Polaroid was once famous for it’s snap-and-print cameras – those old versions that spat out little photograph slips that you had to wave around to encourage the chemical layers to activate. Polaroid has never forgotten this, and from time to time releases a new version of this insta-printing…like right now, as it gets ready to ship the Touch. The Touch may not be one of the best digital cameras under $200, but it is one of the most unique, especially if you like printed photographs.
First, the Touch does get points for being a slim pocket camera that includes a 3.5-inch touchscreen and, thank the camera gods, a Bluetooth sensor – which allows you to send the pictures digital as well as print them out of the camera itself. Yes, the pictures really do pop out of the side in tiny, business card format. The Bluetooth even lets you send pictures from other devices, treating the camera as a mini photo printer, which we have to admit is pretty cool. The sensor is also surprisingly adept, a 13-megapixel version that includes 1080p video capabilities. You can also switch between a variety of different modes, add filters or borders, and increase storage with a microSD slot.
The price, however, is a sticky issue. The camera sells for $180, which is pretty normal for a middle-ground digital phone. However, printing requires special ZINK papers that cost $10 a bundle, so this camera has an ongoing cost element to it as well – something we’re just not used to these days.
The question that we’ve been asking about the Touch is, ultimately, “Do people still actually like printed photographs?” Instagram has never been more popular. Grandmas are using Facebook. When it comes to demand, we’ve mentioned artistic collages and scrapbooking as potential outlets – but do you think that’s still enough for the Touch to sell, especially at that price?