The Ultimate Comparison of Instant Printers: Instax Wide vs. Polaroid Lab vs. HP Sprocket 3×4 vs. Canon Ivy 2


Instant printers have revolutionized how we capture and share moments, offering convenience and nostalgia in one compact package. In this comprehensive comparison, we’ll delve into the features, print quality, connectivity, and more of four top contenders: Instax Wide, Polaroid Lab, HP Sprocket 3×4, and Canon Ivy 2. Whether you’re a photography enthusiast or just seeking a fun way to instantly print memories, this guide will help you choose the perfect fit for your needs.

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comparison of four instant printers

As a photographer, print quality, ease of use, and color is so important to me when it comes to printing photos. After trying out a TON of these instant printers, I thought I might show you my findings and which I prefer the most! In this test I printed the same photo on each printer so that you can see quality, color and size.

My absolute favorite is the Canon Ivy 2. It is quick, reliable and super portable (the smallest of the bunch). This instant printer uses special 2×3 paper that doesn’t need ink for printing that is also a STICKER (how fun is that?) which makes the photos perfect for using in lockers, scrapbooks or in journals. It has an app and connects using bluetooth. It is really easy to connect and the photos pop out really fast. You can also add borders and little stickers to the photos in app. The photos are clear and sharp and look really great.

The one drawback to this one is that the color was definitely off just a bit out of the bunch. The yellow was more orange, but honestly it didn’t bother me so much because of all the other benefits of it, plus on other comparisons (see last image) the Canon Ivy 2 looked even closer to the source image than the others.

My second fave is the Instax Wide. It is a different size than the Polaroid (photos are 3.5×4.5), but still have the fun border and print almost instantly. They also develop quickly and the color and sharpness is really nice. This printer uses an app and bluetooth to connect, so you can also make collage images and there are some fun templates. It is rechargeable and it is a bit bigger than the Canon Ivy 2, but it is still highly portable!

My drawback is that I don’t always love the colors on  Fuji, but as you can see in the image- the colors on this one were true!

My third fave is the HP Sprocket 3×4. I really like the size of the prints here and they are on inkless sticker paper as well. The printer uses bluetooth and an app to connect like most of the others and it has borders and stickers in app that you can print on your photos. The color was true and the photos came out sharp. It isn’t the smallest one of the bunch, but it also is easily portable.

However, I found that this printer was the least reliable to print. It connected easily but then the print wouldn’t always come out of the printer. Once I got it printing, it came out fine, but I had to do some troubleshooting and stomping away first.

I have used the Polaroid Lab printer the most and the longest and it has held up really well over time. This printer uses an app and reads image on your phone (rather than needing bluetooth to connect). It uses any type of the regular polaroid film- they make beautiful limited edition frames (I particularly love the gold and the retinix round frames) and using their app you can easily break one image up into collages on multiple Polaroids to make a beautiful statement piece for your wall. Plus Polaroids just look so cool and have a fun vintage factor. It is rechargeable so you don’t have to deal with batteries.  It works quickly (but the film develops slowly)

A few drawbacks about this printer are that I have found that the polaroid film is sometimes unpredictable in color and sharpness. This isn’t a drawback of the printer itself, but the printer needs the film to work soooooo…. Finally, this is the biggest printer out of the bunch and it isn’t exactly portable.

You really cannot go wrong with any of these printers- the developers have put a lot of time and money to make these efficient and work really well. I hope I have helped you in some way make a decision!

Here are the printers again in the order that I love best

1. Here is the link to the Canon Ivy 2.

2. Here is the link to the Instax Wide.

3. Here is the link for the HP Sprocket 3×4

4. Here is an Amazon link to the Polaroid Originals Lab.

Finally as a little bonus if you have read this far, I also compared four pink images as well. Do you have a preference?

comparison of pink colored instant photos Canon Ivy 2, HP Sprocket, Instax Wide and Polaroid Lab