Fuji Instax 210 is a good alternative to Polaroid cameras; the film and camera are easy to buy at an affordable price.
I love instant film, each photo is unique and seeing the whole developing process right before your eyes is some kind of magic but Polaroid film is, sometimes, hard to get (even the Impossible Project film) and it is a bit expensive. Fuji Instax 210 is a very good alternative to Polaroid, in fact, I think that the Polaroid Wide film is better than old Polaroid; it has a better color range, good sharpness and a great film speed. I also like the film format; it is very close to standard 135 film format and allows you to take good panoramic shots and good close-up shots when using the close up lens.
This camera is great to use outdoors, the 800 ISO film is very good to shoot with bright sun and with cloudy or low light conditions; it is an awesome camera to shoot sunsets and panoramas. Its main disadvantage is indoors, the flash is automatic and it is impossible to turn it off, the flash is also very powerful, you have to be extra careful, the flash will reflect in almost any surface and it can ruin a photo but if you learn how to use it indoors you can also get really amazing shots, especially when using the close up lens.
The camera itself is very big but light-weighted, it is all made of plastic and it is a bit sensitive to shocks, specially the battery cover. I had an Instax 200 before it got stolen, the battery cover was already broken, I let my bag drop on the ground from a very low height and the battery cover was instantly broken, I had to hold it with duct tape.
I bought Instax 210 to replace my old 200, I could not live without one, I’ve missed it so bad that I immediately bought a new one after my first camera got stolen. The differences between the two cameras are very small, it has a different color, different logo and the light sensor seems to be in a slightly different place, the main upgrade is its close up lens which is very useful to take cool portraits indoors or to take great “macros” outdoor, the close up lens allows you to get up to 40cm distance with regular lens you can only get up to 0.9 meters and believe me, it is a huge difference. The close up lens also has a small mirror so you can take great photos with your friends or self portraits; it also has a small plastic guide to compensate the parallax error which is, beside the automatic flash, another handicap. When shooting at 0.9 meters (without the close-up lens) the difference between what you see in the viewfinder and the actual photo is very big, you have to compensate by turning the camera a bit to the side.
Overall, this is a great camera; films are easy to find and cheap, it is a very reliable camera, easy to use and it still has a tremendous impact on people when the Instant photo comes out the slot like old Polaroid cameras; each photo is unique and it is a great camera to capture those perfect moments when hanging out with your best friends or capture those unique sunsets and landscapes.
Do I trade it for a Polaroid camera? Absolutely not, it may be a bit more limited and you can’t manipulate the film like old Polaroid Artistic Time-zero film but still, it produces amazing colourful photos.
What I like in this camera:
-It uses four AA batteries (You can use rechargeable ones).
-Easy to buy film.
-Easy to use (almost point-and-shoot).
-People reaction to instant film camera.
What I dislike in this camera:
-Lack of “B” mode.
-Cant double expose (I did it once by accident).
-Very big camera.