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Polaroid: This Time It's Digital

Soulskill posted about 3 years ago | from the who-doesn't-enjoy-voluminous-gadgets dept.

Printer 176

MrSeb writes "Long before Facebook and Twitpic, photos were shared by simply handing someone a print. No camera made this easier than the once-ubiquitous Polaroid. Nothing represented instant gratification better in the film era than having a print develop before your eyes, ready to hand out in a minute. Unfortunately for Polaroid, the advent of digital photography sounded the death knell for its iconic instant print cameras. A brief reprieve in the form of inexpensive sticker-printing versions was ended by the cellphone camera revolution. Now, after a decade in remission, Polaroid has returned with a full-up digital camera that incorporates instant printing technology. The Polaroid Z340 is a 14MP digital with an integrated Zink-enabled (Zero Ink) printer. In a nostalgic touch, the new camera prints 3×4-inch images, the same size as the original Polaroid film cameras. Remarkably, all this fits in a one-pound, seven-ounce package, about the same weight as a mid-range DSLR."

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What about a film polaroid (3, Interesting)

jbolden (176878) | about 3 years ago | (#37993382)

That sounds good and I'm glad they're back. Though I wonder if coming back with an old fashioned analog polaroid might not sell as well. "The polaroid" was a name for a type of picture, a digital print isn't going to feel that unique.

Re:What about a film polaroid (1)

hedwards (940851) | about 3 years ago | (#37993402)

I'm surprised that anybody's trying this. I remember Kodak trying something similar a decade or so back with a dual digital film camera. Arguably that makes more sense as film does have some advantages over purely digital.

This OTOH brings very little to the party that an eyeFi and wireless printer doesn't.

Re:What about a film polaroid (3, Funny)

muridae (966931) | about 3 years ago | (#37993622)

Other than a printer that doesn't use ink or ribbon cartridges? That should be the real lead to this story "Dead camera company brings ink-less printer to market, attaches overpriced camera to it to make sure they keep their name."

Re:What about a film polaroid (3, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 3 years ago | (#37993868)

Unfortunately, 'ZINK' is "zero ink" in the sense that "the necessary dyes or precursors are embedded in our unique proprietary paper and then heat-activated by the printer".

Technologically speaking, 'ZINK' is substantially more advanced than your basic monochrome thermal printer, as seen in most label and receipt printers everywhere, and I give their tech guys full credit; but I cannot help but be extremely unimpressed by the likely value proposition of a printer where you have to buy the manufacturer's proprietary paper(and in the correct size for your mobile gimmick widget, unless you feel like doing some cutting). At present the stuff isn't cheap and either due to limited market or patents on the paper technology, no generic compatibles appear to exist...

Re:What about a film polaroid (4, Informative)

syousef (465911) | about 3 years ago | (#37995402)

At present the stuff isn't cheap and either due to limited market or patents on the paper technology, no generic compatibles appear to exist...

Nor are they likely to....

http://www.zink.com/how-zink-works [zink.com]
"ZINK was developed over several years and has generated an IP portfolio that includes over 100 patents and patents pending"

There's more on the page about patents and registered trademarks than the tech itself. Tell me again how IP law encourages creativity? This will be tied up for decades, which won't allow it to take off.

Re:What about a film polaroid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37995980)

There's more on the page about patents and registered trademarks than the tech itself. Tell me again how IP law encourages creativity? This will be tied up for decades, which won't allow it to take off.

Maybe they wouldn't have bothered to develop the technology in the first place without knowing that IP laws would prevent someone else from ripping off their process and selling the same paper at half price?

Seems like this is actually a good example of how IP laws do encourage creativity.

Re:What about a film polaroid (2)

heinousjay (683506) | about 3 years ago | (#37996290)

There is a (large? certainly vocal) group of people on this site who believe that "innovation" means "I get to use everyone's work" and that a system that encourages people to come up with their own solutions to problems is somehow stifling creativity.

One has to assume a misapprehension of simple definitional reality this blatant is deliberate cognitive dissonance.

Re:What about a film polaroid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37996356)

Wouldn't it be nice if you actually were allowed to come up with your own solutions without risk of being sued for patent infringement? Unfortunately the current patent regime doesn't work like that.

Re:What about a film polaroid (2)

the_fat_kid (1094399) | about 3 years ago | (#37995558)

did you ever have one of those Polaroid instant cameras? Ever buy the SX-70 film/battery packs for it?
I remember 10 or 12 pictures to a pack at a cost of dollars per picture.
I'm sure that the "Special" paper will be a similar deal and take off like a lead ballon, but it's been the way Polaroid does business for a long time now.
It's also the kind of thinking that will probably not pave a golden future for the company.

now, get the hell off of my lawn.

Re:What about a film polaroid (1)

jbolden (176878) | about 3 years ago | (#37995922)

This story made me look on ebay. The cameras are essentially free and you can get Fuji film for about a dollar a picture....

