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Polaroid PoGo camera: Big, boxy, lots of fun

Despite any ongoing troubles with its parent company, Polaroid has no plans to curtail product plans for 2009.


People are still lamenting the passing of Polaroid Instant Film into history, but thanks to technology featured in its tiny portable PoGo printer launched in 2008, the company is offering a new shoot-and-print option: the Polaroid PoGo Instant Digital Camera. And despite its parent company's woes, Polaroid has no intention of curtailing product plans in 2009.

Plans for a 21st century Polaroid camera were announced in August 2008, but the product itself was announced at CES 2009.

The camera, which has a certain retro boxiness to it, is pretty big in comparison to most point-and-shoots with its camera specs. The 7-megapixel camera/printer measures 4.7 inches wide by 3 inches high by 1.3 inches deep and weighs 10 ounces--without paper, battery, or SD card. Keep in mind though: the original instant-print cameras didn't fit in a coat pocket, but this one does.

There's a 3-inch LCD on back and controls are simple. The only disappointment is the lack of an optical zoom, likely due to space constraints (there's a 4X digital zoom, though).

The camera uses Polaroid's Zink (zero ink) 2-by-3-inch paper. The LCD simply pops up, you insert a deck of 10 sheets, and you're ready to go. Shoot something you want to print? Hit the Print button on back, pick the photo, and press OK. In less than a minute you have a print.

I have had a chance to play around with the camera and I've got to say that it's a lot of fun, but definitely not for everyone. The print quality is just OK, which for a photo that small is fine (though I hope Polaroid can figure out how to do larger print sizes). Also, the camera itself is comparable with any other inexpensive 7-megapixel camera.

No pricing was announced, but I would guess it to be around $200 when it ships in spring 2009.