What are Disposable Cameras?

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Disposable cameras were an invention of Fuji® and Kodak® in the mid 1980s. They have since become an easy way for people to take pictures of memorable events, vacations, or the like without having to shell out a great deal of money for non-disposable cameras. People take them on vacations, where they usually needn’t fear them being stolen as expensive camera equipment might be, and they've become a popular alternative or addition to paid wedding photographs. Guests at weddings can pick up small appropriately decorated cameras and shoot candid shots of bride and groom, and guests at the wedding.

Disposable cameras may be useful for snorkelers.
Disposable cameras may be useful for snorkelers.

There are certain imperfections with disposable cameras. While a few feature a zoom lens, most have a limited ability to focus or to zoom in for pictures at a distance. Further, as digital images and cameras have become much more popular and less expensive, disposable cameras are not always the first preference. Still, there are some instances when they are a wonderful addition. Waterproof disposable cameras could be great for taking shots while boating or snorkeling on a vacation, whereas, a waterproof digital camera is going to come at a heavy expense.

Some disposable cameras do not feature a flash, and most have pre-loaded film. If you plan on taking outdoor pictures only, it makes good economic sense to simply choose the least expensive disposable. While you can buy name brands, many consumers argue that generic disposables get the job done just as effectively.

Once you’ve used the disposable camera, which usually comes in different numbers of film exposures, you merely have the photos processed at your photo-processing center of choice. Generally you don’t have to extract the film, but include the whole camera when you turn in your pictures. You can also purchase digital disposable cameras, but many consumers feel these are too expensive still, and the digital images not tremendously good.

Alternately, many photo-processing centers now give you the option of receiving your pictures in both prints and digitalized form. If you’re a fan of cropping, editing or simply cleaning up pictures, requesting a disc copy of your pictures will give you that option. There may be a small surcharge for this extra processing, but some companies may offer you specials or deals on receiving digital images instead of prints.

If you don’t carry your digital camera with you, or don’t happen to own one, you might consider keeping a disposable camera in your car. This is a popular trend to document accidents if needed. You should pay attention to expiration dates on the camera and any storage recommendations. Most disposable cameras, though, are fairly durable and can survive the heat of a car, especially if stored away from direct sunlight.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent EasyTechJunkie contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

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Discussion Comments


I have to post a photo of myself for a website that I am working for. I was just wondering, if I develop my picture from a disposable camera and receive the disk, can I post the picture on the website online?

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