The Best Instant Camera For Kids

by

Kidsgearguide may earn a small commission should you purchase a product through one of our affiliate links.

With so many of our memories stored in digital files, saved in cloud storage, or uploaded to social media, there’s something to be said for the physical experience of holding a photograph in your hands that makes the experience more profound to children. An instant camera allows kids to explore and capture the world as they see it, preserving their memories in a way that young kids couldn’t otherwise do in an increasingly digital world. Pictures taken with instant cameras can be decorated with stickers or markers, pasted and saved in scrapbooks, or pinned on walls, allowing kids a precious chance to hold memories in their hands. 

Instant cameras have come a long way since clunky old Polaroids, though. Today’s instant camera has filters and frames, print in color or black and white, and save your images to a microSD card for uploading to your computer to keep a digital copy in case something happens to your originals. Read on for our buyer’s guide to the best instant camera for kids, product reviews, awards for our top picks, and frequently asked questions. 

Additionally, if you’re keen on advancing and developing your kids’ creativity, look at our recommendations for the best kids’ easel. Together these two creative activities can make for a lovely homemade art project!

Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 Camera

This small but stylish instant camera has everything you need to get started! You can take pictures of your family and friends with two picture-taking modes or hop in the photo with the camera on selfie mode.

Our Winners

  • Best Overall Instant Camera For Kids – Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 Camera
  • Regarding a compact instant camera, the Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 has everything you want. High-performance flash and two picture-taking modes will give you top results, and pictures are developed in only 90 seconds. This camera has enough film for 60 instant photos, an album to hold them, and a handy carrying case. Available in five stylish colors, the Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 is our pick for the overall best instant camera for kids. 
  • Best Runner-Up – Zink Polaroid Snap Instant Digital Camera
  • Suitable for older kids and teens, the Zink Polaroid Snap Instant Digital Camera has a lot going for it. The 2 in x 3 in prints take less than a minute to develop and have an adhesive backing to stick to various surfaces, including scrapbooks and school lockers. There’s a selfie mode and a rear-facing camera with a self-timer to get in the shot, too. While this camera only takes ten sheets of paper at a time, it does have a 32G MicroSD card that saves all images, so even if you run out of paper, it doubles as a great digital camera for kids. 
  • Best Budget Instant Camera For Kids – Maidream Instant Print Camera for Kids
  • The Maidream Instant Print Camera offers excellent value if you’re looking for a quality kids’ camera on a budget. It has both rear-facing and selfie modes and can take videos, too. It has a rechargeable battery automatically powers down when left unattended so that it won’t drain too fast. A 32G memory card, card reader, charging cable, sheet of stickers, and a lanyard to wear the camera around your neck are also included. This instant print camera for kids offers excellent value for kids. 

How Does an Instant Camera Work?

Unlike regular film or ink cartridges, instant cameras use film packs that include chemical developers, a negative, and the positive paper required to generate the photo you see. Pressing the shutter button will project the image in the viewfinder onto the film, which is drawn across a series of rollers before emerging from the camera. Once in the light, the chemicals on the paper will react and develop into a color photograph. It’s a sophisticated chemical process, but it’s just like magic to a child!

The Best Instant Camera for Kids

1. Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 Camera

Selfie Mirror:
Yes

Item Dimensions:
5.5 x 9 x 7.5 inches 

Exposure Control Type:
Automatic

Item Weight:
3.25 lbs


Brand:Fujifilm
Model Name:Instax Mini 11
Video Capture Resolution:1080p
Form Factor:Compact
Item Dimensions:5.5 x 9 x 7.5 Inches

This small but stylish instant camera has everything you need to get started! You can take pictures of your family and friends with two picture-taking modes or hop in the photo with the camera on selfie mode. It’s easy to switch back and forth – when the lens extends automatically after pressing the power button, pull the rim of the lens outward until you see the ‘Selfie On’ mark. There’s a handy mirror next to the lens to ensure you’ve got everyone in the shot, too.

The Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 instant camera has 60 sheets of Fujifilm Instax film. This album holds up to 64 photos, colorful stickers to decorate your pictures, a cleaning cloth for the camera lens, and a travel camera case with an adjustable strap to take your camera with you on the go easily. Printed photos take approximately 90 seconds to develop once they’ve been printed.

