My Experience with the Polaroid Now+ By Jennifer Stamps

Polaroid Now+ - Polaroid Now Plus Review by Jennifer Stamps on Shoot It With Film
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Written by Jennifer Stamps

The Polaroid Now+ is an instant film camera made by Polaroid.

Full disclosure, I had the Polaroid OneStep+ before this camera. Sadly, it died when condensation got in the battery charging port. Once it died, there were no more new ones on the market, so I bought the Polaroid Now+ thinking they’d be the same. They aren’t.

The One Step+ just worked. The app worked. The features in the app worked. I never had a single issue with it.

Unfortunately, for me, the Now+ has been finicky from day one. However, it’s still a cool camera. I’ll get to the pros and cons, and you can decide if it’s worth it to you.

Polaroid recently came out with a 2nd generation version of the Now+, but all of the changes seem to be cosmetic with no changes to the internal components of the camera.

Find the Polaroid Now+ on Amazon.

Polaroid Now+ - Polaroid Now Plus Review by Jennifer Stamps on Shoot It With Film

Specs of the Polaroid Now+

Dimensions: 150.16mm (L) × 112.2mm (W) × 95.48mm (H)
Weight: 457g
Compatible Film Types: The camera shoots iType Polaroid film. But can shoot 600 film if that’s all you have.
Focal Length: Standard lens – 102.35mm, Close-up lens – 94.96mm
Shutter Speed: 1/200th – 1 sec. and Bulb mode
Aperture: F11-F64
Focus: Autofocus
Battery: Lithium-ion battery, charges with a standard USB charger (which comes with the camera)
Bluetooth Enabled: The + in the name means it’s Bluetooth enabled and can connect to your smartphone using the Poalroid app.
Features: Tripid mount and non-blinding flash

Polaroid Now+ - Polaroid Now Plus Review by Jennifer Stamps on Shoot It With Film
Polaroid Now+ - Polaroid Now Plus Review by Jennifer Stamps on Shoot It With Film
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The Bluetooth Features of the Polaroid Now+

These are features you can use through the Polaroid app.

  • Remote shutter
  • Self-timer (options ranging from 1-12 seconds)
  • Double Exposure (read below for my trick to create more than two exposures per frame)
  • Aperture ranging from f11 to f64
  • Tripod mode
  • Portrait mode
  • Light Painting
  • Manual
Polaroid film image - Polaroid Now Plus Review by Jennifer Stamps on Shoot It With Film

Difference Between Polaroid 600 Film and iType Film

The Polaroid Now+ can take either Polaroid i-Type film or Polaroid 600 film. The three biggest differences between Polaroid 600 film and Polaroid iType film are:

iType film does not have a battery, so it cannot be used in vintage 600 film cameras.

Since iType film doesn’t have a battery, it’s slightly less expensive than the 600 film packs (iType film costs $16.99 US for 8 frames; 600 film costs $19.99 US for 8 frames – iType film costs 38 cents less per photo for the number nerds out there).

iType film develops in 5-10 minutes (per the Polaroid website); whereas the 600 film needs 15+ minutes.

Polaroid film image - Polaroid Now Plus Review by Jennifer Stamps on Shoot It With Film
Polaroid film image - Polaroid Now Plus Review by Jennifer Stamps on Shoot It With Film

A Few Tips on Using the Polaroid Now+

On the back of the Polaroid Now+ camera, you can indicate if you want to overexpose or underexpose your image.

Turn the camera on and press down on the flash button – this will trigger the exposure meter. You’ll see on the window below the power button that there is a dash in the middle of the screen. This indicates that your exposure meter is just normal.

Quickly press the flash button again to adjust the bar to over or under expose. That will now be the setting until you turn the camera off.

You can also tell the camera to use flash or not. With the camera on, quickly press the flash button. When the flash is on, the light will be lit; when it’s off, the light will be off.

Polaroid film image - Polaroid Now Plus Review by Jennifer Stamps on Shoot It With Film
Polaroid film image - Polaroid Now Plus Review by Jennifer Stamps on Shoot It With Film

Cons of the Polaroid Now+

Beofre I get to all the reasons I love this camera, let’s briefly talk about a few “features” that just don’t work well.

Portrait Mode

I have yet to get this mode to work. Again…this is my experience, so take it with a grain of salt.

To take a photo in Portrait Mode, you have to use the app. With the camera on and nearby, open the Polaroid App, find your camera, and scroll until you get to the “Portriait Mode” screen.

The app will indicate if you are “Too Close;” “Too Far;” or “OK” …OR it will tell you that it’s “Too Dark for Portrait Mode.”

I get “Too Dark for Portrait Mode” almost every time, even in full light. The app will not allow you to shoot the photo in-app unless you get the “OK.”

However, you can shoot it from your camera. Just know that if the camera thinks it’s “Too Dark for Portrait Mode,” it will automatically make the shutter speed slower…giving you crazy blur unless you have it on a tripod.

I’ve tried portrait mode several times and only had one clear image that turned out. The others are cool and I love them and will probably embroider or watercolor them, but they are far from “portraits.”

Polaroid film image - Polaroid Now Plus Review by Jennifer Stamps on Shoot It With Film
Portrait Mode with the OK to shoot
Polaroid film image - Polaroid Now Plus Review by Jennifer Stamps on Shoot It With Film
Portrait Mode with it “Too Dark for Portrait Mode”

Overexposure

My Polaroid Now+ camera over exposes every photo taken in the sun and those images lose a lot of contrast.

