Vid Review: Kodak Printomatic Instant Print Camera – No Ink Required!
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The Kodak Printomatic makes instant prints on 2 x 3 inch paper without using any ink. It’s simple to use and one of the smallest sized instant print cameras you can pick up.
About the camera:
- 10 megapixels
- f/2.2 aperture
- slot for microSD card (32GB max)
- Lithium Ion battery (Prints 20 photos per charge)
- Charge time: 1.5 hours
- Auto focus
- Optical viewfinder
- Color/B&W picture switch
USABILITY / FUNCTION
The camera is the size of a large smartphone with a 5.5″ screen, though the thickness is much larger due to the print mechanism. It’s much smaller than the competition, though to be fair, it doesn’t come with the bells and whistles either. There’s a switch on top of the camera to select between taking and printing color and black & white pictures.
The Kodak Printomatic uses ZINK (Zero Ink) paper that comes in 2″ x 3″ sheets. The great thing, as you’d expect from an instant print, is that there’s no ink involved. So in theory it should save you money and a lot of hassle from having to buy and reload ink cartridges. It’s much easier to calculate costs too, with per print being $0.50 (a pack of 20 sheets currently costs $10.)
If you have a microSD card inserted, the camera will save the photo as well as print it. I have, however, noticed it do something curious – it will “print” even without paper in the tray, so you’ll hear the print mechanism rolling. Won’t this wear out the print system if it keeps doing this? Maybe in the next version, Kodak can keep this in mind and turn that part off when there’s no paper. In the meantime, taking pictures without paper will store photos in the microSD card (if you have one inserted). You just have to ignore the printing noise.
Camera startup time is around 7 seconds and I’ve consistently clocked print times to be right at 37 seconds. Everything is automatic, including focus and flash. The print tray holds 10 sheets at a time, so be mindful to bring more sheets if you’re at, say, a party.
There is no display screen – which can be taken as a good or bad thing. While you won’t know if you took the picture exactly as you wanted it, you’ll be spending that time instead involved with the people and environment around you (meaning you’ll be sharing and remarking on the print you just made rather than staring at yet another screen.)
The prints themselves are smudge proof and water/tear resistant. You can use them as stickers as they’ve got an adhesive back too, which is great for scrapbooking or sticking on a written journal.
Compared to the actual scene or subject of the photo, I’ve noticed that prints tend to lean on the blue’ish side of things with a hint of red. JPG files in the camera were, of course, more color accurate (I’d have been really worried if it was the other way around!) with more picture around the border in line with the 10 megapixel sensor size.
On one occasion, there was a photo that came out with what looked like a large sunflare (in an indoor shot, so it couldn’t have been the sun). We wondered if it was possibly a spirit that was wandering by since we were in a really old place – if you believe in that kind of thing. Or maybe it was just a paper manufacturing error, and I should stop being so paranoid.
The Kodak Printomatic is a fun piece of gear that brings back the nostalgia of instant pictures, but in a compact size. Rather than compete with products that sell on technical bruhaha (along with a high price that often come with said bruhaha), it offers itself as a fun and affordable activity that you can share with your physical friends and family as opposed to virtual ones.
It’s nothing major, but the only niggle of a note is the constant printing when there’s no paper in the tray. Something Kodak might want to take into account for future products.
More info: https://www.kodakphotoplus.com
(Test unit provided by Kodak for this review.)