How Much Your Old Vintage Polaroid Camera is Worth and the 10 Most Valuable and Rarest Models

26 March 2024 by
Anna Lam

If you have an old Polaroid camera lying around, then you might be wondering, “How much is an old Polaroid camera worth?” Vintage Polaroid camera value can range a lot depending on many factors, but in general, they range from as little as HK$640 to HK$1200 and as high as HK$8000 or more. 

Capture is not only committed to preserving your most precious memories and Polaroid pictures using state-of-the-art equipment, but we also want to help people preserve their old antiques, cameras, and other equipment. That’s why we put together this guide to estimating the value of old Polaroid cameras.

Read on to learn factors influencing old Polaroid camera prices, 10 of the most valuable and rarest models, and a guide to retro Polaroid camera valuation.

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Understanding the Factors Affecting Vintage Polaroid Camera Value

There are several factors that affect the value of vintage Polaroid camera models and many of them are the same factors that affect files of other old media like a vintage camcorder including condition, age, and features. Other factors include model, rarity, historical significance, and current demand.

Model and Rarity

The model, and how rare it is, is one of the most important factors when it comes to the value of a Polaroid camera. Some are super easy to find while others are few and far between, thereby driving a higher price. This also goes for rare colours, like special editions or vivid 80s colours that are harder to find like the party green and blue retro Polaroid automatic models.  

This is also related to the specific age, features, and historical significance of a model. For example, a 1980s camera that offered a unique design might be worth more than a 1990s Polaroid that was incredibly common and basic or the newest model the Polaroid Now that was released after The Impossible Project rebranded the Polaroid company.  

Condition and Working Order  

The condition of your instant film camera is another major factor for the pricing of old Polaroid cameras. While you can get a Polaroid camera worth HK$80 quite easily, options that are in perfect condition with a clear viewfinder, zero damage, and like-new appearance are much harder to find. Therefore, they are more valuable.

For example, a Polaroid 600 series camera is very common due to it being one of the most popular in the 80s, but if you have one in mint condition with the original box, then the value will skyrocket.

Features and Accessories

The features of a vintage Polaroid camera can vary greatly from one to another. Some have built-in double exposure, autofocus, point-and-shoot design, exceptional viewfinder, high-quality lenses, and more. These types of features might be highly sought after by a buyer, thereby driving up the value. 

Accessories like a strap, leather case, film rolls, detachable flash and more can also add to the value of an old Polaroid camera just like it would with any old video camera or film camera.

Demand and Popularity

Another one of the most important factors in antique camera market value is simply the demand. Are people looking for the camera right now and are they willing to pay? You can check Amazon and eBay to get a good idea of the demand for different Polaroid models as well as other old cameras.

Film Compatibility

There are several different types of Polaroid film including 600, Go, SX-70, and i-Type. Some people might prefer different film types, especially those that are easier to find. The same goes for other roll film or pack film for any type of instant camera or film camera because to use it you need to have the right type of film for the type of photography you want to use it for whether that’s family memories, wildlife pictures, historical images, or anything else.  

Brand Reputation

While this guide is dedicated to one brand, Polaroid, it’s a good idea to mention that other brands like Kodak, Fuji, Nikon, and other popular brands offered instant film cameras to compete with Polaroids and might be worth a look if you’re looking to buy or sell any vintage camera. 

Valuable Polaroid Camera Models

Now that you know the factors for determining the worth of vintage Polaroid cameras, let’s look at 10 of the most valuable and rarest Polaroid camera models. If you have one of these, then you might be able to get quite a bit for it because people love them for one reason or another. 

Polaroid SX-70

The Polaroid SX-70 land camera from 1972 is a folding single-lens reflex model with an iconic design that lots of collectors adore. Some also have a brown leather and chrome body that makes them even more valuable and sought-after by enthusiasts. That’s why they’ve been sold for as much as HK$4800 and commonly sell for around HK$2400 in good condition.

Polaroid SX-70

The Polaroid OneStep Sonar Gold is even rarer and covered in 24 carat gold plates released in 1977 for Polaroid’s 40th anniversary. This special edition is incredibly valuable and is worth up to HK$16000 or more in some cases.

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Polaroid 180 and 195 Land Cameras

Polaroid 180 and 195 Land Cameras

These vintage Polaroid land cameras are very popular because they are fully manual cameras with real lenses. This gives more photographic control that’s not popular with automatic land cameras. They also do better in low light situations and are often considered the best Polaroid camera ever, but they only take pack film which might impact value for some. They typically sell for around HK$1200 to HK$1600 but can be as high as HK$4800+ in mint condition.

Polaroid 690 and 690 SLR

These Polaroids models are fully automatic but also offer a manual exposure compensation dial and the ability to turn the flash on and off. It’s collapsible, compact, and tons of fun to use, but what makes it so valuable is that it is a Japanese variant released in 1996, which means it’s somewhat rare in the West. Pricing ranges from around HK$2400 to HK$12000 and more.

Polaroid 690 and 690 SLR
 Polaroid Spectra/Image System

Polaroid Spectra/Image System

Introduced in 1986, the Spectra system has its own corresponding film and offers more control including accurate metering, auto focus, and readout of how many feet or meters away from the viewfinder the subject is focused. 

This makes it a great choice for close up pictures and also makes it more valuable, though not as expensive as other options on our list typically costing somewhere around HK$400 to HK$1600.

