None of which will distract from the fun of sticking just-snapped pics between the shoulder blades of your pals on a alcopop-fueled night out. As a way of capturing events as they happen, for consumption there and then, there’s nothing to touch the PoGo.
The cost of printing with the PoGo depends entirely on the price at which you can buy the paper, since this is the only consumable. We found it at £6.95 for 30 sheets, giving a cost per print of just over 23p, which isn’t cheap.
Compare that with around 22p a print from a Canon Selphy ES3, 15p from an Epson PictureMate PM290 or 11p from an HP Photosmart A636. All of these are producing 6 x 4 prints for these prices, not snaps a quarter of the size. But then Polaroid instant prints have always been expensive when compared with conventional techniques.
Perfect for right here, right now prints
If Zink really wants its technology to take off, it needs to work on the quality of the pictures, gaining better control of the crystal layers to produce images that are cleaner and sharper than the PoGo can currently produce.
You have to admire the Zink technology in the Pogo printer. Respect to the completely ink-free and dye-free print system, which relies only on the three coatings on the paper to produce colour. It just needs to go through a couple more development cycles before the photos are worth looking at when not under disco lights.
Polaroid PoGo handheld colour printer
Aside from the genius use of not having to send racy snaps off to the photo developer, the Polaroid was largely used in (amazingly enough) the professional studio photography realm back in the film days. Many professional cameras (such as the Mamiya RZ67) had interchangeable backs--one of which would hold medium format film (6x6, 6x7, etc) and another would be a Polaroid back. The polaroids would be used to check exposure, framing, etc, before the final shot was taken on "real" film. This was usually kind of a crapshoot however because of the poor performance of Polaroid film, but it was better than nothing. There are still some applications, for instance google for Joe McNally's "Faces of Ground Zero" project.
I don't have any polaroid backs any longer because I test with a digital SLR before committing to film, but I do still have a couple consumer Polaroid cameras; there's a primitive aesthetic to the system that's occasionally appealing. The film is unfortunately becoming very difficult to come by (being discontinued).
As for the reviewed printer itself--it seems a rather spectacular waste of money. There's no professional use for it, and if I wanted crap quality prints with the mates I'd run down to a photobooth.
...it's an expensive, practically useless piece of junk which doesn't even produce acceptable print quality. And it's SLOW -- one stamp per minute as opposed to three standard-sized pictures from a compact thermo printer that costs the same and is every bit as portable.
a) Wasteful? How do you work that out?
With an inkjet printer, even if you refill the cartridges, you have the cartridge ending up in landfill or using energy to be disassembled and recycled at the end of its life. With dye sub film printers (like Canon's SELPHY range), you have the film and dye, much of which is left on its carrier film and binned. The ZINK technology is completely self-contained in the paper. There's no wastage at all.
c) You're not comparing like with like. You can, of course, share images around electronically, but we're looking at a device for somebody who wants images on paper. You could level the comment at all printers, but its unfair to single out this particular one.
b) and d) Agreed.
I would have expected a review to sport at least one or two pictures of "real world" results instead of just promotion shots.
Zinc has several problems.
a) it is wasteful
b) it is expensive
c) it is easily substituted by sharing around digital data via bluetooth or e-mail
d) the quality sucks
I find the small size especially unappealing. A Polaroid, as mediocre as the overall quality may be, comes with an aesthetic white frame as standard which also provides room for information, while the Zinc paper looks as though it came from inside a bubble gum wrapper.
"The second way of connecting the Pogo printer – and, we suspect, the one more likely to be used – is over Bluetooth from a mobile phone"
Whoopie, now instead of taking a picture of my ass with a friends camera phone, setting as their wall paper I can bluejack their printer and print snaps of it as well.
/Mines the one with the antenna sticking out of the pocket