Re:What about a film polaroid (5, Informative)

icebike (68054) | about 3 years ago | (#37993714)

Not only are some trying it, but Polaroid is not alone.

The linked site contains a link to Zero Ink, which shows other products on the market.
Some of them, like the Tomy Xaio look a little more appealing than the Polaroid.
http://www.zink.com/TOMY-xiao [zink.com]

I suspect there is a market for this, but probably not in digitally savvy countries where
everyone has a smartphone and can email the picture and put it on facebook before the
Polaroid can even print out a single copy.

Presumably these devices retain a digital image, so that capability may be added
just in time for the whole idea to go bust again.

The United States isn't so "digitally savvy" (1)

tepples (727027) | about 3 years ago | (#37995752)

I suspect there is a market for this, but probably not in digitally savvy countries where everyone has a smartphone and can email the picture and put it on facebook before the Polaroid can even print out a single copy.

Except the United States market isn't so "digitally savvy". Here, a typical smartphone plan runs $70 per month, and even the cheapest plans from Virgin Mobile are $35 per month, compared to dumbphone plans that start at $7 per month. Someone who doesn't print a lot of photos might come out ahead by buying a dumbphone and a separate printing camera as opposed to a smartphone.

now I just need an esper (2)

nounderscores (246517) | about 3 years ago | (#37996698)

Also it's so that Roy Batty can chew out Leon for leaving behind his precious photos.

Re:What about a film polaroid (5, Insightful)

badboy_tw2002 (524611) | about 3 years ago | (#37993724)

Its what you DON'T bring to the party that matters - that is, a wireless printer. Instant printing has a niche at some types of events, so I can see this filling that. Sure, you can bring a printer with you. You could also bring a laptop with you. That isn't the point of this.

Re:What about a film polaroid (1)

hedwards (940851) | about 3 years ago | (#37995318)

Yes and in the process you add bulk an an additional component that can break down. Plus, you're limited to a tiny print compared with a small printer. There may very well be a niche, but I can't imagine it being a worthwhile endeavor in that form factor.

Done in 60 seconds and you still want it enlarged (2)

tepples (727027) | about 3 years ago | (#37995766)

Plus, you're limited to a tiny print compared with a small printer.

As I understand it, you can enlarge a digital photo later on a full-size printer.

Re:What about a film polaroid (1)

jrmcferren (935335) | about 3 years ago | (#37994152)

Kodak may not have, but Olympus and Polaroid teamed up to made The Olympus C211 camera which is similar to what is being discussed in the article, but used Polaroid film and an optical printer instead.

Re:What about a film polaroid (1)

jbolden (176878) | about 3 years ago | (#37995910)

The name Polaroid and many decades of being used for candids. Polaroid has instant credibility as the company for instant pictures. Having the two things connected creates the immediacy which is different than:

take picture -> go home to printer -> get supplies -> print on right paper -> show of pictures.

They missed the memo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37993496)

regarding the last 20 years of technology. Hope they make it, but can't see how this will work well for the consumer.

Re:What about a film polaroid (3, Informative)

uniquename72 (1169497) | about 3 years ago | (#37993756)

There already is an analog Polaroid available. Its called the impossible project, and their store in Vienna was packed when I was there a few weeks ago.

Re:What about a film polaroid (1)

iamhassi (659463) | about 3 years ago | (#37993784)

I have to agree, I'm glad to see another instant Polaroid, but $300 + $20 paper? Seems like the camera should be $99 and they could make the money off the paper.

I'd buy it for $99 and I'm sure I'd end up buying more paper than I'm willing to admit, but at $300 I will never buy this camera. Ever. $300 is a brand new top-of-the-line smartphone, why would I spend that kind of $$$$ on a camera with "poor image quality"? [extremetech.com] A $300 smartphone would take better photos AND I can instantly post them online and send them to a wireless printer.

Here's a video of it in action [youtube.com]

I want to like it, but the $300 price is all wrong.

Re:What about a film polaroid (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 3 years ago | (#37993894)

Yeah, the cost is out of control. $300 gets you a nice point-and-shoot. $20 gets you over 60 instant prints from the machine at Walgreens/CVS and over 200 prints at Snapfish.

Re:What about a film polaroid (1)

timeOday (582209) | about 3 years ago | (#37996136)

Wait, what's this about $20 paper? It's $4.67 for 30 sheets [amazon.com] at amazon. (No doubt it will be 3x that at any National Park, just like the good old days :) A camera is $180 [amazon.com] , or $39 [amazon.com] for a standalone pocket-sized printer.

I don't suppose I'll run out and buy one, since I have no use for prints anyways. Actually I agree they should be able to do a $100 camera if the printer is only $39. But even so the prices don't seem unreasonable, if somebody wanted the capability.

