Polaroid wants your advice on remaking the Polaroid

Well, not really your advice. They actually want the advice of readers of Amateur Photographer Magazine to decide on specs for an upcoming printing camera. You can enter here and the winner gets a trip to New York and VIP tickets to the Museum of Modern Art.

That said, the Polaroid was a perfect technology for its time. Designed by Edwin Land as a “60-second photo studio” it ushered in a new era of instant on technology and, in a way, defined the generations that followed. New parents and amateur photographers alike loved the immediacy of the medium and the technology prepared us – and spoiled us – for future image taking technologies. It’s not a surprise that 35mm film died such a quick death: Polaroid convinced us that photography didn’t have to require a trip to the drug store.

What would I like to see in the new Polaroid? Two audiences will be drawn to the camera – oldsters and the hip youth. For the oldsters, make the camera portable and automatic enough to allow for one button shooting. For the youngsters, follow Joel Johnson’s recommendation to make this the next Lomo camera with crazy filters and wonky optics. Aiming at the middle market – the point-and-shoot folks and even the “business” users who still depend on Polaroid for day-to-day work – is folly. Folks using Polaroids now are using them because of ingrained habits, not because they want to. Raise the price and they’ll swap over to a digital camera/portable printer model in seconds.

What think you?