Top 5 Best Disposable Cameras 2023:
- Fujifilm QuickSnap Flash 400 Disposable 35mm Camera
- Disposable Kodak Camera [Camera] 3Pack
- Lomography Simple Use Camera, Color Negative
- Kodak SUC Daylight 39 800iso Disposable Analog Camera
- Fujifilm Disposable QuickSnap Waterproof Pool Underwater 35mm Camera, Pack of 2
Do you know what the best camera in the world is? It’s the one you have in your pocket when you need it the most. Seriously, what’s the point in all these megapixels, post-processing and all other modern digital effects, if you are not able to take a picture?
You might say now – aren’t modern smartphones and digital cameras designed to solve this problem? Well yes, but smartphones, aside from being phones, have to perform tons of other duties, so they are not always readily available. As for digital cameras… They are often too expensive for a regular consumer.
Wouldn’t it be great if you had a small, cheap camera you could simply pull out, take a couple of pictures, and give no additional thought whatsoever when you are done? It turns out you can. Yes, the good old disposable cameras, who have long since been written off as a relic of the past, are actually alive and well, and they are just as easy to use and convenient as ever.
So, let us take a look at some of the most popular units floating out there and try to find the best disposable camera that will make your next trip special.
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5 Best Disposable Cameras In 2023: Detailed Reviews
1. Fujifilm QuickSnap Flash 400 Disposable 35mm Camera – Best Overall Camera
Fujifilm is a company that requires no introduction in the world of photography. Although they are mostly playing in the field of film and photo equipment, the camera carrying this brand name definitely sets up some high expectations.
And, we are happy to report that QuickSnap 400 disposable camera, for the most part, delivers. So, what do we have here?
Well, the first thing that comes to mind is that the plastic body actually looks and feels pretty awesome. During our test run, we put a camera through tough time and even exposed it to light rain – no damage was done to the photos.
As for the shooting quality – judging by the specs (400 ISO, 35mm film, and 27 exposure quality) the camera was obviously designed for outdoor portraits, and as long as you use it this way, the image quality will be pretty awesome. Still, the inclusion of powerful flash helped us to take some pretty awesome party pics as well.
Speaking of flash, we are especially pleased with the fact that once you turn on the flash, you can interrupt the charging and turn it off if you change your mind. That is now always the case with cameras of this type.
As for the downsides, and there are definitely some drawbacks – some of the pictures we got inexplicably featured horizontal and vertical lines. Also, finding a place where you are going to develop pictures for this bad boy is not always easy.
But, things like this are something we simply need to bear with in the world of disposable cameras.
- Quality build
- Outdoor photos are pretty awesome
- The powerful flash produces solid party photos
- Two cameras coming with a very affordable price tag
- 18 photos per camera
- Some of the pictures can feature horizontal and vertical lines
2. Disposable Kodak Camera [Camera] 3Pack – Best value for the money
Speaking of powerhouse brands, coming at a number two place in our short roundup, we have one very neat disposable camera coming from Kodak. And don’t let the stock nature of this product deceive you (the manufacturer hasn’t even bothered to give this lineup of products some formal name) – even on auto-pilot, Kodak is still capable of putting out some pretty awesome products.
And, although we wouldn’t go as far as to call this unit awesome, the camera (or to put it correctly cameras since you get three of them in the package) manages to summon a lot of goodwill. Honestly, with the 800 ISO, 81 exposures total, and 27 pictures per camera, there is very little you could wish from this type of product.
But, all these numbers would suffice to very little if the final image quality was subpar. Fortunately, that’s not the case here. Most of the pictures we took were bright, colorful, and featured that pleasant grain, which is one of the main reasons we use disposable cameras in the first place.
However, you have to keep in mind that this grainy effect can, in some cases, go way out of limit in some photos, and the things only get worse when you bring the camera indoors. The manual flash is there to help you out with low-light photos but can’t entirely save this situation.
So, for the most part, this is one very good disposable camera that will definitely find its fan base amongst the people who like retro-looking photos. Just don’t expect too much.
