Disposable cameras allow you to experience the classic way of capturing photos through the use of a single roll of film. This is a great way to experience antique, yet undying film photography in the cheapest way possible. Far from the film cameras that can cost hundreds of dollars, these one-time-use cameras are very affordable that breaking them won’t be an issue at all.

Moreover, due to the continuous innovations in the world of photography, disposable cameras have also been blessed with other great features that make them more appealing: waterproof features, flash, improved resolutions, vast options in settings, and more. Some of them include the KODAK FunSaver with a 400 ISO speed and even a 32 mm f/10 lens. It can deliver just the right amount of details you need for an album-ready photo.

That being said, disposable cameras can be a great solution for events where DSLR and mirrorless cameras can be considered overkill. Whether for a spontaneous beach outing or a surprise birthday party, they can offer you a great photography experience without breaking the bank in any manner.

However, there are lots of things to check to get the best disposable camera for you. This includes the type of camera. If you just intend to use it on land, better stick to a typical disposable unit as it comes with better features like flash and a more compact body. Disposable underwater cameras, on the other hand, are bulkier but they offer great ISO just like Fujifilm Quick Snap Waterproof. The film type, lens, photo quality, and value are of course important.

So, to aid you in your search for the best model of disposable cameras, we enlisted the help of our Photography Editor and photographer, Evangeline Summers. Here, we will highlight the best attributes and features of each item to help you get a better decision before the purchase. With this, here are the best options on the market we tested and especially rounded up for you!

Best Disposable Cameras Comparison & Rating

Disposable Cameras

Features

KODAK FunSaver 35mm Single Use Camera
  • 27/39 exposures
  • 400/800 ISO
  • built-in flash that can reach at least 10 feet
Fujifilm QuickSnap Flash 400 Disposable 35mm Camera
  • 27 exposures
  • ISO 400 Fujifilm 35 mm roll film
  • built-in flash can stay on and has a 10-foot range
Ilford HP5 Plus Disposable Camera with Flash, Green (HP5+)
  • 27 exposures
  • HP5 Plus ISO 400/27º film
  • f 9·5 30 mm lens and a shutter speed of 1/100 sec
Ilford XP2 Super Single Use Camera with Flash (27 Exposures) Black and White Film CAT1174186
  • complements C41 process
  • 27 exposures
  • ILFORD XP2 ISO 400/27º
  • 27 frames
  • 800 ISO
  • underwater capability with a 10-meter depth range

1. KODAK FunSaver

KODAK FunSaver 35mm Single Use Camera
Specifications:
98% Overall

Film Type

Colored

ISO Speed

ISO 400 or 800

Total Exposures

27 or 39

Flash

Yes

98%
photo quality
98%
features
97%
ease of use
98%
value for money
Pros:
  • Comes with a built-in 35 mm Kodak Max film
  • Offers 27/39 exposures.
  • Photos are sharper and have more clarity over other options.
  • Thick plastic body and quite sturdy for a single-use camera.
  • Comes with a flash.
Cons:
  • The flash needs to charge.
Final Take:

KODAK FunSaver is one of the cheapest - THE cheapest - disposable cameras on our list. Nevertheless, it ensures to bring great photography performance due to its 27 exposures (39 is also available) and built-in flash that can reach at least 10 feet.

“Together with a thick plastic body, it can survive multiple falls and would suffer minor injuries,” Summers commented. “Nonetheless, Kodak Funsaver is well-known for other bigger reasons. It comes with 400/800 ISO color negative film delivers excellent exposure latitude. It can give you just the right colors be it in a low-light condition or under a blazing sun. And for its price, you’ll be amazed by the warm tones it can create. The shots come with some grains but it adds to the mood of the photograph that looks dreamy and BEAUTIFUL!”

2. Fujifilm Quick Snap

Fujifilm QuickSnap Flash 400 Disposable 35mm Camera
Specifications:
98% Overall

Film Type

Colored

ISO Speed

ISO 400

Total Exposures

27

Flash

Yes

98%
photo quality
98%
features
98%
ease of use
97%
value for money
Pros:
  • The built-in flash can stay on and has a 10-foot range.
  • Easy to prepare.
  • Very compact and lightweight.
  • Perfect for landscape photography.
  • Takes 27 photos.
Cons:
  • The single pack comparatively costs higher than the multipacks.
Final Take:

Fujifilm Quick Snap is another excellent single-use camera you can get and expect overwhelming colors in each shot. It only comes with 400 ISO but this comes with an easy-to-use built-in flash. What’s even better that users have the option to leave the flash working continuously by just activating the flash using a button in the front part of the cam.

