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Goodness me, I got this camera when I was about 15 so it is around 11 years ago now! Surprisingly it still works but you can't get hold of the film anymore and Polaroid stopped making it in 2006! However, on seeing as documentary on the history of Polaroid the izone was mentioned and the possibility of it being adapted to start making exposures again using APS film.
I googled it and stumbled across the following link:
http:// www. instructables. com/id/ Bring-Your-Polaroid-I-Zone-Camera-Back-From-the-De /#step1 (Ignore the spaces)
I am very intrigued by this and thought I would write a review of the izone. It was the first camera I ever owned and the thought that it could be resurrected to work again intrigues me, although I'm not sure if I will ever find the time or patience to sit down and do it!
*Price and availability*
Cheekily the izone is still available as new through Amazon. If you get hold of a new one there is some film thrown in with the pack and you can pick one up for around £19.99. Second hand on EBay or Amazon Market place they cost around 3.99. This seems a lot for a camera that has been made redundant, unless you want to buy one to have a tinker with, like in the steps above.
The camera is around 15cm x 5cm x 4cm. It comes in a variety of colours which certainly appealed to the teenage market. I had a blue one and my best friend had a silver one. As their main audience was young people, it was important to make the camera user friendly and robust. The cameras are really sturdy and robust, I dropped mine many times and it was always fine when I picked it up!
The camera has a view finder and a flash. The flash automatically comes on for every exposure and is controlled by a sensor next to the lens. You decide what sort of flash you need by switching the camera on to certain modes using a dial on the top. They are: Outside Sunny (f 34.5), Outside Cloudy (f 12.5), and Inside (f 10.) The straight forward no nonsense dials meant you could literally pick it up and shoot, you didn't need to bother reading the instructions.
There is no red eye reduction or face recognition; this is point and press photography. The camera is so easy to use and this was one of the advantages that led to its success. Once you make your selection the camera is ready for the shot and you need to hit a large button that sticks out the top to take the photograph.
The shutter speed is 1/125 sec and the focus is fixed at 2-6 feet. I wasted a few photographs by ignoring this and making the subject too close so the picture came out all blurry, but once I got my head around this and had a bit of distance between the camera and the subject, the quality was much better. So long as the subject stayed still as the shutter speed is quite long.
Once you take the photograph, the camera switches off. This is great for young people who would forget to turn it off and come back to find their camera's battery had died. The camera runs on 2 x AA batteries.
So once the exposure is taken, a few seconds later the image comes out from a little slit with rollers on the side of the camera, gently pull on the film and the image comes out. After 30 seconds of letting it dry the image is ready to do whatever you want with it. Some of the Polaroid film was sticky on the back so you could annoy your mum and stick them all over your bedroom. The images produced measured 24mm×36mm which is the same size as a 35mm film negative. The film cost around £4.00 for packs of twelve. You could get plain backed or sticky backed images. All the films came with a funky coloured border around your photographs with gave it that extra teenage appeal.
I had a lot of fun with my izone and have some good little images that I still have today. I remember for one Christmas getting a little izone photo album key ring which was perfect sized for the mini photos. The quality of the photographs was okay to say how small the images were. They all seemed to have a blue green hue around them but it didn't really seem to matter. Out of a roll of 6, about 4-5 were successful; there was always one that was blotchy and white. I could never work out why this happened. It is a shame that they don't make film anymore as I would love to give it another go for old time's sake. To say the camera is so old and still in working order means they are good quality machines!
I've just seen a couple of unhappy customers who have bought the izone as new for £19.99 with 6 exposures and then being shocked to realize the film is now obsolete. So just to clarify, you can't get hold of the film anymore! Unless you keep an eye on EBay and someone has an abundance of stock left over to sell, I would not advise you to buy this camera.