Friday, January 9, 2009

SOOOOO Exciting... Polaroid is BACK, but it is DIGITAL!!

Digital Polaroid AP PHOTO

Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, on my gosh, on my gosh!! I am so excited I am doing a happy dance. Thanks to my Google Alerts, which searches for and alerts me to new things on the web about Polaroid, I just read an amazing article that was written yesterday by PETER SVENSSON of The Associated Press. It is about Digital Polaroid... YES, DIGITAL Polaroid. In late March or early April, all Polaroid enthusiasts will be able to buy a $200, 5 megapixel digital camera that prints your images in 2x3", RIGHT ON THE SPOT! And just like analog Polaroids, you have to wait for your image to appear, as it takes one minute for it to develop. I may be a geek, but those of you who understand, will know why I am so happy that that magical moment of wondering what your image will look like IS BACK!! Since moving and leaving my black and white darkroom behind, my only chance to experience that thrill you get as an image starts to appear in a developing tray, was by making a Polaroid. And then, they quit making the film. But this, well, this almost makes up for it! Unlike analog Polaroid you can check out your image on the LED screen before you decide to print. Yet, you still don't know what the print will look like until it comes out because the typical color shifting and graininess you get with a Polaroid are still there. Ah, Polaroid. I can't help it, I just love Polaroid.

One of the complaints about the camera, which is something I actually embrace, is the lack of control that one has over their image (is this not the beauty of Polaroid, Holga, Diana, and other toy cameras?). The Digital Polaroid is a very basic camera, which in my mind is all an artist needs. There is no auto focus, just a switch for close up or infinity. Other complains include the lag time between pushing the shutter release and the image actually being captured. And the prints are narrower than the sensor, so some of your image will not be in the final print. You can do in-camera cropping of the image before printing (cool!), but you can't zoom out wide enough to get the whole image on the print. All of this stuff is just fodder for creativity!

Now, about the printer paper... it has nothing to do with the old Polaroid technology. A printer head in the camera heats up selected parts of the POGO paper to produce the prints. The film comes in packs of 10 for $5 or 30 for $15!! No ink or toner is needed. The back of the print can be peeled off, and the print can be stuck anywhere. You can make multiple copies of a print. You can even take you SD memory card from another camera and print the images using the Digital Polaroid. Although if that is all you want to do, you can save $100 and get the printer Polaroid already makes that connects to camera phones and digital cameras. The life of the rechargeable battery is short, only good for about 20 prints, since it uses a lot of energy heating up the printer head. But, I have always bought two batteries for each of my cameras to remedy this.

Keep in mind that Polaroid has declared bankruptcy, but they are still operating. So, really, there is no way to know how long they will be making the PoGo printer paper but since it is a new technology, you might as well get one and use it as long as you can. I know I plan to be the first in line... Yippee!!

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