Polaroid 300 vs Instax Mini 8 challenge. Who will win?
Fuji Instax Mini 8 and Polaroid 300 are two simple point-and-shoot cameras that allow the user to take instant photos and develop them immediately, in the same manner as a classic, old-school Polaroid camera
Fujifilm Instax Mini 8
Available in seven different colors, Fuji Instax Mini 8 looks like a cute, plastic toy. While it is larger than the average compact camera, Instax Mini 8 does not weight much.
The design is original and quirky, with a retro touch, making the camera a lot of fun to play with. While it works on the most basic principles of photography, Instax Mini 8 has some interesting features, including five different exposure levels, always-on flash, 1/60 seconds fixed shutter speed.
The whole design is economical, with only basic buttons. The optical viewfinder makes image composition an easy task.
Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 Pros:
- When the setting is properly matched, pictures have impressive quality, showing great color range and a high level of details.
- The retro Polaroid-style look is nice and soft, adding character to your pictures.
- The white border of the photo allows you to add a short text or message, and customize the photo.
- It takes only 5 seconds to power on.
Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 Cons:
- The shooting range is of 0.6m to 2.7m, which means you need to get up close to your subject.
- The results of a shooting can often disappoint. Getting dark pictures is common, even with good lighting.
- In low-light conditions, indoor photos have the tendency to come off as washed-out.
- Choosing a wrong exposure level means waste of expensive film.
- The camera is more suitable for human subjects, rather than scenery or surroundings.
- It can take from five to ten minutes to fully develop a picture.
- Instax film is expensive, which makes the camera a costly investment on the long-term
- The camera is slow in developing film
Polaroid 300 is available on four colors, yet it has the same cute design as Instax Mini 8. Larger than the usual digital cameras, Polaroid 300 is smaller than all its predecessors are. Despite looking like a toy, it resists well to turbulent accidents.
The camera has four scene settings suitable for different light conditions and scenery, and built-in automatic flash. It is weighty, but it has a good grip.
Operating the camera is a simple and straightforward process. Polaroid 300 manages very well low-light conditions and indoor shooting, even though, in bright light, the shot can come out over-exposed.
Polaroid 300 Pros:
- Image quality is impressive, with the same retro look that made Polaroid famous. The photos are vivid and detailed.
- The camera is easy to use, even for children.
- The print develops under a minute.
- Works nice in daylight.
Polaroid 300 Cons:
- With film being so expensive, there is little freedom in shooting.
- Shooting is often disappointing, with over exposed, washed-out pictures.
- Motion shots are blurry.
- The camera is mostly suitable for portraits, and it does not handle well landscapes.
- Some shots will come out too dark.
- The camera might feel a bit uncomfortable to hold.
Polaroid 300 vs Instax mini 8
Instax Mini 8 and Polaroid 300 are very similar. Not only do they target the same audience, fans of old Polaroid cameras, but they also share many features. They both operate on AA batteries and have the same economical, cute design, and while Instax Mini 8 comes in a larger number of colors, Polaroid 300 looks more stylish. They are both fun accessories that require only basic photography skills, yet precisely their basic nature makes it hard to take a perfect shot each time. Neither one of the cameras has auto focus. The packs of film are expensive and come in packs of only 10 shots, which will make your shooting sessions short. The prints are small, easy to tuck in the wallet.
The two cameras are not meant to be used by professional photographers, but for nostalgic people who miss the times before the digital cameras, or for children who need a creative outlet. However, both cameras can render great, vivid colors with the same special retro look, while being easy to use and fun to play with. At the same time, it is easy to miss a shot, depending on light, exposure, or the nature of your subject.
Since Instax Mini 8 and Polaroid 300 share the same weaknesses and strengths, choosing between them is difficult. Polaroid 300 stands out with its stylish look, yet this is a matter of personal taste. On a strict comparison however, Polaroid 300 offers a slightly better image quality, yet it requires a more expensive film. If money is no issue, then both cameras are a solid choice that will make shooting fun and creative again.