Say hello to my little friend, Mio.
A couple of months ago my wife was visiting her family and they live in a small town up the coast. While there, she planned on checking out thrift stores and yard sales and asked her to keep an eye out for any old cameras or Polaroids. She found this Polaroid Mio for only two bucks! I've seen these going for anywhere from $50 to $100 brand new on ebay. Of course, I had no idea if it actually worked. You can still get film for these. Fuji makes it, Its contrasty and full of color. Its called Instax Mini. *More on that in at bottom of post. Got some batteries, takes two of the CR2 variety and finally got around to ordering some film via Amazon.com where its really affordable around $16 for a twin pack for 20 shots total. The camera works great and is very simple. Power button, distant landscape button, light or dark button, force flash on button (its always auto ready though, can't turn off) and the exposure button on the front. Once you pop the film in and close the door, you have to take a picture to eject the dark slide, after that, ready to go. It has a 60mm fixed length lens with minimum focus of 2 feet.
It really is a fun camera to use in that Polaroid ready kinda way. So long as you've got some decent light the flash won't fire so you can get some nice creative shots with it. For indoor/night time snaps, its a no brainer. It really is point and shoot. The design is a little on the odd side, switching between horizontal and vertical is slightly awkward. I do like the fact that I can get my instant fix, while not costing a lot to do it. The images are pretty darn sharp with exposures that are always great. If you find a Mio on the cheap, get it. I don't think you'll be disappointed.
* According to hear say and rumors -
Apparently Polaroid licensed Fuji to make/design the Mio and to manufacture the film as well. Fuji released their own branded camera years ago, but didn't sell it in the U.S., maybe not even outside the Asia markets. A few years ago they started selling their larger wide format camera and then added the mini models with Fuji branded film. Then sometime earlier this year, the once great former shell of a creative company Polaroid decided to get back into the game again (thanks to the success of the impossible project) and partnered with Fuji and released the re-re-branded Fuji to Polaroid 300 camera. Whew, that was a lot to summarize and setup.