The Polaroid name lives on, synonymous with photo prints. Now Polaroid has integrated its PoGo portable instant printer into the body of a digital camera, in the form of the Polaroid PoGo Instant Digital Camera. It's yet to launch in the UK, but it's expected to launch here in April under the working title of the Polaroid 2 digital camera.
Unfortunately, we found the camera's design and image quality sorely lacking: the reborn, digital Polaroid Pogo Instant Digital Camera is reminiscent of the clunky, poor-quality devices of yesteryear that nonetheless made Polaroid a household name. It's a shame that this camera falls short: in concept, at least, the device is innovative. But poor imaging and unattractive design not unlike that of 1.1Mp cameras of a dozen years ago make the PoGo Instant Digital Camera a disappointment.
In size, shape, and weight, the boxy Instant Digital Camera closely matches the PoGo instant printer, only with an optical element on one side and the necessary buttons and LCD screen on the other. While the PoGo works well enough as a pocket-size printer, that same design fails miserably as a camera. It's very heavy compared with other point-and-shoot cameras, and it has poor ergonomics (no grip to hold on to, no logic to the placement or organisation of the keys).
The basic spec disappoints even more than the unit's physical design. This camera offers 5Mp, a count that's completely out of line with today's 10Mp norm for point-and-shoots. So from the start this digital camera is at a disadvantage, as it can't substitute for your regular one if you want to continue capturing high-quality images.
And the images we got from this camera underwhelmed, even when compared with 4Mp images from an old Canon point-and-shoot. Viewed on a computer, the Instant Digital Camera's photos lacked sufficient sharpness, colour accuracy, and detail. The camera has a variety of scene modes - fireworks, snow, and portrait among them - but given its image quality, we can't see why anyone who would go to the trouble of selecting scene modes (presumably, to capture a good picture) would want to use this camera. Curiously, the menus offer shooting tips under the different scene modes (for night shots, the tip suggests that you hold the camera steady).