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Review: We Tested the 7 Coolest Disposable Cameras For Snapping Your Favorite Memories

Disposable cameras? Is it the year 1990 again?

Sadly, no, it’s not. We’re still stuck in this purgatory that is almost 2023. But, you know what they say: what goes around comes around. The Y2K aesthetic has been popping off these days through fashion, home decor and of course, the best disposable cameras.

That’s right, film is back, baby, and a new generation is discovering the joys of disposable film cameras. Our millennial and Gen X brethren will remember them all too well. For some, disposable cameras were the first cameras we were ever trusted to use as children, and this worry-free pocket buddy was once the only way to memorialize a party or vacation before the era of smartphones. Whether you grew up using the best disposable cameras or you’re just discovering their charms for the first time, these cameras are a retro throwback that provide tons of fun.

While snapping pics on our phones nowadays is easier than reciting our ABCs, we love and missed the crappy, low-quality aesthetic film cameras used to bring so much. That’s we just had to round up the best disposable cameras to buy in 2022. And yes, we tested each and every single one of them to determine which of the best disposable cameras is the best disposable camera.

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The Best Disposable Cameras at a Glance


Ilford HP5 Plus

Buy Now $13.99 Jump to Details
Wildest Colors

LomoChrome Purple Simple Use Film Camera

Buy Now $24.90 Jump to Details
best waterproof

Fujifilm QuickSnap Waterproof Camera

Buy Now $29.95 Jump to Details
honorable Mention

Urban Outfitters Disposable Camera

Buy Now $19.00 Jump to Details

Tyler Schoeber | SPY

What Are Disposable Cameras?

For those of you Gen Zers that missed out on all of the fun, disposable cameras are point-and-shoot film cameras typically purchased with the film already inside. Because they’re “disposable”, the cameras are normally one-and-done devices that are to be thrown away after shooting.

Disposable cameras are often non-waterproof, always screen-free and hold around 27 frames total for shooting. Because the cameras are so low-quality (intentionally so), folks will mainly have to use the most-of-the-time-provided flash attached to the camera for a clear, high-quality image. Once these images are shot, users will have to drop them off at a local film development shop to get prints or scans of the images they took. Because the camera is screen-free, there is no way to see the image you shot until doing so.

General pointer: we suggest not bringing disposable cameras or film in general to chain pharmacies such as CVS or Walgreens. We’ve found that these locations will often lose film because they almost always have to mail the camera out. In addition, we’ve noticed that these locations might not print NSFW images.

Disposable cameras were all the rage back in the day but lost traction when digital cameras began to overtake the world of photography. But, now that the film aesthetic has regained popularity, there are a number of new disposable cameras (in addition to the OGs) infiltrating the world of photography. That being said, we were way too inclined to test all of the very best disposable cameras in order to discover once and for all which is the very best.

For this project, we recruited SPY’s resident photographer to review seven of the best disposable cameras. Film used was developed at four different locations across the globe during our testing processes, including Bushwick Community Darkroom and Westlab NYC in Brooklyn, NY, Bellows Film Lab in Chicago, IL and Analogue Films in London, UK. Below, you can find examples of two images each per disposable camera using one with flash and one to see the difference.

Courtesy of Target


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Why We Chose It: This is a high-quality, easy-to-use disposable camera that you simply can’t mess up.

While it’s an extremely close call with Kodak’s FunSaver, the Fujifilm QuickSnap takes our top spot as the best disposable camera money can buy.

Although Fujifilm doesn’t have the largest name in the world of photography, they make a killer disposable camera. Image quality, color vibrancy and camera design are all serious standouts we can’t hate on whatsoever. We’ve found it able to take the clearest flash-free photos and it uses an effortless slide-up flash design that stays up and isn’t too confusing to use. It’s so easy, a child can use it without any problem.

The camera is inexpensive as far as disposable cameras go and starts as low as $14 in some stores. Two-packs are available, too.

Every single time we receive scans from the Fujifilm QuickSnap, we’re more than impressed with what we captured. It really does have a way of capturing an image exactly the way we wanted it.

