(PhysOrg.com) -- Polaroid, founded in 1937 by American physicist Edwin H. Land, invented instant photographic printing. Its first instant film camera went on sale in November 1948, but in February 2008 the company decided to cease all production in favor of digital photography products. Earlier this year, Polaroid returned to the concept of instant printing and brought it into the digital age with its PoGo Instant Digital camera. Now you can take digital photographs and print them instantly.
The PoGo is a 5-megapixel digital camera with built-in printer. The camera looks like a regular digital camera, except it is a little larger, and has a slot on one side through which the prints emerge. The other side of the camera has power and USB connections for uploading the pictures to computer or printing on a normal photo-quality printer.
The camera has a fixed focus lens, 4 x digital zoom, built-in flash, and a three-inch wide color LCD screen with menu and controls on the back. Picture image quality is about equivalent to that of a high quality camera phone.
As with most digital cameras the PoGo allows you to take a picture and review it on the LCD. You can then delete, adjust, crop, save, or upload it, and add a date and file number if you wish. But with the Polaroid PoGo Instant Digital you can also print the picture then and there with a simple press of the Print button on the back of the camera. You can even add a border to the picture you print.
The PoGo Instant Digital has a built-in ZINK (zero ink) printer. In the ZINK process a paper is used that has dye crystals embedded in it. The print head in the printer heats the paper to fix the image and colors. The new printer is similar to the Polaroid PoGo Instant Mobile Printer, but is faster, and the quality has improved.
Prints are small, at only two inches by three, and have a peel-off sticky back for instantly sticking the photo into an album or book, for example. The prints are smudge-free and water and tear resistant.
The print quality is excellent for this type of printer, and according to Polaroid an even better paper is expected to be released next year. The paper comes in packs of 10, 30 or 80. Loading the camera is a simple matter of opening the back and inserting the pack of paper.
The camera has an SD card slot but no card is supplied. The internal memory of 4MB is sufficient for 10 pictures at the lowest quality or five at the highest, but many users will probably print the pictures and then immediately delete them, so the relatively low memory may not be an issue. If it is an issue, it's a simple matter to buy an SD card and use it to store the images.
The Polaroid PoGo Instant Digital camera retails at around $200. Spare rechargeable batteries are expected to become available by the end of the year, and they will be useful as the battery lasts for only 20-30 prints.
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