There’s a certain nostalgia about disposable cameras: the idea of taking one and capturing memories while you’re out at a party or on vacation – without worrying too much about it.
They come in all shapes and sizes, from super-slim (and ridiculously expensive) contour models to bulkier rectangular ones that take up an entire shirt pocket.
1. Memory Card
Some disposables have the space to hold a memory card, which is certainly preferable if you’re using these cameras to take pictures at an event where you’ll be sharing photos with friends. However, that’s not always the case.
So just remember that if you want to transfer your images from one device to another or simply want quality photographs, you’ll need to make sure the disposable camera has removable memory.
That makes it easy to transfer your photos from the camera onto a computer or social site while also allowing you to edit, crop, and share via email or other online sites. Some even have a USB connector that lets you connect the camera directly to a PC for data transfers.
2. Not All Disposables are Created Equal
Polaroid was the undisputed king of disposables, but it stopped making them in 2008. The only other major player in this market is Kodak, which makes a variety of disposables found in most drugstores and big-box retailers.
You get what you pay for with these cameras for the most part. However, some cheaper models provide better image quality than others – you just need to know where to look.
Disposable cameras come in a vast array of types and styles, with different image sensors and lenses, but they’re not made equally. The higher the number on the box, typically means better quality pictures. However, certain camera models have specific features that make them stand out (for example, some are waterproof).
It’s recommended you use websites like Tech Cameras Talk before buying and using disposable cameras.
3. Charged Battery
Some disposable cameras come with a non-removable (and charged) battery. However, when this type of camera sits in its package on the shelf, the battery may have already depleted. Be sure to check how long it takes to charge and that there’s enough power for taking at least a few shots before you leave home.
4. Check the Photos
Before purchasing, make sure you’ve reviewed all of the photos you can take with each camera model. Most offer around 30–35 shots, but it varies by model.
The more shots on a disposable camera, the higher its price – so if you want to get one for free or cheap, consider getting a low price camera that can only click a few pictures in one go.
5. The Price
Remember the saying, “You get what you pay for”? The same goes for disposable cameras. While there are some great models out there for under $5.00 at reputable online retailers, you’ll find that they don’t yield as high-quality images compared to more expensive options, which will cost upward of $15+.
Before you head out of the house, read sources like Tech Camera Talk and take a look at some sample shots on your disposable camera, and make sure to bring along a spare battery and memory card.