Polaroid has historically been one of the most popular consumer electronics companies in the world, best known for its line of instant film and cameras. Many people might be surprised to learn that Polaroid is still producing instant cameras. They could be justified in their surprise given that it seems like an analog product in a digital age. Some of the unawareness may result from the fact that Polaroid declared bankruptcy not once but twice in attempting to keep its product line relevant in the face of rapidly improving photography and mobile tech. Polaroid, having rebranded once as Impossible Project and now once again as Polaroid Originals, has now gained back some of the market by rereleasing newer, improved versions of their cameras. They have also convinced people that, even in an age in which any device you carry on your person can take and store a large number of photos at any time, there is a benefit to having a physical photo to claim and own. It has done so with the new OneStep 2, an instant camera that improves on original models with some modern touches.
The OneStep 2 is a mix of retro and modern tech but has no computerized components, meaning no issues requiring digital restoration of any kind. The company has timed the release of this new fully analog camera for an age in which people are longing for the nostalgia of vintage items such as vinyl records and retro gaming systems, several releases of which from the 80s and 90s were released in 2017. The OneStep 2 is not alone in the market, with a couple of models offering something similar, but it is the only model with no digital tech included as part of its design.
The OneStep 2 is a simple point-and-shoot analog instant film camera with a built-in flash, a switch to increase or decrease exposure, and a self-timer. There are no more controls other than a power switch and shutter release. The battery is a rechargeable one for which there is a Micro USB port installed to charge and for no other purpose, so technical assistance could be necessary if there is a charging issue. The camera is better constructed than Polaroid cameras of old, including a lens that can be used at a closer range of two feet as opposed to nearly four and has much higher zoom quality. The film develops much more quickly, the flash turns down for reduced glare, and the exposure setting are simple while offering more effects. At $100, there is no reason for nostalgia seekers who like the feel and accessibility of photos they can hold in their hand to skip the new Polaroid Originals OneStep 2.
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