Polaroid Joycam – The Death of a Legend


One of the last Instant products produced by Polaroid, easy to use and a fun camera, ideal to use with your friends… If you can find good film…

I love this camera. The Polaroid Joycam is one of the last Polaroid camera models. The name Joycam says it all: Fun, loads of fun.

This camera is very light. It is a bit big, but very easy to use and it has a unique film format, the Polaroid 500. This film format is smaller than the 600 (11.2×6.4cm) and it has two white writable borders instead of one, which means more space to write something, like your memories, friends’ names, etc.

Too bad this kind of film stopped production a long time ago, leaving many Polaroid users with useless cameras, struggling to find film at any price and paying for expired film usually ruined. Before I could take some visible shots, I spent money on two ruined films; all shots I took with those films were completely ruined, just a brown blur in the middle of a completely orange shot.

I almost gave up, as these films are incredibly hard to get and I didn’t want to spend more money on disappointments. But I’ve decided to give it just one more chance. The Polaroid 500 pack was expired in 2001, the package was in very good condition, and the film was stored properly. I gave it the last try on my last June vacations.

I decided to spend this film on my most precious subjects, my wife and son, hoping the film was OK. I tried turning on the flash just to see if the batteries included in the package were OK, and they still had some juice. I pressed the big red shutter button and pulled out the manual film ejection lever. At first sight, the shot seemed messed up, a big brown spot on the left side of the photo and the rest have weird black and grey stripes. I stored the shot in a dark place and waited for some minutes for it to develop. Bingo! One almost ruined Polaroid 500 pack, but this time, it actually captured something lovely—old school Polaroid shots, very red and orange but visible, and the shot seems that they have been taken in the 80’s.

Even if the shots are almost ruined, I absolutely love them. They make me remember the shots my parents took when I was a child. If this is the last Polaroid 500 film I’ll get, I’m satisfied; at least the most precious persons in the world to me were captured on it.

Things I like in this camera:

  • Look
  • Easy to use, just point and shoot
  • Fun camera
  • Manual film ejector
  • Lightweight
  • Viewfinder
  • Film format

What I dislike in this camera:

  • Discontinued film

written by zulupt on 2011-07-27 #gear #people #expired #review #instant #polaroid #joycam #500 #captiva #descontinued


  1. sthomas68
    sthomas68 ·

    I remember getting real duds for Polaroid packs back in the day...always felt like it was a waste of money when the images didn't come out!

  2. zulupt
    zulupt ·

    Thanks @virtualsky :)

  3. davidandora
    davidandora ·

    Wow! I can't believe how long it took to find evidence of the many mysterious Polaroid prints I have. I had taken these photos back in college, but couldn't recall the camera. This film and camera have been all but wiped from the internet! I loved these print sizes, but remember that the film just stopped being available for it! Thanks for this post!

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