Analog Photography Is Not Dead: Impossible Project Unwraps I-1, Its Own Polaroid-Type Camera – Tech Times

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The Impossible Project has just unveiled its I-1, an instant film camera that merges a classic format and a number of contemporary image-taking technologies.

Last year saw a surge in the popularity of instant photography, with instant film ranking as one of the best-selling holiday gifts of the year. But the beloved Fujifilm FP-100c instant film crashed and burned shortly afterwards.

The Impossible Project aims to bring the instant film camera back into the mainstream by releasing a novel device able to work on the timeless Polaroid 600 image format.

Meet the I-1, which was announced at the Bloomberg Businessweek design conference. The gadget will be available for purchase on May 10, for a price of $299. The camera makes use of Polaroid 600 pack film, but a few notable differences exist when pitting the I-1 against its rivals.

The camera looks a bit like a pyramid, with the film being located at the bottom of the device. On the high end, a pop-up reticle allows the photographer to choose his composition. The I-1 is rather clutter-free when it comes to buttons and switches. The clean design is joined by an embedded Bluetooth, which permits the device to connect to a dedicated smartphone app. Image tinkering can be done via the app, where you can modify settings such as shutter speed and aperture.

Another plus of the app is that it allows you to remotely control the camera. Not only that, but effects such as double and long exposures are also available, letting photographers make full use of their creativity in vintage form-factor.

Via the USB port, users may keep the camera ready for use at all times because the battery is rechargeable. Impossible points out that equipping the instant film camera with reusable batteries is part of the company’s environment-friendly policies.

One element that is a bit unusual is the flash: instead of using a traditional flash, the I-1 sports a ring of LED lights surrounding the lens. Nostalgic fans might regret the absence of the heavy flash from the old school instant film cameras, but the recent LEDs are more than able to make up in performance for what they lack in form factor.

The I-1 faces strong competition from Fujifilm’s Instax Wide. Although somewhat limited when compared with Impossible’s new camera, the Instax manufactures instant film cameras at prices between $66 and $100. It should be mentioned that Instax’s photos end up costing under $1 per frame, while the Impossible Project film raises the cost per picture taken to almost $3 per photo.

Somewhere between the two ends of the price spectrum, other instant print cameras find their place. One such example is the Lomo’Instant Wide, a camera manufactured by Lomography, which takes full advantage of the Wide film format of Fujifilm. The camera was open to preorders in October last year for $200.

As there is a market niche for photography enthusiasts of this format, the future promises to be very interesting for Impossible’s products. The myriad of new features and a modernized design should appeal to some of the younger users, while the classic form factor and feel will cater to the needs of vintage photographers.

Analog Photography Is Not Dead: Impossible Project Unwraps I-1, Its Own Polaroid-Type Camera – Tech Times