Polaroid Lab review

Polaroid Lab turns your images and smartphone snaps into Polaroid prints using real photochemistry

Polaroid Lab review
(Image: © James Artaius / Digital Camera World)

Digital Camera World Verdict

Where other instant film printers and ZINK printers simply reproduce a digital file, the Polaroid Lab creates authentic analog exposures using a lens and a genuine photochemical process. The results aren't exact reproductions of your original images, but are arguably something more – something charming, something flawed, something absolutely unique. Throw in the augmented reality features and the Polaroid Lab goes beyond gimmickry and is truly joyful – and a true photographic experience.


  • +

    Black & white images look great

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    Real Polaroid photochemistry

  • +

    Augmented reality is brilliant!


  • -

    Color images are inconsistent

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    Details can be washed out

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    Jams just like a real Polaroid

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The Polaroid Lab is a great idea. Its intention is to liberate your photographs from the cavernous folders of your smartphone, turning them into real Polaroid film prints so that they can actually be seen, shared and enjoyed, rather than being lost in the limbo of your handset. 

It also promises a fun way to showcase your "proper" photography, enabling you to produce authentic Polaroid prints of your images shot on DSLRs or mirrorless cameras, giving you a creative way to present your work.

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James Artaius

The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a journalist and started working in the photographic industry in 2014 (as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy, who succeeded David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus). In this time he shot for clients like Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus, and providing training for professionals. This has led him to being a go-to expert for camera and lens reviews, photo and lighting tutorials, as well as industry news, rumors and analysis for publications like Digital Camera MagazinePhotoPlus: The Canon MagazineN-Photo: The Nikon MagazineDigital Photographer and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and talks at The Photography Show. He also serves as a judge for the Red Bull Illume Photo Contest. An Olympus and Canon shooter, he has a wealth of knowledge on cameras of all makes – and a fondness for vintage lenses and instant cameras.