One of the best parts of shooting film, in my opinion, is the use of instant cameras. There is something awesome and magical about taking a photo with a camera and, within minutes, having a hard copy in your hands.
But if you’re new to instant film or even if you’ve dabbled in it before, you might be wondering what instant cameras are out in the market.
If you’re new around the parts, you should know that I am an instant film lover and have written a few articles on this topic. I’ve collected many Polaroid cameras from yard sales and thrift stores, and when Polaroid’s film was discontinued back in 2008, I made the jump to getting my instant image love from Fujifilm.
Over the past few years, Polaroid has sprung back onto the film scene. I recently splurged and bought myself the Polaroid OneStep 2, along with a ton of film. And as I’ve been shooting it, I’ve noticed so many differences between my handy Fuji Instax Wide 300 and my newly obtained Polaroid OneStep 2.
With that being said, I thought it would be helpful to write out a post pitting these two cameras against one another. We’ll talk about their strengths and weaknesses and give you an overall review to help you make an educated decision when it comes to choosing the Polaroid OneStep 2 vs the Fuji Instax Wide 300.
Purchasing the Cameras and Film
When it comes to purchasing these cameras, both are incredibly easy to obtain and are around similar price ranges. Both cameras are around $80-$100 depending on where you purchase them.
There are only 2 possible shooting distances, 3-10 feet and 10 feet to infinity, but it also comes with a close-up lens attachment.
For some basic exposure compensation, it has a lighten/darken control.
It has a flash, but it’s functionality is limited. The flash is automatic for low-light situations, or you can force the flash on for some fill light.
Overall, it’s a very minimal camera, and while it’s not exactly small, it is very light to hold and easy to travel with.
The Polaroid OneStep 2, while still a pretty straight forward point-and-shoot, has a few more features than the Instax Wide camera.
It has a self-timer function, a rechargeable battery, and the ability to override the flash, something that the Instax Wide 300 doesn’t have. Sometimes you don’t want the flash to go off and having the ability to turn off the flash is awesome.
It has one focus distance of 2 feet to infinity and also includes a lighten/darken switch for exposure compensation.
However, the build of the Polaroid camera is bulkier than the Instax Wide. It isn’t as easy to hold for long periods of time, which can turn out to be a bit of a pain if you don’t like using neck straps.
Comparing Images from the Polaroid OneStep 2 and the Instax Wide 300
In this section we are going to cover both camera’s image development time, image size, and image appearance.
Let’s first talk about exposure time. I haven’t timed the exact development time for each camera, but I can tell you that the Instax Wide 300 has a significantly faster development time than the Polaroid camera.
If I had to guess I would say the Polaroid images take around 20 minutes to fully appear whereas the Instax Wide 300 takes about 10 minutes.
For image size, both frames are surprisingly quite similar. The Polaroid film, including the frame, measures 3.5 x 4.2 inches, and the Instax Wide film, including the frame, measures 3.4 x 4.3 inches.
The image within the frame is sized pretty differently, though. The Polaroid has the the iconic square shape, measuring 3.1 x 3.1 inches, while the Instax Wide has closer to a 3:2 aspect ratio, measuring 2.4 x 3.9 inches.
The Instax Wide can be shot either vertical or horizontal, depending on how you hold the camera.
In person, both images have a very similar feel to them and have the iconic instant film style border, but I find the Polaroid border is a touch of a warmer white and the Instax is a touch on the cooler side.
The Instax Wide 300 images will have more vibrant, true-to-life colors. Polaroid film for the OneStep 2 tends to give the image a vintage feel with washed out tones.
The images on the Instax Wide will also be sharper than on the OneStep 2. I find that my Instax images are clearer and sharper looking compared to my Polaroids, while my Polaroids have a softer focus.
Leave your questions about the Polaroid OneStep 2 vs Fujifilm Instax Wide 300 below in the comments, and you can pick up the cameras and film for yourself on Amazon: Polaroid OneStep 2 and the Fujifilm Instax Wide 300.