In the summer of 2009 I picked the wrong time to start my Polaroid obsession since the film would be discontinued later that year. Sure film is still around at 10 shots for $20+ a pack and it's getting a little better since the Impossible Project started remaking the instant film at a snails pace (8 shots for $14+). Needless to say when I read about the release of the new Polaroid 300, I was more then intrigued and even tho there has been mixed reviews, most of those reviews are from people that don't give two shits about the old style Polaroids so I just had to see for myself.
Unlike the classic Polaroids with the iconic square format, the Polaroid 300 camera takes an odd business card sized film which begs the question, "why the hell the small size?" The camera is ugly and doesn't come close to resembling any of the classic Polaroid cameras, in fact, the camera was designed by Fujifilm and Polaroid just rebranded it. The body is made of decent quality plastic, however the camera is very rounded and slippery (it likes to glide across tables and crash to the floor if you don't set it down gently). My Polaroid camera of choice is the SX-70 which allows manual adjustment of exposure and the option NOT to have a flash go off. The new 300 series has a flash that will fire no matter the setting, which includes 4 odd choices: indoor, cloudy, fine & clear. The fine and clear settings totally baffle me. The "clear" setting is for bright sun, however all my shots were way over exposed on this setting when shooting in bright sunlight (and no I wasn't shooting into the sun). I went through a whole pack of film (10 shots for $10) just testing the lighting conditions. I found this camera to be very finicky even more so then the SX-70. As for the colors, I'd have to say they're a little off with the 300 and you don't get that amazing vignetting effect or the vivid color saturation of the square format Polaroids.
My old 1970's era SX-70 is still by far the best choice for Polaroids and probably always will be (unless Lady Gaga actually does something worth while as creative director). But until Polaroid or the Impossible Project start making affordable film for the old school cameras, the new 300 will be my temporary fix for instant gratification.