The Polaroid is BACK, baby.. yeahhhh!

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‘Click – Snap – Phizzzzzzz.. Plunk. Flap, flap, flap, flap, flap, flap, flap..’

All the sounds of the late great Polaroid Instamatic Camera.. Ahh, how we loved thee.

Not enough to keep buying you perhaps.. but, ahh.. how we loved you all the same.

Yes, the world suffered a great loss in the tragic demise of the Polaroid camera. We mourned its passing. We searched on eBay to pick up a straggler. Well, i did. But just when hope was lost, when days were at their darkest.. like a little photographic version of the messiah – the saviour rose again. Yes, what was once lost has now been found, and the news that the unique little camera is making its way back to the shelves is surely to delight many a consumer.

But things are different this time around, this time it’s wearing a brand new set of 21st Century techno-togs, all like, digitalised and shiny and stuff. A veritable Jesus in a nanotube toga.

Having discontinued their range of instant cameras because of the hammering their profits took at the hands of the digital camera revolution, Polaroid has adopted the business motto of, “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” and are bringing back their famous camera, but in a digital format. Everything will remain as it was – so they’ll still print instantly, but it’ll be done digitally this time, rather than, er, the other, older way. It’ll be a bit like walking down the street carrying one of those digital photo printers you get in Boots or Jessops. But smaller.

Crucially, the retro ‘4 x 3’ sized photos will remain untouched, so you can carry on pretending you’re the bloke in Memento, but as to whether they’ll keep the look of the old camera casing, well, they’re keeping that a secret. I’m guessing it’ll still be biggish though. After all, it does have to hold the bulky printing mechanism and up to 20 blank Polaroids, but then again they never were famous for their compact size, and it kind of adds to their appeal being all chunky-like.

What i imagine will stay the same, however, is the price. Bear in mind that this is all guesswork, but Polaroid use the same business ethic as other consumable based companies like HP (Hewlett Packard – not the brown sauce) who sell their printers cheap because once you have one, then you’ll need to keep buying the printer ink refills, the toner refills, and hopefully the ream of paper refills.

It’s all about getting the product in the home, then flogging you mercilessly for the consumables. You really think printer ink is that expensive to manufacture? Na-ah, no sir-ee bob. And the same, i suspect, will happen with Polaroid. They’ll give us the camera nice and cheap, and then, once we’ve used up all our photos – they’ll sting us for the refills.

They’ll have got us over the consumer-barrel.

But, let’s not bring this article down. It’s great news the Polaroid is coming back. I loved going to a party with one of the old cameras under my arm and I look forward to taking a ‘digi-Pola’ out with me the next time I’m feeling sociable.

[via AmateurPhotographer]

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Ryan Weir