The Ever Evolving World of Polaroid

John Moe May 4, 2010

One of our colleagues mentioned that Polaroid has a new instant camera out. I hadn’t heard about it so it was a bit like being told that new Betamax players were coming on to the market. But sure enough, the Polaroid 300 is now available in stores for about $90. Add in $10 for a 10-pack of film cartridges, each of which can take 10 pictures. (So you’re in for a dime a photo) (Good math, John).

But as I read up on this, what really caught my attention was the Impossible Project. Turns out that a couple years ago the Dutch factory where Polaroid film was made was about to be shut down and all the equipment destroyed but it was saved at the last minute because a “crazy Austrian entrepreneur” happened to be drinking beer in the right place at the right time. His group, The Impossible Project, bought the factory and continued production. Their film, a variation on the classic Polaroid film, is now being sold.

The whole thing reminds me a bit of our record store discussion the other day where a technology gets replaced but then reemerges as a niche product among enthusiasts. Just as a vinyl record enthusiast would argue that the physical medium is crucial to the enjoyment of the art it contains, so too I imagine the instant film enthusiast would argue the merits of holding a photograph in your hand instead of seeing it on Facebook.

Anyway, we’re going to see if we can get someone from The Impossible Project on in the next few days.

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