Photo taken in Pawleys Island, South Carolina without flash using Fujifilm QuickSnap Tyler Schoeber | SPY
Photo taken at Dromedary Urban Tiki Bar in Brooklyn, New York with flash using Fujifilm QuickSnap Tyler Schoeber | SPY
Courtesy of Amazon

Why We Chose It: Colors are striking and the camera itself is pretty easy to use.

As mentioned, Kodak’s FunSaver is just as phenomenal. If you’re looking for something a little more saturated, definitely go with the FunSaver. It’s got a weird way of making photos feel like they were taken in the summer even if they weren’t.

But, the reason we placed the FunSaver in our number two spot is because of the press-and-hold flash button. We always have issues getting the flash to go off and find ourselves squeezing extra hard to enure it goes off. In addition, it doesn’t make the greatest flash-less images if it’s not direct sun-in-face lighting.

But, sheesh. This camera really is superb. Vivid is one thing, but FunSaver vivid is another. We’ll purchase this camera time and time again, there’s no doubt about that.

Photo taken at Firefly Music Festival in Dover, Delaware without flash using Kodak FunSaver Tyler Schoeber | SPY
Photo taken at Firefly Music Festival in Dover, Delaware with flash using Kodak FunSaver Tyler Schoeber | SPY
Courtesy of B&H


Buy Now

Why We Chose It: It’s a unique experience shooting in black and white. That said, everyone should give it a try to test the waters.

When it comes to black-and-white disposable cameras, there aren’t a whole lot of options to choose from. But, when it comes to black and white film, always go with Ilford. Don’t even give anything else a chance.

The best black and white disposable camera is Ilford’s HP5 Plus. This camera uses 400-speed film to create really intense blacks and crazy nice whites. It’s a camera we’re sure all photographers will get a kick out of. Our only issue with shooting black and white occurs when we’re out and about and we see something we want to shoot that totally relies on color. In this case, we suggest keeping another disposable camera in color on hand so you have two options — because shooting in just B&W is a really interesting experience nonetheless.

These images can never be seen in color, which is a bizarre thought that honestly makes us quite giddy.

Photo taken on a rooftop in Chicago, Illinois without flash using Ilford HP5 Plus Tyler Schoeber | SPY
Photo taken in The Dove, Hackney, London, UK with flash using Ilford HP5 Plus Tyler Schoeber | SPY
Courtesy of B&H
Wildest Colors


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Why We Chose It: This is definitely an experimental one. You might love it, you might hate it, but you should definitely give it a shot. Plus, you can reuse the body.

The Lomography LomoChrome Purple Simple Use Film Camera will not be for everyone, but to anyone looking to experiment a little bit, we think this is a pretty neat camera to pick up. This camera comes preloaded with LomoChrome Purple film that will give each image a purple tint. But, you can actually reload the camera after using and place another film of your liking inside.

In addition to the purple tint, the camera comes with three different gel lighting sheets that sit over the flash if desired to warp the image color even further. Though we used these gels numerous times, we couldn’t really figure out which photos were gelled with what post-production — all colors more or less looked the same.

Although this camera kind of misconstrued our idea of color, we’re taking into consideration that that was kind of the point. We will be using this camera again and the price makes it a bit more worth it knowing we can now refill it.

Photo taken at a restaurant in Brooklyn, New York without flash using Lomography LomoChrome Purple Simple Use Film Camera Tyler Schoeber | SPY
Photo taken at a party in Chicago, Illinois with flash using Lomography LomoChrome Purple Simple Use Film Camera Tyler Schoeber | SPY
Courtesy of Amazon
best refillable

Why We Chose It: Refillable cameras mean you’re saving money. Plus, this camera actually works extremely well.

Speaking of refilling, it’s time to talk about a fully refillable “disposable” camera, the Kodak M35. We decided to purchase this camera after coming to the conclusion that sometimes, buying disposable camera after disposable camera feels a bit wasteful. What we found is that this is a stellar, affordable option we will be using again and again that creates quality images using flash.