“It comes with ISO 400 Fujifilm 35 mm roll film giving 27 exposures,” Summers said. “It is very straightforward and is almost ready to use right after unboxing. The film is already installed and you just need to advance it using the thumbwheel.”

Just like KODAK FunSaver, Fujifilm Quick Snap is also capable of delivering great colors. The camera establishes perfect tones for portraits and gives them a nostalgic mood. Nonetheless, if you want to get the best out of Fujifilm Quick Snap, we suggest using it for landscape photography where it delivers majestic tones and the right amount of details.

3. Ilford HP5 Black & White Disposable Camera

Ilford HP5 Plus Disposable Camera with Flash, Green (HP5+)
Specifications:
97% Overall

Film Type

Black and White

ISO Speed

ISO 400

Total Exposures

27

Flash

Yes

97%
photo quality
98%
features
97%
ease of use
96%
value for money
Pros:
  • Loaded with (24+3) 27 exposures.
  • Uses HP5 Plus ISO 400/27º film.
  • The flash has a 3-meter range.
  • Features f 9·5 30 mm lens and a shutter speed of 1/100 sec.
  • Has a frame counter and safety interlocks.
Cons:
  • Has more visible grains.
Final Take:

This is another Black & White disposable camera from Ilford that proves how beautiful monochrome photos can be. However, instead of using the XP2, it is equipped with the HP5 Plus 400 ISO film.

“Users should expect photos with more visible grains in here,” Said Summers, “but they will get excellent exposure latitude, contrast, and tones to compensate for this.”

Despite being a black and white camera, Ilford HP5 can perform very well even in LOW LIGHTS. Yes, you read that right. This is one big strength for a camera like this which really amazes us. There is a flash available on this model, bet even without this, you’ll get sufficient details. With this, we can say that it is the best camera possible for black and white purposes! Sweet!

4. Ilford XP2 Black & White

Ilford XP2 Super Single Use Camera with Flash (27 Exposures) Black and White Film CAT1174186
Specifications:
97% Overall

Film Type

Black and White

ISO Speed

ISO 400

Total Exposures

27

Flash

Yes

96%
photo quality
97%
features
98%
ease of use
96%
value for money
Pros:
  • Can be developed using the C41 process.
  • Comes with all the handy features such as a frame counter and safety interlocks.
  • The flash can reach at least 10 meters.
  • The photographs still have excellent details.
  • Perfect for natural light portrait photography.
Cons:
  • Despite having a built-in flash, it is not very ideal to be used in low-light conditions.
Final Take:

If you want to explore something new in photography, Ilford XP2 can offer the best value of black-and-white photographs you will enjoy.

“Ilford XP2 is a cheap disposable camera that is still fully equipped with the most basic features you need: f 9·5 30 mm lens, built-in flash with 10-meter range, a shutter speed of 1/100 sec, frame counter, safety interlocks, and more. It can even be developed as C-41 which is totally convenient for users!” Summers said.

It offers 27 exposures of the ILFORD XP2 ISO 400/27º film which will be enjoyed by individuals who want to brave the black-and-white photography. This is the best genuine experience in capturing monochrome photos as the cam is very efficient in providing the right blend of contrast, tones, and grain. The images come with sufficient details, making them worthy of a spot in any aspiring photographer’s portfolio!

5. Fujifilm Quick Snap Waterproof

Specifications:
95% Overall

Film Type

Colored

ISO Speed

ISO 800

Total Exposures

27

Flash

No

96%
photo quality
95%
features
94%
ease of use
95%
value for money
Pros:
  • The shutter release button is bigger is easy to use.
  • Has an underwater capability with a 10-meter depth range.
  • Comes with a protective case.
  • Features 800 ISO which delivers better color and light.
Cons:
  • Doesn’t have a flash.
  • Bulky and a bit challenging to be used underwater.
Final Take:

Fujifilm Quick Snap Waterproof is one of the distinctive disposable cameras because of the specific function it serves: underwater photography! Not only users will enjoy it for land photography, but it can also do well while being submerged underwater due to its 10-meter depth capacity. This is totally a great deal-breaker given its price!

