Its maker describes it as “the original instant camera, reinvented,” and hopes its stylish design, neat blend of analog and digital tech, and obvious fun factor will be enough to score it some serious sales when it launches next month.
The I-1 camera is the work of The Impossible Project, a company that first came to our attention in 2008 when it stepped in to buy the last remaining Polaroid factory in a bold bid to keep instant photography alive.
Unveiled on Monday by Impossible Project CEO Oskar Smolokowski, the I-1 draws together a mix of features that culminate in a simple-to-operate device, which, using its own type 600 instant film, gives you a pic in the palm of your hand just seconds after hitting the shutter button.
There are few physical controls on the I-1, with much of its functionality offered via the accompanying mobile app, which at the current time is iOS-only. The app lets you make manual adjustments to things like shutter speed and aperture, and also offers remote-shutter functionality. Additionally, creative types can experiment with its special-effects options, which include, for example, long and double exposures.
The camera’s rather striking LED ring flash can be controlled manually, though sensors detecting ambient light and subject distance mean automatic operation is also possible. Power for the flash and other functions comes via the device’s built-in battery, which is USB rechargeable.
The Impossible Project has posted a few sample images (above) on its website that highlight some of the camera’s creative possibilities.
The I-1, which launches May 10 with a $300 price tag, will go up against the likes of Fujifilm’s Instax cameras, an instant shooter that we learned recently is outselling Fujifilm’s digital alternatives by nearly four times.
At between $60 and $150, Instax cameras cost significantly less than the I-1, so The Impossible Project will be hoping its device has enough to tempt instant-camera enthusiasts who have a few more bucks to spare.