Last updated: August 9, 2021

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Welcome to our big disposable camera test 2021. Here we present all the disposable cameras we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best disposable camera for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should be aware of if you want to buy a disposable camera.




Summary

  • Disposable cameras allow you to quickly take good quality photos at a low price. Compared to expensive digital cameras, disposable cameras are light, compact and easy to use.
  • A basic distinction is made between disposable cameras with and without flash. Both variants are available in many different designs and applications.
  • Disposable cameras with flash are well suited for indoor use, for example at parties. On the other hand, disposable cameras without flash are suitable for outdoor or underwater photography.

The Best Disposable Camera: Our Choices

Compactness / Weight

With a weight of just under 113 grams, the camera listed here is in the upper proportion of the heavier disposable cameras.

What is surprising here is the information on the dimensions. With registered dimensions of 6.3cm x 2.5cm, the camera still leaves some questions unanswered. Compared to the other cameras presented here, this one is very small, but this is contradicted by its weight, which is quite high. This leaves some questions unanswered. Because the camera also looks bigger in the attached picture.

Flash function / underwater function

This Kodak camera also has a flash function, which can be deactivated at will. The flash is located in the upper left corner. A separate button ensures that the flash can also be switched off.

There are still some unanswered questions about the waterproofness. The seller has classified the camera as waterproof. However, competitor websites describe it as probably not waterproof after all, and reviewers also criticised the alleged protection against water.

So if you are looking for a camera for underwater use, we recommend you rather go for the Kodak underwater camera, which is guaranteed to be waterproof.

Design

The orange-red colour reminds of the already mentioned underwater camera of the same brand. The shutter release button is located in the upper right corner, as usual, so you can't miss it.

The colour coordination of the camera is rather secondary, as it is intended for private use rather than for special occasions. If desired, a gift box can also be ordered if the camera is to function as a future gift.

Scope of camera and photos

This is a one-off item, which is because it is a higher quality disposable camera. In many cases, disposable cameras are only available as a set.

It comes with a film that has room for 27 photos, which is totally within reason. Although this sounds very little at first, it is no exception for disposable cameras. The film can only be used once and cannot be replaced. Moreover, the buyer does not need to worry about batteries, as they are also included.

Compactness / Weight

With a weight of just under 100 grams, the Quality Cam camera is one of the lighter disposable cameras on the market.

Compared to the underwater cameras and the two cameras from PHOTO PORST, this disposable camera is quite light. The camera is rather larger, measuring 20cm x 10cm, but still quite compact. This size should be ideal for use at parties.

Flash function / underwater function

This disposable camera has a flash function, but should not be used under water. The camera can serve with a built-in flash function so that the camera can be used in all locations.

Whether the party is on the beach or in a castle, the flash function should provide the right exposure. The additional button on the front of the camera, which allows the flash to be deactivated at any time, is a positive feature.

Especially with the other cameras offered here, people complained that they did not know how to switch off the camera. That is now a thing of the past. What the camera does not have is water protection. This means that taking pictures in bad weather, for example in the rain, should be strictly avoided.

Design

The design of the camera is gaudy and reminiscent of the typical design of some disposable cameras. Since the camera is mainly used for parties, the design plays a major role. A large white rose is depicted on the front.

Parallels to the PHOTO PORST cameras can be seen here. These were almost identical in design. Otherwise, the camera has a curvature on the right side, so that it has a better grip and sits better in the hands.

The same phenomenon can be observed with digital cameras.
Another advantage would have been a strap so that it could be used at parties and photographers would not have to live with the fear that the camera could fall and destroy all the beautiful memories.

Compactness / Weight

With a weight of just under 100 grams, the Fujifilm camera is one of the lighter disposable cameras currently available on the market, and its dimensions of 13 x 7 x 4 cm make it very compact.

How relevant this is for you as a customer depends on the occasion for which you want to use the camera. However, since it is a one-off, it can be assumed that the camera will mainly be used for private purposes. In this respect, the weight should be of less importance.

Flash function / underwater function

This disposable camera has a flash function, but it should not be used under water. Otherwise, the camera can be used in all locations.

A positive feature is the additional button on the front of the camera, which allows the flash to be deactivated at any time. Particularly with the other cameras offered here, people complained that they did not know how to switch off the camera. That is now a thing of the past.

What the camera does not have is water protection. This means that taking pictures in bad weather, for example in the rain, should be strictly avoided.

Design

The design of the camera can be chosen individually and can be changed at any time by replacing the paper housing.

