Review – Polaroid Impulse 600 Camera

Polaroid Impulse Camera

Polaroid Impulse 600

The Impulse camera is non-folding 600 camera that is similar to the SX-70 non-folding cameras. I am not sure when these cameras were first produced, but I have a strong feeling that it was in the late 80’s. There are many versions of this camera, but they generally only varied in color and not much in functionality. This review is for the most common blue grey colored version. It comes with a built-in pop up flash that you push on to reveal the lens. You push it again and the lens cover slides back over and keeps the lens protected. When the cover is over the lens it also causes the camera to kind of shut down and you are not able to take photos. It’s shutter button is located on top towards the back of the camera. Some versions of the camera have a close-up option that is also located on the top of the camera and you have to slide a button and keep it there if you think your subject is within 2-4 feet.  The camera is made out of plastic with a vinyl sort of covering over where you would hold the camera on the sides. The light management system is located in front of the camera right below the lens. It can be moved from the left side (lighter) to the right side (darker).  This camera can sometimes be found in stock in my Etsy Shop or you can also find them on and in thrift shops. Since it is somewhat “newer” than a lot of other Polaroid Cameras it tends to be in good shape.

Polaroid Impulse 600 Camera

impulse side

Polaroid Impulse 600 Camera


The Impulse Polaroid currently takes film from The Impossible Project. That is the only film that I really trust to still be used. If you buy expired film from Ebay you may get film that is dried up and unusable or just so old that all of your Polaroids are washed out and and covered with streaks. You can find film at the following links for Color Shade Film or Black and White Film. They can also be bought directly from The Impossible Project.

Impossible Project Film for 600 Polaroid cameras


The Impulse camera as said before comes with a built-in flash, on this particular camera you will always use the flash when you take a picture. There is not way to really not have the flash go off. If you would like to not have the flash interfere with your photo then I recommend covering it up with the dark slide or a dark piece of paper. When you are using the flash your subject will be best lit if they are between 4-8ft from you, otherwise your subject will appear to bight/light if they are within 4ft or too dark if they are beyond 8ft. This camera has a fixed focus anyways so everything that is 4ft and beyond is going to be in focus, so I wouldn’t really try to take any pictures within 4ft.

Polaroid Impulse 600 Camera

Polaroid Impulse 600 Camera

Lighten/Darken Control Slider

Most times I start out by keeping it in the middle but if it gets very bright out or if you are in low light and don’t think the flash is going to reach all the way you can adjust the slider. When you are looking at the front of the camera you can slide the lever to the left left to make it go lighter or to the right to make it darker. What this essentially does is it covers up the light meter on the the camera with different shades of dark plastic so the shutter stays open for a longer or lesser time depending on it’s position.

impulse close up

Inserting Your Film

You can now take your film out of the box it came in. Place the film into the camera by taking opening the bottom of the camera up, which is done by sliding a small lever on the side of the camera forward.  Once you place the film inside  and close the camera you should hear a whirl and the dark slide should pop out. The dark slide is the thin cardboard piece of paper that has been protecting the film from light exposure.  If you are using Impossible Project Film you should make sure that you have let you film warm up to room temperature if you have been storing it in a fridge.




Picture Taking

So now you have your camera and film together and are ready to got and shot some amazing shots. Or be like me, and experiment with the first few and then produce some pretty good Polaroids. It’s all about trial and error and hopefully your pictures will come out better and better.

Boston Skyline with Polaroid Impulse 600 Camera

The picture above was taken on the Cambridge side of the Charles River looking at Boston. It was a cool spring evening and I just simply put the Polaroid in my bag to develop and did not worry about the weather. The next picture a still a little washed out, but has much better color contrast with the knob turned a little bit to the darker side.

Polaroid Picture

This picture was taken indoors in my office. There was just a small amount of light coming from the window, but the flash was great for this. The flash illuminates me while the background remains diminished.

So those are the basics, and now you are ready to go out and  shoot some amazing Polaroids! I think this camera has an amazing design and can easily fit in your bag.

If you really like this camera and it’s design as I said before you can sometimes find in my Etsy Shop at this link here. If it’s not in stock you can always drop me a note and I can source it for you for no extra cost and make a reserved listing just for you.

