Previewing Polaroid Z2300, the compact instant digital camera

It seems Polaroid isn’t quite ready to give up the instant camera market despite going fully digital. Unveiled at the CEA Line Show in New York City this week, the Polaroid Z2300 is the latest in the company’s instant cam lineup that captures photos with its 10 megapixels sensor and can instantly print a full color 2 x 3-inch mini Polaroids. The camera also has a 3-inch LCD display for both video and still picture taking, and comes in your choice of black or white body.

“Polaroid invented instant photography, and for the past 75 years the brand has been synonymous with instant gratification, ease-of-use and fun,” said Polaroid President Scott W. Hardy. “The Z2300 represents the next step in the evolution of that proud tradition and it was designed to fully integrate the classic Polaroid instant photography experience into today’s digital, social world.” 

When we sampled the Polaroid Z2300, off the bat we noticed the inability to auto-focus. This makes it quite difficult to take pictures from afar. However, there is a macro setting you can turn on by sliding the side button to help focus on closer objects. Users also have the ability to choose borders and frames for each picture, such as a big heart or a house. The options are a bit silly, and reminiscent of a 90s sticker photo booth.

Since the body itself needs to contain a printer inside, the Z2300 isn’t small by today’s point-and-shoot standards, but it is still pretty compact and portable. The camera uses Zink printing papers — which uses no ink and just heat to process the photos. Unlike traditional film instant photography, you won’t have to worry about loading the papers in a dark place as to not expose the film. Each print is water-resistant and can be peeled off to use as a sticker. Check out the print of our fellow Digital Trends writer Jeffrey Van Camp, which completed in approximately 45 seconds. While the color isn’t vivid, we believe Polaroid is going for the old school, vintage look — much of what the company was known for before Instagram took the digital version to a new level.

The Z2300 uses rechargeable lithium ion battery and records via an SD card. One full charge of the battery, however, will only print up to ten photos. The camera will be available beginning July 2 at the retail price of $160, with Zink papers starting at $15 for the 30-sheet pack and $25 for the 50-sheet pack. You can pre-order yours at the official Polaroid website. Of course, if you prefer a higher end version of the model, check out the Polaroid Z340 we saw back in April.

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