PO­LAROID ORIG­I­NALS OneStep 2

Computer Shopper - - REVIEWS - David Lud­low

With the OneStep 2 giv­ing a real pho­to­graph in a mat­ter of min­utes, you get some­thing that you can share, stick to the fridge or give away; this is shar­ing at its finest

£110 • From www.jes­sops.com

VERDICT

Just as fun as the orig­i­nal Po­laroids, and hav­ing phys­i­cal copies of your pho­tos is al­most more im­por­tant in this dig­i­tal world

WHEN EV­ERY­THING WENT dig­i­tal, older phys­i­cal for­mats looked like they might go the way of the dodo. How­ever, it turns out that not ev­ery­one wants ev­ery­thing stored as 0s and 1s, and phys­i­cal for­mats are fight­ing back. We’ve seen book sales in­crease, vinyl is en­joy­ing a huge resur­gence, and Com­puter Shop­per re­mains as use­ful to­day as when it launched 30 years ago. Now, it could be the turn of the Po­laroid photo, if the OneStep 2 has any­thing to do with it.

Based on the orig­i­nal Po­laroid cam­era, the OneStep 2 takes the same film car­tridges and out­puts the same style pho­tos as the orig­i­nal model, launched back in 1977. The only real con­ces­sion to the mod­ern era is that there’s a Mi­cro USB port in the back for charg­ing the in­te­grated bat­tery.

MADE REAL

So, why now? The truth is that dig­i­tal pho­tos all too of­ten end up buried in cloud stor­age or hid­den away on a smart­phone. Print­ing out a pic­ture and stick­ing it on the wall isn’t some­thing that a lot of peo­ple do any more. With the OneStep 2 giv­ing a real pho­to­graph in a mat­ter of min­utes, you get some­thing that you can share, stick to the fridge or give away; this is shar­ing at its finest.

Demon­strat­ing that the world has come full cir­cle, we showed the cam­era to some chil­dren. Usu­ally, they’re not im­pressed by pho­tos ap­pear­ing on a smart­phone screen; they were amazed by a real pic­ture ap­pear­ing from the bow­els of the OneStep 2, wait­ing for the im­age it con­tained to fin­ish ex­pos­ing.

To be hon­est, we felt the same pangs of ex­cite­ment as the kids. There’s some­thing about phys­i­cal me­dia that just feels nicer than the dig­i­tal equiv­a­lent.

(DON’T) SHAKE IT LIKE A PO­LAROID

As with the orig­i­nal line-up, the OneStep 2 takes photo car­tridges, each one con­tain­ing eight 3.5x4.2in sheets of pa­per, con­tain­ing a square 3.1x3.1in photo. There’s a range of stock avail­able, de­pend­ing on what you want.

While the OneStep 2 can take the 600 film stock, this is more ex­pen­sive be­cause of its in­te­grated bat­tery. These cost £18 per eight shots (colour or black and white), which works out at a hefty £2.25 each.

Opt for the new i-Type film, which doesn’t re­quire an ad­di­tional bat­tery (in­stead us­ing the cam­era’s in­te­grated bat­tery to eject the pho­tos), and you can save a bit of cash. Packs of this cost £15, or £1.88 a shot, for both colour and black and white film.

Us­ing the cam­era couldn’t be eas­ier. You just look through the viewfinder to line up your shot, wait for the flash in­di­ca­tor light to turn solid and then tap the shut­ter but­ton. Given the bulk of the cam­era, due to the size of the car­tridge pack, it’s a lit­tle tricky to hold, but we soon got used to it.

Pho­tos are ejected from the front of the cam­era, cov­ered by the roll-out photo shield to pre­vent light hit­ting it. As the in­struc­tions warn, you shouldn’t shake the photo; in­stead, im­ages should be shielded from light for the first few min­utes while the photo de­vel­ops.

Tak­ing the per­fect Po­laroid photo re­quires a bit of prac­tice. The fixed lens only fo­cuses from 60cm, so you need to stand this dis­tance or fur­ther away. It’s im­por­tant to work out which flash set­ting you should use, too. There are three flash set­tings on the slider at the front, rang­ing from dim to strong; get­ting the right one to avoid blow­ing out the im­age takes a lit­tle prac­tice.

MUTE POINT

Colours in the pho­tos are a lit­tle muted com­pared to shots from a dig­i­tal cam­era, giv­ing them that clas­sic Po­laroid look. This gives the pic­tures a cer­tain charm. In fact, this style of im­age is so pop­u­lar that many smart­phone cam­era apps have a fil­ter to repli­cate the look. Pro­vided you stood the right dis­tance from your sub­ject and got the flash right, the OneStep 2 takes clear, fun pic­tures that are easy to share.

There’s no deny­ing that the prints are ex­pen­sive. The Fu­jiFilm In­stax costs be­tween 65p and 90p per print, de­pend­ing on photo stock, although its pho­tos are con­sid­er­ably smaller. For the larger print size, the retro look to the im­ages and the fun you can have with it, the OneStep 2 is a great way to take pic­tures for shar­ing. And if the cost of each photo causes you to think a lit­tle more about the shots you take so you don’t waste film, what could be wrong with that?

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