A disposable camera is a simple point-and-shoot mechanical camera meant to be used once. Back in the 1980s and 1990s, they were a popular device to bring with on vacations as SLRs are complicated and not as cheap to own. However, these single-use cameras have dwindled in popularity with the rise of DSLR camera and smartphones.
Still, shooting on film holds a sentimental value as compared to digital shots. For once, you’re compelled to not waste your shots on “worthless” moments but instead, those that matter most.
It’s also the perfect tool to try film camera with before you invest in an actual one. Moreover, film cameras bring a sense of discipline to those who’d like to practice photography by getting it right on the first shot rather than spamming the shutter away.
How to use disposable camera
Forget about the technical side of photography (aperture, shutter speed, focus, etc.), disposable cameras are super convenient and easy to use. To work with them, just make sure you understand where the film counter is and if there are are additional settings that you can adjust. Many disposable cameras these days let you choose a preset (commonly “indoors’, ‘outdoors, ‘cloudy’ etc.).
By choosing the right preset according to your intended shooting scene, you lower your risk of wasting films or taking a bad shot. Once you have gone through your roll of film, head to the local photo mat and get your pictures print out. It's easy as that!
Here are some great disposable cameras for you to have fun with!
The Kodak Funsaver is the classic disposable camera everyone knows. This camera is easy-to-use and comes in a solid build quality with smooth edges. The camera uses an 800-speed color film that takes excellent photos in full colour with amazing clarity, whether you’re indoors or outdoors.
For a flexible film camera, you can’t go wrong with this Fujifilm Simple Ace Disposable camera. Loaded with ISO 400 film, the ISO value will not look too bright in most day shots (unless super sunny) nor will it be too dark when you shoot indoors provided it’s well lit.
Lightweight as well as compact in size, the camera comes with built-in flash so you can bring it everywhere from weddings to the beach!
The German brand Vibe’s disposable film camera is made to look like an old-school black and silver camera from the fifties. With a built-in flash that you can manually turn on or off, capture a variety of moments with its amount of 36 exposures.
This Fujifilm QuickSnap Superia gives you great quality, sharp lomography pictures with a staggering 10-foot built-in-flash for you to use at your convenience. Loaded with Superia X-TRA800 film and 27 exposures per single-use camera, shoot anything from natural landscapes and cityscapes to daylight portraits.
If you want a cheap, disposable camera for your snorkelling adventures, try the Fujifilm Quicksnap Waterproof Disposable Camera. This camera lets you capture life under the sea beautifully at up to 10m underwater. A hand strap is also attached to the camera so that you can hold onto them easily especially when you dive into the sea.
Film cameras are costly, and each shot may be hard to take let alone master. For those that are looking to get the best value out of their disposables should consider Fujifilm’s QuickSnap Flash.
This particular model uses an ISO 400 film which provides a good middle ground between bright and dim settings. Along with providing excellent picture quality, the camera features a built-in flash which you can keep it on constantly. With that, it makes the camera an ideal choice for most situations.
Kodak Power Flash Single Use Camera are great for taking pictures whether you’re outdoors or in low-light situations with HD quality. Loaded with 39 films in ISO 800, 135mm format, expect bright and vibrant colours especially when you turn on the manual built-in flash at dimmer scenes.
Your love for film (photography in general) shouldn’t be built solely on budget, but on passion. However, if you’d still like to save some money, the Kodak Daylight Single Use Camera is quite affordable while offering a 33mm ranged F10 lens and 39 exposures.
The downside? It does not have a flash which is compensated by the ISO 800 film loaded. Still, given that lighting conditions are good enough, you’ll enjoy snapping away at parties, weddings, and similar events whether indoors or outdoors. For an affordable disposable camera that produces decent photo quality, this might be your best bet.
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