This camera takes two AA batteries, which are not included. The viewfinder has a real image finder to help you focus. The Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 has a high-performance flash that automatically calculates surrounding brightness and adjusts the shutter speed accordingly. You don’t need to change settings to capture bright backgrounds and subjects in a dark scene. Available in several colors, including lilac, blush pink, sky blue, white, and charcoal grey, there’s something here for everyone!

Pros

  • Compact and stylish design
  • Offers two picture-taking modes: regular and selfie mode
  • Includes useful accessories such as film, album, stickers, cleaning cloth, and travel camera case

Cons

  • Requires separate purchase of AA batteries
  • Limited color options for the camera body
  • Printed photos take approximately 90 seconds to develop, which may be slower compared to digital cameras or smartphones

2. Barchrons Instant Print Digital Kids Camera

Barchrons Instant Print Digital Kids Camera

Selfie Mirror:
Yes

Effective Still Resolution:
 12 Megapixels

Screen Size:
2.4 Inches

Item Weight:
0.56 Ounces


Brand:Barchrons
Video Capture Resolution:1080p
Form Factor:Ultracompact

Perfect for kids, the Barchrons Instant Print Digital Kids Camera has several features that make it easy to use for young photographers. Not only can you instantly print pictures on the 2-inches x 4-inches directly from the camera (note: pictures print in black and white, but can be colored in with markers or colored pencils), but you can also save images on the 32G memory card.

It’s also possible to turn off the instant printing feature and only save pictures to the memory card. This is an excellent feature if you want to sort through multiple shots of the same image and choose the best one, which can be printed after attaching the camera to your computer via USB (included). 

Besides photo capture, you can also record videos, use the self-timer, and take pictures in both selfie and rear capture modes. Just turn the lens on the top of the camera around to get yourself in the picture, too! There are also twenty different cartoon photo frames to make your pictures look extra special. The 2.4-inch screen is big enough for kids to frame their scenes easily. The Barchrons Instant Print Digital Kids Camera has a rechargeable battery. It comes in a box with one instant camera, three rolls of printer paper, 1 USB charging cable, one neck lanyard to ensure the camera isn’t dropped, 1 32G SD card, and one user manual. 

Pros

  • Easy to use for young photographers
  • The instant printing feature allows for immediate gratification and creativity with coloring
  • Offers multiple shooting modes, including selfie and rear capture, and various cartoon photo frames for added fun

Cons

  • Pictures printed in black and white, requiring additional coloring with markers or colored pencils
  • A limited screen size of 2.4 inches may make framing scenes challenging for some kids
  • Limited accessories included in the box, such as only three rolls of printer paper

3. Maidream Instant Print Camera for Kids

Maidream Instant Print Camera for Kids

Selfie Mirror:
Yes

Effective Still Resolution:
 12 Megapixels

Screen Size:
2.4 Inches

Item Weight:
8.1 Ounces


Brand:Maidream
Model Name:Cámara
Video Capture Resolution:1080p
Form Factor:Compact
Item Dimensions:4.92 x 1.50 x 3.54 Inches

The Maidream Instant Print Camera offers excellent value if you’re looking for a quality instant camera for kids on a budget. With its funky animal motifs, this camera might look like a toy, but don’t be fooled! Kids can use the rear-facing or selfie modes to take and print up to 150 pictures on the included paper rolls (refills available as well), and it’s capable of recording videos, too. Pictures are printed out instantly, and although they print in black and white, you can use this as a jumping-off point to further explore your creativity. Use markers or colored pencils to color in your photos, or decorate them with fun stickers included with this camera. 

This camera has a rechargeable battery, so you don’t need to worry about having replacements on hand. It also shuts down automatically after 3 seconds of inactivity. If little ones put the camera down and leave it without switching it off, you won’t have to worry about a drained battery. When plugged in, the Maidream Instant Print Camera takes approximately 2 hours to charge fully. Included in the package, you will find, in addition to the camera, three rolls of picture printing paper, 1 32G memory card, 1 card reader, 1 USB charging cable, one sheet of stickers, and one lanyard to wear around your neck. This instant print camera for kids offers excellent value for kids. 

