Polaroid managed to do one of the worst product launches for their Android based mirrorless cameras I have ever seen since I have been running this blog. There is no accurate information, the press release hardly provides any useful details, but first let's start with the name - iM1836? Why? When the first rumor about this camera was published on PhotoRumors, I thought this was just the internal name and for the announcement they will come up with something more meaningful and easy to remember.
From the press release we learned that in addition to Wi-Fi, the iM1836 also has Bluetooth connectivity. The price of the camera with a 10-30mm lens is reported to be $400. The 1" sensor of the iM1836 is placed inside the lens to "prevent a novice photographer from accidentally ruining the interchangeable lenses". This explains why Polaroid mentioned that their new camera will also be compatible with other mounts - they will probably just announce adapters with built-in sensors to accommodate lenses from different mounts. Techcrunch reported that there will also be a pancake lens for the iM1836 model.
There are also two more Polaroid mirrorless cameras: iM1030 ($300) and iM1232 ($350). All product shown at CES are just prototypes:
The Polaroid iM1030/iM1232 compact interchangeable lens camera features a 10mm-30mm lens in a compact Micro Four Thirds body that’s compatible with a wide range of Micro Four Thirds lenses with available adapter. The vibrant 3.5” LCD display, HDMI output, HD video recording, 18.1 megapixel resolution, auto blink detection and panoramic photo capabilities make this compact camera perfect for every special moment at $299 MSRP. With optional built-in peer-to-peer Wi-Fi (model iM1232W for $349 MSRP), it’s easy to connect to any network and instantly upload and share those great memories with friends via email or social networks.
Polaroid labeled the iM1030 and iM1232 as Micro Four Thirds bodies which is obviously wrong.
Still nobody can explain why the Polaroid iM1836 camera looks like a Nikon 1 J1.
What others are saying:
"It’s evident that whatever remnants of the company’s legendary photographic history could have cross-pollinated when the brand changed hands most recently are categorically absent. Anyone who is looking to buy a camera to take photographs of any kind should avoid the iM1836 at all costs." /Theverge
"Both of the cameras I’m sure are possibly the worst photography investment you could make." /Thephoblographer
Hands-on videos with the new Polaroid cameras:
Las Vegas (January 8, 2013) — Polaroid today unveiled the first and only Android-powered compact interchangeable-lens smart camera that makes it easy and fun for anyone to capture outstanding, professional quality images and instantly share them with friends. The 18 megapixel Polaroid iM1836 camera debuted at the 2013 International Consumer Electronics show, Jan. 8-11 at the Las Vegas Convention Center and will be on display in the Polaroid Booth #13613 throughout the show.
Produced by Sakar International, an authorized Polaroid licensee, the iM1836 camera features the latest Android 4.1 “Jelly Bean” operating system, the smoothest and fastest Android OS yet, and comes standard with a 10-30mm optical zoom lens, and will hit store shelves in the first quarter of 2013 at an MSRP of $399. The Polaroid iM1836 camera will also offer consumers the flexibility to explore their creativity with interchangeable lenses, since all existing Micro Four Thirds system lenses will work with the iM1836 with an adapter.
“Throughout our 75 year history, Polaroid has been synonymous with innovation, creativity, and ease of use,” commented Scott W. Hardy, President and CEO of Polaroid. “We are continuing that proud tradition at CES this year with the launch of the iM1836. This compact, connected camera is the ideal pocket-sized device to capture and share all of your most precious moments.”
Superior Quality, Simple to Use
The Polaroid iM1836 camera is the first of its kind to pair interchangeable lens options, like those typically only found on more expensive D-SLR cameras, with the ultra-intuitive and familiar Android OS. This powerful combination allows consumers of any skill level to get professional-quality results without the cost and complexity of a professional system. The lightweight device is portable and compact, perfect for dropping it into a backpack or purse, ready to capture outstanding images wherever and whenever they happen.
With the vibrant 3.5” capacitive touchscreen LCD display and the fast and fluid Android interface/menu, anyone can simply point and shoot great photos in a snap—no more fiddling with the camera and missing the shot. Auto blink detection, auto face exposure and pop-up flash ensure a great shot every time. The Polaroid iM1836 even captures wide-angle panoramic shots for impressive landscape photography without the added cost and weight of high-end equipment.
And, when the action calls for more than just a still image, the iM1836 camera also captures 1080p HD video. Plus, the built-in HDMI output turns this compact device into a multimedia player—just connect it to any TV or monitor to view video or photo slide shows.
Snap and Share Instantly
Combining the flexibility and creativity of an interchangeable lens camera with the power of the Android 4.1 platform, the PolaroidiM1836 camera makes it easy for photographers of any skill level to point, shoot, share and tag great photos instantly and effortlessly. With built-in peer-to-peer Wi-Fi and easy-to-use Polaroid photo sharing apps on board, the Polaroid iM1836 camera lets users instantly upload and share stunning, professional-quality image creations with friends via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flikr, Vimeo and more, all at the touch of a button. When Wi-Fi isn’t available, built-in Bluetooth connectivity pairs the PolaroidiM1836 camera with any Bluetooth-enabled device to upload images and video through a mobile phone, PC or even iPod Touch.
“People often take pictures with both their camera and their camera phone to get the image quality they want and the ability to share the moment with friends on Facebook or Twitter. Too often they miss the shot because they’re switching back and forth,” said Sakar President Jeff Saka. “This great little compact camera solves that problem, with exceptional Polaroid quality and the ability to upload and share those same images in real time.”