Best Disposable Cameras of 2020 – Complete Round-up

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Many times, you might find yourself in a situation where you want to capture the moments without getting tangled in the technical aspects of photography, such as aperture, focus, and shutter speed

In cases like these, the best choice you can make is getting a disposable camera. They come with fixed shutter speed, aperture, and focus, so you don’t have to make too many decisions before clicking.

Comparison Chart of the Best Disposable Cameras

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Has flash capability for clear pictures in low light
  • 35 millimeter camera for better light capture
  • Small and compact design to ease grip
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  • Light in weight to ease portability
  • You can dispose of it after use
  • Has a wide range of 1 meter and beyond
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  • Best for the Money
  • Allows for up to 27 exposures
  • Comes with flash and a film
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  • Best Fujifilm Disposable Camera
  • Has film that allows quick image capture
  • Suitabe for underwater use for short periods
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  • Best Kodak Disposable Camera
  • Includes the high quality Kodak film
  • High exposure rates at 81 exposures
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  • Best Waterproof Disposable Camera
  • Can be used in wet conditions and underwater
  • Includes the reputable Fuji film for crisp image capture
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What is a Disposable Camera? 

A disposable camera has one underlining feature that makes it different from other film-based cameras; its housing is discarded after a single-use. It has a simple and friendly user interface, too, because it does not require the user to make too many decisions. It comes with a roll of the film already loaded into it. 

Using the gear at the top, you can manually advance the film after clicking a picture. Taking a picture is almost effortless; you only have to look through the viewfinder and then click to open the shutter, which would then capture the image using light filtration into the lens. 

Pros and Cons of Disposable Cameras 

Disposable cameras are just like every other product. They have their pros and cons too, and before investing in them, it is important that you know what they are. Read on below to find out the advantages and drawbacks of these cameras and whether you should buy them or not.

Pros

First, let’s see what makes them a great pick

Very Cheap to Purchase

Since they don’t have a lot of purchasing costs, you don’t have to worry about losing them while you’re out on a trip. They are also very easily available in any market in almost all regions.

Fully Automated

This means that you don’t have to make a lot of decisions before taking pictures. Some of them even have a delete option and a self-timer option, which are some amazing features to have if you are with your friends' group, and you don’t want anyone to miss out.

Good Image Quality

The resolution offered normally is usually up to the mark. Most of the disposable cameras work pretty well in daylight, and you can easily get the captured pictures printed in an 8x19 inch print. 

Ilford XP2

Cons

Meanwhile, some limitations include

Less Adjustability

This does not have features that allow flexibility, so if you are someone who likes to zoom in and out and work with the settings to take a shot, then this might not be the best option for you. Sometimes, you may also find overexposed shots, and you can do nothing to adjust them.

No Picture Preview

Many people prefer going through the clicked shots to see if they need to take another one. With these, you don’t have the option of scrolling through the images. 

The cheaper models in this category do not even let you delete the picture, which means some part of your role will be going to waste if you don’t like the picture. 

Quick Take - Best Disposable Cameras

Before we dive into our review, here are the best disposable cameras:

  1. Ilford XP2
  2. Kodak SUC Daylight 39
  3. Ilford HP5 Plus

Review of the Best Disposable Cameras

If you are satisfied with what you have gathered so far on disposable cameras and are looking to get your hands on one, we have got you covered. Below, you will find information on some of our carefully selected, best disposable cameras to buy, whether you are on a budget or looking for some very specific features. 

Best Overall:
Ilford XP2

Ilford XP2 Super Single Use Camera with Flash (27 Exposures) Black and White Film CAT1174186

PROS

  • Features a fairly wide-angle range
  • Having a small size makes it easy to handle and carry around
  • Has a very powerful flash so you can put it to use even at nighttime 
  • Very affordable, so you can carry it on trips without worrying about losing it
  • Comes with 27 different exposures so it can adjust well to its surrounding lighting 

CONS

  • Can be a bit difficult to achieve tonality
  • Films cannot be processed at home easily 

What Recent Buyers Report

One thing that everyone admires about this is how it works amazingly for both black and white and colored films, along with its exposure latitude, which results in crisp, fine prints. 

