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Polaroid Z340 Instant Camera Hands On Preview

We give our hands on first impressions of the brand new Polaroid Z340 - the yet to be released instant camera from Polaroid.

|  Compact Cameras
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Polaroid Z340

The Polaroid Z340 is the new Polaroid digital instant photo printer, and prints Polaroid sized photos right out of the front of the camera. A combined digital camera and printer was announced as the GL30 at a big on-line event with Lady Gaga, live on the internet. The Z340 is the first version of the camera, although not designed by Lady Gaga, and not part of the Grey Label, with the GL30 due to be released in Spring 2012. The Z340 is being finalised so that it's ready to be sold in stores, in time for Christmas this year.

Polaroid Z340 Features

The Z340 features an Auto-Focus lens, and several quite advanced photo features considering I was expecting a basic point and shoot camera. Program modes include: Auto, Program, Intelligent Auto, Portrait, Lomo, Backlight, Landscape, Sunset plus more. Options for sharpness / contrast / saturation are available, including manual white balance.

Polaroid Z340 Photos of Equipment

There are a number of digital filters available such as Retro, Black and White, Sepia, Vintage Color, Classic Black and White. The camera lets you select from ISO100 to ISO6400. The camera features video recording with sound, at VGA, and 16:9 was greyed out, which may be due to it being an early beta version of camera. It also features a 14 megapixel sensor - although we are waiting for a full list of specifications from Polaroid.

Polaroid GL340
Polaroid Z340 Printing

Polaroid Z340 Handling

The body is a little awkward for portrait shots - rotating the camera felt a little strange. You can either set every photo to print a polaroid white border, and then you shoot in landscape and the photo will come out correctly framed inside the picture. Alternatively you can put borders onto the photos afterwards in playback mode - however you will need to make sure you shoot them the correct orientation as there doesn't seem to be any way to rotate the photo in camera prior to printing with a border. (One would hope this could be resolved with updated firmware before the camera is released?).

Polaroid GL340 Screen Polaroid GL340 Screen
Polaroid Z340 Screen Digital Filters

The modes available includ Auto, Program (giving more advanced options), intelligent Auto, Portrait, Landscape, Sunset, Backlighting, plus more, including a number of digital filters. The camera performed surprisingly well considering it was an early beta running firmware version 0.53. You can set the camera to print every photo instantly, like the old polaroids, or choose the photo to print later.

Polaroid GL340 Shooting modes
Polaroid Z340 Shooting modes

Polaroid Z340 Performance

Printing is quick and takes around a minute, with the print being dry straight away. Using Zink paper, you don't need to worry about ink cartridges, as the ink is stored in the paper, and becomes active when it goes through the Polaroid Zink printer in the Z340.

Polaroid GL340 Prints (Pre-production)
Polaroid Z340 Prints (Pre-production)

Value For Money

The paper is loaded into the back, and costs £12.99 for 30 prints, meaning the 3 inch by 4 inch photos cost 43 pence each, which is certainly cheaper than Polaroid instant film from Impossible, and the Z340 camera has an RRP of £229, with the camera available in December.

Polaroid GL340 Polaroid GL340 Battery
Polaroid Z340 Polaroid Z340 Battery
Polaroid GL340 Paper Polaroid GL340 SD Slot
Polaroid Z340 Paper Polaroid Z340 SD Slot

Polaroid Z340 Verdict

There's literally nothing else like this on the market at the moment, except for the previous camera, and that was nowhere near as interestingly designed as this new camera. I think with the right audience this camera should do well, and it appears as though Polaroid have produced an appealing camera with a much higher quality feel and design compared to the previous model, and should therefore be successful. It was certainly fun getting prints straight from the camera, and perhaps in this day and age where no-one really prints photos anymore, this could be just what the market is looking for. We plan to review the full production model when they are available.

More new products including the new GL10 and a new kind of tripod from Polaroid here.

Polaroid Z340 Specifications

Max Aperturef/3.25
35mm equivalent43mm
Optical Zoom0x
Image Sensor
Pixels14Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)4320
Pixels (H)3240
Sensor TypeCCD
Sensor SizeNo Data
Sensor Size (width)No Data
Sensor Size (height)No Data
Aspect Ratio
  • 4:3
  • 3:2
  • 16:9
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor2.7in
Screen resolutionNo Data
Touch ScreenNo
Min Focus10cm
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/2000sec
Shutter speeds longest15sec
Bulb modeNo
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Scene modes
  • Centre-weighted - Average
  • Multi Pattern
  • Centre Spot
ISO sensitivity100 - 6400
White balance
  • Manual
  • Auto
  • Incandescent
  • Fluorescent
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Cloudy
Exposure Comp+/-2
Shooting Options
Continuous shootingNo Data
Movie modeYes
Video Resolution
  • 640x480 VGA
  • 1280x720 HD 720p
Video FPS30
Stereo SoundNo
Optical Zoom with VideoNo
Other Features
Image StabilisationNo
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
File Type
  • JPG
Power Source
Battery TypeLithium Polymer Rechargeable Battery Pack
Battery Life (CIPA rating)No Data
Box Contents
Box ContentsInstant Digital Camera, 10 sheets ZINK Photo Paper, Rechargeable lithium-ion battery, AC adapter/charger, USB cable, Hand strap

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