Polaroid Z340: instant-print digicam hits store shelves


posted Wednesday, November 9, 2011 at 12:46 AM EDT

Polaroid's Z340 digital camera. Photo provided by PLR IP Holdings LLC.ZINK Imaging Inc. and PLR IP Holdings, LLC--owner of the Polaroid brandname--have today announced immediate availability of the Z340 Instant Digital Camera, which was first unveiled last July.

Based around a 14 megapixel digital camera with a fixed focal length, autofocus lens of unknown specification, the Polaroid Z340 takes the company back to its roots by offering the ability to create prints straight out of the camera. The printing technology used was developed by ZINK Imaging, a company built on the foundation of technologies and assets purchased after Polaroid itself filed for bankruptcy. Zink is home to quite a few ex-Polaroid employees, and like the Polaroid film of old, their paper doesn't rely on external inks or developers. Each sheet of Zink "paper" has dye crystals embedded inside, topped off with a protective polymer overcoat. The dye crystals are initially colorless, but the application of heat using the Zink printer mechanism activates and colorizes the crystals.

The Polaroid Z340 isn't the first camera to offer a built-in printer, by a long shot. In fact, Polaroid themselves released the PoGo Instant Digital Camera back in early 2009, which included the same Zink printing technology. The Z340, though, offers a form factor much more reminiscent of the chunky Polaroid film cameras of days gone by. It also yields significantly larger print sizes than its predecessor, which offered 2" x 3" sticky-backed prints from a five megapixel camera. By contrast, the Polaroid Z340 can provide a 3" x 4" print--the same size as that offered up by a standard Polaroid film camera--from a 14-megapixel still.

Polaroid's Z340 digital camera. Photo provided by PLR IP Holdings LLC. Click for a bigger picture!

Polaroid's Z340 digital camera.
Photo provided by PLR IP Holdings LLC.

The new model's 2.7-inch screen is a slight step downwards from the 3.0-inch panel in the earlier camera, but the camera now uses a second-gen variant of the Zink technology, and allows some basic in-camera editing functionality, such as cropping or adding borders. Battery life of the Z340 looks to be something of an Achilles heel, as the camera is apparently limited to just 25 prints and 75 captures on a charge. Storage is catered for with a standard SD card slot, just like in the previous model.

The Polaroid Z340 is available immediately from select retailers, priced at around US$300. The per-print cost (excluding the price of the camera itself, obviously) works out to be about 67 cents, based on list pricing of US$20 for thirty sheets of paper.

Press Release

Polaroid Announces the Z340 Instant Digital Camera

Available Today, the New Polaroid Z340 Instant Digital Camera Reinvents Instant Photography for the Digital Age, Marrying the Flexibility and Convenience of a Digital Camera with the Classic Polaroid Instant Experience

MINNEAPOLIS, Nov. 8, 2011 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Today Polaroid announced the Z340 Instant Digital Camera, the next step in the evolution of the famed instant camera. Featuring a full-function 14.0 megapixel digital camera and integrated ZINK® printer, the Polaroid Z340 camera delivers a new twist on the instant experience. The Polaroid Z340 camera allows users to customize each individual photo between snap and share - making the newest product from the Polaroid family a digital photo booth that turns your images into a new social currency in less than one minute.

Since the launch of the Polaroid Land Camera in 1948, the first instant camera, people around the world have enjoyed the magic of Polaroid instant photography. The Polaroid Z340 camera delivers the same instant experience that is synonymous with the Polaroid brand: a simple, quick and easy way to capture, print, share and create with snapshots from our lives.

Unlike any other camera available today, the Polaroid Z340 pays homage to its analog predecessors, yet contains an advanced, easy-to-use digital feature set. Designed for portability, the Z340 combines a 14.0 megapixel digital camera with a ZINK-enabled printer using the ink-free Zero Ink Printing Technology from ZINK Imaging to deliver a 3x4'' print - the same size as the classic Polaroid photos that captured millions of special memories over the past 63 years. The Polaroid Z340 camera gives you even more options for instant printing: choose the iconic Polaroid Classic Border Logo or full bleed and contemporary 3x4'' photos.

