Tuesday, November 22, 2016

A Picture is Worth... 85¢ or So

'Tis the season to be thinking about Christmas presents, and I happened to notice instant cameras are a thing again.  I remember when I was young my aunt had one that she never used, but she did have many photos she treasured that were obviously taken with it.  If I recall correctly, her reason for no longer using it was that it was hard to find film for it.

Easy present, right?  Not so fast.  The first thing to note is that digital cameras exist now, and have a lot of benefits; unlimited free film, for one.  They're also small and light compared to these new instant cameras.  But she isn't using one of those, and she did use her old Polaroid.  So shouldn't I be comparing these new cameras to the one she liked and actually used?

The first thing I noticed is that they come in two sizes of prints, and even the larger size is a little smaller than the one she had.  But not so much to be a problem, I think.  Then the price tag hit me.  The cameras are not expensive, but the film is about 85¢, at best.  As someone used to unlimited free digital film, I was taken aback.  But I'm supposed to be comparing it to the previous instant print cameras, right?

Well what did they cost?  I wasn't actually able to find that.  I did find that you can buy film for those cameras today at $2.50 a shot.  $2.50!!?  I'm going to make some guesses, and assume that they're charging twice as much because it's now a novelty.  But that's still would mean my aunt is use to spending the 90's dollars equivalent to $1.25 a photo.  It seems to me that could be true.

I'm gonna go for it.  It could be fun; making cameras social again.  It might be a great piece of nostalgia for her.  And if nothing else, it will be unique gift.

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