The Polaroid Go might be the most fun gadget to come out this summer.
While Apple, Samsung, and Huawei duke it out on smartphone cameras by putting increasingly professional software and hardware onto smaller devices, the regenerated Polaroid wants to appeal to the analog-lovers.
To that end, the company has unveiled the $99.99 Polaroid Go, a teeny-tiny instant camera to capture the much-predicted hot vax summer. Like the original Polaroid, this is a device with minimal functionality beyond taking a simple snap and printing it out instantly. The focus here is on spontaneity rather than carefully planned shots for the ‘gram.
The new generation of Polaroid cameras don’t come from the original Polaroid Corporation, but a Dutch venture that scooped up its IP and manufacturing equipment in 2017.
Here’s what the Polaroid Go was like to use:
It’s an instant camera in the classic style
There are very few bells and whistles on this small, boxy device. Its body is made of plastic, giving the Polaroid Go a retro, toy-like rather than premium feel – but that all adds to the sense that this is a device for play. One advantage of the plastic build is that the Go is relatively hardy – we dropped it on a London pavement by accident, and there was no visible damage.
There are few settings and buttons on the camera itself. There’s a viewfinder, a power button, a large red shutter button, a flash button, and a release button to open the film drawer. There’s also a handy, tiny screen to show you whether the flash is on and how many shots you have left.
The Go is intended to be easily portable and could fit into a large coat pocket or a handbag. It measures 105 x 84 x 61mm (4.1in x 3.3in x 2.4in), so it’s more compact than the earlier-generation Polaroid Now. It weighs 242 grams, about double the weight of the regular-sized iPhone 12.
There’s a rechargeable battery
You can charge the Polaroid Go’s rechargeable battery through its microUSB port. The firm claims the Go’s battery life is an improvement on prior models, and that it lasts for about 15 packs of film (each pack allows for eight instant photos, and you get two packs in a box.) We ran through two packs of film after trialling the device for several weeks, and only charged up the camera once.
It costs $99.99, pricier than some competitors
The Polaroid Go comes in at $99.99, or £109 in the UK. That compares to $99.95 for the Fujifilm Instax Mini 40, a larger retro-style instant camera, and the $69.99 Fujifilm Instax Mini 11, a more direct rival to the Polaroid Go.
It’s pretty easy to use
The camera’s autofocus and comparative lack of features mean the device is pretty easy to pick up and start snapping with.
It is worth getting to know the settings to improve your shots, however. The flash is automatic, and double pressing the flash button gives you double exposure shots – though if you’re holding the device in your hands as we were, this will probably result in blurry snaps.
You can manually turn off the flash, and holding it down activates a self-timer mode for group selfies.
The instant film creates tiny, cute photos…
Adding to the Go’s cuteness is the size of its film, measuring 67mm x 54mm and a picture area of 47mm x 46mm. The film cartridge is easy to insert into a drawer at the bottom of the camera, and as with other instant cameras, the Go ejects your shot from a front slot.
The format has been developed specifically for the Go, and is partly how the company shrank the camera to its pocket size.
“We had to be clever about shrinking everything outside – the way the light comes in and bounces off the mirror. Because of the way the film works, that mirror is key,” Oskar Smołokowski, CEO of Polaroid BV told Insider. “There’s been advancements in terms of the ranging sensor. It’s very small, very flat, we leveraged some of the technology that’s been developed for smartphones … people don’t realize how integrated the system is, how dependent on each other the film and camera are.”
Photos need around 10-15 minutes to develop and to be kept carefully in a dark place. The delicacy of the film means this isn’t ideal if you’re using the camera while out and about with friends.
…but the film is pricey
One of the major drawbacks of the Go is how much the film costs. A set of two cartridges, allowing 16 shots, will set you back $20, or £19 in the UK. We found a 20-shot Fujifilm pack for closer to $15, meaning that overall a Fujifilm device and film will set you back less.
You also can’t return the film packs to Polaroid for recycling – though the company does give some tips about disassembling and recycling the materials.
Here’s what the photos are like
While the Polaroid Go is simple to use out of the box, actually trying to get decent shots by trial and error is difficult and, with film packs at $20 a pop, quite expensive.
We’d recommend a brief read of the user manual, which contains useful tips like standing at least half a meter away from your subject, half-pressing the shutter button to lock the focus and flash, and to leave your photo under its dark film for five seconds once it’s ejected.
