Disposable Cameras

People use disposable cameras all the time because their cheap, easy and convenient.  Still, some of the most common mistakes in photography happen because people don’t quite understand a few basic things about their disposable camera.

The biggest mistake by far is assuming that all disposable cameras are the same.  This couldn’t be farther from the truth; yet time and again a customer will choose the less expensive camera thinking there’s no difference but price.  I promise that there really are good and bad quality disposables.    

First there is a difference between the film each disposable uses.  Less expensive cameras often contain lesser quality films.  This can result in very bland colors or worse.  Don’t forget that even trusted brands like Kodak offer low and high end films.  It is also important to make sure that the film in the camera is a good ISO.  Since the lenses on disposable cameras are never what the professionals describe as “fast,” a high speed film is essential.  If it will be used in the bright outdoors then a 200iso or 400iso is okay, but otherwise stick with the 800iso film.  A lot of customers shy away from that option because 800iso is known for being grainy; even if that is the case it’s also a sacrifice worth making for clarity. 

 Almost all disposable cameras have a flash.  Use it.  Give yourself time before taking a picture to push the flash button to charge the flash.  Make sure you don’t take the picture until the “flash ready” light is lit.  When taking close-up shots of people it is almost always safer to use the flash than not.  Trusting the available light is not only risky, but they type of film used in the camera assumes you will use the flash.

The exception to this rule is when the subject is just too far away.  Remember that the flash can only light up subject within 10 feet or so.  Notice the flashes that always go off from the stands at a sports game?  Using the flash at those times will likely hurt your photograph.  There is no way it will illuminate your subject, but it may bounce back from the guy in front of you.