ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Polaroid Camera

Updated on October 9, 2013
RetroBrothers profile image

Martin has been a software developer for many years. This is mixed with a passion for retro machines and game,

The Polaroid Instant Camera

The Polaroid Camera was/is an 'instant camera' which can develop a photo film image in a matter of minutes.

The best known models used self developing film and were formerly made by the Polaroid Corporation.

In February 2008, Polaroid announced it would discontinue production of polaroid self developing film. Sales of the specialist chemical film by all makers has dropped dramatically since the turn of the 21st century, and the decline is likely to accelerate.

With digital camera's now commonplace and mobile phones also capable of taking good quality pictures and movies, the Polaroid camera is perhaps an endangered piece of kit.

So let's have a look at a camera that was truly revolutionary when it was released and changed the way people thought about taking photographs...

A classic polaroid camera

These Polaroid cameras once were state of the art...
These Polaroid cameras once were state of the art...

How the Polaroid came into existence

The invention of modern day instant cameras is generally credited to scientist Edwin Land, who unveiled the first commercial instant camera, (known as the 'Land Camera') way back in 1947.

This was due to his daughter asking him the question (about photographs) - 'Why can't I see them now?'

She asked a very good question, and Edwin came up with a very good answer!

The 'Land Camera' paved the way for the Polaroid camera and it was now possible to view pictures just a few minutes after they had been taken.

Edwin Land went on to found the Polaroid Corporation, with the name of the company coming from the process of light polarization.

Polaroid are still going strong today and are a big player in the digital camera market, showing how they have adapted and changed since their inception in 1937.

A Polaroid 300 Camera

A Polaroid Camera with a comfortable grip. The Polaroid 300
A Polaroid Camera with a comfortable grip. The Polaroid 300

Why the Polaroid instant camera was a milestone

Of course the appeal of any instant camera is being able to view your photographs a short time after taking them.

It was (and still is) a lot of fun to see a snap moments after it has been taken.

This has allowed the keen photographer to re-take shots or re-compose the set-up if they feel that it was not correct first time around.

Instant cameras were also found to be useful for other purposes such as ID cards, passport photographs, ultrasound images, and much, much more.

They were also used by services such as the police and fire investigators because of their ability to create an instant yet unalterable photo. Polaroid technolody was very useful in this respect.

With the advent of digital photography, much of the instant camera's consumer appeal has waned as more and more people use digital camera's, tablet and mobile devices.

Now it is very easy to take a shot, view it on your digital screen then decide if you want to keep it or not. It can all be done in a flash.

It is also extremely easy to manipulate images on a computer, adding effects, altering settings, amending tones, sharpening blurred lines and smoothing out your colours and so on.

The instant camera now occupies a narrow niche in the market and instamatic enthusiasts keep the Polaroid scene alive.

A UK TV advert for a polaroid camera

Modern Photography

Now that digital photography is here to stay the Polaroid occupies a very narrow niche market.

Whilst they can be fun to use, they just do not have the overall flexibility of a digital camera and are no longer the leaders of the pack in terms of quick to view images.

More and more people use their digital camera for personal use, artistic shots, and even to make money.

Digital technology is here to stay, and it is probably fair to regard the Polaroid camera as a retro item these days.

It is still possible to pick up new Polaroid camera's and many smaller units are available at very competitive prices.

The one advantage they still have is the fact that they can still be developed wherever you are; there is no need to save your digital images to a memory card and then take it to a booth to be printed. With a Polaroid you can develop the pictures and view them after a few minutes.

There's life in the old dog yet!

Another classic TV advert for a Polaroid camera

Another classic piece of Polaroid hardware

Another fine looking polaroid unit
Another fine looking polaroid unit

Polaroid Users

Have you ever used a Polaroid camera?

See results

Any fans of the polaroid camera?

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)