Photos emerge with a washed out, lo-fi aesthetic, and the square shape. This is part of the charm of the instant camera, but it’ll be anathema to anyone thinking they’ll get smartphone-quality shots, so set your expectations accordingly. The smaller format is joyous, and perfect for dotting around your work desk, sticking on surfaces, or giving to people.
Everything about this camera is fun, and the fact it’s a cute accessory is obviously intended to be part of its appeal. Though retro in aesthetic, pulling it out to snap friends still feels more novel and more spontaneous than taking shots on your phone. That the photos only exist physically rather than digitally is also compelling when everything is documented online.
On the flip side, the camera does mostly feel like a toy – one that’s expensive to keep topping up with film. This is a much more compelling buy for anyone who loves the camera’s portability, the way it looks, and the rebooted Polaroid brand.
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A good coffee table book is a decor piece that’s filled with stunning images and entertains guests.
We compiled a list of 35 coffee table books that will make great gifts for everyone in your life.
Unlike the dog-eared, beaten-down tomes inhabiting the bookshelves of a home, coffee table books are a more refined species.
They have license over the prime tabletop real estate and are typically used as both an accent piece, a personal thesis statement, and entertainment for guests patiently waiting for their host to emerge from some other room.
Coffee table books have the visibility, exclusivity, and freedom to mostly consist of beautiful, mesmerizing photos. Below are 35 of the very best ones that work as host or hostess gifts, holiday gifts, or treat-yourself gifts to yourself.
The 35 best coffee table books to gift this year:
“Art = Discovering Infinite Connections in Art History from The Metropolitan Museum of Art” by the Metropolitan Museum of Art
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This book combines 800 artworks from The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s collection and arranges them by thematic keywords (rather than dates or geography) for a deeper and more analytical presentation of art. There’s also a foldout, detachable timeline, and more than 100 essays for wider contexts of the works.
“The New Black Vanguard: Photography Between Art and Fashion” by Antwaun Sargent
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Curator and critic Antwaun Sargent discusses “The New Black Vanguard” and increasingly inclusive artistic communities in this book. Alongside Sargent’s essay are 15 artist portfolios from rising stars (Tyler Mitchell, Campbell Addy, and Nadine Ijewere, and more) and intergenerational conversations that simultaneously log the history of inclusion and exclusion in commercialized Black images — and the potential of a reimagined future.
“Architectural Digest at 100: A Century of Style” by Architectural Digest
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AD editors dug into years of archives to present a century of iconic style. Flitting from past to present, the book showcases the personal spaces of dozens of celebrities, iconic work from top designers and architects, and beautiful images from some of history’s most notable photographers. Inside, you’ll find the aesthetic fingerprint of Barack and Michelle Obama alongside Truman Capote, Frank Lloyd Wright, India Mahdavi, Bill Cunningham, and more.
“Chinatown Pretty: Fashion and Wisdom from Chinatown’s Most Stylish Seniors” by Andria Lo and Valerie Luu
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“Chinatown Pretty” documents the portraits and stories of fashionable seniors across six Chinatowns. It’s an extension of the popular eponymous blog and Instagram, and a celebration of Chinese-American culture, active old age, and expressive style.
“I Can Make You Feel Good” by Tyler Mitchell
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In his first book, one of fashion’s most promising photographers reimagines the Black experience by portraying what a Black utopia could look like — full of ease and optimism and natural light.
As Mitchell wrote on Instagram in August 2020, “I often think about what white fun looks like and this notion that Black people can’t have the same… I feel an urgency to create a body of images where Black people are visualized as free, expressive, effortless, and sensitive.”
“Homebody: A Guide to Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave” by Joanna Gaines
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“Homebody,” by New York Times bestselling author and HGTV star Joanna Gaines, is the perfect gift for the interior design aficionado in your life. Throughout the book, Joanna uses her 15+ years of experience as a designer to guide readers through creating a space they love with examples from images of her previously designed spaces. Accompanying the book is a removable design template so your giftee can apply the advice from the book into their space.
“Daily Rituals: How Artists Work” by Mason Currey
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If they have dreams of being a full-time creative, “Daily Rituals” will guide them through the routines and rituals of celebrated writers, philosophers, sculptors, and filmmakers throughout history. They’ll be delighted at how fascinating (and strange) the creative processes of artists they admire are. Features of note include Andy Warhol, Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, and Pablo Picasso.
“Moonlight Screenplay Book” by Barry Jenkins
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No film lover’s coffee table book collection is complete without a screenplay from their favorite film. The “Moonlight Screenplay Book” from A24, the film company behind many of our favorite films, includes beautiful stills from the movie, a foreword written by famed singer Frank Ocean, and a collection of the Moonlight actors Academy Award acceptance speeches.
