I have never owned a Polaroid camera at their prime; they were always outside my ability to afford, and to be honest I never could allow myself to justify the cost/joy ratio of what is essentially very pricey point and shoot roulette. Though I really did want one.
Imagine my excitement though when @handmadelove gifted me a Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 camera last Christmas (P.S. they are the same thing - do not let anyone tell you otherwise). Hipster cred - check. Prints at technically lower cost than the Polaroid - check. Golly, it's amazing.
And then I found out they made a PRINTER version of the Instax. Whaaaaat??! No more what ifs about how the image is going to turn out. Now you get to choose your photo and post-process (read: photoshop) to your hearts content, before it goes anywhere near the cartridge. Granted that is somewhat contrary to the purpose of instant film, but hey, I do not mind having perfect prints that could never have been produced on an Instax camera (read: control freak).
Soooo... I secretly placed an order for one. (Sorry @handmadelove!) And you know those secret purchases you eventually regret? This is not one of them.
The Instax Share SP-1 printer uses the same cartridges as the camera, powered by two CR2 batteries, and is small enough to slip into a pocket (why would you though?).
Connectivity is via wifi, and easily pairs up with your device using the Instax Share app. The app is silly and has a hilariously dated interface, but it addresses the one use case (that any self-respecting person should be using it for) perfectly - print my photo on that Instax.
The app also offers some editing capabilities; nothing fancy. There are some campy templates, but nothing any serious person should use. It works, and that is all that matters.
Print quality is Instax-like Out of Focus Chic - of course, when it prints on the same medium. That means the output is intentionally blurry and slightly biased to black. Call me sentimental, but I love seeing my photos gradually come to live in a tiny card-sized print with the distinct, not-printed on paper resolution.
When instant photography is increasingly involving mobile phones, the Instax Share printer just makes sense if you are into printing the specials for keepsakes. I am afraid there is no going back.
Update: A zippier SP-2 has been released... but unless the original eventually goes out of sale, I cannot think of any good reason not to grab a discontinuing stock bargain!