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2003/29/1 Camera and accessories, Polavision Land camera with film and viewer, various materials, designed by the Polaroid Corporation, United States of America, manufactured by Eumig, Austria, 1978. Click to enlarge.

Polavision camera and accessories

Made by Polaroid Corporation in Austria, 1978.
In the late 1970s the Polaroid Corporation designed and developed the Polavision. In essence the Polavision camera and (necessary accessories) facilitated the exposure and then immediate review of (silent) film using the dedicated Polaroid developer/viewer.

This product was competing with established products for the home movie or amateur filmmaker which included various manufacturers models of super 8 film cameras that had been available since 1965 (and were beginning to experience declining sales). Many of these super 8 film cameras also supported synchronous sound, which the Polavision did not. Domestic video recording products were also just beginning to show promise for amateur film makers. The Polavision equipment experienced poor sales and was withdrawn from production in the early 1980s.

The Polavision used a proprietary colour film product - Polavision film. Polavision film is an additive colour film which uses fine filter stripes which act during exposure and during review to reproduce colour. All other colour films starting with Kodachrome (1935) have been subtractive in nature. This by-product of the development of the Polavision experienced continued development and success as a Polaroid product - Polachrome instant 35mm slide film.

Although the Polavision camera experienced a short life as a product some designers were drawn to the unique nature and properties of the product and used Polavision technology to produce films which comment upon and document the Polavision. In particular Charles and Ray Eames were responsible for producing seven short films using the Polavision (sponsored by Polaroid).

The Polaroid Corporation obtained bankruptcy protection on Oct 12 2001. Polaroid had a strong history of product innovation under its founder Edwin Land. During WWII the company's inventions included infrared filters, heat-seeking missiles and target finders. It was after WWII that Land developed his most popular invention - instant photography.

Copies of six patent specifications in relation to the Polavision have been obtained from the Australian Patent Office. These patents relate to the auto focus mechanism employed by the Polavision camera, and the inventor is acknowledged as US citizen Edwin Kalman Shenk.


Object No.


Object Statement

Camera and accessories, Polavision Land camera with film and viewer, various materials, designed by the Polaroid Corporation, United States of America, manufactured by Eumig, Austria, 1978

Physical Description

Camera & accessories, Polavision Land camera with film & viewer / developer, metal / plastic / electronic components / paper, designed by the Polaroid Corporation, USA, manufactured by Eumig for Polaroid Corp, Austria, 1978

Camera and packaging: the Polavision movie camera is in its original packaging (paper board box with polystyrene moulds) with a short screw in strap. The camera uses super 8 film in a dedicated cart designed and developed by Polaroid for use with this system. The camera is made of black and silver plastic, a glass lens and eyepiece, zoom control and a trigger type control button.

Developer/viewer and power cord: the developer/viewer is manufactured from a heavy plastic. The plastic has a brown/hide coloured fabric covering. The film carts exposed in the Polavision camera were placed in a slot in the top and developed in a process by that component prior to being played back by that component. There is a fresnel screen at one end of the viewer. There is a cart of the film in the viewer. There is a power cable which fits into a plug behind a door at the rear of this component. The rear door opens to reveal electrical components. There is a black plastic power cord the plugs into the back of the viewer and to a power outlet.



Packaging: 'POLAROID/POLAVISION/LAND CAMERA/#3600'. 'A product of Polaroid Corporation, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139 USA...'.

Developer/viewer: on rear door 'MADE IN AUSTRIA'. Maker's plate 'POLAROID POLAVISION LAND PLAYER/Volt 100-240~50Hz Watt 290 Pr Lamp max 100W 12V/POLAROID CORP CAMBRIDGE MASS., USA SERIAL NO. I5F8176949/MADE IN AUSTRIA'.



The Polavision camera and Polavision player are both manufactured by Eumig in Austria for the Polaroid Corporation.



The use of this particular camera is unknown.


Credit Line

Gift of John Hinde, 2003

Acquisition Date

6 February 2003

Cite this Object


Polavision camera and accessories 2020, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 4 August 2020, <>


{{cite web |url= |title=Polavision camera and accessories |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=4 August 2020 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}

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