Polaroid, the 80-year-old master of the instant photo, revealed the Polaroid Snap Touch instant digital camera at Photokina on Tuesday. It’s the new generation of the Polaroid Snap camera and has a bundle of new features.
The most obvious is the addition of a 3.5” LCD touchscreen viewfinder/menu system on the back which was surprisingly not included in the original.
Along with this cosmetic and functional change, there have been some improvements to photo quality. The resolution has been boosted with a new 13 MP CMOS sensor. The Snap Touch can also now handle 1080p full HD video recording, although it’s hard to see how you’ll print those unless there’s a Harry Potter-esque leap forward in printing technology in the next few weeks.
To accommodate video recording, storage has also been upgraded, with MicroSD cards up to 128GB now supported.
“As the original pioneers of instant photography, we at Polaroid have been dedicated to bringing products to market which fit our brand DNA of instant gratification, sharing, and fun throughout our history,” said Scott W. Hardy, President and CEO of Polaroid. “The instant digital camera boasts a fun and exciting design that’s unlike anything else on the market, and we’re incredibly excited to debut its successor, the Polaroid Snap Touch, at Photokina 2016.”
A couple of new modes show that Polaroid have clearly identified their potential young and fun partying demographic for this product. Specifically by catering to selfie shooters. The Snap Touch has a self-timer as well as a selfie mirror to ensure the user is actually framed in the shot.
In another logical move to bring the product into 2016, along with a Polaroid Print App they’ve included Bluetooth remote connectivity (iOS and Android) for easy sharing. The app itself, though no Photoshop, has a few tools to tweak and touch up a photo with filters and stickers before printing. Polaroid have mentioned that there will be trophies and hidden features which is a little cringeworthy for old men like me, but once again shows a savvy interest in making this product fun.
When actually printing images, the Polaroid Snap Touch uses Zero Ink Printing Technology (ZINK). It’s able to capture and instantly print full-color, 2×3” photographs, at a significantly lower cost than many traditional instant film prints. The camera’s printer uses heat to activate and colorize cyan, yellow and magenta dye crystals embedded in the paper. There are three color modes for this black and white, color, and vintage sepia. Once again, these oh-so-retro aesthetics may come off as a little kitsch to pro photog snobs this isn’t for them; it’s for faux-nostalgic group shots. There’s even (gasp!) an option to print with or without the iconic Polaroid photo border.
The Polaroid Snap Touch instant digital camera is now available for pre-order for $179.99. Though no date is listed for release, we can guess it will be hitting shelves in a few weeks.