Polaroid OneStep 2
The new Polaroid OneStep2 is a significant evolution of the classic "600" OneStep series of insta-cameras. While still a fixed focus "box" camera, now, there's a rechargeable battery, inside the camera, supposedly good for 80+ shots per full charge.
OneStep 2 specs: optically coated, polycarbonate and acrylic lenses; built-in, USB-rechargeable Lithium battery (1100mAh, 60-days on full charge); power on/off slide switch; manual +over/-under exposure override slide switch; built-in, always on, auto-flash; manual, per shot, auto-flash suppression button; tripod mount; self-timer; film magazine form factor same as classic 600; new I-Type film magazines (no internal battery); fixed focus lens 2ft/0.6m-infinity, 106 mm focal length; 41 degrees vertical x 40 degrees horizontal field of view.
[ Just for comparison, since I still own one, SX-70 OneStep Sonar: all glass optics, variable radar (or manual) focus, disposable flashbar, no self-timer (but remote trigger-able), many manual exposure settings, close-ups/macro shots, SX-70 film+battery magazines. ]
I-Type film: no battery inside the magazine, still only 8-shots per magazine (why not 10, if no battery?). Allegedly, I-Type film is *chemically identical* (but not colorimetry identical) to classic Polaroid 600. OneStep 2 can also use 600 magazines (even with dead magazine batteries). Both film types are best stored under refrigeration.
8-LED-dot remaining shots indicator, rather than a numreric countdown window. Once a magazine is loaded, don't open the loading door again until the magazine is completely expended (or unless you know how to manually re-insert a black/blank card on top of unexposed shots remaining in magazine).
Always keep fingers clear of the ejection port when shooting. Easy to forget this until you develop this grip as automatic habit.
Viewfinder is high and left of the lens, so viewfinder aiming needs to be lower and to the right of what you "see" through it, *especially* for closer shots.
You can quickly teach yourself exactly how to off-center viewfinder framing by attaching a 90° pivoting unipod to the OneStep 2's camera mount. Extend the unipod by 2ft and point the leg of the unipod straight ahead toward your subject, inline with the lens. The tip of the unipod, within the viewfinder, will be the very nearly true center of the film frame. Once you've scoped center, fold the unipod down, out of frame, and snap away.
Generally trust the OneStep 2's automatic exposure metering, before playing around with manual over/under-exposure override. Indoor light metering is strongly biased for auto-flash ON, not only for exposure, but color temperature "accuracy." For non-extreme lighting/contrast shots, neutral auto-exposure, with auto-flash on, almost aways gets the shot right. (Much more so than with my classic 600 fold-up/flash AutoFocus Polaroid 4725.)
Given the plastic lens, it would be a nice touch to have a removable lens cover for protection during transport.
Multiple-exposure trick: first exposure, press & *hold* shutter button (film is not ejected), immediately power OFF OneStep 2, release shutter button (film held in magazine), power ON OneStep 2, film is now ready for 2nd exposure.
Repeat the press & HOLD shutter button as many times as you think you can get away with (might want to manually set OneStep 2 to UNDEREXPOSE each frame in some multi-exposure shots). Press and normally release shutter button on final exposure. You might need to blackout tape the autoflash, if you want no flash multi-exposures, because successful snap & hold is trickier than it initially seems.
Multi-exposure shots will, of course, throw off your remaining shot count, because the OneStep 2 counts shutter actions, not film ejections.
Not every double exposure will be a keepsake, but those that are can be magical.
OneStep 2 color film white balance is off, recording 5k Kelvin daylight white as a yellow toned 3.8k Kelvin, skewing blues toward green. This doesn't happen with Fuji Instax film and it's even slightly greener blues than original 20th century Poloroid film.
That color shift is OK by me, because there has always been an "impressionistic"/artistic component to opportunistic/candid Polaroid photography. It's Polaroid's instant photography answer to sepia-toned-by-natural-aging B&W photo prints. A lot of people, myself included, like it for what it is.
Optically, the OneStep 2 doesn't capture anything close to the same level of fine details as Fuji Instax. For absolute color and detail accuracy, the OneStep 2 falls well behind Fuji Instax. (I also like the color accuracy of Fuji Instax, but for completely different reasons.)
There is a whole realm of artistic, instant photography that was created using Polaroid cameras/film. Call it both point-and-shoot spontaneous and impressionistic (warmer color pallet, softer focus) in memory.
Another big thing is giving your snapshot away to your subject. Recalling a kinder and gentler time.
I like this re-invented OneStep 2, even though it will never replace my prized SX-70. The OneStep 2 is destined to go on more riskier jaunts.
If you are a fan of Polaroid's impressionistic capture, instant photography, then I recommend this one for you to try. No easier way to join the ranks. It's fun.
My only lament is that Polaroid needs to fully replicate the photographic colorimetry of the no longer made 20th century Poloroid film, with the OneStep 2, using the current film chemistry. This might wind up requiring a change to the optical coating on the polycarbonate lens, rather than trying to fully replicate an elusive original film recipe (the one that developed faster and required no frog's-tongue/window-shade light-cover-on-eject kludge). Polaroid should seriously work on this and, perhaps, come up with a user swappable lens.
Polaroid also needs to guarantee the chemical uniformity and quality of every sheet in every magazine of their unexpired film. Bad snaps, due to bad manufacturing QC, results in lost moments/memories. This was one of the problems that contributed to Polaroid's first demise. Polaroid must never retrace those footsteps.