- Very affordable
- With three cameras in the package, you get a total of 81 pictures
- Rock-solid specs
- In most cases, pictures produce a pleasant grainy effect
- Sometimes the whole grainy shtick goes too far
- Low light photos are not that great
3. Lomography Simple Use Camera, Color Negative – Best innovative disposable camera
Compared to the previous brands we discussed, Lomography may look insignificant. And honestly, this underdog will need to cover a lot more ground before it can stand toe to toe with the giants like Fujifilm and Kodak.
But, what it lacks in brand recognition, Lomography more than makes up for with innovative ideas. Seriously, with so many exciting buzzwords printed all over this package, you will be tempted to leave the established brands behind and give a chance to this relatively unknown challenger.
So, what are these innovations we so seldom see when buying disposable cameras? Well, the things like Color Gel flash filters that, as the name suggests, allow you to apply various color filters to your photos, thus creating a pretty bizarre but neat alternative to Instagram.
Also, this is one of the rare disposable cameras that allows you to actually reload the film and extend its lifespan (albeit at your own risk and with a huge disclaimer).
Now, all these things are great but also have their dark side. Namely, while trying to make its camera exciting, the manufacturer has seemingly forgotten that the main appeal of disposable cameras is their bargain bin price.
With the average image quality and the price tag as hefty as this one, Lomography Simple Use Camera succeeds neither as an affordable one-time camera nor as a full-blown film unit you want to keep reusing over and over again.
Too bad, with just a bit lower price, this could’ve been a smash.
- Good build quality
- Solid specs
- Above the average image quality
- Interesting photo filters
- The ability to reload the film
- Too expensive to bother
4. Kodak SUC Daylight 39 800iso Disposable Analog Camera – Best camera for sunny conditions
If you are in favor of vintage things, there is no way Kodak SUC Daylight won’t catch your glance sitting there on the shelf in its rugged yellow glory. To put it simply, the camera looks like the hottest product of 1984, and we adore it for it.
Seriously, you think you will look cool with your DSLR? Try pulling this bad boy out on the next vacation – you’ll look twice as impressive.
But, putting aside the fact that Kodak has probably unintentionally nailed the retro appeal of disposable cameras, this is one decent product capable of making some incredibly pleasing outdoor photos.
As the name suggests, Kodak SUC was designed for bright outdoor shooting. Ideally, you should use it in the summer at the beach. And as long as you play by the rules set by the manufacturer, you will indeed get the pictures you won’t have any problem hanging on your wall.
But, as soon as you try to do something different, the limitations of this camera will become painfully obvious. Don’t get us wrong – the pictures you’ll take indoors won’t look horrible or something, but this camera wasn’t designed for party pics. All the wasted shots are entirely on you.
All these things would pose no problem whatsoever if Kodak SUC Daylight was just a bit cheaper. Even though this time, the price issue is not as pronounced as with the previous product, we couldn’t escape the feeling we are overpaying this neat piece of retro-tech.
- Awesome retro design
- Sturdy build
- Excellent performance in sunny conditions
- Solid specs
- A bit too expensive for what it has to offer
- The performance takes a huge drop in low light conditions
5. Fujifilm Disposable QuickSnap Waterproof Pool Underwater 35mm Camera, Pack of 2 – Best camera for underwater shooting
Finally, at number five, we have one more product coming from Fujifilm. Unlike their previous effort, though, which was in itself, a pretty decent film camera overall, this one has no grand illusions about its purpose in the world. Take a look at the name, and you will pretty much get the spot-on idea of what you are getting in this package.
So, this small wonder allows you to take underwater pics, which is, in itself, a pretty awesome fact. And, keeping that in mind, it shouldn’t be too big of a surprise that the camera features a very sturdy, air-tight body capable of sustaining a lot of abuse before falling apart.
However, it seems this is, at the same time, the area where most of the budget went because, beyond this novel feature, the unit has to offer very little, even by disposable camera standards. Yes, the pictures are average at best, even in the perfect conditions, so don’t put too much faith in this piece of tech to capture your fond memories.
But, if we are going to be completely honest, that was not what this camera was designed to do. It was designed to take underwater pictures and keeping in mind marine conditions, the pictures look just fine.
Try saying the same for your DSLR? We rest our case.
