Best Disposable Cameras of 2021

The latest Disposable Cameras Reviewed, Ranked, and Compared

Single-use or disposable cameras are not just for those interested in testing the film photography waters. While they are great for students, teens, and people who don’t take photography seriously, there are many other uses.

Also, there are times you just want to capture the moment and not get wrapped up in the technical side – aperture, shutter speed, focus, etc. That’s where disposable cameras come in. With their fixed shutter speed, aperture, and focus, they take the thinking out of photography and just let you live in the moment.

While Kodak and Fujifilm have long-held market dominance, there are many more options for disposable 35mm film cameras than you would believe. So, we rounded up the eight best disposables on the market and shot them side by side.

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Best uses for Disposable CamerasOverview – GridCamera OverviewImage ComparisonFAQ


 

The Best Uses Of Disposable Cameras

By far, the most common use of a single-use film camera is for taking holiday snaps. We have all found ourselves in a situation where we wished we had brought our camera from home. We tend to dash to the nearest drug or convenience store to make a ten-dollar purchase.

Beyond that, disposable cameras make a fun addition to a significant event such as a wedding or party. Wedding photographers and those planning events often buy single-use cameras in bulk. They place one of each of the guest tables or fill a big glass bowl with them at the bar. That way, guests have a fun activity that adds to the happy and fun vibe of the event – especially once the drinks start flowing. Plus, you can avoid hiring a photographer as your guests take all the shots.

Another great use of single-use cameras is for seasoned and experienced photographers to take on a photography challenge. If you are part of a landscape or street photography group, invite attendees to a photo challenge. Regardless of them usually using film or digital, set a disposable camera challenge. It’s a great way to change up the usual group meets and may lead to fresh inspiration.


 

We test the top single-use cameras, new and existing, to see which took the best pictures.

 

*Prices are just for reference

Color Disposable Cameras

Rating (1-5) Price*
Kodak Fun Saver ★★★★★ Color $13
Lomo 400 Simple Use ★★★★ Color $22
LomoChrome Purple Simple Use ★★★★ Color $22
Fujifilm Quick Snap ★★★☆☆ Color $15

Black & White Disposable Cameras

Ilford Single HP5 Use ★★★★★ B&W $11
Ilford Single XP2 Use ★★★★ B&W $11
Rollei Inferno Ragazzi ★★★☆☆ B&W $23
Lomo B&W 400 Simple Use ★★★☆☆ B&W $19
JCH StreetPan Kassha ☆☆☆☆ B&W $10

Waterproof Disposable Cameras

FujiFilm QuickSnap Waterproof CameraFujiFilm Waterproof Quick Snap [Waterproof Cameras Compared] ★★★☆☆ Color $8
Kodak Water & Sport Waterproof Disposable CameraKodak Water & Sport Waterproof [Waterproof Cameras Compared] ★★☆☆ Color $11

Don’t forget, The Darkroom does Film Developing for disposable cameras


Kodak Fun Saver

Kodak Fun Saver

Despite being the most common and cheapest of the 8, overall, the Kodak FunSaver performed best.  Its 800 iso color negative film has great exposure latitude making it much more versatile – it could shoot in open sunlight without blowing out the highlights but also did very well in low light.  Its grain is very subtle and has very pleasant warm tones.  All 8 cameras have plastic optics but the Kodak FunSave seemed to be sharper than the rest.  If you’re looking for cheap disposable cameras that produce great results, this might be the best choice. See image comparisons below

See Images shot with this Kodak Fun Saver


Fujifilm Quick Snap  

Fujifilm Quick Snap Disposable Camera

Of all 8, the Quick Snap is the easiest to use.  It’s the smallest and has a practical flash switch that allows you to keep the flash on.  For all the other cameras you need to press the button to charge the flash for every shot but for this camera, you can keep the flash constantly on by pushing the flash up which will glow red when ready.  Having a good flash is important for this camera because has finer grain 400iso film which means needs the flash for the lower lit scene, unlike the 800 iso cameras.  The Quick Snap is best used in open daylight with no flash or in low light with flash.  Its colors are nearly as pleasant as the rest – it often goes magenta for skin tones and whites.  If you’re looking for a cheap daylight camera that excels for landscapes this camera would be a great choice.

