Cameras

Polaroid OneStep 2 review: The ultimate throwback camera

Bringing back what’s classic

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When the Polaroid OneStep 2 debuted, I didn’t know what to expect. All I knew was that it was one pretty camera so logically I was instantly drawn to it. (I like beautiful things and quirky cameras.) I previously reviewed the Fujifilm Instax SQ10 and the Polaroid SnapTouch so I was quite curious as to what this classic brand had to offer.

Background

The OneStep 2 is the brainchild of Polaroid Originals. It’s technically that same iconic camera brand but also, it’s technically different. Let me explain.

Throughout the years, Polaroid has made itself known for its cameras — hence the reference in that OutKast song and the reason why Instagram’s very first logo was influenced by a Polaroid camera.

The rise of digital photography, however, wasn’t the best development (pun intended) for a classic camera manufacturer and pretty soon, Polaroid was going out of business — until a startup called Impossible Project swooped in.

Impossible Project was no stranger to the Polaroid brand. It was the same company that kept the film manufacturing process alive when Polaroid announced that they would cease doing so. In 2017, Impossible Project’s main shareholder purchased the Polaroid brand and intellectual property giving birth to Polaroid Originals.

Now, enough of this history lesson and on to the actual camera.

Picture perfect

If you think the OneStep 2 looks familiar, you’re right… and you’re also probably old.

The OneStep 2 is the successor to Polaroid’s original OneStep camera manufactured in the 1970s — one of America’s bestselling ones at the time.

The resemblance is uncanny: The Polaroid OneStep and the Polaroid OneStep 2

Just like the OneStep, the OneStep 2 is an analog camera. Only, there’s a 21st-century twist — namely a lithium-ion battery with a micro-USB port for charging. There are no frills or special functions on this camera, just pure old-school goodness.

Setting up

The camera is pretty straightforward. The big red button up front is the shutter button, there’s a timer switch on the left of the lens and finally, there’s a yellow lighten/darken switch which allows you to adjust photo exposure. On the back of the camera, there’s an on and off switch, a flash override button, and the micro-USB port for charging.

The Polaroid OneStep 2 side by side with a film cartridge

Before anything else, you’re going to need a pack of film. The OneStep 2 uses i-Type film which come in cartridges that house eight shots each.

To load the film, slide the cartridge into the camera. That tiny latch up front opens the film door. It may sound complicated but it isn’t as hard after the first try.

Ready, set, shoot!

The OneStep 2, true to its analog roots, only has a no-frills viewfinder. This can make picture taking pretty tricky; you need just the right angle to take a perfectly framed photo. It also doesn’t help that said angle entails half of your made-up face to be on the back of the camera. (Que horror!)

Press and hold the red button to take a photo and the image will immediately print. There’s no option to edit or save. All you really do after you press the shutter is hope you framed your photo right.

The film comes out of the camera’s front, and now you sit and wait. It takes a few minutes for the photo to develop.

But all that considered, photo taking on this thing is still very fun — that is, if you don’t run out of film. Eight shots is not a lot when you’re still fumbling with a camera that prints each picture automatically. These lights will tell you how much film you have left.

Verdict

Without knowing what the OneStep 2 can do, I am immediately drawn to it. I mean, look at it! It’s so Instagrammable, we probably took more photos of it than from it.

However, if you’re looking for a shooter that will give you the clearest instant print, it won’t be this camera. There’s a certain learning curve on this thing and it takes a while to perfect taking photos — in our case, more than a pack’s worth of film.

Not the most perfect prints but memories nonetheless

I have to be completely honest, though: I enjoyed playing with this camera a lot. There’s just something about instant cameras that make them all so appealing to me.

Now, some might argue that an instant camera launched in this decade should, at least, have more functions. This is what other brands have done in an effort to evolve. But, to apply that standard to the OneStep 2 is completely missing the point. This camera release relives the simple times and takes us back to the nostalgic glory of the Polaroid OneStep. It reminds us of the sentimentality that old-school photography used to have and allows us to experience the same.

The Polaroid OneStep 2 retails for PhP 8,990 in the Philippines and US$ 100 in the US. The film costs PhP 1,490 per pack of eight in the Philippines, and US$ 16 for the same in the US.

SEE ALSO: Fujifilm Instax SQ10 review

SEE ALSO: HP Sprocket Review: The smallest instant printer

Accessories

Insta360 Nano S hands-on: What’s new?

