30th May 2012, 12:03 AM
Usage review of the Polaroid Z340
Just landed a copy of the Polaroid Z340 and thought that as I get to familiarize myself with this new toy, I might as well write a short review based on my usage experience. This review will not be technical as I am really not good at reviewing anything from a technical point of view. I prefer to share the experience of using it - more of what I like as well as I do not like about this product.
Let me start with a few pictures of how this new toy looks like.
(1) Front view
(2) Back view
(3) Close up
(4) Sample Picture
The Z340 is like a 14 megapixel "point and shoot" camera that comes with a ink printer. I love the ergonomics but that is because I have larger hands. Female colleagues of mine felt that the form sector is not sexy enough and the weight is a bit of a heavy.
Do bear in mind that this is not really your advance PnS camera like the Canon X1. In fact, I try not to compare this with a PnS camera. Rather, I find this a class of its own just like how Polaroid instant film camera was it its good old days. But from a digital imaging perspective, there is nothing shout about its image quality. In fact, some said it is slightly better than a phone camera. Whatever it is, I felt that using it should be a case of fun to have camera that can brings joy to many as you take a picture and print it out on the spot (you got to wait but it would be less than a minute).
Technically, the Z340 is a camera and printer in a box and with it comes all the necessary accessories - a SD card slot, USB slot for connecting to PC for downloading of images, a and built-in tray to load ZINK Zero Ink paper. Yes, there is no ink cartridge and that is one less consumable to worry about. All you think is the special coated paper that prints using the ZINK Zero Ink technology (sounds environmental friendly eh?).
So far, this is my 2nd day fidgeting around it. I tried a few pictures and they seem pretty reasonable under low light. The camera allows pretty good control of setting different white balance and different ISO speed. For this, I would say it acts better than some low-end PnS digital camera. Here's a 100% crop of the sample picture that I took under very low light condition.
ISO1600 | f/3.2 | 1/33
The camera has a lot of creativity built-in. It is able to simulate Polaroid prints effect (including Black and White), use built-in borders and frames, print with date time stamp and allow user to print with or without Polaroid borders.
The only complain I have and I have to agreed on this with other reviews I read is that it takes a bit too long to print (about 50 secs for a picture) and while printing, it is not possible to continue shooting (unlike the good old film Polaroid since the print is ejected immediately so that picture taking activity can continue).
I think I am slowly liking the Z340 more as I get to understand its nature and look at ways to compromise with its limitations.
I will stop here for this brief introduction. However, more review will continue on this product as I shoot different things at different time with this new toy.
Oh, in case you are wondering where I got it, it is from this wonderful shop that sells all sort of creative photography stuff. Visit them to find out what they have:8storeytree. The staff that attended to me was Noreen and she is very knowledgeable when it comes to Polaroid film. I encourage you to visit the shop and maybe you will find something interesting to take away.
.... to be continued
Last edited by oracle0711; 30th May 2012 at 12:37 AM.