Re:What about a film polaroid (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 3 years ago | (#37994120)

Hell its even worse than that. Everybody here knows the niche for something like that would be parties, where you could just snap off a pic of friends and hand it to them. well this thing only lets you print 25 pics and then the printer part, the ONLY real selling point this thing has because as your link explains it isn't even as good a picture as the newer smartphones, is kaput. dead, toast.

WTF good is that? 25 pics? sure it says it can also save another 75 in memory before it goes completely dead, but if all you wanted to do was save you'd have just point a $70 Olympus or just used your smartphone.

Sorry Polaroid, and this is from someone that loved your old "zebra cam" 70s model and still has his grandma's fold up unit in a closet but $300 for a cam that can only do 25 shots on a charge just don't cut it, especially not with $25 film. I agree at $99 it might have found a niche but I bet at $300 this thing will be on Woot! in a year for less than a hundred bucks, but good luck finding the film by then.

Re:What about a film polaroid (1)

jbolden (176878) | about 3 years ago | (#37995936)

I agree $300 is much too high. Especially since you can get a real Polaroid for almost nothing on ebay plus the film is still about the same price...

Re:What about a film polaroid (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 3 years ago | (#37996034)

Brand new top of the line smartphone is 600+. Anything below this is a subsidy which you pay in monthly installments.

Re:What about a film polaroid (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | about 3 years ago | (#37995568)

This is a slashvertisement... and I'm okay with it. I really am. I have a very, very old Polaroid that probably doesn't work, but it sits on a shelf in my room just because it looks so fucking cool. Kids will be able to know the joy of instant photography again! Hooray!

I really hope more companies do stuff like this. Take a look at some of the greatest bits of culture and technology we've ever had (but have become obsolete) and apply modern technology to make it fit in today's world.

Missing necessary utility. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37993390)

But can it post those images to Facebook or Twitpic?

Missing the point. (5, Informative)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | about 3 years ago | (#37993500)

You're missing the point. With the total lack of privacy online and the risk of leakage of so-called "private" pictures, it's about time for a camera that can print real pictures on impulse.

A real-life example - many years ago, My girlfriend and I used a Polaroid to manufacture child pornography of ourselves and some of our friends (we were all 15 at the time). It was a crime most heinous, but high-school kids don't deserve to be charged and have their lives ruined because of it.

But Ethanol, why not just have them printed at a drugstore?

I was a film developer at a drugstore. All images are archived (yes, even at the "print your own" kiosks) and every picture on a roll of film is seen by the developer, because we have to manually correct for CMY, density, and a host of other factors for maximum customer satisfaction - which means that your trick of taking a few "normal" pics followed by a bunch of nudes and finally more "normal" pics doesn't keep your dirty secrets from us. Fortunately, I saw a lot of nudes but never saw anything questionable.

Re:Missing the point. (1)

icebraining (1313345) | about 3 years ago | (#37993554)

You don't need to upload the pictures to print them... Nowadays you can even print them directly from the camera, without a PC acting as a middle man.

Re:Missing the point. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37993582)

I knew a guy in college. Kind of scumbag, probably in jail now (or fabulously wealthy). Anyhow, he had a part time job calibrating the kiosks but made bank selling some of the more interesting pictures to various adult magazines (this was before every dick, rod, and peter had internet porn).

Re:Missing the point. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37993624)

No, you're missing the point of the OP - people share photos electronically; either online or show them on an electronic device. Most people don't have our concerns about privacy or they're completely ignorant of it.

And when they do print there are much better ways of doing it than this product.

Polaroid will yet again fail.

Question (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37993902)

Would you consider selling those pics you speak of? I would't mind seeing a pic of you boning your hot girlfriend. Do you have any "facials"? You know, you dumping your hot teen load all over your chick's face? Does she blow you? Suck your balls? Any "cream pie" shots? I'll pay bonus if she shaves her snatch.

Re:Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37994352)

Sorry, there's nothing really hot, in fact, nobody knew what a "creampie" was and only the sluts shaved their snatches or were on birth control at that age back then.

I can tell you that the pictures described above were 2 Polaroids of tits and 2 Polaroids of cocks, no actual sex. Later, when we were 17, 2 other couples joined my (different)girlfriend and I and we all had sex with each other in my friend's attic while her father slept downstairs. The only decent pic to come out of that was me copulating with my girlfriend, but there were no juicy close-ups found in professional porn. That girl and I later used her parents' VHS camcorder to record our porno onto an old Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cassette, but again there were no creative angles and I was pathetically limp with stage fright. We watched it once, then drove out to the country and broke it before throwing it into a lake.

The first pornographic video I made after I was 18 was using a webcam. It was very good and included a loud unprotected internal ejaculation, but the chick made me edit out the parts that made her "look fat." We were going to release it all over the internet but she freaked out after I told her Igot high on coke and showed it to all my friends, including one with Downs syndrome. I've only made one more vid since then - a decent but typical bedside video taken with a digital camera.

