Once upon a time Polaroid Corporation was a pillar of innovation in American business. Its famous instant film cameras reached the market in 1948 and were a staple in American culture for decades. Unfortunately though, Polaroid filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2001 due to the failure of its senior management to anticipate the effect of digital cameras on its film business. Today, the iconic Polaroid name lives on and the good news for consumers is they have unveiled some innovative new technology once again.
Yesterday at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) Polaroid unveiled the world’s first Android-powered camera with an interchangeable lens – the Polaroid iM1836.
Built by Polaroid partner Sakar, the iM1836 runs Android 4.1 “Jelly Bean,” theoretically making it capable of the same photo-sharing and editing tricks you can perform on the Samsung Galaxy Camera (or any Android 4.1 smartphone, really). It comes with a 10-30mm zoom lens, but of course you can swap that out for others. Polaroid says it’s compatible with any Micro Four Thirds lens as long as you have an optional adapter.
The camera can take pictures up to 18 megapixels, and video up to 1080p. There’s also an HDMI output for direct connection to a TV.
One big way Polaroid’s Android camera differs from Samsung’s: There’s no option for a data plan. That means you’ll be relying on either Wi-Fi or your smartphone to access the Internet, and it comes ready to tether (via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth).
The LCD touch screen in back measures 3.5 inches (quite a bit smaller than the Galaxy’s beautiful 4.8-inch display) and it has a pop-up flash. Camera features include: auto blink detection, auto face exposure and panorama mode.
Coming in the first quarter of 2013, the iM1836 will cost $399.