The return of the Polaroid

The camera company has unveiled their latest innovation, but will this help them forge a new place in the digital era?

The flop

In 2008 Polaroid soon came to a end with production of its iconic instant film cameras and of course many of its customers were left devastated. For the past few decades, Polaroid showed no hope of ever reviving but now that's about to change.

Turn over…

The new PIC 300 works similar to the original Polaroid cameras but takes smaller pics and has a fresher design. The new version is rounder and has a smoother look – to appeal to all digital-age users! The bad news? It is rather pricey.

That's not all the folks at Polaroid have produced... In 2009, the company released the PoGo Instant Digital Camera, which produces wallet-sized photos, with sticky backing. As a digital camera it is pretty basic, but the real wonder of the gadget is the “zero ink” (ZINK) printer.  Yes, no more stressing about cartridges and ribbons.

How it works

The camera uses only special heat-sensitive paper that consists of five layers. The middle three layers contain dyed crystals that correspond to the cyan, yellow and magenta of traditional printers. When the thermal printer is activated, the heat released extracts the colour particles from the paper and a full-colour photograph is produced.
 
But some have complained about the colour quality. Reviewers say the images have a “vintage” feel that overrides any modern expectations of true-colour reproduction.

Benefits

·    You can preview and crop images before printing.
·    Images are stored on an SD card so you can print or share it online.
·    You can also pick up a pocket-sized printers which connects directly to any PictBridge digital camera, or over Bluetooth connections, so you don't need a computer. Sadly these can only make small prints and have low colour quality.

And the scoop

Pop musician and fashionista Lady Gaga is Polaroid’s new Creative Director. The singer has been involved in the design of the new “Grey Label” range of ZINK cameras and printers, creating a retro look for the GL30 camera which is due to be released later this year.

These cameras promise to produce larger prints at even better quality. We can only wait to see what the results are. If the company's past innovations are anything to go by, it will be worth keeping an eye on.

To learn more about digital photography, consider the part-time University of Cape Town Digital Photography short course, presented completely online throughout South Africa. The course starts on 28 August 2011. Contact Amy-Jane on 021 447 7565 or visit www.GetSmarter.co.za for more information.


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