Moreover, no spotty or overexposed prints have been reported, which makes for an excellent choice, considering this is the main flaw of most disposable cameras. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

This one has exceptionally wide exposure latitude, which lands very good results having clear highlights and shadows. It works well even in surroundings with bad lighting or overly exposed areas where there is a risk of adding too much brightness to the picture. This means it is suitable for both indoors and outdoors. 

Who Will Use This Most

People who like landscape photography really dig this camera. This is because it offers really wide angles so you can get more into the frame. It also has various in-built exposure settings, so the light and shadows captured come out beautifully in print, and there is no worry of getting overly exposed pictures. 

Bottom Line

To conclude, this is the best disposable camera to get if money is not an issue for you. You might want to miss out on it if you like to process the images yourself. But again, it has the most adjustability because of various in-built features, which makes it almost an effortless and fun device to use. 

Kodak SUC Daylight 39 800iso Disposable Analog Camera – Yellow and Blue

PROS

  • Ideal for outdoor photography 
  • Gives out high-quality images for print
  • Super lightweight, making it easy to carry
  • One of the most affordable disposable cameras in the market
  • Does not need a steady hand, which makes it great for a newbie photographer 

CONS

  • Not water-proof
  • Flash is manual, so it needs to be adjusted by the user

What Recent Buyers Report

Many recent buyers have reported that it was extremely fun to use because of its super simple user interface, and its light-weight nature makes it easy to carry around. While some complained that the flash did not work as intended, others loved how easy it was for them to grasp the controls. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

Kodak never disappoints; this one comes equipped with an 800 ISO color negative film and only needs 1 AA battery to run. Moreover, it is super light, weighing only 5 ounces. 

Perhaps, the best feature of this camera is its ability to shoot in the darkest of atmospheres, so you can rely on it even at night.

Who Will Use This Most

It is an ideal disposable camera for both newbie and pro-photographers because it is super versatile in nature and allows people to take neat, sharp pictures without losing focus. It does not need much hand control, which makes it a fun camera to use if you are not equipped to handle the technical stuff.

Bottom Line

To conclude, with its sharp optics and in-built manual flash, you are sure to enjoy having control over overexposure on your subject. If you like having more control, this compact and the lightweight camera will fit both your outdoor and indoor photography needs. 

Best for the Money:
Ilford HP5 Plus

Ilford HP5 Plus Disposable Camera with Flash, Green (HP5+)

PROS

  • Super high affordability rate
  • Light contrast makes it easy to obtain crisp pictures
  • Produces high quality images under any light conditions
  • Captures natural light and true shadows without exaggeration
  • Has a really smooth grain, which makes for remarkable black and white pictures

CONS

  • Not the best to use at night 
  • Pictures can sometimes come out a bit blur

What Recent Buyers Report

A lot of buyers are appreciative of its dynamic and wide exposure ranges along with its ISO 400 box speed. Its traditional, fine-grain print is not the best, but it is trusted by many because it has been around for a long time and therefore has been tried and tested by professionals. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

It really stands out from its competitors because of its ability to maintain the crisp detail and capture the natural light, which gives a very natural outcome. There is also a particular aesthetic that is obtained because of its grain quality. Grey tones are also captured in 6 to 8 zones in the same frame. 

Who Will Use This Most

It makes for an excellent choice for people who are involved in journalism, making documentaries, sports, or any other form of action because of its amazing shutter speed. It can also capture various tones in a singular frame if you choose the right angle to shoot. 

Bottom Line

In all, nothing can easily beat this 35mm film disposable camera because it has an exceptional exposure range and latitude. You can easily maintain highlights while shooting at box speed, but you will need a steady hand if you want fine prints at the end of it. 

