Go Retro With Polaroid's New Instant Digital Camera

Polaroid returned to its instant camera roots last y ear, merging the convenience of digital photography with instant printing in the Polaroid Z340 Instant Digital Camera. And now it looks like the company is at it again, as it introduced the Polaroid Z2300 at the CEA Line Show in New York City on Thursday.

The company's first instant digital camera was designed to resemble the popular Polaroid Spectra cameras of the 1980s. The second instant digital camera, the Z2300, instead channels the look (somewhat) of the Polaroid Land Camera 1000, which first sold in 1977.

According to a Polaroid spokesperson, the company is not manufacturing the new Z2300, but is instead lending its name to the effort--similar to what Commodore did last year, when it released an updated version of its Commodore 64 system. Since the Polaroid name is basically synonymous with instant photos, this is probably a smart move.

The Z2300 will be available in black and white models, and takes 10 MP photos and produces 2-by-2 inch prints. The printing process uses Zero Ink Printing Technology from Zink Imaging, and takes just under a minute.

The Z2300 in the wild (at CEA)
The Z2300 in the wild (at CEA)

The process includes cyan, yellow, and magenta crystals inside special paper. The paper is then heated by the camera to create photographic images. The paper includes an adhesive backing, and is available for $15 (pack of 30) or $25 (pack of 50).

According to Polaroid representatives, the Z2300 is in response to customer feedback. Some customers found the larger Z340 to be too bulky, and wanted something more compact. The Z2300 is also cheaper--it will retail for just $160, while the Z340 costs $250.

The Z2300 in the hand (at CEA)
The Z2300 is still bulkier than the slim digital cameras we're used to, and the print quality isn't excellent. But if you're looking for a retro feel in your photos, it might just be a must-have accessory.

The Z2300 is currently available for preorder from Polaroid's website, and has an expected ship date of August 15.

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