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An instant hit.

Byline: tech now With Justin Connolly

IT'S the curse of the digital age of photography - we love that instant gratification of seeing our images as soon as they're shot, but we can't quite escape that nagging sensation that photos were better when they were printed on paper.

That may be why we're all applying filters to our smartphone snaps to make them look like they were shot with an instant camera from the 1970s.

And that may also be why actual instant cameras, which produce real photos in a matter of seconds, are making a bit of a comeback.

And this is despite the fact that each shot costs around a pound to fire off, although there is some appeal in having to take a bit more care with what you shoot and how often.

This isn't new technology, of course. My gadget-loving grandpa had an instant Polaroid Land Camera 40 years ago.

And, believe it or not, they first went on sale in the 1940s.

But there's a backlash against digital going on.

We see vinyl sales rocketing, and real books are outselling the electronic variety.

So it seems entirely reasonable to witness German camera legend Leica making a brand new instant camera, something that would have seemed unthinkable just a couple of years ago.

Leica isn't the only one getting in on the act, though - here are three of the best new instant cameras, and no antique filters will be required.

Lomo' Instant Automat Glass Magellan (PS150) LOMOGRAPHY is a totally analogue photography movement, started by a group of film enthusiasts who began selling the Russian 35mm Lomo AC-1 camera back in the Nineties.

It grew into a worldwide movement that now makes and sells a wide range of analogue cameras.

The magnificently named Lomo'Instant Automat Glass Magellan is Lomography's latest and most advanced instant.

Unlike the others it comes with some creative attachments, such as coloured lens gels and a close-up adapter, and also shoots on Fujifilm's mini film.

Order now, ships before end of April.

Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 (PS77.99) FUJIFILM is all in on the new wave of instant, and this is just the latest in a now long line of new cameras.

It builds on the success of the mini 8 by adding a mirror to the front of the same design to enable you to frame that all-important photograph of yourself perfectly. And there are five new colour options.

The close-up lens produces bright, colourful shots on Instax mini film - there are colour and black and white versions, which cost around PS10 for a pack of 10 shots. Available in May.

Leica Sofort (PS230) LEICA has a close relationship with Fujifilm, and in many ways the Sofort is a rebranded version of Fuji's mini 90, although Leica says it had re-tooled that camera in several important ways to raise the quality of images the Sofort can produce. And it does not disappoint.

If the mini 9 is aimed at the teenage market, the Sofort is the hipster option and there's a price premium to pay.

That said, being able to get your hands on a Leica for PS230 in unheard of. You can use Fujifilm's mini film in the Sofort, but Leica makes its own brand for about the same price.

Image quality can't be bettered.

Available now.


Analogue formats are enjoying a comeback

Fujifilm Instax Mini

Leica Sofort

Lomo'Instant Automat Glass Magellan
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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Apr 14, 2017
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