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Polaroid Lab is a miniature tabletop darkroom that works with your phone

By Shawn Knight
Sep 10, 2019
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  1. Polaroid on Tuesday announced a new photo printer that blends modern tech with retro tactics. The Polaroid Instant Lab isn’t exactly a photo printer but rather, more of a miniature tabletop darkroom.

    To use it, simply load a photo into the Polaroid Originals app on your phone then place the handset face down on the top of the machine. When you press the red button, a combination of mirrors, light and “unique Polaroid chemistry” cast the photo onto film which ejects from the bottom of the machine.

    Polaroid’s latest looks to be a remake of the Impossible Instant Lab, an instant photo machine that raised more than half a million on Kickstarter in 2012. The device was sold until mid-2017 when it was discontinued.

    It’s a fun and quirky product although presumably, not without fault. First, you’ll need a compatible smartphone. Polaroid said the machine works with iPhone 6S and newer running iOS 11 or later as well as current models of Samsung, Google Pixel, One Plus and Huawei phones with Android 7 or later.

    One also has to wonder what sort of impact a thick case, screen protector or busted display would have on the quality of generated images. Plus, there’s the recurring cost of keeping it stocked with film which is very expensive on a per-photo basis (an 8-pack of color i-Type film sells for $15.99).

    The Polaroid Lab is a lot like Sony’s Walkman. Technology has made the process significantly better than it used to be but there’s just something endearing about using retro tech. The Polaroid Lab retails for $129.99 and is slated to arrive on October 10.

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  2. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 5,680   +4,025

    Not a bad idea even if it is a very retro version of the old SX-70 style camera's. My only concern would be the limited size and format of the prints when you can upload your digital image to one of a zillion sites out there that give 24 hour turn around for digital prints that can go a LOT larger.

    Still, it's a pretty good product and I hope it catches on and survives!
     
  3. Odium

    Odium TS Enthusiast Posts: 54   +23

    Meh. Just get the Polaroid camera and shoot with it. It's much more fun than just projecting photos from your phones screen onto a film.
     

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