I am not in possession of any of the above, and to my knowledge nobody possesses them anymore. So sorry, until I can find a free-spirited woman who is okay with my idea of a Slashdot-themed porn video, the link to which will be first-posted to a future story, none of you will see my cock. I'm working on it, ladies.

-- Ethanol-fueled

Kids these days (0)

DragonHawk (21256) | about 3 years ago | (#37995352)

Later, when we were 17, 2 other couples joined my (different)girlfriend and I and we all had sex with each other in my friend's attic while her father slept downstairs. ... That girl and I later used her parents' VHS camcorder to record our porno onto an old Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cassette ... We watched it once, then drove out to the country and broke it before throwing it into a lake.

Dude, that's disgusting. Where are your morals? I mean, really. Polluting a lake like that.

Re:Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37995392)

I am not in possession of any of the above, and to my knowledge nobody possesses them anymore. So sorry, until I can find a free-spirited woman who is okay with my idea of a Slashdot-themed porn video, the link to which will be first-posted to a future story, none of you will see my cock. I'm working on it, ladies.

Ask Kathleen Fent.

This is old news (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37993392)

But this just in... Polaroid is still sucking major ballage

Probably too little too late (5, Insightful)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 3 years ago | (#37993410)

I have a soft spot for Polaroid cameras, having grown up back when they were all the rage (just after the dinosaurs died). The Land Camera was a lot of fun, back in the day. But, really, the only thing unique about this new camera is the printing, and no one wants to do that anymore.

The whole point of printing, way back then, was simply because it was the only way to share your images. That's no longer an issue. Even my mom's phone can send and receive photos. A print can only be shared with one person, while a digital image can be shared with an arbitrary number of people. There's just no advantage to being able to instantly print in this form factor.

Re:Probably too little too late (1)

hedwards (940851) | about 3 years ago | (#37993456)

I mostly agree. There are a few niche uses where having instant print out is useful, but I doubt very much that there's enough of a market for this to make it worthwhile. And most of those uses are ones where having a separate printer would be adequately satisfactory.

Re:Probably too little too late (2)

icebike (68054) | about 3 years ago | (#37993786)

Medical uses may be the exception. A print copy in the file that can be looked at without a computer may be very useful in dentistry or plastic surgery. Separate printers add complexity. Dropping the print in the doctors lap makes sense.
I'm sure there are a few more corner cases.

Re:Probably too little too late (2)

green1 (322787) | about 3 years ago | (#37994732)

Have you worked in a modern medical facility? nobody looks at pictures or diagnostic imagery in physical form anymore. Gone are the days of the x-ray snapped to the light panel on the wall. Everything is done on computers.

I agree there may be a niche for this, but the one you suggest just isn't it.

Re:Probably too little too late (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 3 years ago | (#37995160)

Oh, printers are useful in medicine. The problem (for Polaroid) is that everybody has color printers (a stupid decision in and of itself, but I digress). I take pictures of medical stuff all the time - documenting the size of laceration repairs, extent of an infection, etc. I just email them to my hospital address and print it on the ward.

Surgery has a camera with a wireless link that prints automagically.

So even in institutions stuck with paper charts, there are a bunch of ways of printing a digital file.

(And before anyone goes all HIPAA on me, they're sent without any patient identifying info).

Re:Probably too little too late (1)

camperdave (969942) | about 3 years ago | (#37995494)

The only thing printed in my dental office was my crown, on a 3d carving tool in about 15 minutes.

Well, that and the bill.

Re:Probably too little too late (1)

westyvw (653833) | about 3 years ago | (#37993546)

I disagree. This is exactly what my mom would be looking for. She doesn't like the camera on the phone - its not familiar and feels foreign (a phones a phone not a camera). She doesn't like that digital photos are only on digital devices, why wait for a computer to start up or a disc to load? She wants to take a picture, hold it in her hand, talk about it, and have it available to look at instantly later. She can organize her photos in a physical way, in a photo album or shoe box. She can take it to the neighbors or other family members. Remember, this is a physical object object that she has familiarity with, has zero boot time, and cuts out the middle man of waiting on a computer and printer.

Re:Probably too little too late (1)

icebike (68054) | about 3 years ago | (#37993838)

Your mom may still prefer a print, but it ends there.

You will show your guests the phone, or print it wirelessly to the printer in the next room.

Your kids will push the live video from their phone direct to the bigscreen on the wall and directly to the guests phone.

In each case the older generation with be thought to be hopelessly out of touch.

Your mom at least will leave you the shoebox. Most of your photos will die with your phone.

Re:Probably too little too late (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37995324)

The big screen on the wall still ties you down; you can't take the photo and run to show it to someone in the next room. The screen on your phone ties you down; you can't hand one photo to one person to look at while someone else in the circle is looking at a different one. The digital experience is still inferior in several ways, which is why people still print photos out. This particular camera doesn't sound so great, but I still think the idea has legs.