Since the camera is mainly intended for private use, the design does not play such an important role. Nevertheless, it can also be used as a gift. For this purpose, customers can exchange the paper cover at any time and choose individually.

Of course, the cover can also be left off completely. This ensures that the camera appears completely black. Otherwise, the camera has a curvature on the right side so that it has a better grip and sits better in the hands.

The same phenomenon can be observed with digital cameras.
Another advantage would have been a strap so that the disposable camera can be used in all places and experiences and photographers do not have to live with the fear that the camera could fall and destroy all the beautiful photos.

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a disposable camera

What are the general advantages of disposable cameras over regular cameras?

Unlike regular digital cameras, disposable cameras are small and compact and perfect for making great memories with loved ones. Because of the small sensor, you can't expect as much from the quality of the colour photos as you can from digital photos. Also, you should be conscious of the photos you take and be aware that you will not have more than 30 photos available.

Einwegkamera Gelb

Disposable cameras can't compete with real cameras, but they are a great alternative if you just want to take a few photos as a souvenir. (Image source: Mahir Uysal / unsplash.com)

Since the disposable camera has no display, you can only hope that your photos turn out well. On the other hand, digital cameras are much more expensive and valuable, which makes you want to do without certain shots and save the camera.

Did you know that manufacturers guarantee that all parts will be recycled for environmental reasons?

They have set up recycling systems and, according to their own information, they receive the remains of the cameras back from the photo labs to reuse them.

How much does a disposable camera cost?

Disposable cameras are small, light, sturdy and, above all, very cheap - so it doesn't hurt so much to lose them if they get stolen or broken. The standard model of a disposable camera is not waterproof and usually not protected against sand and dust. But they can be bought for as little as 5 €. The most expensive classic models with additional flash function cost up to 11 €.

More expensive underwater disposable cameras also work up to a depth of 15 metres. A waterproof disposable camera is available for €9 to €13. You can buy good outdoor disposable cameras for between €13 and €17.

The following table gives a small overview of different disposable camera models and their prices:

camera model price
standard model ca.5€
classic model with flash ca.11€
underwater model 9€ - 13€
outdoor model 13€- 17€

What is the quality of disposable cameras and how long do they last?

Because of the lower purchase price, not too much should be expected of the quality of the disposable camera. The technical inner workings are not sufficient to take noise-free, pixel-free pictures. The resolution is not the best, the lens has no zoom and the ISO value is also limited. However, the subject is always clearly recognisable and perfectly adequate for snapshots.

As the name suggests, the camera can only be used once and must be recycled after the first use. Are there also single-use cameras where you can choose your own design?

Basically, disposable cameras are always very tastefully designed. There is always an individual film under the transparent plastic cover.

You can also have your camera printed with your own design. You can easily exchange and change the film. Especially on special occasions, a suitably designed camera will not be forgotten.

What accessories do I need besides the disposable camera?

That depends entirely on what kind of camera you choose. Basically, you should always make sure that you have film. This is the most important thing. You can choose between black and white and colour film.

If you have a camera without a flash, you should not forget to provide the right lighting conditions and have the appropriate equipment (lamp). You can also protect your camera with a protective cover. Especially if you are shooting nature and want to protect your camera, these are a good alternative.

Cameras that are suitable for parties often come with a manual to make it easy for guests to use.

If you want to use your cameras on special occasions, you can also buy matching design foils, for example for weddings. This will make the photo experience even more memorable.

Can I make my own camera?

If you have the time and patience, you can of course create your own individual disposable camera. To do this, you need to organise "empty" disposable cameras and load them with film yourself, so that you are in control of the number of pictures and the ISO.

You can also buy rangefinder cameras from the 80s on online platforms or at flea markets, which are products with autofocus and flash. They cost about 5 to 10 euros. All you need are batteries and film.

Person hält eine Einwegkamera

When buying a disposable camera, make sure it has a flash function, as this often improves the quality of the pictures. (Image source: Azfan Nugi / unsplash.com)

Once the camera has been used, you should take it to the photo lab as soon as possible to have your finished pictures developed. Especially if you need a lot of cameras, many people build their own camera, which is also a lot cheaper.

Decision: What types of disposable cameras are there and which is the right one for you?

Basically, you can distinguish between four different types of disposable cameras:

  • Underwater disposable camera
  • Party camera / wedding camera
  • Disposable camera with flash

With each of these options, the end product is different, which brings individual advantages and disadvantages. Depending on your photo needs and the circumstances in which you want to use your camera, you should certainly choose between these options. To help you, we have listed the different types and their advantages and disadvantages.

