos better before tapping the shutter button. There is a microSD card slot (up to 128 GB) for storing images as well. Available in multiple colour choices, including black, white, blue and red, what makes it stand out is the trademark Polaroid colour rainbow.
Fujifilm Instax Square S10
This is a square camera, as the name suggests. It captures and prints photos in the perfect square 1:1 aspect ratio. This hybrid camera also has a viewfinder display, so you can see what you have framed before clicking the photo. There is a memory card slot as well. The film used is 86x72mm in size, and the prints measure 62x62mm.
Polaroid Onestep 2 I-Type Camera
€119.99 (around Rs9,100; Polaroidoriginals.com)
This is a modern take on the classic OneStep camera from 1977. The OneStep 2 i-Type is now up for pre-order, with shipping starting later this month. The camera does not use the modern photo papers, but instead works with the Polaroid 600 Film or the newer i-Type Film (prices start €15.99 or Rs1,374) for colour as well as black and white photography. There are dual lenses (2ft to infinity) and built-in strobe flash as well.