It was Polaroid's last gasp before its bankruptcy. In 1999, Polaroid introduced an integral film camera that gave you a tiny photo almost the same size of a 35mm negative. It was a big hit for the "on-the-go" teens for whom this camera was heavily marketed. In fact, the I-Zone probably single handedly kept Polaroid out of Chapter 11 for a few extra years.
However, the on-the-go teens got up and left....not taking their I-Zones with them. They moved on to greener and more digital pastures. Polaroid abandoned the I-Zone camera and I-Zone film in 2006. SInce then, these inovative cameras drifted into junk drawers and thrift shops all across the world.
The current state of the I-Zone:
1. Camera and film has been discontinued.
2. Legacy film has gone bad in the classic integral film way...dried up developing goop.
3. I-Zone.com forwards directly to the new Polaroid.com where you find very little information on the I-Zone camera.
4. The camera is easily bought used at thrift shops and auction sites and even new from Amazon (the non-availability of the film is glossed over).
5. Fuiji and Impossible Project folks have not indicated that they will take up the I-Zone film banner. This leaves your I-Zone in paperweight mode permanently.....or has it?
In this Instructable we will attempt to get your I-Zone camera off its lazy butt and start making exposures again by converting it to use APS photographic film.
Is it worth it? Probably not, but I never have let that stop me before!
Step 1: Camera Overview
The I-Zone is a fun and handy camera that produced a tiny integral print with a crazy decorated boarder that could be trimmed. Some stock had sticker adhesive on the back so they could be used to decorate most surfaces.
The lens is a single element miniscus plastic lens at maybe 50mm. The flash fires on all exposures with the flash power controlled by a sensor next to the lens. The aperture is controlled by a selector lever that also turns the camera flash system on. The stops are waterhouse stops in front of the lens. The stops are Outside Sunny (f 34.5), Outside Cloudy (f 12.5), and Inside (f 10). The shutter speed is fixed at 1/125 sec. The focus is fixed and optimized for 2-6 feet (normal flash range). One you make an exposure, the camera automatically turns off saving battery power. The image is pulled out the right side of the camera through the rollers and develops like any other integral film format.
The camera evolved to keep the "short attention span" target audience interested. A rainbow of colors with interchangable accent plates can be found. A thinner version also made it possible to put in a shirt pocket (about the size of a pocket instamatic). Finally the I-Zone 200 came out that took a different type of film.