Point. Shoot. Keep forever!
Being a big photography fan and having been in and around the industry for some 20 years now, and obviously on Instagram, I’ve always had a lot of love for Polaroid. While the impact of digital cameras in the early 2000s nearly killed off everything analogue, Polaroid hung on with their 500 series and luckily fellow film lovers picked up the classics and just kept the game going. This was pushed on, in the mid-2000s, by a group called the Impossible Project who took over the original Dutch Polaroid factory in Enschede and developed the company to keep evolving.
Happily, in 2020, I’m incredibly pleased to see that Polaroid seems as strong as ever. So many people love the instantaneous factor and in a world of screen-based digital forgetfulness, we can understand why they’re a hit. For this part of our ‘must-have’ Christmas Gift Guides, we take a closer look and check out the Polaroid Now and, very specifically, the wonderfully appropriate The Mandalorian Edition!
Like any Polaroid camera, the ‘Now’ has a good weight to it but is also a little more compact than the older versions, but you know you’re holding an instant camera. Known as the i-Type, this still gives you the definitive instant photo. Although they’ve taken the overall number of pictures down from 10 to 8, this is a sublime piece of kit and this unique The Mandalorian, complete with The Child special film (spoilers here if you’re watching the series), there’s nothing quite like it.
While once upon a time you’d need to keep a literal specific focus on your subject, the Polaroid Now has an autofocus which saves you the trouble, as well as a self-timer and also a pretty remarkable double exposure option, which enables you to take two separate photos and overlay them, find out more on that here. Additionally, like any modern tech, the camera charges via USB and can last for up to 15 film packs, which is a huge benefit, trust me. As well as those benefits, it also has a nice simple flash button (that you can have on or off), and it’s designed to be explicitly accurate on what you’re taking pictures of, which sounds obvious but wasn’t always the case.
I also love the simple and smart design of the Polaroid Now, and this The Mandalorian special has that Star Wars edge, that equals the atmospherics of the series within the camera, as well as that ace Mudhorn skull signet on the back, which is the one our Mando has on his shoulder armour. If you’re picking up this special, don’t forget to get a packet of the The Mandalorian Edition of colour i-Type film, because instead of the classic white photograph border, you get a random selection of character-related edges, see my pic above of ones I’ve taken, which is a clever extra touch.
So, if you’ve got an analogue film-lover in your film, who’s into instant pics, 35mm or beyond, and wants something a little distinct and really special, you can’t do much better than a Polaroid Now, they’re equally retro, classy and contemporary and I couldn’t be without it!