Perfect for knockabout shooting fun, the best disposable cameras are a great fuss-free way to enjoy the delights of analogue shooting. Low cost and easy to use, these little point-and-shoots don't offer much in the way of manual controls, but are perfect for those who don't want to fuss with that sort of thing. What's more, they tend to be really affordable, making them great to pick up for parties or events.
Of course, there is one thing to think about when it comes to disposable cameras, and that's waste. They're not as wasteful as you might think at first glance – single-use cameras are eminently recyclable (opens in new tab), and many of the firms that produce them, like Kodak and Fujifilm, will break them down to reuse the parts in another batch rather than throwing them away. Still, it pays to be responsible, and if you're sending your single-use camera off to be processed, check with the lab that they have a plan to dispose of the camera responsibly.
The analogue look of disposable cameras is a highly sought-after one, and so it's no surprise that even in the digital age, they still have their place. The feel of analogue photography simply can't quite be replicated with a smartphone, and then there's the delayed gratification of analogue shooting, of knowing that you'll press the shutter and not know how the shot comes out for weeks, or even months.
Contemporary disposable cameras aren't just cheap plastic – manufacturers have stepped up their game, and the little shooters are much more resilient than they used to be. They are also sometimes available in great-value multipacks, which are ideal for weddings or other large-scale events. But the best thing of all is that once you're done, you get physical prints that you can hang up or keep in a scrapbook, rather than digital files left to languish on a hard drive.
While there are plenty of disposable cameras on the market, some do tend to go in and out of stock, especially if you're outside of the US, so we've included plenty of options on our list. If there's one you like the look of but can't find in your territory, consider one of the alternatives on the list.
With all the above in mind, let’s have a look at a bunch of the best disposable cameras you can buy right now…
Best disposable cameras in 2021
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This brightly colored disposable camera ups the usual 27 exposures to a generous 39 on Kodak Kodacolor film and comes with a built-in flash offering a 4ft to 10ft range. This is all wrapped in a durable plastic casing that should withstand a few knocks. It feels like the adage ‘can’t go wrong’ should have been invented for photographic propositions such as this. Note: 27-exposure versions of this camera also exist, but the "27+12" 39-exposure option is usually better value.(opens in new tab)
Pre-loaded with ISO400 Fujifilm 35mm roll film providing 27 exposures, you’ll probably want to make use of that built-in flash with its three-metre range in gloomier conditions. Alternatively, use this small fixed aperture and single fixed shutter speed camera in mainly in bright light outdoors. While it may not be sophisticated, it serves the purpose for which it was created.
Though the Ilford name is generally associated with black and white films, the firm revealed a little surprise in early 2021 – this disposable camera loaded with Ilfocolor film. The cool colours of this stock hearken back to the photography of the 1960s, and the zingy design of the camera allows you to stand out from the crowd. The auto-recharging flash with a recycle time of 15 seconds also allows you to fure off a few lit shots in succession.(opens in new tab)
Loaded with Kodak Max Versatility 800 speed film providing 27 exposures and equipped with a manual flash that needs to be ‘charged’ – by holding down a button – between each use, this is your bog standard disposable camera, being lightweight and compact enough to slip into any pocket. An advantage over some competitors is that the combination of ISO800 and flash makes it suitable for party pictures in dimly lit rooms.(opens in new tab)
A non-waterproofed, regular-use point and shoot disposable camera featuring built–in flash with four metre range and batteries from the instantly recognisable Agfa brand, this is another option for parties and social gatherings where you want something to pass around without stressing that it will be lost or damaged. Again we get a standard 27 exposures to shoot with. When finished, just send it off or drop it in to your local high street processor.
Black-and-white(opens in new tab)
With a focus range from one metre to infinity, this 35mm disposable option from film experts Ilford is strictly a monochrome shooter. The key details include 27 exposures from a roll of XP2 Super 400 ISO film and a built-in flash to provide added visual punch. A big advantage is that you can take the unit to any high street processing centre to get the prints developed, as the XP2 film uses the same process as C41 color negative. Neat!
