There's a certain charm to a Polaroid that just can't be captured with a digital camera. Hoping to bring back the magic of an instant photo, Polaroid is releasing the Z2300, its new pocket-sized instant camera that uses Zink to print out digital photos as if they were film.
The Z2300 is the second real attempt by Polaroid to marry a digital camera with a photo printer. Last year's Z340 was its first, and it was unanimously decided that it was not worth the $300 price tag due to its slow printing, low-quality prints and somewhat ugly design. It certainly wasn't the Lady Gaga-designed GL30 that we were all promised.
We got our hands on a prototype model of the Z2300 last night and took it for a quick shoot-out. On the hardware front, you'll find a 10-megapixel sensor that can also shoot 720p HD video, a 3-inch display, built-in mic and flash, 32MB of internal storage, SD card slot (4GB SD card included), video-out port, mini USB port and a removable battery. There's even a neat little switch on the left side of the camera for toggling between macro and landscape shots. A sliding switch. Now, that's retro.
The Z2300 is a little thick with a 1.4-inch depth, but compared to last year's Z340, the camera is practically a twig. We're absolutely loving the chromatic stripe that's emblazoned across the front. It gives the camera that much more of a old school aesthetic.
Pop open the LCD door and you'll find room for a stack of 10 two-inch by three-inch sheets of digital film paper, each with a sticky back so you can plaster your pics all over a locker, notebook, someone's face or whatever you desire.
Prints take about 40 seconds to print, but when it's all said and done, the photos do seem to have that slightly blurry look reminiscent of old instant film cameras. Polaroid reps also told us that filters can be applied in-camera Instagram-style before printing, which should add some more value to the Z2300.
Polaroid is already taking pre-orders for the Z2300. The camera will officially go ons sale on August 14 for $160. The digital paper will be sold in packs of 30 ($15) and 50 ($25).
It left a good first impression. We'll have more for you on the Z2300 soon.