Re:Probably too little too late (1)

tepples (727027) | about 3 years ago | (#37995810)

The big screen on the wall still ties you down; you can't take the photo and run to show it to someone in the next room.

You can if you have a big screen in every habitable room.

The screen on your phone ties you down; you can't hand one photo to one person to look at while someone else in the circle is looking at a different one.

You can if each person has a phone or tablet and you multicast all your photos to all the phones and tablets.

Re:Probably too little too late (1)

ben_kelley (234423) | about 3 years ago | (#37993696)

Even my mom's phone can send and receive photos.

Me: Great photo. Can you send it to me?

Her: How?

Me: Um. Beam it to me. Does your phone have NFC?

Her: No idea

Me: How about MMS?

Her: I don't think that's set up properly on my phone. My plan doesn't have MMS.

Me: OK. Maybe bluetooth?

Her: Oh I know how to use that. Let me scan for your phone. Hmm it is not finding it. Is your phone discoverable?

Me: Let me check. I think so. Oh wait - I'm having a problem with my bluetooth at the moment. I upgraded the driver, and it has been playing up.

Her: So what do you suggest?

Me: Maybe e-mail it to me.

Her: OK. What's your e-mail address? I don't have it in my phone.

Me: Let me spell it out to you...

You know how it goes...

Re:Probably too little too late (1)

arth1 (260657) | about 3 years ago | (#37994978)

your mom is more tech savvy than mine.
If it takes more than two button presses, or requires her to stop talking, she won't do it.
And she's not alone. That's not technophobia either, but an unwillingness to have to learn how to deal with hundreds of different user interfaces, which all operate differently, and an unwillingness to expend more time on something than strictly necessary. While she knew perfectly well how to measure the light and set the shutter speed and f-stop ring accordingly for a good shot, she was happy when cameras arrived where she could just point and shoot. Having to send a picture to a printer or go to a store to do it would be a waste of time from her point of view.

I disagree and like to tinker with things, but I fully respect her for her opinions too. So yes, I think there is a market.

As for 14 MP, that seems ridiculously high for a camera that can't have optics to support even a fraction of that. Spend more on the lens and less on the MP count, and I might just buy one for a couple of relatives.

As for those who think 25 photos (or 75 without printing) are too little, remember that the standard Polaroid cartridge was, what, 10 photos? And that 24 photo film reels were pretty much the standard, and widely used even after 36 shot rolls appeared because of better quality. Today's kids shoot hundreds of pictures and sort through them later in the hope of ending up with a couple of good ones. Those who grew up with film don't - they press the button when the objects look good, not before.
Much like a hunter going for one shot instead of using the Elmer Fudd method.

Re:Probably too little too late (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 3 years ago | (#37995220)

As for 14 MP, that seems ridiculously high for a camera that can't have optics to support even a fraction of that. Spend more on the lens and less on the MP count, and I might just buy one for a couple of relatives.

Yeah, where did that decision come from? For a 3 x 4 inch print at 300 dpi that comes out to around a 1 MB file. The print quality was described as 'not so good' so it's unlikely that they are printing at some insane resolution.

Kodak sold off [bythom.com] it's sensor business to raise operating capital. Doesn't look to good for the dinos.

Re:Probably too little too late (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37993800)

Hell, yeah. I spent my formative years jacking off to polaroids of hairy cunt up-skirts and girls flashing their tits. Who knows where they came from? Probably borrowed from an older brother in college. My buddies and I would pass them around. Sometimes we'd circle up and jerk off together. Maybe finger each other's assholes after we drank some wine coolers. Nowadays, high res porn of girls with their shaved pussies, spread wide, or eating each other's shit... Maybe I'm getting old, but I can't jack off to that.

Re:Probably too little too late (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37993932)

Nowadays, high res porn of girls with their shaved pussies, spread wide, or eating each other's shit... Maybe I'm getting old, but I can't jack off to that.

Or maybe you've turned gay.

Re:Probably too little too late (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37994030)

One very good advantage. Your sexting pictures cant be as easily copied.

Re:Probably too little too late (1)

owlnation (858981) | about 3 years ago | (#37994058)

There's just no advantage to being able to instantly print in this form factor.

I've no idea why you've been modded up, because what you are saying is FAR from true. The lack of polaroid instant prints was a real hassle for a lot of people. Not the least in the movie industry, where it's often necessary for art, costume and make-up depts to have prints to refer to. Yes they can use small printers back in their trailers, but that's a real hassle on set.

I'm sure there's plenty of other people who find having instant prints extremely useful too.

Yeah, maybe in your narrow experience there's no use for instant prints, maybe for more people out there too, but there's many people who REALLY needed them. And this is long overdue. It's been a total pain for some people not having access to this tech.