How does an underwater camera work and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Disposable underwater cameras take photos of the vast marine life for little money. Compared to underwater cameras that can be used more often, the price of most models is particularly impressive. The pictures will be a bit grainy, but you can take them in sunny weather without thinking too much and your photos won't blur underwater.

Advantages
  • Compact
  • Inexpensive
  • No blur
Disadvantages
  • Picture quality

With dimensions of 7.0-10 x 13-15 x 4-5 cm and a weight of 170 to 200 grams, the mini camera fits in any beach bag. Unfortunately, the pictures have a slight blue cast, which is again a shortcoming that you can really expect from a camera for under 20€.

What distinguishes a disposable party camera and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

The market now offers a wide range of different disposable cameras, sometimes making the decision difficult. Party cameras, or often wedding cameras, can be immediately recognised by their design. They are often flashy, colourful, eye-catching and patterned to match the party.
Wedding cameras often have rings, white doves or hearts printed on the outer film.

Advantages
  • Eye-catching design
  • set prices
Disadvantages
  • Images only visible to guests after development

Of course, you can also create the design yourself. Online providers have created many possibilities in the meantime. But apart from the design, party cameras are often available as a set, as buying individual cameras for an event would not be profitable.

Apart from that, party cameras are no different from simple disposable cameras. With regard to the photos, it should be mentioned that a common film contains colour photos, but black and white can also be distinguished.

How does a disposable camera with flash function work and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Most models offer a flash function, which additionally provides for a better quality of the photos. This usually has to be charged and cannot be deactivated. The range is also usually only two to three metres.

Of course, there are also models without a flash function. These models are cheaper and often older. They can only be used in sunshine and also often offer blurred pictures. Thus, they are usually not recommended.

Advantages
  • Suitable for indoor shooting
Disadvantages
  • Flash always activated
  • Only for outdoor shooting
  • Blurred pictures

Basically, you should be aware that the camera without flash is best suited for outdoor photos in sunshine. If you want to take photos in an enclosed location, then I recommend that you opt for the disposable camera with flash.

Buying criteria: Use these factors to compare and evaluate disposable cameras

In the following, we would like to show you which factors you can use to compare and evaluate disposable cameras. This will make it easier for you to decide whether a certain item is suitable for you or not.

In summary, these are:

  • Compactness / weight
  • Flash function
  • Design
  • Scope
  • Underwater function

In the following sections you can read about the individual purchase criteria and how you can understand them.

Compactness / Weight

You should take a look at the dimensions and weight of the disposable camera. Especially when using disposable cameras, they should be as small, light and compact as possible.

Film

You can make your own camera with an old rangefinder camera plus batteries and film. (Photo source: Markus Spiske / unsplash.com)

If we compare it with a reflex camera, this criterion can be an advantage. Because professional cameras are often too heavy and uncomfortable to have them on your person all the time.

If you want to use the disposable camera mainly for festive occasions, it should be as light as possible. Likewise, if you are travelling and need to store your camera with as little space as possible. Furthermore, please note in the product descriptions that the weight always applies to the camera set and not to a single camera.

Flash function

As you will have noticed, most disposable cameras have an internal flash. And not without reason. Pictures taken with a flash are much better in quality than pictures taken without a flash.

In exceptional cases you will not notice any difference, for example on a bright sunny day. But as soon as you take pictures indoors, for example at a party, you will notice that a flash can really be worth a lot. The pictures will be less pixelated and your subjects will be sharper.

It is important that you have the flash activated when you take pictures. Unfortunately, very few people know this. This can be very annoying because you can only notice it after developing the pictures, when it is already too late.

In addition to the flash, please make sure that you have the appropriate colour film. But don't worry, almost all disposable cameras have an internal flash, which is very valuable when taking pictures.

Design

You may wonder how the design could influence your decision to buy a camera. But in many cases, design can be very decisive. To decide on the relevance of design, you should first be clear about the occasion for which you want to use your camera.

If you are looking for a camera for private use, then a camera with an unobtrusive and simple design is sufficient. Unless the design plays a big role for you personally.

However, if you are looking for a camera for special occasions, then I recommend that you look for a disposable camera with a design that is as eye-catching and appropriate as possible. Various suppliers have now released disposable cameras with a wide range of designs. You can then choose the one that suits your occasion.

