New Kid On the Old Block: The Polaroid OneStep 2

New Kid On the Old Block: The Polaroid OneStep 2

It looks like there’s a “new” kid on the block, and it happens to be our old friend Polaroid (Or is it "old guy on the new block," or "new old kid on the old new block," or something else entirely? I don't know...). There are a number of instant-print cameras on the market, but to me, they’re all missing at least one of two things: the brand recognition of the Polaroid name and the classic form factor of the camera that made it famous decades ago. The Fujifilm Instax camera is missing both. Even the current Polaroid offerings, such as the Polaroid Snap or the PIC-300, probably don’t have what it takes to rule the market. So, here it is. The Polaroid OneStep 2.Cool, right? I think so.

According to, Polaroid is due to release a new version of the historic OneStep camera. It has the name. It has the form factor. It has actual Polaroid-sized prints instead of the tiny things you get with other cameras. What’s not to like? 

From the released specs, it looks like the camera will have a (rechargeable?) lithium ion battery and be able to use at least a couple of different kinds of film — the classic 600 in color and black and white, and a new film called I-Type, to be marketed under the brand name The Impossible Project. Throw a vintage strap on there, and you'll be more hip than you can handle.

There’s no information on price just yet, but Polaroid is due to release a roadmap with more details soon.

Edit: $99.99, and you can grab one here.

Tech Specs:

  • One-Step Easy-to-Use Photography
  • High-quality Polaroid photo lens better than ever 0.6m to infinity
  • Battery life 60 days
  • A powerful built-in flash to illuminate all images
  • Self-timer so you can appear in the image
  • New i-Type Analogue Photo Camera
  • Function with new i-Type film and 600 classic film
  • Dimensions: 150 x 110 x 95 mm
  • Weight: 440 g (without film)
  • Operating temperature: 4 ° -42 ° C / 41-100 ° F, 5-90% relative humidity
  • Compatible movies: Polaroid and Impossible i-Type and 600 colors in black and white, including special editions
  • Battery: high-performance lithium ion battery, 1300 mAh, nominal voltage 3.7 V, 4.81 Wh
  • Materials:
  • Exterior finishes: polycarbonate + ABS plastic
  • Lenses: optical quality polycarbonate and acrylic lenses, coated
  • Shutter systems: custom design, using the precision stepper motor for the shutter
  • Optical system:
  • Target: fixed focal lengths / 0.6 m infinity
  • Focal Length: 106mm 
  • Field of View: 41 degrees vertical, 40 degrees horizontal
  • Flash System: Vacuum Discharge Tube Strobe

And it even comes in black.

Lead image by Ace Armstrong.


Stephen Ironside's picture

Stephen Ironside is a commercial photographer with an outdoor twist based in Fayetteville, Arkansas. While attempting to specialize in adventure and travel photography, you can usually find him in the woods, in another country, or oftentimes stuffing his face at an Indian buffet.

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still a buck a picture ? no thanks. the hipsters will love it.

Michael it's $2 a shot. That might be a reach for even a hipster!

Impossible is typically $28 for an 8 pack, so more than $3 a photo. So a hipster has to decide whether to pay for his latte or take a picture of it. --- EDIT: I hadn't checked the price of film since the "Polaroid" branding took over for impossible. At least something good is coming from it. It is $19 for 8 photos. Getting more reasonable, but not quite there yet.

Let's see how many times the word "hipster" will be written in the comments section! So far: 2 comments, 3 "hipster"s.

Always puzzles me, this dislike of analog processes. It's not like anyone is forcing you to use them. Personally, I have film and digital cameras, CDs and vinyl records. I also like to write in a notebook with a pen as well as on a screen as I'm doing here. And I like to paint with brushes as well as use a camera. Isn't it lovely to have these choices?

Well said! I'm thinking about launching a magnesium flash powder company on Kickstarter so hipsters can illuminate their organic film with warm, brilliant light the way good ol' great great grandad used to.

So to expand on my flippant comment earlier - although I’m a little late to the party here:

I was responding to the often knee-jerk reaction some have regarding any new development in an older technology. There is certainly a group that are excited for anything nostalgic that allows them to wax poetic on internet forums, and I guess we’ve collectively decided to label them “hipsters”. Personally, I don’t see the point of being derisive: there’s obviously a market, and it’s a market that doesn’t impede on or harm others. Let them enjoy it. Good for them!

Secondly, there is another group of photographers who simply enjoy the process of analog technologies. Of course digital is more convenient, cheaper, and technologically more advanced, but considering one medium inferior or superior is shoving an unnecessary hierarchy on an art form. One is not better or worse than the other: it depends on which medium suits your needs or wants. A professional photographer will more likely find digital far more useful, but there is a subset of amateurs (I’m using the true sense of the term as “one who loves” something) and even some professionals who find it compelling and beneficial to use film. Again, good for them!

Photography has a wonderful, vibrant community. There are a ton of ways to use to medium to create a career or to express oneself, neither being better or superior to the other. My point is it’s somewhat silly to mock others for what they enjoy. Of course, if you enjoy mocking people on internet forums, good for you too, I guess?

