Polaroid Pic-300

Polaroid Pic-300

Instax Mini format | 35mm equiv. F12.7 lens | Auto exposure control

What we like:

  • Very affordable
  • Easy to operate
  • Small and lightweight
  • Accurate shooting mode indicator

What we don't:

  • No exposure compensation
  • Unsophisticated auto exposure
  • Flash always fires
  • No macro mode
  • Fixed focus
The Polaroid Pic-300 is an entry-level instant camera that uses the Instax Mini format. There are no special features or accessories to speak of on this camera, making it the most bare-bones offering on the market.
The rounded, bubbly exterior gives the camera a look similar to that of a late 90's Ford family sedan. Despite its questionable aesthetic, the camera is pretty comfortable to hold, reasonably light and reassuringly constructed. Powered by four AA batteries, the Pic-300 is meant to be used in the vertical orientation with the shutter located on the front - for some, this will take getting use to.
The flash always fires, regardless of which mode is used
The only real feature this camera offers is the ability to choose a shooting mode: Indoor/Dark, Shadow/Cloud, Fine (partial sun), Clear (direct sun). A green LED lights up next to the mode the camera thinks is best, and users have the ability to switch to that mode or not. There's no info LCD, but a small wheel on back displays the number of shots left.
Changing the shooting mode simply stops the lens down further to adjust for additional light, which is good because the shutter on the Pic-300 is fixed at 1/60 sec. It's also worth noting that the flash always fires, regardless of which mode is used: it has a max range of 2.7 m / 8.9 ft. The focus is also fixed to one position, giving it a range of 0.6 m / 2 ft to infinity. However, shots taken at infinity look slightly soft.
From a technical and feature standpoint, the Pic-300 is the least sophisticated instant camera available. This is not to say you can't get good images out of it, but there are better options available for the money.
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