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After 41 years, Polaroid’s beloved OneStep goes (slightly) digital

Among the most familiar Polaroid cameras of them all is 1977’s rainbow-striped OneStep—the one memorably advertised on TV with a bantering James Garner and Mariette Hartley. Last fall, a company called Polaroid Originals (affiliated with Polaroid, and formerly known as the Impossible Project) introduced the OneStep 2–a modern take on the classic, and the first Polaroid-branded instant camera in a decade.

[Photo: courtesy of Polaroid Originals]
The OneStep 2 did what Polaroid is famous for, in lovably analog fashion: You pushed a button, and a photo emerged and developed before your eyes. But now Polaroid Originals is back with the OneStep+, a new model that brings instant photography ever so slightly into the digital age. The $160 camera still uses film packs, but also talks (via Bluetooth) to a smartphone app that provides it with some advanced capabilities, including manual settings, “light painting” effects, double exposures, and remote-control and noise-activated shooting. It also has a mode for close-up portraits, which the original OneStep could really have used back in the 1970s.

The functionality is similar to what the Impossible Project offered in a 2016 camera called the I-1, whose aesthetics resembled those of an old dial telephone more than anything Polaroid ever made. It’s nice to see it in something that is, unmistakably, a Polaroid camera.

And speaking of design, the OneStep+ restores an element that the OneStep 2, tragically, had eliminated: the rainbow stripe running down the middle of the camera, right below the lens. Long may it—and Polaroid—wave.

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