Around 7 years ago the team behind The Impossible Project successfully brought traditional instant film back to life and now they’ve decided it’s time to design their very own Polaroid camera. Called the I-1, it’s not just the camera’s outer shell that’s inspired by cameras of old; inside it works like them too, being completely analogue. There are no mini-thermal printers at work inside the I-1, you simply pop in your film, take your photo and watch it develop on the blank film.
Technology has moved on for a reason, though, so as you’d expect the I-1 does make some modern concessions. Around the camera’s lens you’ll notice the flash takes the form of a ring of LED lights, the intensity of which automatically adjusts based on ambient lighting and the distance between you and your subject. There’s also a rechargeable battery inside that works via USB.
The most notable and modern feature of the I-1, however, is its companion app. Everything has a companion app now, we know this. The app connects to the camera via Bluetooth and gives a greater degree of control over the photos you’re taking. By using the app you’ll be able to manually control the shutter speed and aperture, take photos remotely, and also override the flash’s automatic adjustments if there’s a specific effect you want to achieve. It also has some creative tools you can use to help with double exposure and long exposure photos. Having the companion app does certainly seem to add a greater degree of creative freedom that we’ve come to expect from modern cameras, which you’ll absolutely want since the camera isn’t cheap, launching on May 10th at $300 (£210)
Once you’ve taken your perfect photo, it’ll be printed on The Impossible Project’s own type 600 film. The film isn’t cheap either, and you can expect it to cost you £17 to take just 8 photos. The I-1 will also work with the original discontinued Polaroid version of this film if you can manage to get your hands on it, though you’ll probably find it’s not much more affordable. Hopefully with all the modern additions to the camera, you’ll never waste a single photo or a single penny.
Expensive though it is, the I-1 is an interesting camera and we could certainly see anyone with a passion for Polaroid photography jumping on it immediately. The Impossible Project have taken some example photos so you can see what to expect: