Disposable Cameras

A Complete Guide on Disposable Cameras

Photography has been going on for ages but with time the dynamics of photography have changed completely. It all started with big and bulky cameras which were hardly able to take a single photograph. And now, thanks to the advancement in technology, we have cameras which you can put inside your pocket with ease. In fact, you can utilize your smartphone as a professional camera for photography.

The evolving process Cameras have also changed and are absolutely digital, which gives you the freedom to take pictures and save them in digital form or share it with others online. 

It may seem surprising but disposable cameras are still being used despite the presence of the latest digital cameras in the market. If you don’t know what a disposable camera is and how it works then you have come to the right place. We are going to be telling you guys everything you need to know about disposable cameras. So let us not waste any more time and get right to it.

Before we get into anything else let us first see what a disposable camera actually is.

What is a disposable camera?

A disposable camera is something which is still used in many places which may seem surprising to some people. It is one time use camera and you can just dispose it once you are done and have the pictures developed. These are majorly used in concerts, birthday parties, and on the beaches. You can even find a waterproof disposable camera which you can use underwater with ease. 

A disposable camera is something which is still used in many places which may seem surprising to some people. It is one time use camera and you can just dispose it once you are done and have the pictures developed. These are majorly used in concerts, birthday parties, and on the beaches. You can even find a waterproof disposable camera which you can use underwater with ease. 

How do disposable cameras work?

Disposable cameras are analog and not digital, so these don’t save pictures in a digital format. These cameras still use a film reel like Kodak or Fujifilm. Then you need to have these film reels developed and have the pictures printed. You need to take the cameras to the photo labs or developing centers and have your film reel developed. This can cost you some bucks, but you will get the pictures printed in hard form which you can cherish your whole life. 

What type of film is in disposable cameras?

Disposable cameras use analog film reels which you need to get developed or printed as we mentioned earlier. But these films are really sensitive to certain things and can get damaged. You can buy Kodak film reels which can give you the option to take a certain number of pictures. Most of the disposable cameras use a 35mm film but there are also some cameras which have a built-in film, and you need to send the whole camera for the pictures to be developed. 

Why is there still a demand of disposable cameras?

There are many digital and state-of-the-art cameras available in the market, which can give you cutting edge picture quality and results. But the question is that why do we still need a disposable camera? If you are also thinking about it then you are not alone. Below mentioned are some major reasons why a disposable camera still exists on the planet. 

  • Inexpensive

The first and major reason is that these cameras are pretty cheap and inexpensive. You can get a disposable camera from anywhere with ease and without putting too much stress on your wallet. The other cameras are really expensive and not everyone has the luxury to afford them. If you don’t have a good quality camera already in your phone, then buying an expensive camera is never a good option for you. This is definitely the major reason you still see disposable cameras in the market wherever you go. 

  • Rugged

A disposable camera may seem pretty light and sensitive but in reality, it is quite strong and rugged. These cameras are made to take on a good amount of beating and can withstand falls, bumps, and pressure in a carefree manner. The more expensive cameras are really cool, but they are not as tough and rugged as a disposable camera. Plus, even if you break this camera or it is damaged you won’t feel bad because these are inexpensive, as we discussed earlier. 

  • Lack of Rechargeable Battery

Battery is something which can affect the overall experience and performance of your device. Without a good battery life, you cannot enjoy your fun the right way and enjoy it for a longer period of time. But charging a battery of your device is not always fine and dandy for some people. As disposable cameras are meant to be used once so the batteries present in these cameras are not rechargeable or sometime not removable as well. This can be a point of attraction for some people. 

  • Some are Waterproof

We all know that if you want to enjoy your surfing or scuba diving, then you need a waterproof camera to get the job done because any other camera will get ruined the moment you take it near water. But buying a waterproof camera is not always cheap and can be really expensive. But lucky for you, there are many disposable cameras which are also waterproof that is why these are mostly used on the beach. These are really cheap and are also equipped with the water-resistant properties. This is the most economic option for you if you want to take pictures while your friends are surfing or while scuba diving. 

  • Easy to Use

Disposable cameras are very easy to use and don’t require any kind of technical expertise to operate. These cameras work just like a simple point and shoot camera so you can click away without wasting any time. You don’t need to adjust the settings or set focus manually to take pictures. Getting your pictures printed is not a hassle as well and you can get your pictures in printed form with ease. 