“Art of Feminism: Images that Shaped the Fight for Equality, 1857-2017” by Helena Reckitt
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A volume of key feminist artwork and text that helped define and propel the fight for equality spanning more than a century and a half of United States history, “Art of Feminism” covers everyone from Judy Chicago and Carrie Mae Weems to Sethembile Msezane and Andrea Bowers.
“The Book of Citrus Fruits” by J.C. Volkamer
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Featuring 170 varieties of citrus fruits, this is a delightful series of hand-colored copperplates sure to bring a touch of charm to any room.
“West: The American Cowboy” by Anouk Masson Krantz
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A portrait of the American west by award-winning photographer Anouk Masson Krantz, “West” takes us from wide-open pastoral landscapes to tailgating at the rodeo and everywhere in between.
“Ai Weiwei” by Hans Werner Holzwarth
Exploring each period of Ai Weiwei’s work leading up to his release from custody, this is the almost definitive catalog of his works.
“Among Others: Blackness at MoMA” by Darby English
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The Museum of Modern Art is among the first to admit its uneven relationship with Black artists, and “Among Others” is a reflection, and an investigation, confronting that truth through essays and some of the best artwork ever produced.
“Great Women Artists” by Phaidon
Great Women Artists offers a definitive collection of more than 400 compelling works spanning half a millennium of art by some of history’s most overlooked titans of all mediums of art, from the canvas to the lens. Another book for any and every coffee table or bookshelf.
“The Wes Anderson Collection” by Matt Zoller Seitz
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A fun, whimsical book to brighten up any day or collection, but something the cinema nut on your list probably shouldn’t go another year without.
“Contact High, A Visual History of Hop-Hop” by Vikki Tobak
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Shining a spotlight not only on the greats of the genre of hip-hop but those who photographed them, “Contact High” is a chronological feature of nearly 40 years of hip hop history told through contact sheets and is an imperative presence on the coffee table or bookshelf of every pop-music fanatic.
“1000 Record Covers” by Michael Ochs
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Record covers are a unique time capsule of our life and times, and this coffee table book curates 1,000 that address such topics as love, life, death, fashion, and rebellion — serving as a symbol for particular times in our own lives, as well as in our collective history.
“Zaha Hadid: Complete Works 1979-Today” by Philip Jodidio
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They said her visions and designs were impossible to build, but they were wrong. Later in her life, Hadid’s works came to life. From the Port House in Antwerp to an airport terminal in Beijing, here’s an immortal collection to prove her critics wrong.
“Photography: The Definitive Visual History” by Tom Ang
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200 years of photographs and the photographers behind them, written by broadcaster, photographer, and writer Tom Ang, one of history’s most prolific photographers in his own right.
“Annie Leibovitz: Portraits 2005-2016” by Annie Leibovitz
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Leibovitz is one of the most influential photographers of our time and has covered some of the most recognizable and distinguished figures of the contemporary age. Here we are treated to a compilation of Leibovitz’s portraits from 2005 – 2016 (a follow-up to “Annie Leibovitz: Photographs, 1970-1990”) that carry her characteristic wit, style, and ability to humanize her subjects.
“Poolside with Slim Aarons” by Slim Aarons
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Slim Aarons is the ultimate photographer when it comes to documenting the lives of glitterati, and where better to snoop on this walk of life than the pool? From brunches to cocktail parties, “Poolside with Slim Aarons” features the who’s who of the celebrity world, sure, but front and center throughout are some of the most gloriously sculpted and positioned pools on the face of the earth.
“Humans of New York: Stories” by Brandon Stanton
Brandon Stanton’s “Humans of New York” series is one of the most powerful photographic campaigns to be conducted in the 21st century, leveraging the intimacy of random human-to-human connection and the powerful community of social media. Stanton’s 2015 #1 New York Times bestseller is a collection of his intriguing photographs and the stories that accompanied them, altogether creating a slice-of-life summary of the pain and joy of living.
“Panda Love: The Secret Lives of Pandas” by Ami Vitale
Vitale is an American photojournalist and documentary filmmaker. Her first book, “Panda Love,” is an intimate portrait of China’s giant pandas: tumbling out of baskets, playing hide and seek with caregivers, and exploring forests and preserves. The images are a sweet, tangible side of conservation, and a unique gift thanks to Vitale’s unprecedented access.
