Polaroid instant cameras conjure up images of bell bottoms and avocado-coloured appliances from the boom days of the 1970s. You can get in on the retro wave with the new Polaroid Z340 Instant Digital Camera.
The Z340 pretty much takes the original Polaroid concept and updates it. It's a 14-megapixel camera with a 2.7-inch LCD and an integrated printer that spits out 3x4-inch colour prints.
The printer part uses ink-less printing technology from Zink Imaging. The special Zink paper has embedded dye crystals with a polymer overcoat for protection. Heat activates the crystals to form the image.
Polaroid has dipped its toes into the instant digital camera waters before. The C-211Z came out in 2000 with a US$799 price tag, but sunk into tech oblivion. It didn't help that it cost US$1 per print to use the contraption.
Prices have improved a little. A pack of 30 Zink sheets for the Z340 costs US$19.99.
Lady Gaga unveiled a preview of Polaroid's efforts at CES early this year. She sported some Polaroid shades and showed off the Gaga-inspired GL30 Instant Digital Camera. The GL30 didn't appear as promised, but we now have the Z340 available instead.
The Z340 is a little on the chunky side, weighing 680 grams. It costs AU$399.95 ($100 more than the US retail price) and gives you up to 25 prints on a battery charge.
Weight and pricing aside, this is really all about instant gratification and revelling in the retro without having to hunt down original Polaroid film or wear a beige polyester turtleneck.