- The camera is capable of taking underwater pictures
- Durable build
- Reasonably affordable
- Pretty underwhelming picture quality
Why You Should Buy A Disposable Camera And Things You Should Look For
Now, that we’ve rounded up our contenders for the title of the best disposable camera, let us quickly find answers to some questions that may be floating your mind right now. Like, for instance, why would you even bother with this admittedly dated piece of tech?
Well, there are a couple of reasons. First, disposable cameras are incredibly cheap, which makes them a perfect companion for travel. You don’t want to drag your couple-of-grands-professional camera through crowded squares filled with tourists.
The second thing that makes disposable cameras pretty awesome is analog photos that are undergoing more than welcome resurgence. Yeah, some of the pictures you can take with regular cameras can be truly stunning, and feature vintage feels we are, today, trying to reproduce with various filters.
Also, with no digital post-processing on the table, the quality of your photos will ultimately depend on you, which creates more than a welcome challenge and brushes your shooting skills.
So, we can all agree that small disposable cameras have a place in the exciting world. But, you have to keep in mind, as convenient as they are, all these cameras are not made the same. Even if you are the best photographer in the word, the poor unit will produce poor pictures, and that’s that.
Let us take a quick look then at a couple of things you should take into consideration before buying one of these cameras to make sure you are getting the best product on the market.
So yeah, disposable cameras are made to be cheap. How cheap? Well, the word disposable should give you a general idea of their overall quality. But, being cheap and accessible doesn’t mean they don’t need to be able to survive a couple of rough falls without losing performance or completely falling apart.
As a matter of fact, you should have no lower limits whatsoever. Disposable cameras may be cheap, but you need to expect a certain degree of quality, so aim only for the best
Fortunately, the quality of one unit can be fairly accurately assessed without the need for closer inspection. Stick to sturdy plastic, and you will be able to perform all the shooting disposable cameras can offer.
2. Shooting Performance
Ok, this is the most crucial feature of one camera, and disposable cameras are not that different. But, what traits can be found under this broad umbrella term? Well, they tend to vary from camera to camera, especially in this price range, but here are a couple of most essential mentions:
- ISO – ISO is the sensitivity of the camera’s sensor to light. The wider ISO range you get, the better. Of course, most disposable cameras come with fixed ISO settings, so you should aim for a number that sits somewhere between 100 and 800. That should make the camera suitable for most outdoor situations.
- Aperture – Aperture can be best described as the lens opening the light passes through before hitting the sensor. Once again, when it comes to disposable cameras, this feature is usually fixed. So, assuming you are going to make a lot of outdoor portraits, a camera with an aperture somewhere between f/2.8 and f/5.6 should do the job.
- Shutter speed – Rounding up this holy trinity of camera features, we have shutter speed, which is, essentially, the length of time the shutter is open. For the outdoor portraits, you should look for a shutter speed of 200.
3. The Quality Of The Film
As you can probably guess, disposable cameras are, in their essence, good old film cameras, so all the photos you are taking are stored in a film. So, the quality of a film can have a great impact on the overall quality of your photos. Without going into specific details, we will just present some of the best films that have produced the best quality up until now:
- Superia X-TRA 400
- XP2 Super 400 ISO
- Gold ISO-400
Features are all the small inclusions that are not essential for outdoor shooting, but the more of them you get, your experience can only be improved. But, since we are operating in the entry-level price segment, don’t expect to get too many treats. Some of the things you should try to get, though, are flashlights that will allow you to bring the camera indoors and water-proofing that… Well, you get the idea.
5. Film Developing
So, when you are done with shooting, you want to turn in the film for developing. Various cameras and various models address this issue in various manners. Be sure to check these things before buying the camera because it may turn out that the developing process is too convoluted for you to bother.
Also, once the film is retrieved from the camera, some companies refill the unit and return them to the sale. Since this approach is very eco-friendly, it should be your developing option of choice as well.
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Finally, it is time to round up all of the contenders and proclaim what is the best disposable camera currently on the market.
And in our opinion, that would be Fujifilm QuickSnap Flash 400 Disposable 35mm Camera. This neat unit comes awfully close to the quality of regular film cameras of the old and is definitely a companion we would like to have on our travels.
But, if you feel you need something a bit more affordable or creative, you can check Disposable Kodak Camera [Camera] 3Pack and Lomography Simple Use Camera, Color Negative.