"Polaroid photos connect people together in a way that is more personal than any photo tag, slideshow or comment box, yet digital images shape our stories," said Scott W. Hardy, President, Polaroid. "The Z340 brings these two worlds together in harmony by merging the excitement of the instant printing experience with the ease of digital photography and sharing. We're very excited to share the wonders of instant photography with a new generation."

Designed to be both a digital and instant camera, the Z340 is a part of the Polaroid experience that injects more life, meaning and features into your photos than any other imaging device:

Fuses the digital and analog worlds: Featuring a 14.0 megapixel digital camera and integrated ZINK printer, the Z340 camera produces vibrant photos with the patented ZINK Paper®, an advanced composite material with cyan, yellow, and magenta dye crystals embedded inside. Before printing, the embedded dye crystals are clear, so the ZINK Paper looks like regular white photo paper. The Z340 uses heat to activate and colorize these crystals.

Superb Print Quality: The Polaroid Z340 camera uses ZINK Imaging's second generation of the ZINK Technology, delivering vibrant and highly saturated prints. ZINK prints emerge fully developed and protected by a smudge-proof, water-resistant coating.

Made to be mobile: Designed for old and new fans of Polaroid, the Z340 camera's one pound, seven ounce, simple and intuitive features make instant printing and digital photography effortless with its rechargeable lithium-ion battery that prints up to 25 photos and 75 captures.

Snap, view, share and store: Simply snap, check out images on the Z340 camera's 2.7'' LCD screen and choose photos for printing - just like that, favorite images are instantly shared, no connections required. Just like a regular digital camera your images can be automatically saved to the on-board SD card. Various settings allow you to automatically print every picture or be more selective and wait for that right picture so there are no more wasted prints.

Get creative: No need to phone a friend to ask for help with computer upload and editing tricks - on-board editing features allow review and cropping prior to printing. Unique border options give your photos even more of a voice. You can even upload your own custom borders to the camera.

Aesthetically Pleasing and Environmentally Responsible: Reminiscent of Polaroid cameras of the past, the Polaroid Z340 camera is clearly a significant departure from a typical camera. Designed for both form and function, photo printing is now as portable as photo taking: ZINK Technology does not require messy ribbons, toner or inkjet cartridges.

The Polaroid Z340 camera is available starting today (US, $299.99 MSRP) at B&H, Adorama and Amazon.com, and also at Polaroid.com starting tomorrow. Thirty sheets of Polaroid ZINK 3x4'' Paper (US, $19.99 MSRP) is also available at the retailers listed above.

About Polaroid
Across several generations, people regard Polaroid as one of the most trusted, well-respected and recognizable brands when it comes to instant photography. The Polaroid brand has been around for more than 70 years starting with polarized sunglasses which then evolved into instant film, camera and camera accessories, marking the beginning of the well recognized Polaroid Classic Border Logo. In recent years, the Polaroid brand has expanded into flat panel televisions, portable DVD players, digital photo frames, digital HD camcorders, waterproof digital cameras and more. People can expect to see new Polaroid products that will deliver the fun, instant gratification and value for which the brand has long stood.

For more information, visit www.Polaroid.com .

Polaroid, Polaroid & Pixel, and Polaroid Classic Border Logo are trademarks of PLR IP Holdings, LLC.

About ZINK Imaging
ZINK Imaging Inc., a privately held company, was founded to enable millions of customers to enjoy the magic of ZINK® Zero Ink® products. ZINK Imaging invented, manufactures, and is an OEM supplier of the ZINK Printing Technology and the award winning ZINK Paper® to partners that will bring ZINK-enabled products to market under their respective brands. ZINK Imaging's headquarters and research and development labs are in Massachusetts, with a state of the art manufacturing facility in Whitsett, North Carolina. For more information, please visit www.ZINK.com .

The ZINK® Technology and ZINK® trademarks are owned by ZINK Imaging, Inc.