Thinking about picking up an instant camera for the holidays as a fun and cheap Christmas gift idea? Wise move, because they’re great. But did you know that there’s also a wide selection of instant film for them, plus accessories such as filters that’ll give you a variety of looks? No? Well, allow us to explain. 

The best instant cameras make excellent gifts, and you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to bodies from the main players Polaroid and Fujifilm Instax (check out our Polaroid vs Instax article if you need help choosing). Or perhaps you already bought an instant camera like the Fujifilm Instax Mini 12 or Polaroid Now+ in the Black Friday sales just gone and now want to get more from it.

Most people that get an instant camera stick with the standard color film with white border, but one way to get more creative when shooting these precious keepsakes is to try some of the different instant films and accessories. But with so many options ranging from Polaroid’s ‘Reclaimed Blue’ to Instax Mini film types with multi-color borders, where do you begin?

We’ve reviewed all of the best instant cameras from Polaroid, Fujifilm Instax and Canon, and almost always try out the various film types available, plus accessories like lens filters. And we’ve used that experience and expertise to put together our favorite film types for Polaroid and Instax. Enjoy breaking out from the norm!

Fujifilm Instax Film

Perhaps the most widely used instant camera film is Instax Mini – adopted by a number of Instax and Leica instant cameras, such as the Leica Sofort 2 and Instax Mini Evo, plus the Fujifilm Instax Mini Link printer. The standard color film with white border currently costs $13.98 for 20 sheets at Amazon in the US or £14.99 for 20 sheets at Amazon in the UK, and it can actually be cheaper to buy in those single packs rather than in bulk. However, there are also two widely available alternatives; Monochrome or custom border styles (different to plain white).

Instax Mini has the widest selection of border styles, but there’s quite a few of these options available for Instax Square film and Instax Wide film formats too, and the same buying advice below applies. Remember, make sure that you are buying the correct format of paper for your instant camera or Link printer. 

Instax Mini Film monochrome

Instax Mini Film rainbow

Polaroid i-Type, Go and 600

Polaroid has a wide variety of instant cameras and film types, so be sure to get the right one for your camera – the information is clearly marked out on the Polaroid website. i-Type covers the Now series of cameras including the Now+ and the new and advanced Polaroid I-2. The Go series is a shrunk-down version with its own smaller film size, while the 600 and SX-70 film is for the vintage models. We’re concentrating here on the new i-Type and Go series of instant cameras. 

Polaroid i-Type and 600 film is the same film, but the key difference is the cameras they are compatible with. i-Type film packs do not have a battery built-in and only work with Polaroid’s new cameras like the I-2 and Now+, while 600 film packs have the battery built-in and work with battery-less vintage Polaroid cameras as well as i-Type cameras. 

Polaroid i-Type

Polaroid Go

Polaroid 600

Not in the US or UK? Find the best Instax and Polaroid film deals in your region, below.

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