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The Impossible Project's first instant camera has an app with full manual controls

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Old and new meet again

Impossible Project

The Impossible Project is best known for keeping Polaroid's type 600 instant film format alive even after it was abandoned by the long-time camera maker in 2008. The company also refurbishes old Polaroid type 600 cameras in order to resell them. But today the Impossible Project broke some new ground of its own by announcing the I-1, its very first instant camera. It comes with a suite of connected features and will be available starting May 10th for $300.

The new camera looks simple enough at first glance, with a matte black finish and minimal knobs and buttons. The I-1 has an LED ring flash around the lens, and it can handle both the original Polaroid type 600 film (which was discontinued) and Impossible Project's reverse-engineered type 600 film.

But cameras that can handle this film aren't new; what's unique here are the connected features that Impossible Project has built in. The camera connects to a companion app via Bluetooth, which allows users full manual control, including shutter speed, aperture, flash strength, and remote firing. The camera is also rechargeable via USB. Much like the semi-digital 8mm camera announced by Kodak at CES, it's a total mashup of old and new.

At $300, the price of the I-1 is a bit high compared to Fujifilm's Instax lineup, or even Impossible Project's refurbished Polaroid cameras. But its slick looks and smartphone features should be enough to push some film fanatics over that edge.