Anyone who’s addicted to the vivid colors and instantaneous results of Polaroid film knows it’s a costly habit. The Olympus C-211 Zoom offers an ingenious alternative to printing every shot on expensive Polaroid film: a hybrid,
digital camera and photo printer that uses Polaroid 500 film.
Equipped well beyond the specifications of your traditional Polaroid camera, the
C-211 offers 3x optical zoom and 2x digital zoom, spot metering, a 2-inch LCD monitor, and a focal length equivalent to
. You can adjust brightness, contrast, color balance, and sharpness using the on-camera menus, and then print single or multiple copies or an index print. The bundled software lets you upload and print edited images; the prints have good color fidelity but tend to be soft.
The downside is the C-211’s rapid battery consumption, likely due to its LCD monitor. Using alkaline batteries (the $50 AC adapter is sold separately), the C-211 captured an average of 15 shots before it had only enough power to print.