This past April, gap intelligence began tracking instant cameras as a part of its digital cameras category. I was tasked with implementing and integrating instant cameras into the category and I could not be more excited to share and expand on my love for instant!

Why I Am Passionate About Instant

Instant film was developed in the 70s as a revolutionary technology as the development time for a picture taken by camera was reduced to minutes. Back then when instant was introduced, the hype was real. Instant film made picture-taking fun and instant. The Instant aspect of photo development brought a brand new dimension and a whole new market to photography. Fast forward to today. One would think that with all the current and modern developments in technology, instant photography as a market would have become obsolete. But as we know, what was once old can become new again.

Instant film, though considered a relic of the past, has recently seen a resurgence and continues to increase in popularity amongst consumers. It has been experimented upon and has spawned new markets. Wonders like Instagram and other similar platforms have brought back the nostalgia of retro-aged instant film with modern technology and social media.

Instant Camera

What Instant Points Towards

We see the continuation of instant film as a growing niche market but more importantly as a bridge between photography and print. Digital cameras have made it easy to instantly view pictures on a screen, but one cannot forget that before digital, pictures needed to be physically developed and printed before they could be viewed. This growth also strongly hints at the beginning of the melding of media and print into other areas. So including instant cameras not only expands the overall depth and breadth of photography and the digital camera category, but also reemphasizes the trend of photography and print coming together.

Today’s instant camera is not much different from when it first began decades ago, but improvements in manufacturing and marketing have launched them into the limelight. Fujifilm has experienced growing success with their Instax line of cameras. They completely dominate the instant film market segment with the vendor's unique strategic pricing, color variants, and even film color and theme variants! Their Instax line perfectly reflects that melding of the camera and print market with the most recent release of the Square SQ10.


Instax Square SQ10

The recent release of the Square SQ10 ultimately points towards the reconciliation of two technologies from different times and combines the best of both worlds; digital photography and instant print combined into one camera. With one square camera, you can view a digital image that is typically kept on a screen, and are actually given a choice whether to print it out or not.

Why We Track Instant Cameras

So why did we decide to track instant cameras? The answer is simple, because it provides valuable data to our clients. We believe that including instant cameras enhances our services and enables our clients to make smart decisions. It aligns with our motto to be values-led and gets us one step closer to being “The world’s most respected business intelligence platform and services company.” More importantly it exemplifies one of gap intelligence's values, which is the willingness to strive to push our limits and adapt as we expand our horizons and embrace change; changes within technology AND changes in methodology.

Endless Possibilities

As an avid lover of retro photography and everything film, I could not have asked for a more suitable task than integrating instant cameras into the digital camera category. It’s exciting to see all the possibilities that instant is providing to our day in age where screens and sensors are the things of interest.

In today’s world it’s hard to see technologies of old be revived, and we oftentimes see change come gradually. But in this case, it just so happens to be instant.