Best Fujifilm Disposable Camera:
Fujifilm Quicksnap Flash 400

PROS

  • Has a built-in electronic flash
  • Best for use in daylight with no flash 
  • Stays charged for a long period of time
  • No pre-charge is required for the flash to work
  • There is a water-proof option available in the market

CONS

  • A bit heavy on the pocket 
  • Produces very dull pictures in lower light levels

What Recent Buyers Report

Usually, buyers have bought it for their kids to play around, complimenting the fact that it does not need much user control. However, some reported that not all the pictures could be developed because of damage to the film. Apart from that, they loved all that it has to offer. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

With its finer grain 400 iso films and a shutter speed of 1/140 second, it can be a good regular-use camera. The best thing about it is the F/10 aperture, and it also adds a bit of spin to the picture so you can be in for a surprise.

Who Will Use This Most

This one is only good for beginners who are just learning to get their angles right because it does not have flexibility in terms of wide-angle range or exposures to different lights. But it has an electronic flash, so any newbie will not have to waste time figuring out the technical aspects.

Bottom Line

Overall, you should not get this if you want to shoot your subject up-close. It is also not great for night-time photography because it only has 400 iso. But all things considered, you can get decent photo quality, especially if you have the time and energy to scan the negatives yourself. 

Best Kodak Disposable Camera:
Kodak FunSaver 3 Pack Camera

Disposable Kodak Camera [Camera] 3Pack

PROS

  • Best for 4x6 inch prints
  • Bulk buying can save a lot more money
  • Has very subtle grains and pleasing warm tones
  • 800 iso color negative film offers good exposure 
  • Comes with an instructions sticker on the body itself  

CONS

  • There is no way to adjust the light
  • Looks like a toy so only targets kids

What Recent Buyers Report

People love having these at weddings because they are easy on the pocket and super fun to use for them. They have reported that the pictures are normally grainy, but that is something they consider a part of the aesthetics, so they don’t really mind it. Many also like the exposure quality the pictures take on. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

It is really unique in terms of design, the selection of color, and the ease of use. Plus, the instruction sticker on the body really catches the eye. It is also super easy to hold, so the hand remains steady while taking the shot. This ensures good quality photos. 

Who Will Use This Most

This one is most likely to be used by kids because of its appearance, and its features are also not built for it to be handled professionally. This is made to be used in a carefree manner to learn basic camera handling and photography skills because it does not have much flexibility for the user. 

Bottom Line

There can be a bit of distortion in high contrast areas. So if you are looking for great results for a low price, this might be the best choice. While it is not the most ideal for professionals, those just starting out should really check it out. 

Best Waterproof Disposable Camera:
Fujifilm Disposable QuickSnap

Fujifilm Disposable QuickSnap Waterproof Pool Underwater 35mm Camera, Pack of 2

PROS

  • Completely waterproof which adds to its durability
  • Lens aperture is f/10 which ensures nicely lit pictures
  • Speed range of ISO 800 along with the color print film
  • Minimum distance is 3.3 ft, so up-close shots can be taken
  • Has an in-built flash feature which comes in handy at night

CONS

  • Can be a bit heavy on the wallet 
  • Body is very flat, so the hand might not be steady while shooting

What Recent Buyers Report

According to recent buyers, this camera is outstanding. They claim that it has a great speed range along with a built-in flash. This makes it easy to use regardless of the weather and time outside. It is also waterproof and is very long-lasting, making it the perfect gift for their kids. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

Perhaps, the best thing about this one is how a switch can be flipped when the camera has to be used, and if you change your mind, you can always flip it back to its place. This is a unique feature not offered by any other disposable camera. This saves the film from being developed and wasted.

Who Will Use This Most

It is a great camera for regular household use. It is best for taking out on beaches or for taking panoramic shots. It has amazing control over the flash, so it is great for people who usually make hasty photography decisions and want to undo at the moment. It offers a lot of control to the user. 

Bottom Line

To sum up, this is the best one to purchase if you are looking to take a few pictures with the family or taking it out on a picnic. The body is also nicely built, so the user's hand will likely be stable, ensuring great pictures. 