As a Polaroid photographer, I am used to the gritty, contrasty images of my vintage 600 cameras. But that is not the case with the Poalroid Now+. In fact, unless I tell my camera to underexpose my images, everything in daylight is overexposed.

Remember, iType and 600 film are about 640 ISO, so that can be a lot in sunlight. However, unless I’m shooing right at the sun, my images shouldn’t be blown out. But knowing this, just adds to the charm. Now, when shooting outside in the daylight, I tell my camera to underexpose.

Polaroid film image - Polaroid Now Plus Review by Jennifer Stamps on Shoot It With Film

Pros of the Now+

Double Exposure

The double exposure feature alone is worth the cost of the Polaroid Now+, in my opinion.

I have been able to trick my vintage 600 Polaroid cameras into shooting double exposures, but it’s not super easy, and I have about a 50/50 success/failure rate with those.

With the Polaroid Now+, I have a 100% success rate. And really, I LOVE double exposures.

To take a double exposure, with your camera on and nearby, go into the Polaroid App, find your camera, scroll until you get to the “Double Exposure” screen.

From there, you can click the button on your phone or camera for the first exposure. After the first click, the film will stay in the camera waiting for the second click.

Once you take the second photo, it will automatically spit the photograph out. Boom. Double exposures.

Polaroid film image - Polaroid Now Plus Review by Jennifer Stamps on Shoot It With Film
Polaroid film image - Polaroid Now Plus Review by Jennifer Stamps on Shoot It With Film

Manual Mode

The Manual Mode is another really great feature that sets this camera apart from it’s vintage siblings.

To use Manual Mode, with your camera on and nearby, go into the Polaroid App, find your camera, scroll until you get to the “Manual” screen. From there, in the app, you can select the aperture and shutter time.

You can also select which lens you want to use: 0.4-1.2 meter lens or 1.2 meter-infinity lens. And, you can tell the camera to eject or not.

If that weren’t enough, there is a little arrow indicated if you are over/under exposing your image and by how many stops. (Assuming your camera’s light meter is calibrated correctly.)

In my opinion, it’s best to use this hands-free. So either set your camera down somewhere where your subject is in view or use a tripod.

What happens when you tell the camera not to eject? Remember under “Bluetooth Features” above I told you to keep reading for a trick to take more than two exposures? This is it!

When you are in Manual Mode, click “Manual Eject” – this will allow you to take as many frames as you want without the film being ejected. Honestly, it’s begging to played with!

If you’re looking for a Polaroid camera with more manual or exposure controls without using the app, the new Polaroid I-2 or the vintage Polaroid SX-70 are both good options.

Polaroid film image - Polaroid Now Plus Review by Jennifer Stamps on Shoot It With Film

Black and White Film

Oh my goodness gracious…. Had I not shot several packs of blown out color film, I probably would have never even thought to use black and white film. But, my-oh-my, does my Polaroid Now+ love black and white. Like really, really, loves black and white.

I was at the Wandering Artist Retreat with @everydayinfilm and was so upset by my color images. I almost stopped bringing my Polaroid around because it frustrated me.

However, I had a pack of black and white film and literally love every image from the pack. So, I went to Marfa Film Shop and bought another pack. And literally love every image from that pack.

So maybe this camera is just an experimental and black and white Polaroid camera? When you have as many Polaroid cameras as I do, you tend to know exactly which one you need for the job. Now I know!

Polaroid film image - Polaroid Now Plus Review by Jennifer Stamps on Shoot It With Film
Polaroid film image - Polaroid Now Plus Review by Jennifer Stamps on Shoot It With Film

In Conclusion

As a gentle reminder, this is my just experience with the Polaroid Now+. This is a camera I purchased and I used film that I purchased. So I wanted to share my honest experience.

I realize I am one of tens of thousands (possibly more) who have this camera. So, if you have a different experience, I would love to hear about it.

Have you mastered the exposure? Have you figured out the Portrait Mode? Share in the comments! I do read them, so if you have tips, I’m all ears!

Polaroid film image - Polaroid Now Plus Review by Jennifer Stamps on Shoot It With Film

Thank you so much, Jen! Jennifer is a regular contributor here at Shoot It With Film, and be sure to check out her other articles, like Polaroid Art Project: Adding Watercolor Paint to Polaroids and Film Comparison: Kodak UltraMax 400 vs Kodak Gold 200 Pushed One Stop.

You can also check out more of Jennifer’s work on her website and Instagram.

Leave your questions about the Polaroid Now+ below in the comments, and you can pick one up for yourself on Amazon here.

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Jennifer Stamps

Jennifer Stamps is a toy camera and travel film photographer and a regular contributor for Shoot It With Film. Find her other articles here, such as Olympus OM-1 35mm Film Camera Review and 5 Film Cameras Under $50.

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Blog Comments

I have not mastered the exposure on this camera. I do like the black and white but when the color comes out, it’s nice. I just bought the yellow 600 film so that should be fun!

So fun! The yellow looks like a lot of fun.

I never understood the allure of cameras that produces blurry pictures with washed out highlights and impenetrable shadows. With “instant” photography cellphones in all of our pockets, why bother with this stuff at great expense?

Thank you for the review. I was thinking of buying a polaroid/instant camera remembering the fun of watching images develop from my childhood. That is part of the answer to Ken’s perfectly valid question, another part is the beautiful book by Andre Kertész – “The Polaroids” – which shows polaroids as an art form.

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