IP-1 on the left; Polaroid 1000 on the right

Analyzing the upcoming Impossible instant camera

As you know, I have a passion for instant photography and the cameras connected to it. I have personally tried nearly every format of Polaroid films that has existed (except the pocket, 500 and 80-type films) and played with cameras from most formats. Impossible has been teasing their upcoming instant camera on Twitter for a few days:

Also, ICYMI, Impossible now has a new website, located at impossible-project.com. This is what it looks like: big teaser image of i-type camera That’s right, the first thing you’ll see on their website is a giant teaser for their camera that is “coming soon…”. Coming tomorrow actually, so it’s about time to get excited and get the rumor-mill going! From now on, I will refer to the upcoming camera as the “IP-1” and to the Polaroid Land Camera 1000 as the P1000. By the way, all links below open in a new tab. Also keep in mind that those teaser images are renders and the actual product might look slightly different.

Analyzing the teaser images:

Let’s start with the website. The tagline reads “The original instant camera. Reinvented.” – if you take that literally, it means we’ll see a new Packfilm camera that is inspired by the original Land Camera model 95. Or a reworked SX-70. However, both of those cameras look nothing like the one on the teaser image! The design reminds me heavily of another Polaroid camera: the Land Camera 1000, first sold in 1977, shares the 45° angled back design with the IP-1:

IP-1 on the left; Polaroid 1000 on the right
IP-1 render on the left; P1000 on the right

As you can tell from the quick photoshop I made, both cameras look very similar. However, I made some interesting observations:

  • Shutter button is on the side of the IP-1 whereas it’s on the front of the P1000
  • The lens shade is considerably larger on the IP-1 (in comparison to the main body width)
  • The flash or flash socket (black thing on top of the IP-1) are quite different from the old Polaroid flash socket, it seems.
  • IP-1 has a plus/minus switch on the lens shade

What does the plus/minus switch on the IP-1 do?

I can think of two possible uses:

  1. It’s a light/dark adjustment slider, much like the wheel found on the P1000 and the slider found on the Polaroid 600 cameras.
  2. It’s a zooming knob – slide up to zoom in and vice versa. This seems unlikely though, because the camera would need to be an SLR to allow for accurate framing of the zoomed shot.

Let’s assume the +/- slider is for exposure bias (number 1), …

What does the ring around the shutter button do?

IP-1 shutter detail I purposely adjusted the brightness and added the red arrows to the image to show you the interesting detail visible around the shutter button: the top arrow is number 1, the lower arrow is number 2.

  1. The ring has a fluded edge, giving more grip while turning it with your fingers. Also, the horizontal line on the shutter button lines up with the line on the ring, indicating the ring is currently in its default position.
  2. There seems to be a small hole on the bottom edge of the ring. Either that’s a remote shutter socket or just a screw hole.

So, what could the knob be good for?

  1. It’s a mechanical self-timer that works similarly to the old Polaroid self-timers (links to image of old self-timer).
  2. It’s a knob for zooming. Again, this is very unlikely.

What is THAT?

IP-1 flash front This is the second of the two teaser images Impossible has shared on their Twitter account. It shows a rectangular plastic device that is attached to the top of the camera (you can see the round lens shade at the bottom of the picture). At first glance, it looks a lot like the front of the viewfinder of the P1000: 1000 viewfinder front The “push” thing on the right is apparently a small handle that allows you to retract the viewfinder into its standby position, as visible on the side view. IP-1 flash front arows Side view: IP-1 side viewfinder mockup However, the grey round thing in the middle of the viewfinder is what makes me wonder if it’s actually something else. Having this piece of plastic in the viewfinder doesn’t make sense, since it would be blocking your view! Maybe it’s not a viewfinder but… something else. Who knows? What do you think? I’m definitely very excited and looking forward to the presentation tomorrow. I’ll make a short post about the new camera after the presentation is over. Naturally, the credit and copyright for the IP-1 camera reside with Impossible Project.