Polaroid announces ILCs: The sign they've gone mainstream

/ Updated: January 8, 2013 12:32 PM PST
Polaroid's ILCs have an interesting, cost-saving design. Lori Grunin/CNET

LAS VEGAS--A not-very-well-kept-secret of the new year, Polaroid is lending its name to a Sakar-manufactured series of interchangeable-lens cameras. One model, the Nikon CX-mount-size iM386, also runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, making it potentially the first ILC to do so (I say "potentially" because Polaroid never shipped the last Android "first" it announced last year this time). That model is based around a sensor the same size as Nikon's 1 series of ILCs, with the same 2.7x focal-length magnifier ratio; the non-Android iM1030 and iM1232 are based on a Micro Four Thirds mount. There will be adapters for APS-C mounts as well.

The big deal is that Polaroid's cameras will, unsurprisingly, be relatively cheap: $349 for either type. The company thinks that ILCs have become sufficiently mainstream that the world is ready for these more commoditized versions. Given how much of small-sensor image quality depends on image processing, it will be interesting to see if these can manage better-than-point-and-shoot quality (or speed).

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Where to Buy

Polaroid iM1836 (Black)

Part Number: IM1836-BLK

MSRP: $399.00

See manufacturer website for availability.