And the Winner of: The Most Useless Tech Gadget of 2012, Goes To The Polaroid Z340 Instant Camera

If you’re over the age of forty like me, you’re old enough to remember the original Polaroid instant camera.  Back before the days of digital cameras and photo printers that connect to your PC and print photo quality prints, back in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s we took pictures on film cameras and then had to wait hours, days or weeks for the prints to be developed by our local film lab.

Back in those days, pre-home PC, there was only one camera that could provide you with an instant print of a picture minutes after you’ve captured it and that was the Polaroid Instamatic Camera.

I still recall the first time I took a picture with my Dad’s Polaroid, grabbing the print as it popped out of the front of the camera and then starring at the gray glossy surface until magically the image began to appear – its was Incredible! (of course that was 1974)

With the advent of the digital cameras and smart phones with LCD screens to capture and share images instantly the need and demand for instant photograph prints seemed to have gone away with the 8-track, cassette and VHS player … at least up until now.

This spring Polaroid announced there are bringing back the instant print camera, reinvented for the digital age.

The Polaroid Z340 is a full function 14 Megapixel digital camera with built in, integrated ZINK printer delivering instant 3×4 inch, ink-free prints using Zero Ink Print Technology (ZINK).  Unlike the Polaroid prints of the past that emerged from the camera and then developed before your eyes, the ZINK prints will emerge fully developed and protected by a smudge-proof and water-resistant coating.

The Z340 has a 2.7 inch LCD screen and will be powered by a lithium-ion rechargeable battery capable of printing up to 25 photos and 75 image captures.  On board editing functions will allow users to crop photos and add boarders before printing.

The Polaroid Z340 instant digital camera sells for $299.99 with no mention of what the consumables will cost or price per print.

From a nostalgia point of view I see the new Polaroid selling a couple of units but in the digital age of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram not to mention cameras, tablets and phones all equipped with LCD screens that shoot instant pictures and high definition movies, is there really a market for an Instant Print Camera … and if so who exactly needs a Polaroid Camera in 2012?  Really … Who is going to buy these ?

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