Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose Kids Polaroid Camera | 11 Recommendations

little girl taking photo with a  kids polaroid camera by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Polaroid cameras are fun little cameras that are easy to use and produce vibrant prints on the go. They are great for kids, beginners, and anyone else looking to get a printed copy of what they shoot, ready to stick to their photo wall or share with their friends and family. The problem, however, is that there are a large number of cameras available in the market, each one with its own set of pros and cons. With so many options to choose from, buying the best kids Polaroid camera is not going to be easy. 

This is where this buying guide comes into the picture. We have tested and reviewed a large number of polaroid cameras to bring to you this buyer’s guide. This guide contains details and features of each of the polaroid camera systems that we recommend. Hopefully, by the time you have finished reading this, you will have a good idea of the model that fits your requirements the best.

Advantages of a Polaroid Camera

1. Natural Framing With White Edges

Polaroid images have white edges around them. The main benefit of that is they are easier to handle. Over a period of time printed images tend to gather scratches and dents as they are handled repeatedly. With the white edges on them, polaroid images are easier to handle and are less likely to get scratched. The white edge also works as a natural frame. Many users prefer Polaroid cameras because of the unique look of the printed image.

2. Softer Image Quality

 photo of polaroid camera

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

A major difference between a Polaroid camera and a standard camera, apart from the instant self-developing paper that we use on Polaroid cameras, is the lens. Traditional camera systems are designed to capture images as sharp as they possibly can. The subject, at least, must be tack-sharp. The lens design on polaroid camera systems is on the softer side. There is a certain element of advantage with that kind of design, specifically if you are a photographer who prefers a slightly moody composition. 

3. A Variety of Different Film Types are Available

Just like 35mm film stock polaroid cameras also work with different types of film. These are the Go, the i-type, the 600 series, the SX-70, and of course the 8x10 or the large format. The most popular ones are the i-Type and the 600 series film.

Each of these film types is available in color as well as black & white versions. There’s also an infrared version that comes into use when shooting low-light photography. Color films give you instant color prints which is what sets Polaroid camera technology apart from others. But if you are a purist and want to dabble into black and white photography as well, you get the same film types in black & white as well.

4. They Are Easy to Use

 a little boy taking photo with polaroid camera

Photo by Zahra Amiri on Unsplash

Polaroid cameras and the whole instant film technology works best for users who prefer to shoot and get a print instantaneously that they can share with their friends and family. They love the whole idea of shooting and printing a hard copy photo instantly without having to go through the hassles of digital mumbo-jumbo. Even traditional film photography is way too complicated and requires advanced knowledge of exposure. A Polaroid camera loaded with a film pack is a way more convenient and easy-to-use solution. Especially if the user is a kid. 

5. Each Photo Has a Distinctive Look

Polaroid film, especially color film, has a distinct muted look that mimics some of the old film stock used in interchangeable lens cameras. You can replicate this effect using photo editing tools but that requires advanced editing skills. Polaroid instant film uses a complex chemical process that gives you this look without any effort from your side at all. 

How to Choose Polaroid Camera for Kids?

When you are looking for the best instant camera for your kids, there are a few things you need to consider.

1. The Photo Size

photo of boy using polaroid camera in front of a Graffiti wall

Photo by Chris Benson on Unsplash

Instant cameras come in three major photo sizes - the Mini, Square, and Wide. The Mini instant camera has remained one of the more popular camera systems among kids in recent years. Kids love taking images with this camera that they can use for their school projects, for decorating their scrapbooks and for their personal photo albums.

2. Design and Ergonomics

If you are buying a camera for a kid, ergonomics and design assume critical importance. The design of the camera must conform to the ergonomic requirements of a kid’s hand. We would also recommend that you opt for a smaller size which is easier for a child to handle. The color scheme is also important. Brighter and bolder colors are a better match.