Kodak's Tri-X 400 is one of the most famous monochrome films of its era, with many photographers falling in love with it for its dramatic, contrast-y look. Now, it's available in a single-use camera, which may make for the perfect gateway drug for anyone looking to dip their toes into analogue photography. As well as 27 shots of Tri-X, you also get what Kodak describes as the most powerful flash on a disposable camera, which perfectly complements the high-key drama of the Tri-X film stock.
This is not just a disposable camera... it is an underwater camera too! Waterproofed to a depth of 10 meters (17 feet), you may be paying a slight premium here for the plastic housing, but we reckon it’s worth it. Pre-loaded with Fujifilm Superia X-TRA 800 color film, there are 27 frames with which to capture the poolside fun. Exposure is fixed at 1/125sec at f/10, so look to shoot in sunnier conditions to achieve the best eventual prints.(opens in new tab)
Here’s a funky looking camera for making a splash with. It features tangibly large controls that should prove no problem for younger family members to operate. There’s no flash with this one, as it’s intended for use down to watery depths of 50 feet / 15m. Loaded with Kodak Ultra Max 800 film for clearer pictures beneath the waves, we’d otherwise advise outdoor and daylight use only. With a sunscreen and scratch resistant lens the film sits within a durable and shock-proof shell.(opens in new tab)
A ‘one size fits all’ option for holidaymakers, this Agfa branded camera with flip up plastic ‘sports finder’ can function in the wet as well as the dry – and greatly aids accurate composition underwater. Its plastic outer case, meanwhile, protects against sand and splashes. Loaded with ISO400 film, up to 27 exposures are provided. This one can’t be used as deep as some alternatives, as it’s waterproofed to just three metres, but that should make it just fine for pool use.
Bulk packs(opens in new tab)
Grab yourself fistful – or more - of disposable cameras with bundle deals on this Kodak single use camera, which offers the advantage of up to 39 exposures, whereas most others max out at 27 shots. We also get a built in flash with a decent 4ft to 10ft reach, encased in a durable plastic sell that should withstand a few knocks. Again, you can’t really go wrong for the price either if buying this camera on its own or in a pack such as this. With multipacks available with 5, 6, 10 or 20 cameras - you have lots of bulk buying options. Do check that the cameras offered are the ones with the 39 cameras (27+12, as Kodak calls it).(opens in new tab)
With multi pack bundle deals varying between territories, one consistent is this Fuji twin pack option loaded with Superia X-TRA ISO400 film providing 27 exposures each, or 54 total. The thinking being that two cameras are better value than one, you’ll probably want to make use of that built-in flash with its three-metre range in gloomier conditions, or use this small fixed aperture and single fixed shutter speed camera in mainly in bright light outdoors.(opens in new tab)
Want a bunch of cameras for a social occasion, or to hand out to guests at a wedding? While waterproofed cameras generally cost slightly more than the standard variety for use on land, here we get a pack of waterproof cameras at a value added price, capable of use down to a depth of 10 metres (17 feet). Pre-loaded with Fujifilm Superia X-TRA 800 color film, there are 27 frames with which to capture the fun in the pool. As exposure is fixed at 1/125sec at f/10, we reckon sunnier conditions will deliver the best prints. Available in packs of three or four, depending on where you shop - so compare prices carefully.
What we look for in disposable cameras:
The most typical route into film photography is the form of disposable 35mm cameras, these are the bread and butter for the analogue resurgence giving between 36 and 24 exposures, these types of film cameras are very popular with beginners from all eras and take the hassle out of photography and keep it simple but effective, giving you a lot of freedom when taking pictures on holiday, at a house party or even a pool party. This guide will help you find a disposable camera that's right for you, that's easy to use and offers either color or black and white negative films - all you need to do is hand it in to your local film lab and they will take care of the rest.