In terms of handling, it's a little awkward. It's good to hold but tricky to position and inevitably a little heavy, and there's some fumbling around to find the shutter button. There's a bit of a parallax issue - the angle between viewfinder and lens is rather steep, making shots quite tricky to frame. I found shots came out with considerable amounts of spare space above my subject's head, or to the side.
The simple optical viewfinder can take some getting used to
Still, it's easy enough to use, and you'd have to be remarkably uncoordinated to mess up shots completely. I quickly realised I had to forget all my usual digital habits and just point and click with abandon. That's how the camera is meant to be used – it's for snapshots, not pictures. Once you lose your exacting inhibitions, it's fun - like clacking away on a typewriter after years of PC use.
After you pluck the virginal undeveloped print from the top of the camera, it's very hard to resist taking the OutKast route and flapping it wildly to and fro - that was always part of the fun. But the instructions sternly tell you that this isn't a good idea. Boo.
However, it's still hugely enjoyable to watch the image develop, turning from smudges and blotches into a fully-formed photo within about 90 seconds. Each shot comes out with that delightful desaturated look, with the muted colours making every photo appear to have been taken in 1983. It's a lovely side-effect of the process – who needs Hipstamatic?
I tried out all four settings, but it quickly became clear that the default setting - indoor/dark - is the one the 300 was built for. Taking party snaps in darkened pubs or clubs is usually an unfulfilling endeavour, beset by red-eye and white-out. But this is where the 300 is in its element.
Indoor shots taken during the day came out beautifully, and some taken at night - in the extreme conditions of a very dimly-lit basement bar - came out a treat, with none of the usual pesky issues. The flash setting is apparently just right, and the focus was spot on.
No.... what I am saying is......
that if you have, say £50 to spend on a camera, a 35mm camera will produce better quality pictures than a £50 digi.
I am not talking about TCO [total cost of ownership] or digitals ability to share / email / upload etc. But, when you look at the capability of film, the depth and resolution you get, the ability to capture detail almost limitless zoom, digital is not as good as film.
For a lot of people, digital is /fine/, but that does not negate the fact that film is superior to digital.
What they need to do is combine a digital camera with a built in inkjet printer. That way you can select which photos to print, and have digital photos for adding to facebook, etc. Plus even with the high cost of inkjet inks, it would be vastly cheaper per print.
I've had a polaroid in the past, always seemed expensive compared to 35mm and some of the prints died after 5 years or so, like the memory of the event they fade away into nothing. Then again Mum has prints of me as a child so they can last in some cases (and some I wish would fade from the "stop mum showing old photo's of me" point of view.)
That said this seems like an Retro version of facebook. Take pictures of mates whilst drunk, pass around a week later. No annoying data retention and very little chance for your boss to "accidentially" end up seeing how bad you were.
Still a lot of money per print for what it is though,
As I remember
the only use anyone put a Polaroid to was for taking naughty pictures with your girlfriend. The kind you couldn't send to the developers. The 70's equivalent of sexting.
They could offer that as a special firmware version
Review and delete buttons disabled, no frozen image in the display after you've taken a pic, no "best shot selector" option, 36 pics max (or 12 for the real pro) after which the camera simply goes into standby for a minute or so, and maybe 4 frames/sec max in motordrive mode.