Digital Cameras

Polaroid instant photography gets a new lease of life

Polaroid instant photography g...
The I-1 analog camera, by Impossible Project
The I-1 analog camera, by Impossible Project
View 4 Images
The I-1 has a selection of manual controls
1/4
The I-1 has a selection of manual controls
The I-1 analog camera, by Impossible Project
2/4
The I-1 analog camera, by Impossible Project
Shooting on the I-1 can get you shots like this
3/4
Shooting on the I-1 can get you shots like this
The I-1 will use classic-style 600 type Polaroid film
4/4
The I-1 will use classic-style 600 type Polaroid film

Though classic Polaroids are a thing of the past, the allure of instant printing and washed out images seems to prevail. The Impossible Project team aims to provide plenty of both with its new I-1 analog camera, which uses classic Polaroid 600-type film for its shots. Like any good piece of modern tech, the I-1 hooks up to your phone via Bluetooth for enhanced functionality and can be recharged with a USB cable.

Impossible Project started in 2008 as an effort to revive classic Polaroid photography by selling film and refurbished original Polaroid cameras online. Its latest venture, the I-1, has a simple black exterior with yellow markings detailing the minimalist manual adjustments on offer. Resembling the old Polaroid Impulse series, the I-1 has a streamlined triangular body, a small viewing window at the top that allows you to size up your photos, and a ring flash and printer sitting at the front.

The I-1 connects to the user's phone via Bluetooth, and through the companion app allows modification of aperture, shutter speed, flash settings and includes a range of pre-set filters for adding some artistic flair to your photos, as well as a remote shutter function. The I-1's companion app is currently available on iOS and Android phones.

The I-1 will use classic-style 600 type Polaroid film
The I-1 will use classic-style 600 type Polaroid film

This is Impossible Project's first camera, though the company has dabbled in smartphone integration before with its Instant Lab device that printed user's iPhone photos on 600-type film.

The company has built a business around reverse-engineering the scarce and expensive original Polaroid 600 type film and, as CEO Oskar Smolokowski explained in an interview with Bloomberg, the I-1 represents an effort to forge its own path.

The I-1 has a release date of May 10 and will available for purchase at Impossible Project's website with a US$299 price tag. A refurbished Polaroid camera will set you back a similar amount, but keep in mind that 600 type film costs $23.49 for just 8 photos, so capturing your next birthday party could get a bit expensive.

Sources: Impossible Project, Bloomberg.

2 comments
MichaelFilosa
The problem wasn't the sale of the chemical formulas. It is duplicating the chemicals in a cost effective manner. You can't source custom chemicals as complex as the Polaroid dye developers, yellow dye releaser, hold-release polymers and opacification dyes on a small scale at anywhere near a cost which would make duplicating the Polaroid film and reagent chemicals economically viable. Consequently, they had to source suitable chemicals from other sources. They also had to release product in stages starting with B&W and moving on to color.