Think of the I-1 as an instant camera for the digital age, a modern take on an old system that continues to deliver in the same way by giving you printed pics in the palm of your hand within seconds of pressing the shutter.
While the device works as a standalone point-and-shoot camera, firing up the accompanying iPhone app allows you to explore its full potential. This lets you control elements such as shutter speed, aperture, focus, remote shutter, and self-timer. You can also use it to experiment with a number of special-effects options, which include, for example, long and double exposures.
The I-1 also features a fancy LED ring flash that you can control manually, though automatic operation is of course also possible thanks to its built-in sensors capable of detecting ambient light and subject distance. The flash also works as a frame counter so you’ll never be left wondering how many shots remain in the pack.
The I-1 is the first new camera in more than 20 years to be built around the original instant format made famous by Polaroid, and is available now for $300, or $350 with three packs of its color or black-and-white instant film.
Berlin-based Impossible first made the news in 2008 when its small team of spirited instant-photography fans stepped in to purchase the last remaining Polaroid factory. Up to now it’s been refurbishing and selling old instant cameras and accompanying film, so this week’s launch of its very first original camera is a huge step for the company as it seeks to spread the joy of instant photography.