Do Disposable Cameras Expire?

Well, the answer to this question is both yes and no. A disposable camera itself does not expire but the film present inside it gets expired. The film can get expired after 2 to 3 years of its manufacturing date. But if you store it carefully in a safe place then it can last up to 5 years.

There are some factors which can ruin your film, so you need to keep your film safe from these. Humidity, heat, and direct sunlight are considered to be the worst enemies of a camera film roll. Even though you can still get pictures developed from an expired film, but the results will not be that good. It may cause graininess and lack of sharpness in the colors.

Also, if your disposable camera has a flash then it will require batteries which will also expire after a certain period of time. So, you need to keep the batteries and your camera film roll safe and you are good to go. 

Where do these cameras work the best?

You guys might think why these disposable cameras are still working or what is the best use for these? There are many places and scenarios where a disposable camera will work best and provide good results. You don’t always need to have an expensive camera with you when you go out. Sometimes just a disposable camera can get the job done and provide desired outcomes. 


A disposable camera is cheap and compact which makes it very easy to carry around with you wherever you go. on the other hand, carrying an expensive digital camera with you on vacation or during travelling isn’t always a good option. A disposable camera is cheap and even if it gets lost or stolen, the loss will not be that big. These are really easy to carry while commuting locally or on a plane. Also, disposable cameras are quick to use so you can never miss a moment.

Road Trips

Road trips are always fun and who does not like to drive around the city with friends. When you are driving on the roads, you need something to give you quick photography and capturing of precious moments. A disposable camera does not require any kind of technical expertise to operate. You just point to wherever you want to and click away.

Since disposable cameras are made to work at their best in daylight and outdoor settings, these are great to travel with on roads. A disposable camera does not require an external flash, a bag, or any other equipment to take with you, so these prove to be your best travel buddy.


If you are an adrenaline junkie then you might be a fan of doing different adventures. These can include bungee jumping, dirt biking, sky diving, and much more. If you are going on an adventure then having an expensive digital camera with you will not be a good option for you. If by any chance your camera falls or takes a bump then it will get completely ruined and you will have to spend a big sum of money to have it fixed.

A disposable camera is light and cheap plus the lightweight durable body is easy to carry around so it never gets damaged easily. In addition to that, carrying a big and bulky camera with you is a lot of hassle as well. 


Whenever you are doing scuba diving, surfing, or even snorkeling, it is really good to capture the moment and cherish it forever. But you cannot use your phone to take pictures as it will be ruined by water.

Similarly, a digital camera is also not a good option to carry with you when you are doing underwater activities. You can find waterproof cameras and mobile phones but these are very expensive and too much heavy on your wallet. If by any unfortunate incident your waterproof camera gets damaged then it will cost you big bucks.

On the other hand, it is really easy to find a good quality disposable camera which is also waterproof and cheap. You can buy a waterproof camera from the beach and use it in a carefree manner. These cheap disposable waterproof cameras are always the best option if you want to do underwater photography. 

How to Use Disposable camera?

If you are an old soul and have used an analog camera back in the days, then you might be familiar with how a disposable camera works. In case you are a millionaire or new to this, don’t worry, we have got your back.

Follow the below step-by-step method to find out how to use a disposable camera.

First, make sure there is film inside your camera.

After adding the film, wind the thumbwheel until you cannot wind it anymore.

If there is a flash in your camera then you need to hold the flash button.

Press and hold the button until you see a red light blinking which means the capacitor is charged.

Now, it’s time to take a picture using the disposable camera!

Point your disposable camera towards the subject once your device is ready to take photos. To capture the object, look through the viewfinder so you know you have the right frame. Now press the button and voila!

You have taken the picture on your disposable camera. You will have to wind the thumbwheel again to take the next picture.

Repeat the process to take photos using the disposable camera. You can use it until all the frames are turned over and you cannot see any more pictures on the top of your camera. Then just send the film to the photo lab and have it developed. If your camera does not have removable film then you will need to send the whole camera to get pictures printed. 

Tips to take a Good Picture on Disposable Camera

Disposable cameras don’t give you the freedom to preview the pictures you took. You cannot view or delete pictures from your camera. Simply put, once you have taken the picture it is done and cannot be undone. Therefore, you need to keep a few things in mind before taking pictures on your disposable camera to get the best results every single time. 

  • Shoot In Bright Light

The first thing to keep in mind is to always shoot in bright light because disposable cameras are not meant to take pictures in the dark or even in low-light settings.

Most disposable cameras are made to take pictures in broad daylight and in outdoor settings. So prefer shooting during the day when there is a good amount of sunlight. In fact, make sure you get as much natural light as possible. This will make your pictures clearer and sharper. If you are in low light, we recommended using lighting equipment. You can easily find affordable and quality lighting apparatus in the market. 

  • Avoid Flash as Much as You Can

Even though there is a flash in most disposable cameras, but it is not recommended to always use it. You should avoid using flash as much as you can because using a flash is not always good for your pictures. Take advantage of daylight as we mentioned earlier, and the images will be clearer and crisp. 

  • Use Flash the Right Way

While taking pictures on a disposable camera it is always recommended to keep a distance of 4 to 10 feet between the camera and the subject. If the subject is too far away, then it will be underexposed, and you will not be able to see things clearly. On the other hand, if you are too close to the subject then it will be overexposed. So, maintain the right distance while taking pictures on your disposable camera. 

What is So Special in Disposable Camera?

There are hundreds and thousands of the latest cameras in the market with great specs and features. Still, we are seeing a need for disposable cameras in the market. There are reasons why disposable cameras are making a comeback. We have mentioned below the qualities and features which make disposable cameras so special. 

No Filters

This must have happened to many people who take pictures on their phones. with a number of different filters and then cannot decide which one to choose from. But using so many filters can kill the real feel of a picture. A disposable camera does not have these fancy pictures so the image you see as a result has an authentic feel to it. No matter how many filters you use on your phones or on expensive cameras, you cannot get the real feeling that you get from a disposable camera. 

Element of Surprise

Now photography is completely digital and that gives you the freedom to preview the pictures which you took and delete them. But a disposable camera does not give you this freedom to look at the preview of a taken picture and you cannot delete it. Once a picture is taken it is taken and you can only see it when it comes back from the photo lab. This adds an element of surprise to the equation and it can be a real positive rush for some people. This element of surprise is something which is missing nowadays.

No Redos

There are a limited number of exposures in a camera film reel so you only get a certain amount of number to take pictures. This means you need to choose very carefully what picture you want to take. You cannot just click away without thinking through it. This also means you never get any redos. Once you have taken a picture you cannot take the picture again and again. Once you have taken a picture it is done and you get what you clicked. 

Printed Pictures

Being analog the pictures you take on a disposable camera can only be printed when you have the film developed by a photo lab. A printed picture can be used in more ways than one. You can use these developed pictures in ways which is not possible with a picture present in your hard drive or phone. 

Can you Get A disposable camera picture in your phone?

We are connected to smartphones in more ways than one and use it for various reasons throughout the day. In addition to this a phone is used by people to keep their data including your pictures. But if you have taken pictures on a disposable camera and want to get these pictures in your phone, then what to do? Well, you don’t need to worry because it is also possible. Below mentioned are some easy and simple steps in which you can get the disposable camera pictures in your phone. 

  • Ask the Photo Lab

The first and really easy method is to ask the photo lab, from where you are getting your disposable camera film reel developed. Photo labs now days are equipped with the latest software and machinery as per the needs of this digital world. You can ask them to give you pictures in a digital format. They will give you pictures in your USB drive, a hard drive, CD, or they can even mail you the pictures. Get the pictures in digital format and copy them in your computer. Then you just need to connect your phone to the computer and copy those pictures to your phone. This is the most basic is simple way to do it. 

  • Scan The Pictures

If for some reason the photo lab people are unable to give you pictures in a digital format, or if you have already developed the pictures, then no problem. You can even turn the printed pictures to digital copy. For this you need to have a scanner with you. If you don’t have a scanner then you can also go to any computer shop or stationary shop as they can scan the documents. Scan the pictures you want in digital format and save them in your computer. Then copy scanned pictures from your computer to your phone.

  • Scan the Negatives

You can also copy the pictures to your phone only if you have the negatives. Place the negative on the scanner. You don’t need to close the lid of scanner as you are doing it. Put a white paper on the negatives and place a table lamp just a few inches above the paper and negative. Then scan it and you will get a digital copy of the negative then you can copy from there to your phone. But you will need to open the scanned negatives in a photo editing app and invert colors as well as flip them too. 