How to Use a Disposable Camera 

Disposable cameras are very simple to use. Here are some step by step instructions to help you through the process;

1. Turn the rotating wheel towards the right until it stops. 

2. Flip the switch to turn on the flash if you need it.

3. Make sure there’s a red light when you turn it on, or simply turn it off if you don’t need it. The red light indicates that the flash is ready.

4. Hold the camera in a steady position and press the shutter button down to take a picture. 

Make sure the surface is not very shiny; otherwise, the light will bounce, and the picture will turn out overexposed. Also, keep in mind the minimum and maximum distance that the camera can shoot at so the picture does not turn out blurry. 

5. There is no power on/off button in disposable cameras, so make sure to turn the flash off if you’re not using the camera to save the battery. 

The battery can also be easily replaced. However, it extends onto 10 years from its expiry date of 2 years, so you don’t have to worry about that. 

If you need visual guidance, you can refer to the video below for a full overview of what was just described. 

Conclusion 

To conclude, disposable cameras make for a great choice if you want to be carefree with your devices out on vacation. It is the ideal gift to give to someone and can be used on reckless adventures easily. Make use of the buyer’s guide mentioned above to get a good grasp on its features and go ahead and buy the camera that suits you the most.   

People Also Ask

It is very common to have a hundred different questions in mind when you are using something that requires a lot of manual handling. There are queries related to the handling, replacing films, and recycling of the disposable camera, all dealt with below.

Who Invented the Disposable Camera?

The first-ever disposable camera was invented by Fujifilm in 1986. It was a production under their QuickSnap line, which used a 35 mm film. However, before that, a company called Photo-Pac had made a prototype using cardboard in 1949, which could do eight exposures, and it had to be mailed for developing. 

How Much Does it Cost to Develop a Disposable Camera?

The price of developing depends on the number of exposures and the developer brand. Normally, a 12 exposure set would cost around $12 to be developed. However, there are cheaper alternatives. You can go to Walmart and get a 12 exposure roll developed for just under $8. 

Can Disposable Cameras Be Reused?

Even though they are labeled as single-use because of their material choice and less flexibility, they can easily be disassembled and recharged using another film and battery. If the camera is without the white dash on the bottom, it can be disassembled from the side by a screwdriver or simply by lifting up any tabs. 

How Do You Get Pictures From a Disposable Camera to Your Phone?

The best method to do this is by scanning them and then transferring the scans to your phone. Or you could lay them out and take pictures with your phone. If you dig the grainy effect of a disposable camera, there are apps you can download to get that effect on your phone.

How Long Do Disposable Cameras Last?

The usual expiry date of films is about two years after the manufacturing date, but you can expect most of the films to hold up pretty well if kept in proper conditions for up to ten years past the expiry date. However, this depends a lot on the brand you choose. 

How Many Pictures Can a Disposable Camera Take?

A disposable camera typically comes loaded in the dark with a 24 exposure roll of 35 mm film. Since the film is never in contact with light, the user gets three additional exposures, which makes a total of 27. So if you load it in the dark yourself later, you can again expect 2 or 3 additional exposures. 

How Do You Refill a Disposable Camera?

To refill, you need a new film, a cutter, some toothpicks, and a screwdriver. You should open the camera only if your film is wrapped in the cassette, and you can rotate the wheel easily. Otherwise, you will end up tangling it. Then open the lid and replace the film.

Can Disposable Cameras Go Through Security?

Even though disposable cameras come in handy for vacations, if you are passing through anything which will have x-rays, the film can be destroyed since it is vulnerable to the rays. The best idea is to carry them with you in your hand luggage. And if even that has to be sent through scanning machines, take the camera out.

Do Disposable Cameras Take Good Pictures?

The best way to use a disposable camera is under natural daylight. Even though most of them have a flash, it is not very efficient, and they still work the best in more well-lit areas. The more light there is, the more extenuated the picture will come out after being developed. 

What Does S Mean on Disposable Camera?

The ‘S’ on the disposable camera usually refers to the start of the film. It is common to let two frames go to waste before you can get to the usable film. This is because the tongue protrudes and gets exposed to light when the camera loads. 

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