Most times the manual for this camera is no longer with the camera itself, but The Impossible Project has uploaded the manual at the below link.

*The Polaroid Impulse Camera Manual*


  • Single-element 116mm f/9 plastic lens
  • Fixed focus
  • Some have a built-in “close-up” lens
  • Electronic shutter: range of about 1/4 – 1/200 sec.
  • Programmed auto exposure
  • Built-in electronic flash
  • Rigid plastic body with some vinyl covering
  • Automatic flash exposures for all pictures (flash always fires)

I hope that you have enjoyed this review. Please let me know if you have any questions or if you think I have left anything out.

*Impossible Project Film photo taken from The Impossible Project Website.


  1. Martin December 13, 2017

    Hi Adriana. What experience do you have with color photos at night? My best results are with people in front of colorful background (only 2 ft, 0,5 m distance). Without the background faces are mostly very bright illuminated. Darker adjustment looks not nice. White background works fine with adjustment for a little more light. In addition to the flash of the Impulse I am using a slave flash to improve the illumination of the background.

  2. Liaa October 10, 2017

    Hey! So my company found one of these and were giving it away so I took it – it has film in it but when I push the button nothing happens. Do you think the film battery is shot or is it something else? How can I get it to work again?

    • Adriana November 17, 2017

      Sorry for the late reply. The film in the old film cartridge is probably dead. You just need to buy new film and it should power on.

  3. Maresa April 14, 2017

    Hi ! I recently bought an impulse polariod camera from the thrift. At first when I would then it on it would indicate with a red light that it was on. A few days later when I went to turn it on again. The red light would not turn on. Does this mean it no longer works or should I but film for it to turn on ?

    • Adriana May 3, 2017

      Hi, The camera may have had very old film in it that caused the light to at least turn red. You should def buy new film which will have a new battery in it. Once inside the camera the light will first turn on red to charge up and then turn green to let you know it is ready for use. Hope this helps.

  4. Kshitiz Goel June 16, 2016

    Hello…i m thinking of buying this camera..but i also have an option of buying the Autofocus 660 SE which is better please help/..

  5. PJ Kincaid April 13, 2016

    hello, just got impossible film for a thrift store impulse. loaded up as described, but pictures turning out all blue with just bit of light image on edge. Advice?

    • Adriana April 13, 2016

      If it is still blue, it might just need more time to develop. I generally takes about 45 minutes for the picture to come out if it is color film. Impossible Project film also has blue tones when the temperature is too cold. Hope this helps.

  6. Jaime January 3, 2016

    Does The polaroid Impulse AF need BATTERIES

    • Adriana January 10, 2016

      The battery is in the Film Pack

  7. Diandra September 14, 2015

    My flash button appears to be stuck, I can’t pull up the flash so the lens cover doesn’t open … Is there anything I can do to fix this??

    • Adriana September 14, 2015

      You could try to take off the face plate. Which is easy to do with a small screw driver as there are mainly two tabs at the top holding it in. You can then see how the flash is getting stuck. They sometimes go off the rails and need readjusting. Hope this helps!

  8. Danny August 6, 2015

    Hi I found this camera with a un opened film. The pictures did not work. All stayed brown.?? Is this the camera or the old film??

    • Adriana August 6, 2015

      Hi Danny,
      It is most likely the film. Most film that is that old would be dried out and the chemicals would not be spreading across the picture anymore. I would buy new film from The Impossible Project if you still want to use your camera

      • Erika De Lacey November 4, 2017

        Hi Adriana. Thank you for your advice to Diandra for fixing her Polaroid Impulse. I had just bought one at a thrift store only to find that the flash wouldn’t pop up, leaving the camera useless. I followed your advice and in about 10 minutes I had the camera fixed. 🙂

  9. Emily Barbosa May 31, 2015

    Where is the battery for the camera? How do I change it? Is it part of the film?

    • Adriana June 15, 2015

      Sorry your comment went into spam. The battery is indeed in the film itself. Make sure to buy fresh film so that you have no issues with the battery.


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