The Polaroid Go is officially the smallest analog instant camera on the planet and the new baby of the Polaroid line.
More being small does not mean that the new arrival is necessarily smaller than the full-size Polaroid Now of 2020. The two share many quirks and shooting modes, as well as having a very similar design.
However, choosing between the two is not exactly easy, as each of them has positive and negative aspects that will appeal to different genres of photographers.
As we will discover Polaroid Go is more portable, plus the more familiar I-Type film from Polaroid Now is considerably more flexible. Here's how you compare two of the best instant cameras in one.
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Polaroid Go vs Polaroid Now: which one is better for you?
Placed side by side, it's impossible not to notice the huge difference in dimensions between the full-size Polaroid Now and the small Polaroid Go. The former measures 94x112x150mm (3.7 × 4.4 × 5.9in) and weighs 434g without a film pack inserted. Combined with the cubic shape, it can be a bit bulky to hold, especially for children.
The Polaroid Go fits happily in the palm of a hand at 105 x 84 x 61mm (4,1 x 3,3 x 2,4 inches) and weighs 242g without a film pack. It's small enough for one-handed use and even slides into a jacket pocket for easy portability, making it more likely to carry around for snapshots than the bulky Polaroid Now.
The reduced Polaroid Go has its own custom film type which is significantly smaller than the Type I film used by Polaroid Now. Each photo measures 6,7 x 5,4 inches (2,6 x 2,1 cm) and has an image area of 4,7 x 4,6 inches (1,9 x 1,8 cm).
The largest Type I photos measure 10,7 x 8,8 cm (4,2 x 3,4 inches), with an image area of 7,9 x 7,7 cm (3,1 x 3,0 inches). ). I-Type is one of the largest instant film formats currently on sale.
Each film pack comes with eight shots, but the Go film is currently only available in a double pack, costs around €19 / €20, and can only be purchased as a color film. I-Type is sold in color and monochrome, with a range of different border colours. Each pack costs around €15/€16, with various multi-pack deals offering a slight discount per photo.
One of the most notable features of Polaroid Now is autofocus which takes a lot of the guesswork out of instant film. Most other entry-level instant cameras use fixed focus or have a manual way of switching between remote and close-up shooting. Pressing the shutter button halfway toggles between portrait and landscape lens elements, before a full press actually takes the shot, and should ensure the final image is sharp and detailed.
This feature didn't make the cut for the Polaroid Go which is content with a two element fixed focus lens. It is calibrated to focus on subjects as close as 0,5m, which largely excludes close-ups and macro photography. It also means that you should keep the camera as far away from you as possible when taking a selfie, to avoid a blurry final image.
At first sight, the two polaroids look very similar: each one has a front lens and flash in this way like the iconic « mouth » where the photos are ejected. They also have the same angular shape with a protruding viewfinder and rear-facing power button, plus a digital output counter that lights up when you turn them on.
However, there are some design differences. Now's trigger is located at the front with the dedicated self-timer button and isn't particularly ergonomic. The Go's shutter button is on the top edge and the self-timer function has been integrated into the button that controls the flash. It's much more comfortable to hold, either with one or 2 hands, and prevents you from accidentally blocking the flash with your fingers.
The Now movie drawer opens with a release button, while the Go has a sliding hatch that opens from the bottom of the chamber. They both have the same microUSB charging port on the side, however with an activity LED to let you know when the camera is full.
Right now, the Polaroid Go is only available in white, with the brand's unique five-color stripe and red power button adding some personality. The Now, on the other hand, is available in ten different color combinations.
5 Picture quality
Produces square format images that take approximately 10 to 15 minutes to develop. Color reproduction is similar between the two types of film as they share the same chemical development process, but this does not mean that image quality is the same.
The larger Polaroid Now (above) resists sunlight better, avoiding overexposure even when shooting towards the sun. It's not foolproof and direct sunlight will always make your images pop, but the results are often more useful here than on the fly.
Indoors, both cameras use a flash to expose the scene, and that's essential in virtually any lighting condition if you want to avoid leaving subjects in the dark. Although they both use a vacuum discharge flash bulb, the Polaroid Now has a slightly larger flash chamber. The differences are minimal, but the larger camera has a slight advantage here.
Although it's a year older than its little brother, the Polaroid Now is priced very similarly to the Go. On its own, the Now costs €99.99 / €119.99 / €229.95, compared to the €99.99 / €109,99 / €199,95 Go tag.
However, this does not include film packs which are obviously essential for anyone new to Polaroid. If you buy directly from Polaroid, the Polaroid Now Starter Kit (which includes two color film packs and one monochrome pack) is €144.99 / €160.99 or in Australia you can get a free film pack when you buy Now.
Packages movies for Go are currently only available direct from Polaroidthough that's likely to change once the initial batch of Go pre-orders hit customers' hands.
Polaroid Go vs Polaroid Now: What Should You Buy?
Polaroid hasn't managed to squeeze all of the Polaroid Now features into the Go's smaller form factor, which is why the two cameras exist as separate options.
Thanks to the inclusion of autofocus and a stronger flash, Now is somewhat easier to use of the two cameras. We're also fans of its larger print size. But it's also worth considering whether its larger form factor might limit the number of times you reach it or take it on the road.
If you're looking for an instant camera that you can take on a trip or gift to little ones, the little Polaroid Go is probably the best option for you, and one might be a bit cheaper in the long run, by the time you learn how to use it. counts in the lowest cost of your smallest movie.