“Living in the Desert” by Phaidon
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This book is deeply satisfying for anyone interested in architecture, the desert, or contemporary homes. It showcases unique residences across the US, Europe, Asia, Australia, and beyond, illustrating the ways in which they interact with the sensitive, arid desert land. Picture blue water, long-fingered shadows of Yucca leaves at midday, and low homes disappearing into the red dirt.
“The Missoni Family Cookbook” by Francesco Maccapani Missoni
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The Missoni family is best known for its bright knitwear, but it’s also known for entertaining, including hosting well-coveted Fashion Week dinner parties. This aptly colorful cookbook is curated by Francesco Maccapani Missoni, son of Angela Missoni, and details the family’s favorite delicious recipes. It’s the perfect mix of fashion and food.
“What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions” by Randall Munroe
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From the creator of a hugely popular webcomic dealing with science, technology, language, and love, comes hilarious and informative answers to questions you probably never thought to ask: “How fast can you hit a speed bump while driving and live?” or “If there was a robot apocalypse, how long would humanity last?”
“Born to Ice” by Paul Nicklen
Paul Nicklen is an acclaimed Canadian photographer, filmmaker, marine biologist, and conservationist known especially for his work in and deep understanding of the Polar Regions. He’s a frequent contributor to National Geographic and has won the BBC Wildlife Photographer award of the year as well as the prestigious World Press Photo award for photojournalism.
Nicklen’s photos reflect a reverence for creatures — human and animal — in isolated or endangered environments, and “Born to Ice” combines Nicklen’s favorite photos of a decades-long career into one powerful, remarkable book.
“Havana: Split Seconds” by Abe Kogan
In 2015, before American travel bans loosened dramatically, Abe Kogan immortalized an isolated island on the brink of change. In place of postcard pictures of tropical beaches, Kogan depicts the real Havana, Cuba through black-and-white photos of Habaneros’ everyday life — neighbors gossiping over balconies and leaning in the doorways of once-glorious buildings that have fallen into ruin. Kogan’s “Split Seconds” manages to create a sense of permanence and portension.
“Bibliophile: An Illustrated Miscellany” by Jane Mount
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Jane Mount is an illustrator best known for the colorful book spines of notable works. “Bibliophile” is Mount’s love letter to all things bookish, including tours of the world’s best bookstores, quizzes to test book knowledge, and samplings of famous fictional meals — all illustrated in Mount’s characteristically fun, bright style.
“Tom Ford” by Tom Ford
Tom Ford is one of fashion’s greatest living icons. He’s the man whose designs ushered in Gucci’s stunning revitalization, increasing its sales tenfold. “Tom Ford” is a complete catalog of Ford’s design work for both Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent from 1994 to 2004, detailing his dance with sensuality and style.
“Writers and Their Cats” by Alison Nastasi
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Gloria Steinem called cats “a writer’s most logical and agreeable companion” — and as a consequence, the six-toed descendants of Ernest Hemingway’s cat still prowl his past home and museum in Florida. This book celebrates the 45 great authors who have loved cats, including Mark Twain, Alice Walker, and Haruki Murakami.
“Stanley Kubrick Photographs: Through a Different Lens” by Luc Sante
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Before using his unique perspective to create film classics like “The Shining,” Stanley Kubrick was working as a photographer for Look magazine. “Through a Different Lens” is curated by noted photography critic Luc Sante, and encapsulates Kubrick’s burgeoning creative genius through a “different lens” before meeting its famous catalyst in cinema.
“National Geographic Spectacle: Rare and Astonishing Photographs” by National Geographic
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National Geographic’s collection of rare photos depicts the earth’s natural wonders and hard-to-reach spots, covering the aurora borealis and wildebeest migrations to the world’s largest library.
“The Diary of Frida Kahlo: An Intimate Self-Portrait” by Frida Kahlo
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“The Diary of Friday Kahlo” is a copy of the artist’s journal, which she kept during the last 10 years of her life. Along with 70 watercolor illustrations are Kahlo’s poems, personal thoughts, and dreams. It’s an especially thoughtful gift for feminists and art aficionados.
“The New York Times Explorer: Beaches, Islands, & Coasts” by Barbara Ireland
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The New York Times’ “Explorer” books are based on the publication’s distinguished travel journalism, proving new insight, unique tips, and practical knowledge to make beach, island, and coastal trips more memorable.
The internet was set ablaze Monday evening after former President Jimmy Carter and first lady Rosalynn Carter’s nonprofit, the Carter Center, shared a curious-looking photo of President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden posing with the former first couple last week in Georgia.
Like something out of a house of oddities, both Bidens appear to tower considerably over the Carters, who look like miniature figures seated in their chairs.
