Polaroid photography is back from the dead!

I recently saw  the movie Memento, whose protagonist had his ability to form long term memory destroyed by a brain trauma. The guy remembers his early life but any new memory fades in minutes. Unfazed, since he is out on a mission of vengeance, he compensates by writing notes to his future self on scraps of paper and as tattoos on his body; and when he meets a person he takes out his Polaroid camera, produces a photo, and – before he forgets – writes on its back notes like “Don’t believe his lies” or “He’s the one. Kill him!”

It’s a fascinating movie, and makes you think a good deal about issues of memory, mind, and self; one other thought that came to me was that if he’d been doing it today, the hero would be at a loss – because Polaroid instant photography gear production died with a whimper last year, a victim to Digital Cameras.

Apart from amnesiac vigilantes, the demise of Polaroid cameras was a loss to us all. Sure, digital cameras are great, and have added many fascinating usage models to our life (think snapping a shot on a cellphone and sending it to a friend in a jiffy), but crowding with the friends you snapped around a tiny LCD screen is a far cry from the excitement of passing a high-resolution hardcopy photo around…

Polaroid PoGo cameraSo I was delighted to see here the news of the Polaroid PoGo 5 Megapixel camera. Going with “if you can’t beat them, join them”, Polaroid is releasing this month a digital camera that produces instant color prints on its patented ZINK paper. I doubt that this will become widely used – for one thing, it’s bound to be rather expensive – but at least the instant usage model will be available to those who need it, or who just enjoy the fun. And there’s a kind of justice in it being Polaroid corporation that is making this heir to its past flagship product…

2 Responses to “Polaroid photography is back from the dead!”

  1. 1 charlie

    this camera was also used in the movie “yes man” with jim carey, just not to the extent that it was used in memento. i was taken aback because we had scoured all the stores a couple of years ago to purchase all the polaroid film in my local area. i hadn’t realized that there was another product that could do instant hardcopy pictures out now.

  2. 2 Paul

    Polaroid has burned some bridges with consumers with the release and then retraction of instant film formats. I swore not to buy another Polaroid camera after the iZone or whatever it was called was starved for film. Yes it was a toy but a fun toy. Swearing off and all aside, there is a need for this here and there and I’d take a look.

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