On the 80th anniversary of the founding of Polaroid, the people behind the Impossible Project are launching a new brand, Polaroid Originals, with the goal of bringing back instant photography from its roots in classic Polaroid cameras. The Impossible Project, which produces film for old Polaroid cameras, teased the announcement earlier this month. Arriving alongside the brand is a key new product: the OneStep 2 instant camera, the spiritual successor to the original Polaroid OneStep. The company is also launching new film in both color and black-and-white, as well as continuing to produce film compatible with classic Polaroid cameras.
Built for the modern era, the OneStep 2 combines old-school instant film aesthetics with some modern touches. It includes a built-in flash, self timer, “long-lasting” battery, and can even charge over USB. It will sell for $100, while eight-exposure packs of film will sell for $16 (vintage film for older cameras will sell for $19). The OneStep 2 is available for preorder now and the camera is expected to be available in October.
In addition to the new OneStep 2, Polaroid Originals will continue to sell refurbished vintage Polaroid cameras (as the Impossible Project was doing before).
This is all great news for Polaroid fans. At one time, the fate of the company appeared to be sealed. Polaroid had pioneered instant photography, but simply couldn’t keep up in the digital era. But when a group of instant film fans formed the Impossible Project and bought up the last Polaroid film factory, after Polaroid had ceased production in 2008, there was at least hope that the format wouldn’t die out completely, even if the brand did (the Polaroid name never went away, however, it did become a licensing business). Polaroid Originals is now taking that a step further and keeping the name alive, made possible after the Impossible Project’s principal shareholder acquired the Polaroid brand earlier this year.
Polaroid Originals is not the the only company producing instant film cameras, however. Fujifilm is well entrenched in the market, and offers a wide range of instant cameras under its Instax brand, including the new SQ10 which combines a digital sensor with instant film. Still, with the experience of the Impossible Project and the Polaroid name behind it, the OneStep 2 could prove to be a popular camera among instant photography aficionados. As for the Impossible Project name, it seems to be on the way out, as its website now directs to the new name — makes sense, as it isn’t so impossible anymore.