The photo seems to suggest that the Bidens are twice as large as the nonagenarian couple.
Jimmy Carter’s height is listed as 5′ 10″ while Biden is two inches taller. Rosalynn Carter, meanwhile, measures up at 5′ 5″, about one inch shorter than Jill Biden, who is 5′ 6″.
So, if the Bidens aren’t giants and the Carters aren’t tiny, what accounts for the bizarre photo?
A specific photography method and the framing of the photo are likely responsible for the illusion, according to The Washington Post and BBC News.
The photographer’s use of a wide-angle lens caused the Bidens, who are situated close to the edge, to appear enlarged. Meanwhile, the Carters, seated in the middle of the frame, look “pushed back,” BBC picture editor Phil Coomes told the outlet.
Marlena Sloss, a freelance photographer, told The Post that a strong flash also contributed to the effect. The flash reduces shadows, which play a role in giving photographed objects depth.
The Carters are both leaned back in their chairs, while the Bidens appear to be kneeling forward, giving the illusion that the two pairs are side-by-side and on the same plane, Sloss told the outlet.
The Bidens met with the Carters at their home in Plains, Georgia, during a trip to the state last week. It was the first time the two Democrats, who have a decades-long bond, had met in person since Biden’s inauguration.
The meeting was held in private, according to Yahoo News, as Jimmy Carter, 96, suffers from health problems that have impacted his ability to hear and speak.
The Carters are set to celebrate 75 years of marriage later this year.
Gone are the blurry snaps of faces hidden in shadow after the sun goes down. With Night mode, iPhone photographers can take great photos at any time of day.
Night mode lengthens the exposure time on your photos, letting in more light and making pictures look brighter. And unlike the iPhone’s other camera modes, you don’t need to choose between a Night mode photo and a normal one – Night mode turns on and adjusts automatically in low-light environments.
Which iPhone models have Night mode?
To use Night mode, you’ll need an iPhone 11 (including Pro and Pro Max), or iPhone 12 (including the Mini, Pro, and Pro Max).
If you want to use Night mode with the front-facing “selfie” camera, in portrait mode, or with a time-lapse video, you’ll need one of the iPhone 12 models.
It’s not confirmed whether future iPhone models will have Night mode too, but it’s more than likely that they will. There’s also a chance that it’ll come to other Apple devices with cameras, like the iPad or Mac.
How to use Night mode on your iPhone
Night mode will turn on automatically when you’re trying to take a picture in low-light environments. You’ll see the small symbol near the top left, which looks like a moon, turn yellow. A time like “1s” or “5s” will show up near the moon symbol when it’s activated, which signifies the exposure time (or the length of time the camera lets light in before taking the picture).
When Night mode is activated, press the round shutter button to take a photo as you normally would. Hold the camera as still as possible until the exposure completes – this takes a little getting used to, but to get a good night picture, you need to give your camera time to take in light.
How to adjust the capture time of Night mode photos
When Night mode is activated on your iPhone, the moon icon will display an exposure time next to it, which is how much time it’ll take to capture a good Night mode picture. But you can adjust this timer manually if you want the picture to be quicker or higher quality.
1. When you’re in the camera app in low-light conditions and Night mode has been activated with a suggested time, tap the Night mode icon.
2. A slider will appear below the frame – move it to the right for more light or left for less light. For more light, there will only be one option: “Max.” This lets the camera take as much time as it needs to produce the best possible Night mode shot. You can also turn off Night mode completely here.
3. Take the picture as normal, while holding the camera still.
Kodak stock surged as much as 88% on Monday, boosting its market capitalization to north of $1 billion.
A federal watchdog found no wrongdoing in the creation of the $765 million government loan earmarked to fund the camera maker’s shift toward manufacturing COVID-19 drug ingredients earlier this year, The Wall Street Journal reported.
When news of the loan broke in late July, Kodak shares skyrocketed as much as 2,190% in two days.
However, the launch of congressional probes and a SEC investigation meant the funding was swiftly put on ice.
Kodak shares soared as much as 88% on Monday after a government watchdog found no problems with the process that created a $765 million federal loan to finance the camera company’s pivot toward making COVID-19 drug ingredients earlier this year.
The DFC signed a letter of interest on July 28 to provide the $765 million loan to Kodak under the Defense Production Act, which requires companies to accept and prioritize government contracts for national security and other reasons.
Kodak said it would use the funding to launch a pharmaceutical division that would make generic-drug ingredients in critically short supply. Trump described the agreement as “one of the most important deals in the history of US pharmaceutical industries.”