Pros

  • An affordable option for a quality instant camera for kids on a budget
  • It offers both rear-facing and selfie modes, along with the ability to record videos
  • Includes accessories such as paper rolls, memory card, card reader, USB charging cable, stickers, and lanyard

Cons

  • Pictures print in black and white, requiring additional coloring or decoration
  • Limited charging time of approximately 2 hours may require frequent charging
  • Funky animal motifs may limit the appeal to a specific age group or preference

4. Zink Polaroid Snap Instant Digital Camera

Zink Polaroid Snap Instant Digital Camera

Selfie Mirror:
Yes

Effective Still Resolution:
10 Megapixels 

Screen Size:
3 Inches

Item Weight:
13.4 Ounces


Brand:Zink
Model Number:POLSP01W
Video Capture Resolution:1080p
Form Factor:Compact
Item Dimensions:0.98 x 4.72 x 2.95 Inches

Suitable for older kids and teens, the Zink Polaroid Snap Instant Digital Camera has a lot going for it. Zink stands for ‘zero ink,’ making it possible to instantly print full-color smudge-proof images at the push of a button. Insert a microSD card (32G card included) to save your images instantly, but the 2-inches x 3-inches prints take under a minute to develop. They have an adhesive backing, so they are perfect for decorating scrapbooks, school lockers, or dorm rooms, among other surfaces. This camera has both rear-facing and selfie modes, and the self-timer feature lets you get in the shot, too. 

The Zink Polaroid Snap Instant Digital Camera takes pictures with a 10-megapixel resolution and can take up to 10 sheets of paper at a time. If you run out of paper, you can still use the camera; it will save all images to the microSD card. This camera has a rechargeable battery for convenience. It’s slim and compact, easy to pop into your bag for a day out, and the large buttons are easy to use. This camera doesn’t come with any additional accessories. 

Pros

  • Instantly print full-color, smudge-proof images with zero ink technology
  • MicroSD card included for instant image saving
  • Adhesive-backed prints are perfect for decoration purposes

Cons

  • Limited to 2-inches x 3-inches prints
  • No additional accessories included

5. Kodak Printomatic Instant Camera

Kodak Printomatic Instant Camera

Selfie Mirror:
Yes

Effective Still Resolution:
10 Megapixels 

Screen Size:
3 Inches

Item Weight:
13.1 Ounces


Brand:Zink
Model Name:Polaroid Snap Instant Digital Camera
Manufacturer:C&A Marketing, (Inc)
Item Dimensions:0.98 x 4.72 x 2.95 Inches
Date First Available:September 18, 2015

The Kodak Printomatic Instant Camera is a modern take on the classic instant camera, combining a 5MP sensor with a wide-angle f/2 lens to capture beautifully vibrant photos that truly stand out.

It uses ZINK (Zero Ink) technology, meaning you won’t need ink cartridges, as the paper contains heat-activated color crystals that create smudge-proof, water-resistant prints. Its user interface is very straightforward, making it perfect and easy for kids to use, while the overall design is lightweight and compact, making it easy to carry and take snapshots on the go.

It uses ZINK (Zero Ink) technology, meaning you won’t need ink cartridges, as the paper contains heat-activated color crystals that create smudge-proof, water-resistant prints. Its user interface is very straightforward, making it perfect and easy for kids to use, while the overall design is lightweight and compact, making it easy to carry and take snapshots on the go.

In conclusion, the Kodak Printomatic Instant Camera offers a delightful blend of modern convenience and instant print gratification.

Pros

  • Self-adhesive ZINK paper adds a charming and nostalgic touch
  • The straightforward controls and automatic flash simplify the picture-taking process
  • ZINK Technology

Cons

  • more experienced photographers may miss advanced settings and manual control over exposure and focus
  • The prints generated by Kodak Printomatic are generally smaller compared to traditional instant film

6. Polaroid Originals Now I-Type Instant Camera

 Polaroid Originals Now I-Type Instant Camera

Selfie Mirror:
Yes

Effective Still Resolution:
10 Megapixels 

Screen Size:
3 Inches

Item Weight:
13.1 Ounces


Brand:Polaroid Originals
Model Number:9028
Manufacturer:Polaroid Originals
Item Dimensions:4.4 x 3.7 x 5.9 Inches
Date First Available:March 26, 2020

The I-Type instant camera uses I-Type film, specifically designed with this camera model. This film incorporates the imaging chemicals and the battery necessary for the camera’s functionality, separating it from traditional Polaroid film packs.

The camera has auto-focus and auto-exposure capabilities, which will help kids and beginners capture photos much more effortlessly. For those who enjoy the occasional selfie, the self-timer feature is excellent for taking self-portraits or group shots. As with most instant cameras, this one has a built-in flash, but you can disable the flash if you want more creative control over lighting.