See images shot with the FujiFilm Quick Snap


Lomo 400 Simple Use 

Lomo 400 Simple Use Disposable Camera

This camera, along with the rest of the Simple Use cameras has some major differences from common disposable cameras- they can be reloaded with film and used multiple times which is super cool, they also have 36 exposure compared to the rest which is only 27 exposures, and they have flash gels which can give you a wide range of unique flash effects.  The Lomo 400 cold comes with Lomography’s 400 color negative film has decent exposure latitude, relatively fine grain, and very pleasant tones.  The plastic optics produce a slightly softer image but a much more unique look than the traditional Kodak & Fuji cameras.  It also costs more than most disposable cameras but if you plan on reloading it will be much more cost-effective than buying a bunch of single-use cameras. See image comparisons below


Rollei Inferno Ragazzi

Rollei Inferno Ragazzi Disposable Camera

New to our lineup for 2020, the Rollei disposable camera comes pre-loaded with the Rollei RPX 400 27 exp. B&W film is which is a great film stock with very good exposure latitude. The camera has an identical design as the JCH Kassha but produced better and more consistent results. It has a 31mm f/9 at a 125th lens that’s pretty sharp from 3-5ft and gets pretty soft after 15ft. Like the other disposable cameras, it performs best on bright sunny days or close shots using the flash. The flash is reliable and if you’re in anything other than bright light, it’s highly recommended to use the flash. This camera did create some interesting distortion which is most-likely from the film being a little loose inside of the camera. Overall it’s a fun camera to shoot with – we liked the look of the Rollei RPX 400 but if we had to choose, we’d still pick the Ilford Single HP5 which seems to be sharper and have less image distortion.

See images shot with the Rollei Inferno Ragazzi


JCH StreetPan Kassha

JCH StreetPan Kassha Disposable Camera

We were excited to shoot with the new Kassha disposable camera loaded with 27 exposure Japan Camera Hunter StreetPan 400 film. This film is known for its’ contrast and punchy tones that can look really good when properly exposed which is the major flaw with this camera… This camera has a fixed aperture of f/9 with a shutter around 125th of second which would be fine for daylight shooting but since this film seems to be darker/needs to be overexposed it produced many dark images. Even with the flash, it produced dark images on occasion. And on top of that, its 31mm lens doesn’t have a wide depth of field which produces blurry images from roughly 15ft to infinity (fixed focus 31mm lens). It’s the sweet spot for focus and its fast is 3-5 feet. If you’re looking to shoot a B&W disposable camera, we recommend the Ilford & Lomography cameras over this one. We’ve included some images below that show the good and the bad.

See images shot with the JCH StreetPan Kassha


LomoChrome Purple Simple Use

LomoChrome Purple Simple Use Disposable Camera

This camera is physically the same as the Lomo color 400 but is packed with a unique film, LomoChrome Purple 400 which mimics color infrared film in some ways.  The photos this camera produces are other-worldly.  It’s a fun camera and of all the Simple Use cameras this is the one we recommend most because LomoChrome Purple isn’t a cheap film to buy so it’s fun to shoot once then once the roll is done, take it out and load another 400 iso color negative film in the camera. See image comparisons below

See images shot with LomoChrome Purple Simple Use


Lomo B&W 400 Simple Use

Lomo B&W 400 Simple Use Disposable Camera

This is the only black and white camera of the Lomo Simple Use cameras.  It’s packed with Lady Grey 400 which is a black & white film that has very noticeable but pleasant grain and decent tones but it falls short of the quality B&W film the Ilford cameras are packing so if you don’t plan on reusing this camera and you want black & white we highly recommend the Ilford disposables. See image comparisons below

See Images Lomo B&W 400 Simple Use


Ilford XP2 Single-Use 

Ilford XP2 Single Use Disposable Camera

This 400iso B&W disposable camera is surpassingly sharp and is great for open daylight shooting but not in low light.  The XP2 film has a very fine grain, great contrast, beautiful tones, and can be developed as C-41.  It’s a great camera for classic nature landscapes and cityscapes, as well as natural light portraits. See image comparisons below


Ilford B&W HP5 Single-Use

This camera is truly unique due to the fact that it has the classic true b&w HP5 Plus 400 iso film in it.  White the HP5 has more noticeable grain than XP2 the tones, contrast, grain, and exposure latitude are far superior – just look at the details in the shadows!  This b&w disposable camera is a great overall shoot that performs well in open daylight, low light without flash, and in low light with flash.  Of all 3 B&W disposables, this the one recommend most.  Even though you could reload HP5 film in a Lomo Simple Use, the Ilford plastic optics are still sharper. See image comparisons below

See images shot with the Ilford B&W HP5 Single Use


FujiFilm Waterproof Quick Snap

FujiFilm Waterproof Quick Snap Disposable Camera

This is the only waterproof disposable camera we tested.  With its 800iso grain film and no flash, you’ll only want to shoot it in daylight or underwater that’s being hit by light.  It produces better slightly better skin tones than the Fuji Quick Snap and does better in low light due to its 800iso film.  It’s obviously the best of the 8 cameras if you plan on getting wet but if you don’t plan on getting wet, we don’t recommend this camera.