3. Print Quality

a little boy taking photo with polaroid camera in the forest

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

As instant cameras spit out printed photos and not just take photos, print quality assumes critical importance. There are multiple printing technologies at play but for the best results insist on cameras that use the ZINK technology. ZINK or Zero INK uses no dye-based printing. Instead, they use dye-based crystals which are heated to transform into color. Instant camera prints such as the ones on Polaroid cameras are tear-proof and smudge-proof. They last longer as a result.

4. Safety

There are some basic child safety features that you should look for. Such as a shutter lock that prevents accidental firing of the shutter and prevents film waste.

Let’s now take a look at the best Polaroid camera for kids:

Best Polaroid Camera for Kids

1. Polaroid GO

Polaroid GO

Image Credit:

The Polaroid Go 2nd Generation camera is widely touted as the smallest instant camera in the world. That had us won over. The Polaroid Go is retro, stylish, bold, and takes great images, even in the hands of a kid. The camera is designed using 30% recycled material and is a great example of the company's commitment to reduce carbon footprint. 


  • Film format type: Polaroid Go format film
  •  Type: Instant camera
  •  Weight 0.66lbs
  •  Size: 4.13X 3.3X 2.44 Inches
  •  Exposure Control Type: Automatic


    • Built-in selfie mode.
    • Self-timer mode.
    • Double exposure modes.
    • Portable
    • On the back, there is a built-in viewfinder


      • Users have complained about the focusing issue.
      • The film is more expensive than the i-Type film.

        2. Dragon Touch

        Dragon Touch

        Image Credit:

        The Dragon Touch is a hybrid camera that combines the advantages of shooting with an instant camera that also records videos and stills in digital format. The Dragon Touch is a very convenient camera and one that not only spits out hard copy prints but it can also record stills and videos in digital format. So, your kid can not only enjoy an instant print of what they have shot or choose to review the images and videos on a computer. 


        • Type: Instant camera
        • Weight 1.73lbs
        • Dimensions: 8.39X 5.19X 3.62 Inches
        • Exposure Control Type: Automatic


          • The design keeps in mind the end-user.
          • Very easy to shoot with. 
          • Hybrid design that allows prints and digital copies.
          • Can shoot full HD videos at 30 fps with this camera.
          • Wi-fi compatible.


            • No internal memory.
            • No audio recording.

              3. Fujifilm Instax Mini 9

              Fujifilm Instax Mini 9

              Image Credit:

              The Fuji Instax Mini 9 is an easy-to-use instant camera system that uses a simple design and an intuitive operation. The layout is great for a kid to work with. There are large markings on the camera that give you a clear indication of the correct exposure settings for a given lighting scenario. You can choose the right aperture indicated by the camera for optimum exposure while the camera selects the shutter speed. The Instax Mini 9 prints great-looking photos every time.


              • Weight: 0.67 lbs
              • Exposure Control Type: Automatic
              • Optical zoom: 1x
              • Dimensions: 4.56 x 4.65 x 2.68 inches
              • Battery Cell Composition: Alkaline


                • Very easy to use. 
                • Easy exposure setting using the guides.
                • Bright bold colors.


                  • Shutter speed is fixed at 1/60.
                  • The flash always fires.

                    4. Polaroid Snap CameraPolaroid Snap Camera

                    Image Credit:

                    The Polaroid Snap is a sleek and stylish little design that is a great fit in the hands of a kid. Or for that matter anyone with small hands. It is a simple design that works because it takes great pictures with minimum input. The overall image quality is okay. But that’s only the printed ones we are referring to. The Snap also uses a standard microSD card to write digital copies of the images that you tak. That means you don't have to always depend on what the camera spits out. 


                    • Weight: 13.4 ounces
                    • Display type: LCD
                    • Optical zoom: 1
                    • Screen Size: 3 Inches
                    • Dimensions: 0.98 x 4.72 x 2.95 inches
                    • Battery Cell Composition: Lithium Ion
                    • Viewfinder_type: Optical


                      • It's small, making it easy to carry anywhere
                      • It has a selfie self-timer.
                      • It's simple and affordable.
                      • Can use a digital memory card as well.


