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Polaroid Originals OneStep 2 VF Review

While nostalgic, this camera just can't compete with other offerings currently on the market
Polaroid Originals OneStep 2 VF
Credit: Jenna Ammerman
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Price:   $100 List
Pros:  Vintage looking photos
Cons:  Poor overall photo quality, few image modes, expensive film
Manufacturer:   Polaroid
By Max Mutter, Steven Tata, and Jenna Ammerman  ⋅  Jun 4, 2019
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41
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#6 of 7
  • Image Quality - 45% 3
  • User Friendliness - 25% 6
  • Image Settings - 20% 5
  • Film Cost - 10% 2

Our Verdict

The one thing that we really like about the Polaroid Originals OneStep 2 VF is that its film both looks and feels like the classic Polaroid film of yore. Unfortunately, that's about where our enjoyment of this camera ends. In our testing it took some of the worst and least consistent photos, it isn't particularly convenient to use, and the film is some of the most expensive on the market. Though they pioneered the instant film format, we feel the current offerings from Polaroid just don't stack up to those from the likes of Fujifilm and Lomography.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award  
Price $100 List$130 List
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$90 List
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Pros Vintage looking photosExcellent photo quality, brightness control adjust well to lighting conditions, user-friendlyGood photo quality, nice selection of image and creative settings, both camera and photo size a nice middle groundGood photos in indoor/low-light situations, both camera and film relatively inexpensive, multiple exposure settings, small and durableSimple, inexpensive paper
Cons Poor overall photo quality, few image modes, expensive filmQuite large, limited image settings, somewhat expensive filmPoor performance in outdoor lighting conditions, lack of long exposure abilityTends to overexpose when used in bright sun, smaller photo size, limited image settingsPoor photo quality, very few image settings
Bottom Line While nostalgic, this camera just can't compete with other offerings currently on the marketWith excellent image clarity and color saturation, this is the most consistent and highest quality model we've testedOffers more creative opportunities than models that shoot mini film, without the bulk of those that shoot wide filmA great balance of price and performance that will please most usersA good choice for kids, but definitely not a serious photography machine
Rating Categories Polaroid Originals... Fujifilm Instax Wid... Fujifilm Instax Squ... Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 Polaroid Snap
Image Quality (45%)
3.0
9.0
6.0
5.0
2.0
User Friendliness (25%)
6.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
Image Settings (20%)
5.0
6.0
7.0
6.0
3.0
Film Cost (10%)
2.0
4.0
3.0
7.0
8.0
Specs Polaroid Originals... Fujifilm Instax Wid... Fujifilm Instax Squ... Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 Polaroid Snap
Dimensions 5.9" x 4.3" x 3.7" 6.6" x 3.7" x 4.8" 4.7" x 5.0" x 2.3" 4.6" x 4.7" x 2.7" 4.75" x 3" x 1.25"
Weight 460 g 612 g 393 g 307 g 218 g
Picture Size 3.1" x 3.1" 2.4" x 3.9" 2.4" x 2.4" 2.4" x 1.8" 2" x 3"
Image Settings 2 exposure settings, self timer, flash on/off 2 exposure settings, 2 focal length settings, force flash on 2 exposure settings, landscape, macro, selfie mode, double exposure, color flash filters 4 exposure settings, Hi-Key normal, black/white, vintage sepia
Focus Distances Fixed, 0.6 m - infinity 0.9 m - 3 m / 3 m - infinity 0.3 m - 0.5 m / 0.5 m - 2 m / 2 m - infinity 0.6 m - infinity N/A
Focal Length 106 mm 95 mm 65.75 mm 60 mm N/A
Aperture N/A f/14 f/12.6 f/12.7 N/A
Cost per photo $2 $1.25 $1.05 $0.58 $0.50

Our Analysis and Test Results

The OneStep 2 VF just did not impress in any capacity in our testing. If you're looking to get into the instant camera game, no matter what your specific interests, there is a better option out there.

Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Performance Comparison


The OneStep 2 VF at best turned in average performances in all of our tests, resulting in one of the lowest overall scores of all the cameras we tested.

Image Quality


While certain specific conditions did allow the OneStep 2 VF to shine, overall we found it very difficult to get a great shot from the camera, and thus awarded it one of the lowest scores in this metric.


Our overall impression of the OneStep 2 VF's photos is that they come out looking quite dark and bland, no matter what the lighting conditions.

Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Things get particularly bad in bright sunlight. In these conditions we ended up with lots of unusable photos.

Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Every once in a while the lo-fi, overly vintage look of the OneStep 2 VF's photos result in something that looks quite cool, but those situations felt seemingly random and came few and far between.

Credit: Jenna Ammerman

User Friendliness


Overall, the OneStep 2 VF is very simple to use, but it has some quirks that make it less than ideal in many situations.


In essence, the OneStep 2 VF is just an automatic point and shoot camera. It has a few things you can adjust, but for the most part you just load the film in and start shooting, it's fairly foolproof.

Credit: Jenna Ammerman

However, the film of the OneStep 2 VF is a bit quirky. It is the only camera we've tested whose film needs to stay in dark conditions whilst developing. When you take a photo and the film slides out of the camera, there is a tongue that slides out with the film and keeps it covered. You can leave the film there to develop, but then you can't take another photo for multiple minutes. Alternatively, you can also take the film and place it face down on a flat surface while it develops. This allows you to continue shooting, but a clean, flat surface isn't always readily available. When we were out and about using the OneStep 2 VF, we found this to be quite annoying.

The OneStep 2 VF is quite simple to use ,just don't forget to keep...
The OneStep 2 VF is quite simple to use ,just don't forget to keep the photos covered while they develop.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Image Settings


The OneStep 2 VF offers some minimal image controls, and no creative shooting modes. Bottom line, this isn't the camera for you if you like to toy with image settings.


This camera allows you to lighten or darken an image with a light and dark mode, offers the ability to turn the flash off, and has a self-timer, and that's about it. This is enough adjustability for basic shooting situations, but those coming to instant film because of an interest in expanding their creativity will likely find this limiting.

Film Cost


This, in our opinion, is the nail in the coffin for the OneStep 2 VF. Its film costs $16 for an 8-pack, of $2 per photo. For comparison, the similarly sized (and, in our opinion, superior) wide Instax film from Fujifilm is $1.25 per photo.


Value


Despite a middle of the road list price of $100, poor performance and very expensive film make the OneStep 2 VF a very poor value for most people.

The OneStep 2 VF doesn't offer much in the way of image...
The OneStep 2 VF doesn't offer much in the way of image adjustability, but it sure looks pretty.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Conclusion


The Polaroid Originals OneStep 2 VF fails to compete with the new wave of instant cameras hitting the market, lagging well behind in terms of usability, quality, and film cost.

Max Mutter, Steven Tata, and Jenna Ammerman

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