At the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show, the next generation of retro-chic Polaroid cameras debuted alongside 3D TVs, tablet PCs, and other future-forward gadgets.
Now, thanks to the hard work of a group of engineers and enthusiasts, Polaroid lovers will be able to purchase the film necessary to use their instant cameras.
After announcing that Polaroid cameras (and film) were being discontinued, Polapremium later reconsidered their decision, and stated that they were "preparing, supporting and managing the comeback of Instant Photography."
The camera's comeback is the result, in part, of the efforts of a group of Polaroid enthusiasts, who announced that they have managed to make new Polaroid instant film and will start selling it this week.
The company, called The Impossible Project, leased an old Polaroid film factory in the Netherlands to try to recreate the film, two years after Polaroid stopped making it.
The news gives a new lease on life to some old Polaroid cameras. The Impossible Project will sell film for SX-70 cameras as well as more recent cameras that take 600-series film.
Each film pack will cost $21 and produce eight black-and-white images. The company plans to introduce color film this summer, and expects to make 1 million packs in the first year. The film will be sold online initially, but the company expects to make it available in some stores as well.
Polaroid stopped making instant film in 2008, but Fujifilm of Japan still makes it, and some of its packs fit in professional Polaroid cameras. Fuji doesn't make SX-70 or 600 film.
SX-70 film was prized by artists because it had a soft image-carrying layer that could be squeezed around while developing, distorting the image in entertaining ways. In addition, the cameras are icons of design: Tent-like when opened, they fold into a flat package.
The revival of instant film was dubbed The Impossible Project because of the complexity of the product, and because key materials used in Polaroid's formulation were no longer available, so the startup had to figure out a new way to make the film.
The original Polaroid Corp. filed for bankruptcy in 2001, followed by the successor company in 2008. Holding company PLR IP now controls the Polaroid brand name, licensing its use mainly to electronics companies. It is not involved in The Impossible Project and the new packs won't carry the Polaroid brand. However, PLR IP announced in January that new instant-film cameras would be launched this year that can use the packs.
Last year, a digital camera with the Polaroid brand launched with a built-in printer, producing small, sticky-backed photos reminiscent of the old film.
Check out pictures of the next generation of Polaroid cameras below.