Here are the issues we came across, though: it does not take great flash-free photos, the film is relatively difficult to load and often slips out and users on Amazon mention the flash breaking rather quickly. We have not had the flash break on us quite yet, but once it does (if it does, that is), we will update our readers.

All in all, we’re sailing full speed ahead with this one until that day comes.

Photo taken on the street in Hackney, London, UK without flash using Kodak M35 Tyler Schoeber | SPY
Photo taken at Maggie’s in Soho, London, UK with flash using Kodak M35 Tyler Schoeber | SPY
Courtesy of Walmart
best waterproof


Buy Now

Why We Chose It: You can’t talk about the best disposable cameras without including a waterproof one.

Because Fujifilm wants to declare supremacy amongst every other disposable film camera, they also have a waterproof version of their QuickSnap. This chunky, waterproof brethren is a fully flash-free camera that is cute but not the very best. The image quality is a bit blurry due to the plastic extremity built around it to keep water from pouring in. Nonetheless, if you’re on a boat trip, kayak experience or simply want to take a couple of film photos underwater, try it out!

Because the camera does not have a flash, we only have a non-flash option below.

Photo taken on the Delaware River without flash using Fujifilm QuickSnap Waterproof Camera Tyler Schoeber | SPY
Courtesy of Urban Outfitters
honorable Mention

$19.00 $24.00 21% off

Buy Now

Why We Chose It: This is a visually adorable camera that isn’t too bad when using flash.

Urban Outfitters is the hippest store on the planet, so the brand simply had to make their own disposable camera. And, the truth is, it’s really all not too shabby — if you’re using flash. The camera creates excellent photos in the dark by providing an intense flash that almost washes color away, but in a way that somewhat works in its advantage. It won’t be the most vibrant of photos, but it does still look snazzy.

As far as images in the daylight go, simply forget about it. This camera makes every image taken in the day look extremely blurry. We’re unsure as to why, but just don’t even bother unless you want a roll filled with sadness.

Photo taken on a lake beach in the Poconos without flash using Urban Outfitters Disposable Camera Tyler Schoeber | SPY
Photo taken in a park in Brooklyn, New York with flash using Urban Outfitters Disposable Camera Tyler Schoeber | SPY

How We Determined the Best Disposable Cameras

We have been testing the best disposable cameras for this project during the past couple of months, but individually, we’ve been testing these cameras for years and years — which we will talk a bit more about later. For this project, we tested each camera using various light sources, in different environments, with and without flash and by getting cameras developed in various development spots around the globe. We find these to be heavily important factors when shooting with the best disposable camera.

To discover the best disposable cameras overall, we considered the following factors:

  • Lighting: We made sure to test each camera in different lighting — bright sunlight, dim-lit bar interiors, cloudy days, etc.
  • Flash: Each camera that had a flash, we tested using said flash. This was important to determine whether or not the flash was difficult to use.
  • Subject: As you might have noticed, we prioritized people as the main subject when shooting with disposable cameras because that is typically the subject of choice with these cameras.
  • Camera Type: Some of these are refillable while some are not.
  • Development: Each and every place that develops film will do it differently. We made sure to go to numerous spots so our readers can see the different types of quality they might receive.
Tyler Schoeber | SPY

Why Trust SPY to Find the Best Disposable Camera

The author of this article, Tyler Schoeber, has been testing the best disposable cameras since 2014 at the start of his college career. Prior to writing for SPY, Tyler graduated with a photography degree after attending Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York and finishing up at Montclair State University in New Jersey. His specialty throughout his college career was film and he even dedicated projects to shooting solely with disposable film cameras.

Tyler knows this medium like the back of his hand and has gone through way too many disposable cameras than he would like to admit. All in all, he is the perfect person to have tested these cameras because he is quite literally never seen without one by his side.

Click here to read more about SPY’s product testing and review process.

About the Author

Tyler Schoeber is the E-Commerce & Special Projects Editor at SPY. Based in Chicago, Tyler’s a proud Jersey native who loves good food, good wine, and good times. Recently, Tyler has written about the best winter coats, the best men’s joggers and the best sweaters for men as well.