Polaroid's 300 camera next to the Fujifilm Instax Mini camera
The Impossible Project has moved to dissociate itself from the recently-launched Polaroid 300 camera, telling BJP the new camera, which is based on Fujifilm technology, is a "surprising instant twist in communication" from Polaroid
Last week, PLR IP Holdings, Polaroid's new owner, announced the launch of a "new" instant camera - the Polaroid 300. However, as BJP reported, the camera is based on 10-year old technology developed by Fujifilm under the Instax Mini brand.
The Instax technology was developed in the late 1990s, and was released by Fujifilm worldwide, and under the Polaroid Mio brand in the US. It uses a smaller format of instant films and is not compatible with the 600 series of Polaroid films.
The Polaroid 300 also came as a surprise to customers, as PLR IP Holdings licensed the Summit Group, in October last year, to develop a new instant camera. In January, further details were released with Polaroid announcing the coming launch of the PIC 1000 camera, which would use regular 600 films as well as newly-produced films developed by the Impossible Project.
With the release of the Polaroid 300, these plans have been thrown in disarray. Speaking to BJP, a spokeswoman for Impossible, the company behind the Impossible Project, says: "The management of The Impossible Project clearly wants to state that the Polaroid 300 is not the camera that has been announced in Polaroid's press release from 07 January 2010, which would be compatible with instant film produced by Impossible. The Impossible Project is not involved with the comeback of the Polaroid Mio, now Polaroid 300, and unfortunately has no current information if Polaroid will launch the announced Polaroid 1000 camera in combination with Instant films produced by Impossible."
She adds: "With this 'new' camera release, Polaroid continues twisting its story. In 1947 Polaroid proudly presented instant photography and completely changed the way of people thinking and acting photographically. Within the following decades, Polaroid became one of the most innovative brands under the leadership of Edwin Land, continuously developing most unique products for their customers. Not all of Polaroid's products succeeded, the Polavision instant movie system turned out to be a financial failure and Edwin Land had to resign as Polaroid's chairman on March 6, 1980. From then on, more commercially orientated managers guided Polaroid into a mass market, developing camera systems like the Polaroid I-Zone, based on traditional Polaroid instant technologies."
The Impossible Project adds that Polaroid, then, chose to cut down in development costs, presenting, in 2001, the Polaroid Mio - "basically a re-branded Fuji camera," the spokeswoman says - based on the Fujifilm instant technology. "Shortly after introduction of the Polaroid Mio, Polaroid filed Chapter 11 the first time in 2001," she says.
Later on, Polaroid was acquired by Tom Petters, who has since been found guilty of running a Ponzi scheme, bringing Polaroid to the brick of extinction, having stopped production of instant cameras and films.
"In 2009, Polaroid's new owners and managers contacted Impossible to discuss possible cooperations regarding bringing analog Instant Photography back," the spokeswoman tells BJP. However, these plans are now uncertain as "Impossible has no current information if Polaroid will launch the announced Polaroid 1000 camera in combination with Instant films produced by Impossible."
A spokeswoman for Polaroid did not return requests for comments.
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