As announced back in February, Polaroid will stop producing instant film by the end of the year. According to a "Notification of Polaroid Instant Film Availability," on the Polaroid.com site,"Due to marketplace conditions, Polaroid has discontinued almost all of its instant analog hardware products [read, cameras]. Polaroid has also made the difficult decision to cease manufacturing of instant film products in 2008." If you can beat the rest of the hording Polaroid fans madly buying up film on eBay, you may still be able to purchase standard Polaroid 600 film through Q1 2009, for example, but as with all film there's a shelf life to all that stashed instant film. According to Polaroid, the latest date of expiration for its instant film will be in September 2009. But don't cry yet. You can still get the Polaroid experience from Fujifilm's line of instant cameras and film.
I think we still have an old Polaroid SX-70 and a Spectra camera kicking around the attic somewhere, but my most recent Polaroid was a cute little Mio that I got in 2003. I loved that camera and actually used it quite a bit well into 2005 (yes, instead of my digital camera) until it became impossible to find the film. I liked to whip it out at parties, giving out candids to all who let me take a shot. I even snapped portraits of each guest arriving at my older daughter's first birthday party, making an instant album to save for posterity. (I tried that with a digital camera for my younger daughter's party a year ago and guess what? We still haven't printed the photos for the album.) The little Mio, which produced surprisingly good 1.75x2.37-inch photos was a hit with everyone who saw it. Except for that one curmudgeon at a Manhattan party who refused to let me get snap-happy with him because "that's one of those digital cameras and you're gonna post my picture on the Web."