Re:Probably too little too late (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37995894)

One place Polaroid rocked was for capturing from non-storage oscilloscopes. Any number of 'scopes had an attachment to press a polaroid sheet over the display tube, and there was special polaroid sheets made for the purpose -- of course this gadget does nothing for those, since it uses a little 1/2" or so CCD like all digital cameras. Nobody can afford a 10-30 in^2 CCD needed for direct capture.

Did you even read the article? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37994246)

No, clearly not. "As a travel photographer, I delight in sharing my images with people around the world as I photograph them."

Re:Probably too little too late (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37995502)

Nobody wants to do printing anymore? Really? Some Indian co-worker told me that a few months ago too... and maybe it's true in India, but not here in Japan. Every single electronics store (and many other stores) have kiosks where you can easily print photos from your camera, smartphone, or whatever. They are there because people use them. Computers are nice and all, but being able to plaster photos around your room is nicer.

This is for the older crowd (2)

rolfwind (528248) | about 3 years ago | (#37993436)

My first temptation was to scoff and say this is the digital age, why print them out.

Then I remembered 2 years ago, I got my dad this sony dyesub (Sony DPP-FP95, I think 97 is the newest). It prints pics perfectly, as good as the store. And because it's dyesub, it's superior to inkjet in every way: the dots blend together and aren't discrete, it has a clearcoat so no smudging, and the toner is dry on plastic so no printhead to dry out after a period of nonuse. It's the first digital gadget he really uses and actually loves: after every damn trip he sits down and make pics after pics. I know, I get sent a packet every so often with the sony branding.

If this polaroid is the same way, good on them. I can barely keep my digital pics organized, I don't expect older people to really grok photo organizing software either.

Re:This is for the older crowd (1)

NewWorldDan (899800) | about 3 years ago | (#37993630)

That's ok, I am going to scoff at the new polaroid. One area where they sold a lot of film was the construction industry. You'd go out to bid on a job and you'd take 2-3 pictures to show where equipment was going to go. Didn't need a great picture and didn't have time to go get film developed. It was a great way to get things done. While I'm sure some people will love these new cameras (mostly grandparents and children, I think), I just don't think the volume will be there. On the other hand, it's not my money on the line here, so let's see what develops.

Dye-subliminal (1)

tepples (727027) | about 3 years ago | (#37995856)

The problem comes when your dye-sublimation printer is also dye-subliminal: due to a flaky network connection, it quickly appears and disappears in your operating system's list of available printers. I seem to remember reading reviews in MacUser about such printers.

Print? (1)

p51d007 (656414) | about 3 years ago | (#37993484)

I've had various digital cameras since 2000. I got a DSLR May 2010, and have taken over 5000 shots with it, and I can probably count on two hands how many I have actually printed.

Re:Print? (1)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | about 3 years ago | (#37993526)

I can probably count on two hands how many I have actually printed.

I wonder how you count. If you were to count using binary, and a rolled finger as 0 and unrolled finger 1 (and you have 5 fingers per hand), you could count up to 2047 pictures (which is a significant part of the total shots). If you went for ternary or more, you could much more than that.

Re:Print? (1)

hldn (1085833) | about 3 years ago | (#37993676)

odd, i can only count to binary 1023 on my hands. you must have some strange hands.

Re:Print? (1)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | about 3 years ago | (#37993888)

Ah, thats what I get for being a smartass!

Re:Print? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37993682)

I can probably count on two hands how many I have actually printed.

I wonder how you count. If you were to count using binary, and a rolled finger as 0 and unrolled finger 1 (and you have 5 fingers per hand), you could count up to 2047 pictures (which is a significant part of the total shots). If you went for ternary or more, you could much more than that.

2^10 = 1024

1024 - 1=1023

  Now i wonder if he has an extra finger.

Re:Print? (1)

Tyrannosaur (2485772) | about 3 years ago | (#37993730)

counting numbers are all positive dears.

Re:Print? (1)

camperdave (969942) | about 3 years ago | (#37995784)

Hello, Inigo Montoya? I think I found your six fingered man.

Re:Print? (1)

treeves (963993) | about 3 years ago | (#37993602)

...and I wonder what will become of those 4990 photos fifty years from now. Will anyone see them then?
I know I can look at silver halide photos one hundred years old with basically no degradation. How much effort/expense will it take to view today's digital photos a century from now?

Re:Print? (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 3 years ago | (#37993680)

Probably not much really. Assuming you still have the files, JPGs have been easily readable for over 15 years. There are other formats that are coming out, but nothing really seems to be catching on. Keep all your photos backed up on a hard drive or 3, and refresh the drives every 5 years as the standards change. And you should be able to keep most of your photos. In about 5 years, I reckon you'll be able to store every photo you ever take on a $20 USB thumb drive. Buy a 3 or 4 of them, and keep a whole bunch of copies. Certainly much easier than maintaining physical photos. If you want a backup copy, you have to pay for each individual print. And is there even a way to make a perfect copy of the original film? because if you lose that, you're toast, no more good copies.