  • Take pictures from your phone

The last thing to do is just take pictures of the printed photographs with your phone. Safely place the pictures on a flat surface and make sure the light above it is decent enough. Then open the camera app of your phone and take pictures. But don’t use the flash as it will cause glares in the taken pictures. You can also use scanner apps which are easily available online for both Android and iOS devices. 

  • Use Online Photo Film Developing Sites

Another thing you can do is to contact an online photo film developing sites. If you have never heard of them before, there are hundreds of websites which are providing you online photo film developing service. You need to send the film reel via mail to their address. These people will then develop your pictures and post them online for you to save and share on social media. Once you get the pictures in digital format then you can copy the files to your phone. 

How to choose the best disposable camera?

If you have decided to buy a disposable camera then you cannot just go in the market and buy the first one which you see. There are certain things you need to keep in mind before you make a decision of buying a disposable camera.


The first thing you need to look in a disposable camera is built-in flash. You will not always have a good lighting in the surrounding and will need a little assistance when it comes to taking pictures in the dark. A disposable camera is not good in taking pictures in low-light settings so you should go for a camera which is equipped with a flashlight. Not all the disposable cameras have a built-in flash but still it is easy to find a good quality disposable camera with flash in the market. 

Film Speed

Film speed is something which can affect your picture quality and its performance in the dark. The lower your film speed is the lower ISO will be. And as a result, it will give you dark images. On the other hand, the cameras with fast film speed will have high ISO and you will be able to get brighter images. Generally, the ISO value of a disposable camera is between 400 and 800, which is good enough to do photography outdoor and in the day. But if you are going to be taking pictures in dark then we suggest you opt for a disposable camera with an ISO value of 800 to 1600. 


If you are going to be taking pictures at a beach or near water, then it is better to go for a camera which has waterproof properties. You can find a waterproof disposable camera which is also cheap, in a carefree manner. It can also let you do photography while you are scuba diving or surfing. 

Film Type

Unlike the digital and mobile cameras, a disposable camera does not have any type of filters to enhance the image quality. There are different films which disposable camera use and you need to check which film is used in your camera before you buy it. You can choose from a full color, black and white, or sepia films. Choose a camera which uses a film that is as per your preferences and needs. 

Number of Photos

As we mentioned earlier, a disposable camera does not give you some of the luxuries you have with a digital camera. One of these luxuries is the number of pictures you can take. In a digital camera you can take as many pictures as you want and even if you run out of space you can use a memory card or delete some pictures to click more pictures again. But in a disposable camera you only have a limited number of pictures which you can take. If you run out of images, then you are done and cannot take any more pictures. Mostly you get 27 to 39 shots per camera. If you want a higher number of pictures, then you need to spend some big bucks too. 

How To Clean Your Disposable Camera Lens?

It is quite obvious that if you are using your camera regularly or for quite some time, it will get dirty. You need to keep your disposable camera clean, so it can provide you the best quality pictures which you desire to have. Your camera’s lens can get dirty even if you keep the camera safely placed in a bag. You can accidently touch the lens and leave smudges or spots which will result in blurry or dull pictures. If you are not able to get clear and crisp pictures, then possibility is that your camera’s lens is not clean. Below mentioned are some really easy steps in which you can clean the lens of your disposable camera. 

  • Step 1

The first step is to blow air on the lens or clean the dust particle with a brush. Make sure to not use any hard cloth as it will scratch the glass of your lens, and it will get permanently ruined. Brushing off the dust particle before actually cleaning it will remove as much loose debris as possible and make it easy for you to clean the lens. 

  • Step 2

The next step involves using a lens cleaning solvent. But make sure to use only special solvent which is made to clean the lens. There are many industrial cleaning solvents in the market, but you cannot use all of them as these solvents are really hard on the soft surface of lens, and you will end up damaging it. Only use the good quality lens cleaning or glass cleaning solvent. Take a soft cloth and put some solvent on it then rub it on the lens gently. Don’t put the solvent directly on the lens as it an get inside the camera. Put the solvent on the soft cloth first and that too in a very little amount. 

