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

Cameras

Fujifilm launches the X-T200 as a companion for creative pursuits

Definitely an investment

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Fujifilm’s newest camera is here! A step up from X-T100, the X-T200 is shaping up to be a reliable companion for aspiring creators.

The X-T200 aims to help you hone your skills in photography and videography. It’s a lightweight mirrorless camera, ensuring you don’t strain your hands as you practice. It also features an improved face and eye-detection AF, and the ability to capture stills at 8 FPS. Additionally, it’s capable of recording a stabilized Full-HD 120p video and a 4K UHD video, thanks to its “electronic stabilization.”

It prides itself with professional-level features, a high-speed APS-C 24.2 megapixel CMOS sensor, a new processor, and a large widescreen LCD vari-angle touchscreen. It also has Fujifilm’s signature creative filters, Film Simulations.

Fujifilm’s new camera is promising for people pursuing creative professions and hobbies. If you’re looking for a camera to jumpstart your creative pursuits, the X-T200 might be the one you’re looking for.

The X-T200 will be available in three colors: Silver, Dark Silver, and Champagne Gold. It will be paired with the XC15-45mm F3.5-5.6 OIS PZ lens and sold as a kit, which will retail for PhP 45,990 (US$ 902) starting February 2020.

SEE MORE: Fujifilm X-T30 is a lightweight 4K mirrorless camera

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Apps

Zhiyun partners with Huawei for better vlogging

More advanced features for Zhiyun owners

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Zhiyun — maker of gimbals for action cameras, DSLRs, and smartphone cameras — has announced a partnership with Huawei to bring better vlogging experiences on all Huawei smartphones.

By leveraging Huawei’s CameraKit API, Zhiyun will be able to directly control the cameras in any Huawei smartphones. In addition, Zhiyun’s ZY Play app will deliver more powerful and smoother zooming on Huawei smartphones thanks to the API.

Huawei’s CameraKit will also bring additional capabilities to all of Zhiyun’s gimbal products. Added functionality also includes photo-taking, video recording, camera switching and zooming directly from the gimbals.

Huawei’s advanced camera capabilities such as AI photography, wide aperture, and super night mode will also work with the gimbals. This will open up new and better shooting capabilities in the future.

This partnership benefits all Zhiyun gimbal products. The company has been producing reliable gimbals at an affordable cost. Their products range from the Crane series to the Smooth series featuring Smooth 3, Smooth-Q, Smooth 4 and the new compact Smooth-Q2.

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Accessories

6 gift ideas for the traveler on your list

For people who have caught the travel bug

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Know someone who’s caught the travel bug? It can be hard to pick out a gift for the person on your list who’s got a serious case of wanderlust. Will you go for something that’s practical or something that will help them make more memories during their adventures? Don’t worry — we’ve got you covered. Here are six gift ideas for the traveler on your list.

Casetify x Pangram Pangram iPhone case

Let the traveler in your life flex his or her love for far-off places with these new phone cases. Casetify’s collab with type foundry Pangram Pangram features names of various, visit-worthy cities in a look that’s reminiscent of luggage scan tags issued by airlines.

You can shop the collection over at their website.

Noerden Mate2+

A watch that can match almost anything and take you from a nature walk to partying in the city is something most travellers should have. After all, you can’t bring your whole closet and sometimes, you’ll never know whether you need to suit up at one point of the trip.

Noerden’s new release, the Mate2+, is a gorgeous timepiece that ticks all those boxes and more. It’s also a smartwatch that tracks your steps, heart rate, and your sleeping pattern. Yes, it sports a classic face and there’s no touchscreen but you can view all your stats on the app. Another useful thing for travellers especially those who love to go solo. You can use the watch as a remote for your phone camera. Snap photos of yourself or your group just by shaking your wrist!

Get the new Mate2+ here.

GoSun Flatware

As the world continues to move towards eliminating single-use plastic, there are more efforts to make eco-friendly choices more convenient. One of these is the GoSun Flatware which is currently on Kickstarter.

A spoon and fork set the fits conveniently in your wallet and is the size of a credit card. You won’t have an excuse to go for plastic cutlery ever again.

You can sign up for a set via their page.

VAGO Travel Vacuum Compressor

Is the traveler on your list not a light packer? Well we have a nifty gadget here that they will love. The Vago Travel Vacuum Compressor can reduce the space occupied by clothes in half. This makes sure there’s always room for more stuff in their suitcase.

Get this vacuum via their website.

Instax Mini 9 Bundle

For those who are on the creative side and who appreciate a retro take on their travel memories, why not an instant camera? Fujifilm’s Instax Mini 9 currently has a promo that gets you a craft kit along with your purchase.

Aside from having print outs of their travel memories, they can also create customized scrapbooks with the materials in the kit. Get the bundle at any of the authorised Fujifilm dealers in the Philippines.

Steamery Cirrus No. 2

It’s always a hassle when you suddenly need to look sharp for a fancy dinner and your clothes are all wrinkly from travelling. Swedish company Steamery produces travel-friendly steamers that ensure your OOTDs will always look pristine.

Steamers also extend the freshness of your clothes as well as their lifespan. We’re practically in love with the Cirrus No. 2 model which comes in a variety of colors — a pretty pastel pink included.

SEE ALSO: 7 ways to practice sustainable fashion

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