Polaroid Sun 600 Instant Film Camera Review

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For years and years Polaroid has reigned as the top instant film camera on the market, providing beautiful, soft color and black & white film in a matter of minutes. In particular, the Sun 600 is a camera that has been used by many photographers for professional and personal use.

The Sun 600 is able to shoot in almost any conditions whether warm or cold and is always sure to leave you in awe. This film will also give you incredible sun flare effects and crisp photos that will make you want to continue shooting with it.

Without any more waiting, let’s take a deeper look at the Polaroid Sun 600 Instant Film Camera. Plus, see more examples in our video below.

All photos © Moloney Creative Agency.

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Photo by Matt Moloney

Polaroid Sun 600

This incredible instant film camera was introduced in 1981 along with the Sun Autofocus 660 and the Sun 640 camera with built-in and light-management electronics. In 1981, Polaroid also brought to the market their new and improved 600 High Speed Color Land Film, which is the world’s fastest instant color print film. Regardless of whether you are shooting in daylight or night-time conditions, your film will always come out with a beautiful image. With the help of the built-in electronic flash, you can even take crisp photos at night and in dark settings.

Polaroid Sun 600 Instant Film Camera Review - FilterGrade


The Polaroid Sun 600 works with a few different film stocks. Previously all Polaroids were produced by the Polaroid Originals company, however, you can now purchase Polaroid film from the Impossible Project as well.

This camera work best with the Color/B&W 600 film from Polaroid, but many other stocks will be able to produce similar quality images.

Along with the well-made, durable film itself, when you purchase Polaroid film, you are also receiving all of the chemicals needed to process your photo. However, rather than developing/processing the photo manually – Polaroid has engineered their film to develop automatically within a matter of minutes!

All you need to do is shoot and then keep the photo in a dark place where your Polaroid can sit in a still setting until it has been developed. Once you’ve let the photo sit for about 7-15 minutes – Voila! – now you can see your results.

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For more on shooting Polaroid 600 Film, take a look at some of our tips below:

  • Keep both hands on your camera and position yourself so that your elbows are balanced and steady against your body.
  • Always be cautious of the light in your setting.
  • Wait until the Polaroid is all the way out of your camera before moving from your position.
  • Do NOT shake your Polaroid before it is fully-developed. (While we’re on this topic – don’t ever shake your Polaroids, there is no benefit).
  • Store your Polaroids in a dark, cool place before and after you shoot them.

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Interested in learning how to scan your polaroids just like the ones in this article? Check out the tutorial below:

Light Management System

Almost all cameras come equipped with some sort of light management system or a light metering system. In Polaroid’s case, they built their Sun 600 camera with a built-in light management system to help photographers produce the most high quality image no matter what setting they are shooting in.

The Light Management System is relatively simple to use, but you need to know hw to use it before shooting or else it can be a guessing game. For example, if you go out and shoot without knowing what uses the Light Management System has, you may shift the LMS to the dark setting thinking that it will make a dark scene look brighter. However, through trial and error you will learn that this is not how the Light Management System works. Take a look at the Polaroid below to find out what will happen if you shift the LMS lever toward the dark setting while shooting towards the sun.

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As you can see, because I shifted the LMS lever to the wrong end of the spectrum, I got a much darker photo than I had anticipated. Originally I had set my shot up so that there would be somewhat of a silhouette effect, and I had it in my mind that this set-up combined with the automatic flash would give me a nice silhouette with soft shadows and more detail.

On the contrary – this is what I got. The reason behind this is because of the wrong setting on the LMS, but I’d like to show you this so that you can learn how to use the Light Management System, because it can truly make or break a photo – especially while shooting black and white.

To learn how to use the LMS lever and the System as a whole, refer to this helpful guide below:

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Depending on the model and year produced, your Light Meter may look a bit different than the one above, but don’t worry – they are based on the same mechanisms!


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In the photo above you can see a much better use of the Light Management System. You can tell because there is much more clarity in the shadows and highlights on the photo – you are able to see details in the shadows and can see more of a balanced color throughout.

Electronic Flash

The last feature, and maybe one of the best, is the electronic flash! The addition of the built-in flash was a huge upgrade for the Sun 600 as many land cameras and previous Polaroids didn’t have any flash at all. This opened up the eyes of many photographers and gave many of them a whole new perspective. With the use of the flash, many photographers now had the option to shoot at night, indoors, in dark settings, or really anywhere that requires just a bit of light to make sure you can capture your subject.

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Using the built-in flash, photographers had a whole new range of possibilities and opportunities all which came with not having to bring an external flash that may not work as well and would also be a burden to carry around. With this feature, Polaroid made flash photography much more of a reality and changed the game forever.

For more of our film and analog articles, feel free to check out:

And as always, feel free to leave a comment and let us know what you think and if you have any questions – we’re more than happy to help you out!

14 Replies to “Polaroid Sun 600 Instant Film Camera Review”

  1. Very interesting article.

    It’s surprising to see a review for a camera from the 1980s. But since Impossible Project gained the rights to use the Polaroid name it’s a lot easier to get these cameras and the film for them.

    I never used a 600 back in the day, but I still have my old Spectra, along with its add-on lenses and filters. I got it out a few years ago when Impossible Project released their first film packs for it. But I haven’t used it for a while.

    You’ve inspired me to order some more film for it, and maybe write a review of the old dinosaur for my website.

    1. Mike says:

      Thanks so much Russell! Glad we inspired you, would love to see your review (and photos) too! :)

  2. Kenneth Taylor says:

    How often do you find yourself NOT using the flash? The manual says to always shoot with the flash button. Also, any suggestions on how to take images of neon signs at night? I would assume the flash would have a negative effect in this scenario? Thanks!

    1. Alvaro says:

      Usually you wanna shoot without flash when you’re trying to take a picture through a window or some glass. I personally don’t find myself using the flash override button often (so far, never) . For your neon pictures, I would probably recommend not using the flash and setting it to a darker tone, considering the neons might over expose or be too bright if you were to use the flash and keep it on a normal light setting.

  3. Jesse says:

    Thanks for the write up. The photography bug that bit me was digital, some twenty years ago. I’ve recently become intrigued by these vintage Polaroid cameras, and have a Sun 600 LMS arriving today!

    1. Mike says:

      Thank you for the comment Jesse. That is so exciting! Hope you capture some amazing photos and memories with your Sun 600 LMS :)

  4. Kay Underwood says:

    Brilliant article with lots of great advice. Just purchased a sun 640 today and getting excited about taking photos after reading your article. Thanks

    1. Mike says:

      Thank you so much Kay. That is exciting! If you don’t mind responding with your IG or portfolio, we’d love to check out your polaroids! :)

      Matt shares his on his IG and IG Story: https://www.instagram.com/matt_moloney/

  5. staticTV says:

    I bought a Sun600 from a yard sale the other day, I have no idea if it works but I’m still doing research in case it does since I would like to use it! Thank you very much for the guide, I wasn’t sure how the light shutter worked :)

    1. Matt Moloney says:

      Awesome – getting a new polaroid camera is always such a fun moment!

      For this specific model (sun600) – you will need a pack of 600 speed film to test if your camera is working or not. The reason being is because the battery is in the pack of film, not in the camera! Hope this helps :) Best of luck.

  6. Taylor says:

    But outkast told me to shake the polaroids!

  7. Patty Arnold says:

    I have acquired several vintage Polaroids and have enjoyed reading the articles and all the comments. I think I will purchase film and start using these Polaroids.

    1. Mike says:

      Ah that is awesome Patty, best of luck with your film and Polaroids. :)

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