                      • There is no flash.
                      • Printed image quality is not great.

                        5. Fujifilm Instax Wide 300

                        Fujifilm Instax Wide 300

                        Image Credit:

                        The Fujifilm INSTAX Wide 300 is better suited for slightly older children because the camera is a bit bigger than the regular instant cameras that we have discussed here. The camera loads pretty simple functions easily. It is a fully automatic camera that works with a set of four AA batteries. In our experience, the viewfinder is always a bit dull compared to the actual prints that come out of the camera.


                        • Weight: 2.1 Pounds
                        • Picture: size 62 millimeter × 99 millimeter
                        • Dimensions: 6.6 x 3.7 x 4.76 inches
                        • Viewfinder type: Optical
                        • Film Format Type: Instant
                        • Exposure Control Type: Automatic


                          • Simple to operate and use.
                          • Great picture quality.
                          • Comes with a close-up lens attachment.
                          • Comes with the L/D buttons for exposure adjustment.


                            • Heavy making it not portable.
                            • Viewfinder is not the greatest.

                              6. KODAK SmileKODAK Smile

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                              What we liked about the KODAK Smile is the ability to choose the shots you wish to print. With most of the other cameras capturing and printing in one flow, this is a welcome change. What's more, you can further do basic edits on camera before you hit the print button and thereby prevent wastage of printing paper. The Kodak Smile’s built-in printer uses the Zink technology that works best with KODAK’s ZINK photo paper to produce beautiful vibrant images. 


                              • Weight: 1.015 Pound
                              • Film ColorColored
                              • Dimensions: 4.8 x 3.1 x 0.9 inches
                              • Viewfinder type: LCD
                              • Film Format Type: Instant
                              • Exposure Control Type: Automatic
                              • Viewfinder Magnification: 1x


                                • The user interface is simple.
                                • Uses Zink printers.
                                • Functional LCD screen. 


                                  • The LCD display has a low resolution.

                                  7. Polaroid OneStep+

                                  Polaroid OneStep+

                                  Image Credit:

                                  The Polaroid OneStep+ is a new take on the classic Polaroid instant camera. This is a versatile camera that accepts both the i-Type as well as the 600 instant film stock. This instant camera uses Bluetooth to connect to your smartphone, allowing you to edit and print photos from the app. But beyond that the Bluetooth connectivity adds some additional features like double exposures, a remote trigger option, and a useful manual shooting option. 


                                  • Weight: 1.1 Pounds
                                  • Film Color: Any color
                                  • Dimensions: 5.91 x 4.33 x 3.82 inches
                                  • Film Format Type: Instant
                                  • Exposure Control Type: Manual and automatic.


                                    • Works with both i-Type and 600 film stocks.
                                    • Comes with an optical viewfinder.
                                    • Has a built-in flash to fill in the shadows.


                                      • Rechargeable batteries are built-in.

                                      8. MINIBEAR Instant Camera for Kids

                                      MINIBEAR Instant Camera for Kids

                                      Image Credit:

                                      The MINIBEAR is a fun little camera that captures digital versions of as well as spit out color prints of whatever your little one chooses to capture. The design is simple, the controls are intuitive and easy to use and the body colors are fun and vibrant - making them ideal cameras for the tiny one who is taking an interest in photography. The camera uses ZINK printing technology that results in a printed stickable photo every time someone snaps.


                                      • Screen Size: 2.4 Inches
                                      • Weight:1.04 pounds
                                      • Battery Cell Composition; Lithium Metal
                                      • Connectivity Technology: USB
                                      • Dimensions: 4.7 x 2 x 3.2 inches


                                        • 2.4-inch is a reasonably large display.
                                        • Made out of environment-friendly ABS & Silicone material.


                                          • Battery capacity isn’t the best in the business.

