Polaroid Go is officially the world’s smallest analog instant camera and the new baby in the Polaroid series.
But small size doesn’t mean a new arrival is necessarily worse than a full size Polaroid now Both have a lot of features and shooting modes, and their design is very similar.
However, choosing a pair is not quite straightforward, as both have positive and negative sides that attract different photographers.
As we can see, the Polaroid Go is more portable, but Polaroid Now’s more familiar I-Type membrane is much more flexible. I saw two of them the best quick cameras compare against the head.
Polaroid Go vs. Polaroid Now: What’s Best for You?
Positioned side by side, it is impossible not to notice the huge difference between the full-size Polaroid Now and the compact Polaroid Go. The previous dimensions are 94x112x150mm (3.7×4.4×5.9in) and weight 434g without film packaging. Combined with the cube shape, it can be a little tricky to hold, especially for children.
The Polaroid Go sits comfortably with the palm of one hand 105x84x61mm (4.1×3.3×2.4in) and weighs 242g without a film pack. This is comfortably small enough to be used with one hand, and even fits in a jacket pocket for easy transport, so you’re more likely to carry it for a moment’s incentive than the big Polaroid Now.
2. The film
The scaled-down Polaroid Go has its own custom-type film, which is significantly smaller than the I-Type film used by the Polaroid Now. Each photo is 6.7×5.4 cm (2.6×2.1 inches) and has a 4.7 x 4.6 cm (1.9 x 1.8 inches) image area.
Larger I-Type photos measure 10.7×8.8 cm (4.2×3.4 inches) and have an image area of 7.9×7.7 cm (3.1×3.0 inches). The I-Type is one of the largest snapshot formats currently on sale.
Each film package contains eight images, but the Go film is currently only available in double packs and costs around £ 19 / $ 20 and can only be purchased as a color film. The I-Type model is sold in both colors and monochrome, and has several different border colors. Each pack costs around £ 15 / $ 16, and a variety of multi-pack deals offer a small discount per photo.
One of the special features of Polaroid Now is the autofocus, which takes a lot of guesswork out of an instant movie. Most other entry-level instant cameras use fixed focus or can manually switch between distance and close-up. A half-press of the shutter-release button switches between vertical and horizontal lens elements before a full press actually takes a picture, and it should ensure that the final image is accurate and detailed.
This function did not cut the Polaroid Go, which fits a fixed-focus, two-element lens. It is calibrated to focus on subjects with a length of 0.5 m, which mainly excludes close-ups and macro photography. It also means you need to keep the camera as far away from yourself as possible when taking a selfie to avoid a blurry final image.
At first glance, both Polaroids look very similar: each has a forward-facing lens and flash, as well as an iconic “mouth” from which photos are removed. They also have the same angle shape, with a protruding viewfinder and a backward power button, as well as a digital counter that lights up when you turn them on.
However, there are differences in the layout. The Now shutter button is located on the front with a separate self-timer button and is not particularly ergonomic. The go shutter-release button is at the top, and the self-timer function is included in the flash control button. It’s much more comfortable to hold in one or two hands, and it makes sure you don’t accidentally block the flash with your fingers.
The Now movie box opens at the touch of a button, while the Go has a sliding latch that swivels out of the bottom of the camera. Both have the same microUSB charging port on the side and have a function LED that indicates when the camera has a full battery.
Currently, the Polaroid Go is only available in white, and the brand’s iconic five-color stripe and red power button add to the personality. Meanwhile, Now is available in a huge variety of ten color combinations.
5. Image quality
Both Go and Now produce square aspect ratio images that evolve in about 10-15 minutes. Color reproduction is similar between the two film types because they have the same chemical development process, but that does not mean that the image quality is identical.
The larger Polaroid Now (above) copes better with bright sunlight, avoiding overexposure even when shooting toward the sun. It’s not infallible, and direct sunlight still blows the picture, but the results are often more useful here than they might be on the move.
Indoors, both cameras rely on the flash to expose the flash, which is essential in virtually any lighting condition if you want to avoid leaving your subject in the dark. Although both use a vacuum-discharge flash, the Polaroid Now has a very slightly larger flash chamber. The differences are small, but the larger camera has a very small edge here.
Despite being a year older than its little brother, Polaroid Now has a very similar price tag to Go. Now alone costs $ 99.99 / £ 119.99 / $ 229.95, while a Go ticket is $ 99.99 / £ 109.99 / $ 199.95.
However, this does not include the movie packages that are obviously essential for all new Polaroid users. If you buy directly from Polaroid, the Polaroid Now Starter Kit (which includes two color film packs and one monochrome pack) costs $ 144.99 / $ 160.99, or in Australia you can simply get a free film pack when you buy now.
At the time of writing, Polaroid’s official website currently has a list of Polaroid Go starter packs for $ 119.99 / £ 128.99 including two movie packs. In Australia, the Starter series is not currently available, so you will need to purchase a dual-pack film for $ 36.95.
Go movie packages are also currently only available directly from Polaroid, although this is likely to change once the original batch of Go pre-orders has arrived in customers ’hands.
Polaroid Go vs. Polaroid Now: What Should You Buy?
Polaroid failed to squeeze all the features of Polaroid Now into a smaller Go shape factor – that’s why both cameras exist as different options.
Thanks to autofocus and a more powerful flash, Now is slightly more user-friendly than the two cameras. We are also a fan of its larger print size. But it’s also worth asking yourself if it can be bigger in shape, can limit how many times you reach it, or whether you take it on trips.
If you’re looking for a quick camera that you can take on a trip or give to kids, then a small Polaroid Go is probably a better choice for you – and in the long run could work a little cheaper when you consider a smaller film at a lower cost.