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Disposable camera

  The disposable or single-use camera is a simple box camera sold with a roll of film installed, meant to be used once. Most use focus free lenses. Some are equipped with an integrated flash unit, and there are even waterproof versions for underwater photography. Internally, the cameras use a 135 film or an APS cartridge.

While some disposables contain an actual cartridge as used for loading normal, reusable cameras,[1] others just have the film wound internally on an open spool. The whole camera is handed in for processing. Some of the cameras are recycled, i.e. refilled with film and resold.

"Disposable" digital cameras are a recent innovation. These types of cameras forego film and use digital technology to take pictures. The cameras are returned for "processing" in the same fashion as film cameras.

In general the one-time-use camera represents a return to the business model pioneered by Kodak for their Brownie camera; they are particularly popular in situations where a reusable camera would be easily stolen or damaged, when one's regular camera is forgotten, or if one cannot afford a regular camera.


History of film-based disposable cameras

The disposable camera was first developed by Fujifilm in 1986. Their Utsurun-Desu ("It takes pictures"[2]) or QuickSnap line used 35 mm film, while Eastman Kodak's 1987 Fling was based on 110 film[3]. Kodak released a 35 mm version in 1988[4], and in 1989 renamed the 35 mm version the FunSaver and discontinued the 110 mm Fling[5].

In Japan, the Utsurun was released in 1986 for 1380 yen and became widely accepted. Traditionally, cameras had been quite expensive in Japan and were only used during special occasions, and typically only by the male of the household. As a result of the introduction of cheap, lightweight disposable cameras in Japan a cultural shift began, where parents, and children were able to take photos, creating the "snap happy" stereotype that still persists today. Because of the immediate appeal, companies like Konica, Canon and Nikon soon produced their own models. To stay competitive, Fuji introduced advanced features to its original model such as panoramic photography, waterproofing and the inclusion of a flash. Some cameras even have a manual zoom feature which works by shifting two lenses in front of the shutter.

As of 2005 flash-equipped disposables are the norm. By the early 1990s such cameras were being produced by many companies, and are now a staple of the consumer film camera market.

Disposable cameras are popular with tourists and are also a common solution for underwater photography by those who don't own a dedicated underwater camera or waterproof housing.

In the last ten years, disposable cameras have become increasingly popular as wedding favours. Usually they are placed on tables at wedding receptions to be used by guests to capture their unique perspective of the event. More commonly they are available in colors to match the wedding theme such as ivory, blue, white, gold, etc.[6]

So-called "accident camera kits" containing film-based disposable cameras[7][8] are increasingly being carried in vehicles[9]to take images as evidence after an accident. Digital photography is not generally acceptable as a form of evidence because it can be easily edited.


Digital one-time-use cameras (and also digital one-time-use camcorders) are available in some markets; for example the US saw the introduction of a digital camera in 2004 [10]. Unfortunately digital disposables have not had the success of their film based counterparts, possibly from the expense of the process (especially compared to normal digital camera use) and the poor quality of the images compared to either a typical digital camera, or a disposable film camera.

Other Uses

The high-voltage photo flash mechanism in some cameras has been used to power devices such as coil guns. Although, the disassembly of the electronics is dangerous and you could be seriously injured or killed in the process.


  1. ^ Ferrania Dual Cassette System. Ferrania Technologies. Retrieved on 2006-11-17.
  2. ^ Throw-Away Cameras Gain A Loyal Following in Japan. Retrieved on 2007-12-27.
  3. ^ Kodak: History of Kodak: Milestones 1980 - 1989. Retrieved on 2007-12-27.
  4. ^ CAMERA; This Newcomer Is Disposable. Retrieved on 2007-12-27.
  5. ^ KODAK: History of KODAK Cameras: Tech Pub AA-13. Retrieved on 2007-12-27.
  6. ^ DISPOSABLE CAMERAS - VARIOUS-COLOURS. Retrieved on 2007-03-05.
  7. ^ Accident Camera Kit. Retrieved on 2007-03-05.
  8. ^ Collision.kit. Retrieved on 2007-08-21.
  9. ^ Federal Consumer Action Center - Auto Insurance - Insurance Tips. Retrieved on 2007-08-21.
  10. ^ A disposable digital camera enters the market at $19.99. Retrieved on 2007-08-28.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Disposable_camera". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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