A special digital camera
The new Polaroid Z340 is not, as one might think, the first foray into the digital field for this company. It represents, however, the first time the company made a device that’s perfectly apt at taking photos that aren’t the size of the ones needed for an ID. The product we meant to test and then review for our blog combined a second-generation ZINK printer with a camera of 14MP priding itself on pictures of very good quality that we could print right then and there in a professional manner, no hardships when using it and many more that you’ll discover should you be interested in acquiring this device.
2.7″ LCD screen
What stroked us after our first encounter with the Polaroid Z340 was its resemblance to what the brand manufactured in the past, and we refer to those film cameras of the consumer-level type which used to sell like crazy. The measurements and weight are sure to earn this device a good spot for being a very comfortable one. There’s not much to say about the design, because it’s in no way remarkable. The LCD screen is 2.7″ and on every side of the Z340 sit different features and controls that will be of much importance later on. We suppose photographers who aren’t pros will choose the setting called Auto instead of the white balance and ISO settings, but that’s OK. Those for whom photography is a way of life will like these 2 options immensely and also the various scene modes (30 in total).
Fixed focus lens
But the most important thing on this camera is the fixed focus lens that contributes to preserving the small dimensions of the device; it was so very useful in our tests, because with it we could, in a matter of mere minutes, crop the photo that we took and use it however we wanted. This is of complete importance when using an instant camera such as the one reviewed here. It’s best to keep in mind that Polaroid’s Z340 is not a device to be employed as a standard camera that needs an optional printer, because its purpose is to serve you when you want to quickly print – with its included printer – the stills you snapped at a given time.
Not very fast
And so we arrive at the moment of truth. Speed, that is. This device wasn’t, as much as we had expected from a Polaroid product, fast in anything it did. For instance, we waited 5 seconds to see it spring to life from the moment we pressed the Power button, then 1 second from clicking the key for shutter and taking a photo and 3 seconds were necessary in the mode called continuous drive. These slow paces made us lose many candid instances. But what we did succeed in capturing looked so good that we never wanted to let the camera leave our hands. Sharpness was talk of the town, there was little to no image noise, low and good lights showed no visible difference in quality and colors were true to life.
As for the built-in printer, the Z340 uses a technology known by consumers as ZINK, so the camera won’t require separate paper and ink to function. This option gave us no reason to hate the device and the printer took between 43 and 46 seconds per picture. Performance was here and there inconsistent, but nothing to get on our nerves. 42 prints were possible to get before the battery died and had to be recharged.
An instant camera with an integrated printer? Yes sir, the Polaroid Z340 is just that and it deserves very high praises for its performance.
|Printing technology Zink|
|Type Printer Only|
|Number of Ink Colors 3|
|Color or Monochrome 1-pass color|
|Maximum Standard Paper Size 3″ x 4″|
|Duty Cycle 500 pages per month|
|Direct Printing from Media Slots: Secure Digital High Capacity, Secure Digital Extended Capacity, Secure Digital.|
|LCD Preview Screen Yes|
|Print Duplexing No|
|Duplexing Scans No|
|Input Capacity (printer input only) 10 sheets|