Ah, the classic Polaroid camera. First introduced in the 1940s, the company’s iconic, instant-print cameras were a ubiquitous part of American life for generations, until the product was discontinued in 2007, complete with the square prints, the multi-use flashbulb “bars” and that oh-so-unique washed out image quality (which most folks under 30 probably now think of as just another Instagram filter setting). The Polaroid was unique.
Following the original company’s 2001 bankruptcy filing and reorganization a new Polaroid brand emerged, focused not on the analog instant cameras it was known for but instead on new technologies, specifically digital imaging and Web-ready video, a la the GoPro camera brand.
And GoPro is a good place to start, because the XS100 Extreme Edition Waterproof Action Camera is essentially a lower-priced version of the ever-popular go-anywhere-do-anything line of action sports cameras, clocking in at less than $125. That said, it still packs some impressive functionality into that discount price point.
The XS100 is waterproof down to 30 feet, features a shock-proof case, can record HD video up to 1080p resolution (along with a variety of still image options up to 16MP), includes a built-in gyroscope sensor and its ultra wide-angle lens can cover a field of view up to 170 degrees. It even ships with helmet and handlebar mounts, because you know that’s what you’re going to do with it anyway.
Is it a Polaroid? Yes, of course. Says so right on the box. Is it the “Polaroid” you probably think of when you hear that name? No way, but it’s a solidly-built, outdoors-ready digital camera that’s a good alternative to the most expensive GoPro line if that’s what your adventure kit needs.
The XS100 Extreme Edition Pro Action Camera is available direct from Polaroid or a range of other online retailers.