There’s something about tiny camera gear that is just, well, pretty cute. Remember the Rolleiflex MiniDigi? Or, more practically speaking, how about the DJI Mini drone or the pint-sized Lume Cube light? Not to mention, the coat-pocket-friendly Canon Selphy Square printer, which we reviewed a few months ago?
Joining these Lilliputian photo products is the recently launched Polaroid Go, which is being dubbed the “world’s smallest analog instant camera.” We’ve looked at petite instant cameras previously before, such as the Fujifilm Instax Mini 40, but the Polaroid Go is really on a whole other level of compactness. Just 4.1 inches long, 3.3 inches wide, and 2.4 inches tall, the Polaroid Go looks like a shrunken version of a classic Polaroid camera from the 1970s.
The Go, however, is more of a tiny take on the Polaroid Now, which came out in 2020 and was the first instant camera released under the revamped Polaroid brand. There’s lots of back story to the recent reemergence of the Polaroid brand, of course, but without going down a rabbit hole of the full timeline, let’s just say it’s been in the hands of Polish investor and current Polaroid CEO Oskar Smolokowski (formerly CEO of the Impossible Project) for the past three years with the goal of returning it to some of its former glory.
“Bringing innovation, product design, creativity, and a little bit of attitude back to Polaroid has been our focus ever since we took over as the new team three years ago,” Smolokowski said last month. “The Polaroid Go is our biggest contribution to this yet.”
Available in a starter kit with a pack of 16 pieces of square-format instant color film for $120 (or $100 for the camera alone), the Polaroid Go is small enough to wear as an accessory around your neck. But the Go is more than a retro bauble; it’s designed to appeal to a new generation of young photographers who likely weren’t even born during Polaroid’s heyday.
With a clean and classic white design, the Polaroid Go includes a new selfie mirror, self-timer, longer lasting battery, built-in flash, and a double exposure mode for creative effects. Square prints output by the Polaroid Go are about 2.12 x 2.12 inches (which is smaller than those from the Now) and have a white frame around the picture. They take about 10-15 seconds to develop.
But will an instant analog film camera, no matter the size or level of cuteness, catch on with younger generations who have known only digital images, Instagram, and Snapchat? Well, last we checked the Polaroid Go Starter Kit was already sold out on Polaroid’s website even though it’s only been available since the end of April. And, either to potentially stem the demand or purposely increase the hype, the Polaroid site is only allowing customers to buy five items at a time.
Get ’em (if you can) while they’re hot!