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Impossible I-1 Instant Camera Review

We take a look at the Impossible I-1 instant camera with manual mode and remote trigger and self timer.


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Impossible I 1 Camera (2)
 

The Impossible I-1 Instant camera is the first new camera to use the original Polaroid photo format in over 20 years. The camera has a host of innovative features that look to give instant photography a modern makeover, whilst still retaining the most important thing - instant images.  The camera has a built in ring flash, and an app can be downloaded to bring you more versatility when shooting, including a remote trigger. The Impossible I-1 is available for £229.

Impossible I-1 Instant Camera Features

The I-1 is a geometric masterpeice of design with a stylish matt black finish. The camera takes original Polaroid format film, something which Impossible labs have been producing successfully for a number of years now. I-Type film is available in packs of 8 instant images and currently black and white and colour film are available widely.

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Lots of other 600 format films, such as black and red, have been announced at Photokina 2016 and are available now via the Impossible website. I-Type films don't have a battery pack as a battery is built into the I-1, making them better for the environment. 600 film packs have a built-in battery pack needed for older Polaroid cameras. So you can use 600 films in the I-1, but they have an obsolete battery pack.

 

The Impossible I-1 is the first new camera to use original Polaroid format film for over 20 years, and has lots of exciting modern features to boot. 

The I-1 has a ring flash at the front around the lens. It can be turned on and off with a switch on the side. Several further flash options are also available when using the free app. 

On the other side of the flash unit is another switch to lighten / darken the image. On top of the camera is a flip out viewfinder which can be removed and is magnetically attached to help you compose images. The camera uses infrared light to work out how far away your subject is. Impossible suggest that you always compose images with the subject in the middle of the frame, then move the camera as appropriate once it's focussed. 

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On the right-hand side of the body is the main shutter button. You can half press this to focus your images before taking them. Around the shutter button is a dial which you twist to turn the camera on / off and put it into Bluetooth mode, to connect to the app on your smartphone.

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On the front of the camera is the film door which is opened by sliding the switch. There is a micro USB slot here too for charging the camera, which comes with a USB cable that can be plugged either into the computer or a USB plug.

On the bottom of the camera are 4 small rubber feet and a metal tripod mount. On the back is a hand strap which you connect by screwing it in place with the included fasteners.  

Impossible I 1 Camera (1)

The free App gives you lots more shooting options including a manual mode allowing you to control aperture, shutter speed, ring flash strength and focus. There is also a double exposure mode allowing you to superimpose 2 images on top of each other. 

Key Features

  • Takes Impossible I-Type and 600 type film
  • Ring flash
  • Lighten / darken image via switch
  • Viewfinder
  • Half-press shutter button to focus
  • Bluetooth mode connects to your phone via app
  • App gives more shooting options including manual mode and double exposure

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Impossible I-1 Instant Camera Handling

I I-1 is quite an odd shape to hold one-handed without the help of the hand strap. We found it easier to hold the camera with both hands to get better purchase of the shutter button. 

The controls are very ergonomic and it's easy to change settings and access the viewfinder. 

      

When you download the free app, available on android and iOS, you are prompted to connect your camera. You need to turn on Bluetooth on your phone and on the camera. Tap the button shown above on the first slide to see the available cameras. Tap 'Connect to this camera' and it'll turn yellow to show its connected. Tap back and you'll be taken into the app. Here you'll be able to select from remote trigger, manual mode and double exposure mode. There are more modes coming soon, including self-timer, noise trigger, light paint and colour paint. The app also shows you battery, film, Bluetooth and flash status. 

      

Tapping each of the available modes brings up a trigger button and in the case of manual mode, dials and sliders which can be altered for the scene. 

Impossible say that the battery will typically last long enough for you to shoot 20 packs of film. You can check how much battery is left by pressing the shutter button while the camera is switched off and counting how many LEDs on the ring flash light up red. 

Loading the film is simple - it slides in and then once you clip the slot shut, you're ready to go. 


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