What’s the Best Waterproof Camera? Click to find out.
The DarkRoom tests the top waterproof cameras with a side-by-side photo comparison.


Kodak Water & Sport Waterproof

Kodak Water & Sport Waterproof Disposable Camera

Loaded with Kodak Max 800 which is a stop faster than the Kodak Fun Saver 400 – this allows it to be more versatile in lower light areas like underwater. Its’ rugged build and waterproof down 50ft make it ideal for winter water and extreme outdoor activities. If you don’t plan on shoot underwater though we highly recommend the Kodak Fun Saver which produces higher quality images. Wine this camera is encased with a plastic cover it seems to be less sharp and due to no flash, it’s not ideal for indoor use. Of the two underwater single-use camera, the Fuji Waterproof Quick Snap and this, we definitely recommend the Kodak which produced slightly sharper images and more consistent image quality.

What’s the Best Waterproof Camera? Click to find out.
The DarkRoom tests the top waterproof cameras with a side-by-side photo comparison.


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Index of Film

Photography film index

The Darkroom’s comprehensive index of film types; characteristics, examples, and reviews ☆☆☆☆☆.

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Disposable Cameras Color Photo Comparison – Side by Side

A. Kodak Fun Saver27 exposure 800 iso film with flash
B. Fujifilm Quick Snap  – 27 exposure 400 iso film with flash
C. FujiFilm WaterProof Quick Snap27 exposure 800 iso film no flash
D. Lomo 400 Simple Use  – 36 exposure Lomo color negative 400 iso with flash
E. LomoChrome Purple Simple Use36 exposure with color negative 400 iso film with flash
     Kodak Water & Sport Waterproof (Not included in comparison)

Disposable Cameras B&W Photo Comparison – Side by Side

F. Ilford XP2 Single Use 27 exposure C-41 XP2 black & White 400 iso film with flash
G. Ilford HP5 Single Use27 exposure  b&w HP5 400 iso film with flash
H. Lomo B&W 400 Simple Use36 explore with Lady Grey 400 iso film with flash
     JCH StreetPan Kassha – 27 exposure JCH StreetPan 400 film with flash (Not included in comparison)
     Rollei Inferno Ragazzi 35mm – 27 exposure (Not included in comparison)

What is Lomography – Lomography is the style of pop photography based on the quirky cameras by the Austrian camera manufacturer known as Lomo

 

Other Disposable Camera Information


How much does it cost to develop film for a disposable camera?

It’s about $14 to have the film in your disposable camera developed. With over 40 years of experience, you can trust The Darkroom with your valued memories… just place your order online and mail us your cameras. Start your order.


Can you still buy a disposable camera?

Yes, depending on where you live, you can find them at a local pharmacy, Walgreens, CVS or stores like Costco, Target or Walmart. Of course, there are many online options for finding good deals and Amazon has options to buy in bulk… which is great for big events such as weddings, reunions, and parties… in fact, our lab will frequently get a box of cameras to develop from such events.


How do disposable cameras work and how is the film developed?

Coming soon


What is the best disposable underwater camera?

Best Waterproof Disposable Cameras HeroFujifilm FUJICOLOR QuickSnap Marine vs Kodak MAX Underwater 800 – Which One Is Better?

By far, the Fujifilm is the better camera out of the two. The first two things you’ll notice are color and sharpness. In both areas, the Kodak is underwhelming. There’s a sense of muddiness and blur. Finer details are lost, and the edges of subjects seem to mold into each other without definition. Fuji, on the other hand, is like chalk and cheese in comparison.

See the waterproof camera photo comparisons

16 replies on “Best Disposable Cameras of 2021”

Wow. Thanks for this. I always take a disposable camera as a back-up when I travel (I post the photos in the linked blog) and the comparisons here are really useful.

I believe there is a typo in the side by side comparisons section, D and E are switched. The pictures from D sure look like the LomoChrome Purple 400 film and not the standard 400 film. Other than that thanks for the great write up!

[…] One of 2 Ilford single use cameras (the other loaded with HP5). This one uses C-41 process XP2 making the film processable in any lab. the usually found spec online is 30mm 1:9 lens with a shutter speed around 1/100. Daniel Schneider’s detailed review of the HP5 version suggests those numbers are more guess work. Still you get a 27 shot camera here. It’s likely the chassis is used in other single use cameras. Still it and its sister model are the highest rated B&W single use cameras in the Darkroom’s top 10 disposable list. […]

Thank you so much for this post! Helped me a lot to choose a disposable camera. I was wondering, the plastic case of Kodak is so pretty and i would love to find out a way of putting another film in the camera and use it again! I have found some videos on youtube, but was confused a little bit how. Would that be a good post for you guys to make?

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