An improved 360 camera!

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Last year, I first tried out the plug-and-play Insta360 Nano and I was introduced to the world of 360 videos. Boy, did I have fun with it. From 360-degree Facebook Live shows to cute tiny planet videos, there were a lot of media possibilities. And, it didn’t stop there. Later on in the year, the Insta360 ONE was released and it was a 360 camera game-changer with 4K video capabilities and standalone recording functions.

This year’s release is the Insta360 Nano S: An updated version of that first camera with the best qualities of the second.

It looks and feels like the Insta360 Nano. It’s almost identical and it still connects via Lightning port to your iPhone. But, it can do a lot more.

Unlike the Insta360 Nano, this camera can work without being plugged to a phone since it has a microSD slot.

This thing has two 20-megapixel fisheye cameras that are capable of shooting 4K 360-degree videos or 20-megapixel photos.

Basically, it can take cool shots like this:

via GIPHY

It’s the multiple export modes, though, that makes the Nano S more fun. You can save photos and videos using the different MultiView modes to get different perspectives. I’m not just talking about 360 videos, either. This option below gives you both front and back views simultaneously.

This one gives you three different perspectives all at the same time because why not!

The tiny earth effect, a classic Insta360 favorite, is still available as one of the export modes.

Think of all the great things you can capture!

Of course, this camera comes with FreeCapture capabilities first introduced to us on the Insta360 ONE. This just means that you can edit the 360-degree video you’ve already shot and export it as a normal video. The best part? You can choose what specific POV you’d want on that 2D video as the Insta360 app allows you to pick out scenes and edit to your liking. There’s also real-time stabilization for smoother video, which is always a great thing.

The Nano S combines the best that Insta360 has to offer. If you’re interested in getting yourself a 360 camera, this might be worth looking into.

Tough luck if you aren’t an iPhone user, however. Although the company has announced that an Android version may be coming, there isn’t any concrete news on this yet. The Insta360 Nano S retails for US$ 239.

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Cameras

The new Instax Square SQ6 is here and it looks awesome!

What a good-looking camera

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Fujifilm has just added another instant camera to their Instax line and it’s one photogenic shooter! The Instax Square SQ6 was unveiled and I can’t wait to get my hands on it.

It comes in three colors. One is in gray or graphite. This basic look is more classic and neutral.

There’s also one that comes in a clean, crisp white — because we’re seeing more white devices in 2018.

And my favorite, of course, a rose gold variant.

This pretty thing has an auto exposure function which means the camera adjusts to different lighting scenarios and even a selfie mode for optimum instant selfies! There’s also a double exposure mode, macro mode, and landscape mode. It shoots with Fujifilm’s square format film.

These freshly announced cameras look less bulky and definitely more stylish compared to the brand’s previous release, the SQ10 that I reviewed last year. Of course, the SQ6 is also simpler than its predecessor: It doesn’t look like you can edit the photos before printing, which isn’t really a deal breaker for these types of cameras. The best part? It retails for only US$ 130 in the US and PhP 8,000 in the Philippines (which is basically half the price of the high-end SQ10).

The SQ6 will be available starting May 25. In the Philippines, it will be in stores starting June.

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Cameras

Sony A7 III launches in the Philippines with price and availability

The basic model of Sony’s latest full-frame mirrorless cameras

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The latest addition to the full-frame mirrorless camera family of Sony has finally landed in the Philippines. The A7 III is positioned as the base model of Sony’s third-generation A7 series, sitting below the A7R III which was launched late last year, but it’s not just a “basic model” in the series.

The camera boasts a 35mm full-frame sensor with 24.2 megapixels and built-in 5-axis image stabilization. The sensor is complemented by an upgraded BIONZ-X processor making it possible for the camera to shoot 10fps in both RAW and JPEG formats. It also has 693 autofocus points and an Eye AF feature for fast detection of subjects.

As for its video capabilities, the A7 III can capture 4K HDR up to 30fps with 100Mbps bitrate. It also supports S-Log3 and 120fps slow-motion capture in 1080p resolution.

The body has an OLED viewfinder, LCD touchscreen, dual SD card slots, USB-C port, and complete suite of wireless connectivity. It’s also compatible with all E-mount accessories.

The A7 III is already available through Sony concept stores and authorized retailers in the Philippines for PhP 115,999 for the body only and PhP 129,999 with the FE 28-70mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens.

SEE ALSO: Sony A7 III First Impressions

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