Re:Print? (1)

petermgreen (876956) | about 3 years ago | (#37994426)

How much effort/expense will it take to view today's digital photos a century from now?

Depends if anyone made the effort to look after them and keep copying them to new media.

The good side of digital is it's REALLY easy to make copies and you can do so without generation loss.
The bad side of digital is that individual copies often have a rather limited lifespan.

Re:Print? (1)

camperdave (969942) | about 3 years ago | (#37995532)

Not a problem. The typical hardware upgrade path is to buy a hard drive that is an order of magnitude bigger in capacity than your old one, and then copy your old one onto the new one. So your pictures would be in /home/plugwash/olddrive/hdc/previous/backup/oldhdc/copy1/home/plugwash/photos... easy!

Re:Print? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37993688)

That's largely what we've run into. We bought a Polaroid ZiNK printer a couple years ago and printed a dozen or so pics (purely out of novelty). Now it sits and collects dust.

Exactly who is this for? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37993544)

While I can understand Polaroid trying to stay relevant in the (digital) photograph age, this would have very limited use. Use for some, but not many. I'm from the polaroid years and most photos handed to me just gather dust in some drawer or long-forgotten box in storage. I much prefer keeping them organized and tucked away on some storage disk where I can easily go down memory lane and look at them all from the comfort of my computer. That's just me.

I seriously doubt this camera will be around for more than a year.

nostalgia (1)

black6host (469985) | about 3 years ago | (#37993548)

Not all of us, that remember the Polaroid fondly, are dead yet :) It may be a small market. And shrinking, most assuredly. But if there's money to be made.....

Special paper... and expensive (3, Informative)

mariushm (1022195) | about 3 years ago | (#37993550)

Unfortunately, at 20$ for 30 sheets of the special photo paper it needs, I don't see it being successful.

I guess they're probably trying to use the classic inkjet printer selling scheme, where the printer is cheap but the cartridges are expensive... though their camera is 300$.

It can also print just 25 photos with its battery which is not clear if it's removable or not - strange number considering the paper is sold in packs of 30.

Re:Special paper... and expensive (1)

Local ID10T (790134) | about 3 years ago | (#37993708)

Its the old hot dogs vs hot dog buns thing...

so they sell 8 of them when you need 6? (1)

decora (1710862) | about 3 years ago | (#37994338)

i wish Bre would figure this out so Makerbot could start opening retail stores and getting insipid journalists to drool over his genius

Re:Special paper... and expensive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37993900)

This was the problem with the classic polaroid camera which still sells today. The cameras were really cheap, but the film was prohibitively expensive. It's a shame because they are still a fun camera to use, and would probably still be a hit with the whole retro-chic crowd or whatever you call those people that still try to feel like they are in the popular group in high school ;)

Re:Special paper... and expensive (1)

mattack2 (1165421) | about 3 years ago | (#37994434)

I guess they're probably trying to use the classic inkjet printer selling scheme, where the printer is cheap but the cartridges are expensive...

That's funny, because the typical example of that paradigm is Gillette, and that example is much older. I'd be interested to hear if there is an even earlier widespread use of that paradigm. (OK, according to wikipedia, he only started that after the competitors did... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Razor_and_blades_business_model [wikipedia.org] )

Re:Special paper... and expensive (1)

mariushm (1022195) | about 3 years ago | (#37994688)

With Gillette blades, you only have to change one when it starts to bother you. For some it's once every two weeks or so, for me it's once every 2-3 months. And it's basically a few meters walk to where you store them.

With this camera, it's not like you're going to carry 20 packs of paper in your backpack every day... the purpose of the camera's gimmick, the integrated printer, is no longer there.

If you do plan on actually carrying photo paper, you'd have to get extra batteries because as they say it can only do 25 prints. In this case, you might as well carry a light photo printer with you then. Hell, as long as you still carry a backpack, you might get a cheap 50-100 watt inverter and a motorbike battery and be done with everything.

Re:Special paper... and expensive (1)

camperdave (969942) | about 3 years ago | (#37995774)

The purpose of this camera is to show off the printer. The printer is about the size of a floppy drive. It's something that you can throw into a camera bag, or throw in with your luggage on a trip. It's meant for "quick and dirty" printouts, not high end stuff.

Re:Special paper... and expensive (1)

Animats (122034) | about 3 years ago | (#37995482)

Unfortunately, at 20$ for 30 sheets of the special (3"x4") photo paper it needs, I don't see it being successful.

Especially since the price for 40 sheets of 4"x6" ZINK paper for the PanDigital printer is $15.99, or better than 1/3 the price per unit area.

All the disadvantages of the original (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37996160)

It is impressive how thoroughly bad this new camera is.

