Retro style has been everywhere in the consumer camera market in recent years, from the Olympus PEN and OM-D cameras to Fujifilm's X-series and even the new Nikon Df. It's no surprise: Retro sells, regardless of what you're hawking.
Now a new Kickstarter project is really taking retro to heart. The Lomo'Instant is a retro-themed instant analog camera with a replaceable lens system. Launched Tuesday morning, the project reached its funding goal of $100,000 within just hours on the site.
So why is a tiny anlaog shooter making such a big splash? Well, that's easy: In this age of smartphone photography and social sharing, the simplicity and permanence of instant cameras is sorely missed. The Lomo'Instant takes us back to a simpler time, when photos were made to last.
For a Polaroid-style camera, the Lomo'Instant is surprisingly feature-packed. It shoots with Fujifilm's Instax Mini film, which is pretty cheap and easy to find, and it includes portrait and circular fish-eye lens adapters in addition to its built-in 27mm wide-angle. The camera also offers three shooting modes (auto flash, manual flash, and manual no-flash) along with a long-exposure option and unlimited multiple exposures for more complex shots.
Lomography claims the Lomo'Instant features the “largest aperture setting in the instant photography world” at f/8. You can also stop it down to f/11, f/16, f/22, or f/32 to get more in focus or to properly expose shots on super-bright days.
The Lomo'Instant looks like a nifty little gizmo for retro camera enthusiasts, and it seems pretty fairly priced at $120-$150. That said, you really have to be a fan of instant photography—i.e., plastering your dorm room with life's tiny moments—to enjoy something like this.
You can expect the Lomo'Instant to ship later this year. If you act quickly, you can still snag one with both add-on lenses for just $99, if you make a pledge on Kickstarter. And if you're really rolling in it, you can kick in $1,300 or more to get a 5-day trip to Vienna to meet the creators and snap photos of Austrian mountains!
- Film Format: Fujifilm Instax Mini Film
- Exposure Area: 42mm x 64mm
- Shutter Speed: 1/125s / Bulb
- Exposure compensations: +2/-2 Exposure Values
- Multiple Exposures
- Built-in Flash Guide Number: 9(m)
- Automatic Flash Output
- Battery Supply: 6V (4x AAA batteries)
- Tripod mount
- Cable Release Mount
- Aperture: f/8, f/11, f/16, f/22, f/32