Po­laroid Orig­i­nals Onestep 2 Retro pho­tos for in­stant grat­i­fi­ca­tion

Say cheese

Computer Active (UK) - - Con­tents -

This has to be the weird­est dig­i­tal cam­era we’ve ever tested. The mi­crousb port does noth­ing ex­cept charge the bat­tery. And in­stead of mem­ory cards, it takes… Oh, wait a minute. This isn’t a dig­i­tal cam­era. It’s an in­stant film cam­era.

The Onestep 2 looks sim­i­lar to the clas­sic Po­laroid 600 (which you can still buy, for £20 more, from www.snipca.com/27339), but lacks the flip-over flash, in­cor­po­rat­ing every­thing into one rigid unit. It looks suit­ably retro and ap­peal­ingly chunky, es­pe­cially in the white ver­sion (there’s a ‘graphite’ ver­sion too). You can use 600 film stock, but at around £18 for eight shots (colour, black-and-white or tinted), it’s a re­minder of how ex­pen­sive pho­tog­ra­phy used to be.

The USB port saves you a few quid, though, be­cause it charges a built-in bat­tery, whereas the orig­i­nal 600 cam­era needs a bat­tery built into ev­ery film pack. The new i-type film pro­duces the same re­sults, but omit­ting the bat­tery saves you £3 (about £1.88 per pic­ture).

Of course, that in­cludes the pic­tures that don’t come out as you ex­pected. There’s no live pre­view LCD here – you peek through the viewfinder, press the but­ton and hope for the best. Aut­o­fo­cus or man­ual? Nei­ther. The lens’s fixed fo­cus keeps every­thing sharp – well, fairly sharp – from 60cm (2ft) to in­fin­ity, so you just need to make sure you’re not too close. The flash has three set­tings, go­ing brighter for fur­ther away. If you mis­judge it, your mis­takes will look cool any­way. And your photo comes straight out of the front, wet and chem­i­cal-smelling, un­der a shield that re­minds you to keep it out of the light for 10 min­utes while it de­vel­ops (but no, don’t shake it). And that’s how pho­tog­ra­phy ought to be, isn’t it?

So far, tech­nol­ogy hasn’t pro­duced a dig­i­tal equiv­a­lent. You could take pic­tures on your phone and print them to an HP Sprocket (£109 from Ama­zon www. snipca.com/25562, see our re­view, Is­sue 511), which works out four times cheaper, but the prints don’t have that flat­tened Po­laroid colour. Or you could try a Po­laroid Snap cam­era (£88 from Ama­zon www.snipca.com/27342), with a built-in prin­ter us­ing the same Zink tech­nol­ogy, but its prints are tiny. No, the Onestep 2 is, un­mis­tak­ably, the real thing.

Retro-style pho­tos in a flash, but run­ning costs will limit its use to spe­cial oc­ca­sions

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