However, you can now choose and design your own design. Various platforms offer the possibilities for this. For example, you can find wedding cameras with matching motifs such as rings, doves or roses. But there are also cameras with balloons, cakes, etc. for normal parties. Especially for the guests, this can be a very nice gesture and make little things special.

Scope

In the products listed here, you will have noticed that the majority of the products include a set. This means that you can buy several disposable cameras at once.

This has the advantage, for example, that you save a lot of money if you need more than one camera. But now the question is, when will this ever happen? And here again we come back to the well-known locations, such as weddings etc.

Often the bride and groom have the fabulous idea of giving each guest such a camera so that they can capture their favourite moments. However, if you have a lot of guests, this can be a costly experience and you should think about hiring a professional photographer for that money.

Frau macht Bild mit Einwegkamera

Disposable cameras have an expiry date and can only be used for a limited time. (Image source: unsplash.com / Alberico Bartoccini)

However, if you don't have a celebration on the cards but need such a quantity for your personal use, please be aware that not all disposable cameras have an infinite shelf life. Many cameras have a one-year shelf life and thus should not be bought in bulk. In this case, any camera is available as a single set.

Underwater function

As you will have noticed, only a minority of the products listed are suitable for underwater photography. The majority of products are not waterproof and should therefore be protected from water and only used in dry conditions.

Of course, you can still buy underwater cameras to capture your best moments of colourful coral reefs and diverse fish.

However, it can also be said that there has already been a decline in the number of underwater cameras on the market. This is because professional divers now use digital cameras and are happy to invest more, as they are underwater more often anyway.

But if you are only an occasional diver, it is hardly worth investing a lot of money. And especially for these situations, despite the growing market, the good old underwater cameras are still recommended. In terms of quality, these are also very good, as the built-in flash function will also ensure sharp pictures here.

Facts worth knowing about disposable cameras

How many pictures can I take with a disposable camera and have them developed?

On average, you can take no more than 27 pictures. Once you've taken a picture, you can't view, edit or delete it afterwards. You can only develop it and be surprised if it is a success or not. Misses can only be thrown away after you have paid for the development and your photos appear in print.

How do I get the pictures developed after the film is full?

Since the pictures were only taken in analogue and not digitally, the film must be taken directly to the nearest drugstore and retrieved there. This is an advantage of digital cameras, whose owners can send their digital pictures from the comfort of their own home.

Kamera

It usually takes about five working days to develop your pictures. Once developed, you can store your film and have the pictures developed again at any time.(Photo: Malte Wingen / unsplash.com)

What are the best occasions to use a disposable camera?

You use a disposable camera when you have a special occasion that you want to capture. For example, if you are going underwater diving, travelling or even at your wedding. Many brides and grooms have the idea to give each of their guests a disposable camera and have their pictures developed as a souvenir.

Some amateur photographers also use disposable cameras at concerts or festivals, where there is a lot of dust and dirt in the air that could damage a conventional digital camera. In addition, it is always suitable as a gift by choosing a nice packaging with a matching design, maybe in vintage style.

How is a disposable camera constructed?

The first disposable cameras (product name Quicksnap) were developed and launched by Fujifilm. They consisted of a tightly glued cardboard housing with a fixed-focus plastic lens and a simple viewfinder.

Later, models with an integrated flash followed. Today, disposable cameras are offered by many manufacturers; they largely correspond to the design developed by Fuji. As a rule, 35 mm film with 27 frames is used, occasionally also pocket film, which is hardly used any more today.

Did you know that a newer variant of the disposable camera is the digital disposable camera?

In addition to the shutter release, current models have a zoom function and the option to delete pictures. This can save you money in the long run because you no longer have to develop blurred photos.

How long have disposable cameras been around?

The first fully recyclable disposable camera was developed and launched by Fujifilm in 1986. Disposable cameras have become popular as "occasional cameras" for snapshots and "reserve cameras" (e.g. in the car in case of an accident). Individually printed, they are also widespread as promotional gifts.

The German journalist Philipp Abresch used the comparatively low price of disposable cameras in several projects for "photojournalism from below". In 1999, he distributed disposable cameras to children in Kosovo. This was followed in 2002 by a project in cooperation with GTZ under the patronage of Yoko Ono.

Disposable cameras were distributed to about 500 children in 45 countries with the request to take pictures with them on 30 April. This resulted in the travelling exhibition "Imagine, your photos will open my eyes". At the beginning of 2004, Abresch distributed 170 disposable cameras to children, young people and US soldiers in Baghdad. More than 3500 photos were taken in the process.

Picture credits: Pixabay.com / Pexels

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