Polaroid 20x24

This amazing large instant camera uses film plates measuring 20 inches by 24 inches, which means it takes pictures that are very large. It was produced between 1976 and 1978 and the unique qualities make it a collector’s item. In fact, some studios rent them out for an exorbitant price of HK$14000 per day and sell the film at HK$1000 per exposure! If you have one of these, then it could be worth thousands of dollars.

Polaroid 20x24

Polaroid 600 SE

This versatile Polaroid camera is one of the most popular on the secondary market these days because it’s fun to use, offers interchangeable lenses, and simply looks cool. Plus, it can use roll film, pack film, large format, and even Instax Square back film. Typically, you can buy or sell them for HK$1600 to HK$4000+ depending on the condition.

Polaroid Model 100 Land Camera

This is the first model of Polaroid folding rangefinder camera and was released in 1963 around the same time when 8-tracks came out. The historical significance and antique aesthetic make it a fantastic option that sells for a lot of cash. While the film is somewhat hard to find, the camera is still fairly easy to find refurbished or in good condition for HK$1200 to HK$2400 with mint condition models going for HK$4800 - HK$6400 or more.

Polaroid Model 100 Land Camera
Polaroid 120 Pathfinder

Polaroid 120 Pathfinder

This 1960 Polaroid model originally came with a leather suitcase and wink-light flash and if you have all that together then you might be able to sell it for hundreds of dollars. It’s old, but it still offers a lot of great features and a lens that makes it a great choice for both novices and experts. You can find models for around HK$800 or HK$1200, but in the best condition they can sell for HK$4000 or more.  

Polaroid Model 95

This model of old Polaroid camera was released the day after Thanksgiving in 1948 and was an instant hit. It’s both historically significant and offers a rotary leaf shutter and flip-up optical viewfinder that people love. Plus, it looks really cool and much different than more modern options. Refurbished options are typically around HK$5600.

Polaroid Model 95
Polaroid 450 Land Cameras

Polaroid 450 Land Cameras

These later Polaroid land camera models are also highly cherished and use peel-apart pack film. They were produced from 1971 to 1974 and the folding, single-window rangefinder and viewfinder are highly sought-after by collectors in mint condition. This collectible Polaroid camera prices at around HK$800-4000 or more.  

Assessing the Worth of Your Vintage Polaroid Camera

If you have one of the models above or any other Polaroid model and want to know how much it’s worth, want to get an old Polaroid for someone’s 50th birthday gift idea, or know the value of a specific Polaroid for any other reason, there are some ways you can assess the worth other than simply looking up, “How much is an old polaroid camera worth?” 

First, try researching on eBay, Amazon, and other websites to see what the camera model is selling for. This can give you an idea of whether it’s trending upward or not. It can also help you determine how common they are and how often they sell. You can also check Polaroid and 8mm film camera forums to see what people are looking for and whether they are willing to pay for the model you want to sell. 

Second, in addition to simply identifying the model that you have, you should look at any special colours and see if you have a special edition. If possible, try to find out the exact year that your specific camera was made. Some years might be more valuable than others even for the same model. 

The next step, especially if you have a very valuable model or unique instant film camera, is to consult with experts and appraisers. You can look for an antique appraiser in your area or go on forums like DP Review, Photrio Forum, or 

Finally, consider whether it’s best to sell it on eBay or online marketplaces or whether you might want to consider selling it at an online auction. Online antique auctions are perfect for the most cherished models and can help drive up the price so that you get the most for your Polaroid instant film camera. 

Additional Tips for Maximising Vintage Polaroid Camera Value

There are some things you can do to maximise your antique Polaroid camera appraisal and get as much as possible. First, make sure you clean the camera first to make sure it looks as great as possible. If it uses a battery, replace that as well. 

If the camera has a worn-out part, you might want to consider getting it fixed or replaced to improve the selling potential. Also, if you can get it tested, that can help because untested Polaroid originals don’t sell for as much as those that are tested. 

Accessories and packaging can add significant value to the camera as well. If you have the original box, straps, leather cases, or even rolls of film or film packs, letting prospective buyers know can help you increase the demand and value. 

Finally, you can increase the value by documenting the history and provenance of the camera. A lot of collectors of everything from Super 8 film to the first digital camera like knowing where it came from, who used it, what images it captured, and any other history. This is especially important for certain models or if your Polaroid camera offers any historical significance.

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How much is an old polaroid camera worth? As you can see, it really depends. While the most common models in average conditions sell for HK$640-$1200, some models and special editions like the Polaroid One Step Sonar Gold-Plated edition or antique Model 100 can sell for 80 thousands. 

When selling old Polaroid cameras, make sure you take all the different factors into consideration including the condition, model, history, and more. That way you get as much as possible for it. 

If you have old Polaroids or other photo types, then you might also want to consider transferring the photos to digital. Capture can help with high-quality satisfaction guaranteed services as well as the first-ever touchless photo album scanning service.

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*This article is brought to you by Capture HK.

Capture HK is the premier analogue media digitisation company in Hong Kong.

Capture HK's business covers photographs, photo album, slide digitisation, videotapes digitisation, including VHS, S-VHS, VHS-C, S-VHS-C Hi-8, Video8, Digital8, DV, DVCAM, MiniDV, DVC and digital media digitisation, including Secure Digital (SD), Smart Media (SM), MultiMediaCard (MMC) Compact Flash (CF), xD-Picture Card, Memory Stick, USB Drive, CDROM, DVD.

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