Embracing the retro look

Instant cameras have been around for over 70 years now, and different formats have come and gone. Although many models are still being made to this day, the market for instant cameras in 2020 has diminished since its heyday in the 20th century. For better or worse, there's something "retro" about instant photography. And while that may be a turnoff for some, others are happy to embrace the nostalgia and the look of cameras from a former time.

Nowadays, many instant cameras are leveraging the retro look. For example, Polaroid came out with its OneStep 2, which pays homage to the original design of its famous OneStep from the 1970s. Lomography fully embraces the retro look in its camera designs.

Monochrome Camera KC-TY01

The Monochrome Camera KC-TY01, the latest product from Japanese company Kenko Tokina Co., Ltd., follows that trend but with a notable twist. Instead of using film, it uses thermal paper, which allows the camera to stay relatively compact and lets you focus on taking pictures without worrying about using up expensive film.

Features and accessories

Here's what you can expect:

Instant output

It's an instant camera, after all.


You have 8 different frame types to choose from, so you can select the right one to match your subject.

Neck strap

Makes it easy to take it with you.


Since it uses paper, it's easy to paste into albums and notebooks where you can write on it with a pen, the photos are easy to distribute to friends and family, and you can cut them to your liking.


The KC-TY01 costs 10,868 JPY (10% off if you register at their online store), and comes in your choice of black, sky blue, brown or coral pink.

For specifications, visits the product home page here.

By - grape Japan editorial staff.