Fujifilm brings its instant camera to the US to fill the void left by Polaroid’s disappearing act. Should you care?


“What is that thing?”
“Is that a Polaroid?”
“Wow, that’s huge!”
“Um, Cool camera...?”

When I pulled the Fujifilm Instax 200 out of my camera bag at a recent Sunday excursion to a local minor-league baseball game with a group of friends, jaws dropped. This camera certainly started a lot of conversations. Most of these conversations went along the lines of “Polaroid isn’t making instant film and cameras? Get outa here!” and “Digital is also instant, and a lot less expensive—why would we even need another instant camera?”

And everyone thought it was a Polaroid, at first, until I explained that no, it’s an instant camera made by Fujifilm. Even after this explanation, they continued to refer to it as “Mason’s new Polaroid.” Such is the depth to which the Polaroid brand is seared into our collective consciousness.

To answer the question about the relevance of instant cameras, I took a picture of some kids and handed it to them. I told the parents to watch their kids. Most of these kids (some of them teens!) had never seen or experienced watching an instant photo emerge. The looks of wonder on their faces as the photo gradually took its form are what made me realize that in this age of high-tech and instant gratification, perhaps we’ve lost something. The Instax 200 can help us get that something back, something priceless.

My daughter (in the grey sweater in the photo above) poses with friends before a baseball game. Moments after I took the above shot, I handed it to them, and photographed the teenage girls’ reactions as the watched their first instant photo develop itself right before their eyes! (They had no idea I was photographing them.)





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