The camera’s user-friendly design, automatic features, and iconic instant photo format make it accessible to beginners and experienced photographers. The film packs for the Polaroid Originals Now I-Type Instant Camera can be relatively expensive, which may add to the camera’s overall cost.

Pros

  • Nostalgic appeal
  • User-friendly
  • Creative features

Cons

  • Limited manual control
  • Film costs are relatively expensive

Preserving Instant Camera Photos

People love digital cameras because preserving the thousands of photos you take is easy. Photos taken on an instant camera will require a little more effort, but it’s possible to preserve them, too. 

Because of the chemical reactions required to form your image, the chemicals can sometimes take time to develop and finish their reactions. It’s best to let photos sit flat and dry after you’ve printed them. Handle the instant photos carefully, especially while drying, by only touching the borders whenever you need to pick them up. You could smudge the photo or disrupt the chemical reactions if you touch the image. If you’ve purchased an instant camera for a young child, this is an important point to emphasize to them. 

Once they’ve dried, instant photos must be stored properly, too. Although it’s best to keep them flat, don’t store them stacked on each other. Please place them in an acid-free photo book and keep them in a safe place that’s dry and cool. Too much exposure to UV light or extreme heat can cause the film to deteriorate, as can a room with too much moisture in the air, such as an unfinished basement. 

Once your photo has finished drying, you might want to make a digital copy to keep, just in case. Some of the cameras on our list come with SD cards that automatically save your images so you can later upload them to your computer. If the camera you like doesn’t have this feature, you can also scan the image and store it on a hard drive or in cloud storage so that if anything happens to the original, you can still have a copy in your archives. 

Buyer’s Guide

Ease of Use

Read your camera’s manual carefully to make sure you are getting optimal functionality out of it. Some cameras have fun extra features like built-in frames or photo effects, so it’s good to understand how these extra features work. Some cameras are straightforward, have point-and-shoot capabilities, and are easy to master, while others might take some work. If you’re buying a camera for a young child, this is an important point to consider so the child can use the camera independently. 

Image Quality

The more megapixels, the higher resolution your images will be. Remember that these are inexpensive cameras for children, so the image quality will not be the same as in the latest iPhone. Most cameras on our list have between 10 and 12 megapixels, enough resolution to get good-quality images. 

Budget

Before looking at instant cameras for kids, decide what budget you’re comfortable with. Our list includes cameras at various price points, so there’s something to suit every budget, starting at under sixty dollars at one end of the scale and going up to less than 140 dollars at the higher end. 

Extra Accessories

Some cameras come with many accessories, and others come with none, but think about what you plan to use the camera for and whether or not accessories matter. Instant cameras for young children are more likely to come with accessories like stickers for decorating and a carry case and lanyard to keep the camera safe from little hands. Cameras intended for slightly older children may not come with as much. The only necessary accessories are a charging cable (if the camera is rechargeable) and photo paper for printing pictures. If your camera doesn’t come with printing paper and refills, you may want to purchase a set of refills simultaneously. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Do Instant Cameras Last?

If properly cared for, instant cameras can last long, although you must replace the photo printing paper. These refills are readily available on Amazon. Just be sure you buy the correct size to fit your camera! Some of the cameras on our list are designed for young children, and these cameras are more likely to be outgrown than worn out. 

Do Polaroids Need Ink?

Polaroids, and other instant cameras, use inkless technology. The no-mess printing process uses multi-layered thermal paper with magenta, yellow, and cyan dye crystals that activate when heat is applied. This process can take a while to develop fully, so leaving your photos lying flat is important to give the photo time to process the chemical reaction fully. 

Do Instax Polaroids Fade?

If not cared for properly, instant photos can fade. You can avoid this by leaving your photos lying flat long enough to fully develop and storing them properly in an acid-free photo book in a cool, dry place. 

Should You Shake Polaroids?

Contrary to what Outkast taught us on the dance floor, you should not shake modern Polaroid pictures. Shaking was initially encouraged when the instant picture technology was first developed, but as the technology improved, it became unnecessary. Today, shaking a Polaroid can damage the image. It’s best to let instant photos lie flat until fully dried. 

Update History

  • 23/06/2023 – Products refreshed, newly added pros and cons.
  • 22/08/2023 – New product and supplementary content added.

Leave a Comment