I don’t have data on the percentage of hipsterdom born prior to the mainstream adaptation of digital camera technology, so I chalk your first point up to your opinion. And nobody here said Polaroid/Impossible film was “objectively” superior to digital, so I guess you have no reason to be annoyed. Hell, nobody would have said Polaroid was superior from a technical standpoint even before digital existed, unless they were talking about 8x10 or 20x24 Polaroids, which might still technically have more data than digital. But that’s getting deep into “who cares?” territory. People can take impressive images on any format without having to make one superior over the other. “Image quality” and a “quality image” aren’t synonymous.

"Hipster" is just a social term, not a demographic, so there's no verifiable data on it. Assumptions about what age people become interested in photography or what age people are "typically" defined (by whom?) as a cultural subset is all subjective. Which is ironic, since you state that you are interested in objectivity. And wait, isn't irony supposedly a characteristic of a hipster?!

You posted on an article about new Polaroid/Impossible film, and you said it was "just another young hipster fad". You then stated that, while you don't dislike film,

"My point is in poking fun at what they are called today, in the case of records being callled vinyls, and the ridiculous terminology some people use to justify their use, as in the case of film when they say it looks more "organic."

So your point was to poke fun. OK.

My point was never about resolving power or demographic data. Yes, of course modern digital resolves more than equivalent film (kudos BTW on conveniently misquoting me and taking what I said about about 8x10 or 20x24 Polaroids out of context. How many readily available 20x24 digital sensors are out there? And why would you argue bout resolution power on an article about instant Polaroid film anyway?)

My point was that's it's silly to label something superior or to be dismissive of people. I said, "There are a ton of ways to use to medium to create a career or to express oneself, neither being better or superior to the other. My point is it’s somewhat silly to mock others for what they enjoy. Of course, if you enjoy mocking people on internet forums, good for you too, I guess?"

So good for you.

I am one of those old people from the film only days. I like it that Polaroid/Impossible is keeping instant alive. I took an instant camera on a camping trip with my niece and nephews because I remembered how magical it was to me when I was a kid to see the image develop. Their eyes were wide as saucers as they watched their likeness form on the film. They were thrilled with the images and kept asking for more. At that moment, I created memories of the process as well as physical keepsakes of the memory. That is the charm of instant. I don't understand the derision in these comments, either. It's not like instant or analog is hurting anyone personally. If it's of no interest, move onto the digital process articles. There's room for variety. Choices are nice. Differences make the art world interesting.

Hipsters know this one trick that gets them Polaroid photos you love.

I dunno I am just typing hipster.

If they can make the film cheaper i'll get one but That impossible project film is crazy expensive.

you didn't use the word hipster in your reply.

Ah damn your right. If they make that "hipster" film cheaper. lol

Not to mention that the Impossible film is rubbish. Takes an hour to develop, needs to develop in the dark, looks as retro as an instagram filter and is designed to have a blue or orange colour cast depending on the ambient colour temperature with a low mid range which means in Australia they're always super orange because even mid-winter is too hot for the film (maybe I need to keep my camera in the fridge between shots)...

Holy Cheespuffs!i didn't know the quality was THAT bad. damn! I wish fuji would do something about a bigger format instant film. :(

So same old impossible film in a new (old) less hipster brand?

If this new Polaroid branded film is the same garbage made by Impossible then I'll pass. Impossible Film is horrible quality.

At $2 bucks a pop, does it make me want to chuck my much more portable Fuji Instax camera and it's $1.60 per shot price and slightly smaller photo size? Sorry, no. Even hipsters care about portability and cost. They also face competition from Lomo and their range of Instax cameras, which include actual glass lenses and accessories.

I think this is awesome. Impossible has had success and was able to move forward and acquire Polaroid, and now the film price has been significantly lowered to 15.99 rather than 20+ dollars. I want to support this and give them my money because if we can all keep shooting it then hopefully in the future there will be another price drop. How amazing would that be?! This isn't hipster, this is the love of film.

Well said.

Crappy film. I shot Polaroid professionally with medium and large format film cameras for over a decade. The Impossibly bad film doesn't hold a candle to the original with respect to sharpness, color, contrast, saturation, developing times and consistency. For this medium of photography, Fuji Instax is so much better. That being said, if people want to spend their money on obsolete sub par imaging methods, who am I to deny them of trendy overpriced hipster fare? After literally spending years in the darkroom processing film, printing and waiting for Polaroids to develop, I'll stick to digital.

Just ordered one myself. At 60 and with a basement full of cameras old and new, I can hardly describe myself as a 'hipster', but I know what makes photography fun.

For all the derision about today's instant film being in inferior medium or the choice of foolish hipsters, I think respectfully some people are missing the point. Even in today's world of wonderful high tech gadgets there's actually still something just a little bit magical about seeing an image appear in front of your eyes as something you can hold.

I'd urge you to watch this sweet short film to take a look at the little bit of joy giving someone a photo they can take away instantly can bring into their day!