                                          9. Canon IVY CLIQ+

                                          Canon IVY CLIQ+

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                                          The Canon IVY CLIQ+ is arguably the best-looking camera on this list - smart, sleek, and loaded with features. You can use this as a standalone instant camera to shoot and print on the go. But with the connected phone app, this camera offers you a lot more flexibility and features to play with. You can edit your favorite photos on your phone and share them instantly. There's a useful reprint button too which comes in handy such as when you are at a party and wish to share multiple copies of the same photo.


                                          • Printing Technology: Zink Technology
                                          • Weight:0.4 Pounds
                                          • Viewfinder Type: Optical
                                          • Dimensions: 4.8 x 3.2 x 0.8 inches
                                          • Max Focal Length: 25.4


                                            • Selfie front light.
                                            • Pairs with the phone app.
                                            • You can make further edits to your photos using the app.
                                            • You can print directly from your photos.
                                            • It's User Friendly


                                              • Problem with overheating reported by some users. 

                                              10. Fujifilm Instax Mini 11

                                              Fujifilm Instax Mini 11

                                              Image Credit:

                                              The Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 is a slightly bulky instant camera. It’s much larger than something like the Canon IVY CLIQ+. So, this is for hands that are a little bigger. Ideally, for larger kids. The design of the camera is ergonomically suited for kids and the vibrant colors only make it more suitable for that age group.


                                              • Dimensions: 4.8 x 4.2 x 2.7 inches


                                              • The credit-card-sized photos were generated in about 90 seconds.
                                              • Use the helpful mirror adjacent to the lenses to ensure you capture everyone.
                                              • It comes with various extra accessories.
                                              • It has an effective flash.


                                                • They do not include batteries in the package.

                                                11. Polaroid Now

                                                Polaroid Now

                                                Image Credit:

                                                The Polaroid Now is a classical design. It is definitely nothing like the KODAK Smile or the Polaroid Snap Cameras we discussed above. One look and you would no doubt recognize that this is a spin-off of one of the retro designs. But beyond that similarity and the retro lineage there are some surprises under the hood. This design is compatible with both Polaroid i-Type and the 600 film stock and therefore gives you more flexibility to work with.


                                                • Printing Technology: Zink Technology
                                                • Weight:0.95 Pounds
                                                • Viewfinder Type: Optical
                                                • Dimensions: 5.9 x 4.4 x 3.7 inches
                                                • Max Focal Length: 94.96mm and 102.35mm


                                                  • Very handy flash that produces flattering light.
                                                  • Autofocus two lens system.
                                                  • Double exposure assist that comes in handy.
                                                  • Self-timer for selfies.
                                                  • Works with Polaroid i-type and 600 film stocks.


                                                    • Large and bulky and not the most portable camera.

                                                    Best Functional Polaroid Camera

                                                    Overall there are a few clear choices. Let’s quickly go through them. The Polaroid Snap is by far the best camera when it comes to instant camera systems. In our tests, it offers the best value for money and the maximum bang for the buck. A close second is the Canon IVY CLIQ+. A ZINK printing technology, large number of color options, and easy to operate function makes the Polaroid Snap our top choice.

                                                    Best Affordable Polaroid Camera

                                                    The Dragon Touch is our preferred choice if you're looking for an affordable instant camera. It costs $63 and comes with some extra accessories that your kids may love like cartoon stickers. The InstaFun is built to be durable in comparison to many other inexpensive cameras, and it also has an SD card and a variety of shooting modes.

                                                    Best Polaroid Camera Printer

                                                    The Canon Ivy CLIQ+ instant print camera is a great choice for kids who want to be able to print instant photos from their smartphone. The camera connects to your phone via Bluetooth(R), so it's easy to use. It is also the second-best overall instant camera.


                                                    We understand personal choice and preferences play an important role when it comes to choosing a camera. Things like color, features, ease of use, and ergonomics are important parameters. Hopefully, this buying guide with a detailed list of features will help you to decide the best instant camera for your kid.

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