“It is amazing that Fujifilm has found a way to offer its audience a cheap alternative for underwater photography using this camera,” Summers expressed. “The unit is safely encased inside a clear plastic case that is thick and durable enough to handle moisture and other elements.”

The Fujifilm Quick Snap Waterproof comes with a pre-loaded Fujifilm Superia X-TRA 800 color film that offers 27 frames. Most of all, it comes with 800 ISO which helps it excel better than its sibling, the Fuji QuickSnap. Though it doesn’t have a built-in flash, the high ISO compensates well to give the subjects in the photographs great skin tones which is a great selling point!

Best Disposable Cameras - Buyer's Guide

exposure

The first thing you might want to consider is the number of exposures available in the camera. Most of them come in the 27-exposure film, but there are also 36 to 39 exposures available like KODAK FunSaver disposable camera. This means you’ll be able to get more pictures taken and there is no need to frequently change into another disposable unit. This, of course, will also benefit the environment as this means less plastic waste.

value

As said, it is very ideal to get a disposable camera that offers a generous number of exposures. However, if you will compare their single-pack purchase to their multipacks, you’ll notice a great difference in their price. This is the reason why it is more advisable to purchase multipacks, especially if there is a need for boatloads of exposures just like in Fujifilm Quick Snap.

quality

Apparently, disposable cameras can’t beat the quality of mirrorless or DSLR units. However, make sure that the pictures they can take can at least meet the cut. This is the reason why we recommend going for some trusted brands like Kodak and Fujifilm. The disposable units of these brands can deliver a sufficient amount of details with the right colors and tones. It is also best to compare the performances of the cameras. For instance, Ilford disposable cameras are some of the well-known brands for black and white photos. The brand offers Ilford HP5 and Ilford XP2 but if you would compare them, HP5 is more capable even in low-light conditions.

features

Besides the number of exposures, there is also a need to scrutinize the other details of the camera from the size of the lens to ISO speed to the availability of the flash. Keep in mind that getting the camera with a combination of the best of features will help you enjoy the value of your purchase and get more quality shots.

film and camera type

Colored films are commonly more preferred by a lot of users. The details of their photos are also more distinctive due to variations of colors. However, some also prefer black and white photography as they leave a unique mood in the photo. This depends on your choice, nonetheless. Also, better get the right camera for the purpose you need. Most disposable cameras are used on land. There are units, however, that have underwater capabilities just like Fujifilm Quick Snap Waterproof. If you don’t have the intention to use the camera underwater, better stick with the typical disposable land camera as they come with better features that suit your needs like flash and smaller build.

Best Disposable Cameras - FAQs

Is it expensive to develop the films of disposable cameras?

This depends on the set of exposures you want to be developed. Commonly, the prices start at $12 for a 12-exposure set up to $19 for a 39-exposure set of films.

How long do films in disposable cameras last?

The film in disposable cameras can last up to five to six years, given that they are kept away from humidity and heat. However, the film actually expires two years after the manufacturing date, so its quality after the indicated number of years might decrease.

Do undeveloped films also expire?

Just like the unused films, the quality of the undeveloped films can also deteriorate after a long period of time. However, their life can be extended by storing them away from heat and humidity.

What happens to disposable cameras after use?

After using all the exposures in a disposable camera, they can be collected and be recycled. Here, some companies will reload them with new films and will prepare them to be sold again.

Author

Santi Bongco is an editor at SolidSmack which is the leading site for 3D CAD, robots, cool product designs, and other technologies. For the past seven years, he taught robotics and developed innovative 3D printer ideas with his students. He also helped in developing some innovative digital ideas and products for various digital marketing businesses and big companies in Asia. Now, aside from exploring buffet restos in California, he enjoys leading groups of our in-house experts in trying some of your favorite products and electronic brands to write insightful reviews for you. PS: He loves reviewing appliances and taking them home to personally ‘try’ them.