polaroidBack in the day, one of the most exciting parts of a vacation was returning and dropping your film off to be developed.  You relived your vacation when you picked up your snapshots, seeing all the places you went to and the people you met.

(And before that, family vacations always led to slide shows, where you bored neighbors and relatives with too many family photos). Then digital cameras took over and you relive the moment immediately. Take the picture, review it, take another.

For some people, thus ends their photo odyssey.  Others upload their photos to Facebook, blogs, or photo sharing sites.  But no one holds a snapshot anymore.

Even Polaroid, which offered instant gratification with its magical photos developing in front of you, stopped manufacturing instant cameras.

But Polaroid just released the newest generation of instant cameras, and they are a revelation. The $90 camera, in black/gray, red/white or blue/gray has an updated look, auto flash and scene settings, for indoor, very sunny, sunny and cloudy days. The photos are crisp, with true color reproduction.  And at $10 for film, which takes 10 pictures, prices are reasonable – though you might not want a kindergartener, used to free reign with a digital camera, to go snap happy.


Little kids can go crazy with a FlipCam, though, the $150 pocket camcorder that shoots surprisingly sharp video. Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort , in Florida, is giving guest a free Flip with a two-night stay. And the resort has a video contest for a Marco Island video that can net you a return trip to the island.

Get ready for your close up.