It makes prints every bit as bad as the original dry polaroid (which was horrible even for its time). This is some fake printing technology where the temperature and speed of the head create a small gamut of colors and brightnesses or something.. really really bad idea for a printing technology. AND it's super expensive, just like the original.

For $30 a pack, they could have put a real dye sublimation printer in there and had the world's most beautiful prints.

Instead it's the damn 70's all over again...

It won't be the same (1)

kodiaktau (2351664) | about 3 years ago | (#37993654)

I it is cool but won't be the same unless you have to wave the picture to get it to dry so you can have a keepsake of your fat drunk uncle falling face first into the mashed potatoes at thanksgiving dinner

Re:It won't be the same (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37994302)

Except you didn't have to wave polaroids around either, it doesn't make it cure any faster and just risks blurring the photo...

Re:It won't be the same (1)

maglor_83 (856254) | about 3 years ago | (#37995204)

You can wave these pictures and it will have exactly the same effect as waving a polaroid - none at all.

There is no Polaroid (4, Informative)

El Puerco Loco (31491) | about 3 years ago | (#37993964)

It's just a brand name now that's licensed out. Edwin Land's company is long gone.

Re:There is no Polaroid (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about 3 years ago | (#37994442)

Well, at least you have to give it to them - that's one product to which this brand is fully fitting.

Re:There is no Polaroid (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37995644)

Isn't this true for about 99% of the brands we see and choose from in the department stores these days? The originators (or their progeny) sold out long ago and now we're left with the Chinese manufactured product of a formerly American company with a customer service headquarters in Mumbai. Thank you, good luck, have a nice day.

Hair & Makeup (1)

Lev13than (581686) | about 3 years ago | (#37994090)

Might be useful in niche markets such as film & television. Polaroids were often used to ensure continuity between takes and after breaks - take a picture of the actor before stopping and use it as a comparison point when it's time to get going again. Could use digital but this would just be easier.

Re:Hair & Makeup (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | about 3 years ago | (#37994920)

Stanley Kubrick made good use of Polaroids when he was making 2001: A Space Odyssey because taking test shots and waiting for them to be developed took up lots of time. He had his photographers make up charts with Polaroid pictures on one side and Technicolor shots on the other so that he could get colours right faster. (You'll find this in the book on the making of the film.)

Re:Hair & Makeup (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 3 years ago | (#37995270)

So you take an iPad (or a Android tablet) take the picture, store it away, take the continuity shot and check it. Hell, you could even write custom software to keep track of the metadata that typically got scribbled on the back.

The iPad, at least, has decent color fidelity. Better than an old Polaroid, especially under wonky lighting conditions.

I think your workflow would be much easier today than in years past.

Re:Hair & Makeup (1)

syousef (465911) | about 3 years ago | (#37995424)

Might be useful in niche markets such as film & television. Polaroids were often used to ensure continuity between takes and after breaks - take a picture of the actor before stopping and use it as a comparison point when it's time to get going again. Could use digital but this would just be easier.

A nice cheap 42" TV screen is going to be quicker, cheaper and more effective as it will highlight every flaw in the before picture nicely. You can get something suitable for $400 in Australia. I imagine much cheaper in the US.

A hard copy can be useful (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37994150)

Every comment here is about how this is for old, nostalgic folks and about how supreme digital images are. Everyone seems to be forgetting that sometimes it's useful to have a hard copy; especially an instant one. Simple, safe, and available for immediate use.

I'm not saying I would want one, but this seems like a nice niche product. I hope it helps Polaroid survive the cellular camera apocalypse we're living in.

No thanks. (1)

liquidweaver (1988660) | about 3 years ago | (#37994172)

http://www.pandigital.net/search.asp?Mode=Product&TypeID=26&ProductID=30 [pandigital.net]
$.40 per 4x6. That's expensive as hell. I'll keep my color laser that costs me about $.14 per page for 8x11.
Or go to Walmart and borrow their dye sub printer for really nice 4x6's for less than a dime.
http://www.walmart.com/ip/High-Quality-4x6-Prints/5019648 [walmart.com]

and they tout their union-free factories (0)

decora (1710862) | about 3 years ago | (#37994320)

wow. what progress we have made since the 1800s.
we have gone from 'a chicken in every pot' to 'a chicken in every cubicle'

Eh cheap consumer grade camera company (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about 3 years ago | (#37994910)

makes a cheap consumer grade camera in the age when the market is flooded with with them by any and every electronics maker.

Ad (3, Insightful)

Jiro (131519) | about 3 years ago | (#37995192)

A statement of the form "nothing makes it easier than (brand)" is ad copy. It's a statement which means "we can't say it's better than the others, so we're going to make a statement which implies it's better than the others while it may only mean that all brands are basically the same" (after all, if they're the same, then nothing else is better).

An option (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37995214)

Isn't it cheaper and easier just to freeze your relatives in carbonite? That way you can preserve your memories forever and avoid all the nasty Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners.

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