  • Step 3

Now all you have to do is gently and carefully wipe the lens to clean any grease or smudges on the lens. There might also be fingerprints on the lens which will also go away when you do this cleaning process. 

Can Disposable Cameras Freeze?

The most frequently asked question about a disposable camera is that whether it functions properly in freezing cold temperature or not. But luckily if you are thinking of using a disposable camera in sub-zero temperature then you can do it in a carefree manner. 

Most of the digital cameras are packed with many electronic components which can freeze up in extreme temperatures and start to malfunction. But as a disposable camera does not have any electrical components except a battery, so it can function really well even in the extremely cold temperature. 

But of course, the outer body of a disposable camera can get a bit damaged or cracked by freezing up, but you can also prevent that by putting your camara in a freezer bag. It can save the outer surface from getting cracked and you will be able to take pictures quite nicely.

There is one more thing which might sound a bit surprising to people. The common method of keeping a disposable camera film from degrading is just placing the film in a freezer. It is a really good method to keep the film safe as heat and moisture can destroy the film. Many people also keep disposable cameras in a freezer too so it can stay with you for a longer period of time.

Best Disposable Cameras to Buy

If you are looking to buy the best disposable cameras for yourself or your loved ones, then you don’t need to look any further. Below mentioned are our top picks for the best disposable cameras you can find on the face of this planet.

Fujifilm Quicksnap Flash

Product Specifications:

TypeSingle use
Film format35mm
Film typeColor
ISO speedISO400
Number of exposures27
Lens32mm f/10
ViewfinderDirect vision


  • All in one
  • Not expensive
  • Body-integral flash


  • Better value in multipacks

Kodak FunSaver Single Use Camera

Product Specifications:

TypeSingle Use
Film format35mm
Film typeColor
ISO speedISO400 or 800
Number of exposures39 (or 27)
Lens30mm f/10
ViewfinderDirect vision


  • A good number of exposures
  • Easy film processing


  • Flash requires to be charged

AgfaPhoto LeBox 400

Product Specifications:

TypeSingle Use
Film format35mm
Film typeColor
ISO speedISO 400
Number of exposures27
LensNot Specified
ViewfinderDirect Vision


  • 4m Range Flash
  • Easy to use 


  • No waterproof
  • ISO 400 only outdoor

Kodak Flash Disposable Camera

Product Specifications:

TypeSingle Use
Film format35mm
Film typeColor
ISO speedISO 800
Number of exposures27
Lens30mm f/10
ViewfinderDirect vision


  • Simple operations
  • Easy film processing


  • No waterproofing

Ilford XP2 Black & White Camera

Product Specifications:

TypeSingle Use
Film format35mm
Film typeBlack and White
ISO speedISO 400
Number of exposures27
Lens30mm f/9.5
ViewfinderDirect vision


  • Great appealing look
  • Develops through C41 process
  • Built-in Flash


  • Film a bit tricky

Lomography Simple Use Black & White

Product Specifications:

TypeSingle Use
Film format35mm
Film typeBlack and White
ISO speedISO 400
Number of exposures36
Lens31mm, f/9
ViewfinderDirect Vision


  • Replaceable film
  • Built-in Flash


  • Tricky Id reloading
  • A bit expensive

How many pictures can you take on a disposable camera? 

It all depends on the camera which you are using. Mostly a disposable camera can take 27 pictures, but some cameras can offer number of exposures up to 36.

How long do disposable cameras last? 

A disposable camera itself does not expire but the camera film roll, and battery present inside it can surely expire. A camera film can be used till 2 years after its manufacturing date.

Where can I buy a disposable camera?

Buying disposable cameras is not that difficult. You can buy a good quality disposable camera online or from any good camera shop. It is really easy to find a disposable camera which is under your budget too. 

How long does film last in a disposable camera?

If we are talking about the expiration of a camera film, then it can be used for about 2 to 3 years after its expiration date easily. Even though the quality and sharpness of the pictures might degrade but you can still use a disposable camera film after its expiration date. 

Do disposable cameras have good quality?

Disposable cameras are really cheap and economical. When it comes to the picture quality then you can have a pretty decent quality. But these are usually made to be used in day light and outdoor setting. You can have a good quality picture when you are out in day light, but if you are using a disposable camera in lowlight settings, then you will not be able to get good results. 

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