Gear Review: Polaroid XS100 Extreme Edition HD Action Camera

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.

511VRT0EcqL._SL1500_The XS100 Action Camera from Polaroid is not that camera.

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.


About the author

Tim Sprinkle

Tim Sprinkle is a Denver-based writer and editor whose work has appeared in dozens of publications, including Outside, Backpacker and Wired.

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