Which waterproof disposable camera is best?
You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t have a mobile phone with a built-in camera. But while the latest iPhones and Androids take spectacular photos, there is one glaring problem: they aren’t waterproof.
Sure, you can encase it in rugged housing to keep the water out, but that isn’t always practical. So if you need a quick, affordable way of taking photos in the pool or underwater, the best solution is a waterproof disposable camera. The Fujifilm Quick Snap is a great choice.
What to know before you buy a waterproof disposable camera
Know how a waterproof disposable camera works
The primary aspect of these cameras is that they have a rugged, clear plastic housing to make them waterproof. But they operate very differently from the digital single-lens reflex cameras you might be accustomed to.
These are what are commonly known as point-and-shoot cameras, as they don’t have a focus ring or buttons for adjustments. You simply point the camera at a subject, make sure it is aligned through the viewfinder, and press the shutter button. Once the film is used up, a photo studio or pharmacy can develop the film. The cameras are for one-time use, so the developer will throw them away afterward.
They have a limited capacity
The casing and internal workings prevent you from replacing the camera film inside. Typically, disposable cameras can only take around 24 or 27 photos, and you have no idea how the picturs will come out. If you want to take more photos, you’ll need a second disposable camera.
They have limited capabilities
Disposable cameras sometimes have a built-in flash, but it’s best not to rely on the illumination in dark environments.
You also can’t convert the undeveloped images into digital versions without sophisticated technology. However, after developing, you can scan the photos to make digital copies, or you can ask the pharmacy to put them on a USB drive for you.
They have an expiration date
It might seem hard to believe, but disposable cameras have an expiration date. Well, technically the camera doesn’t expire, but the film inside does. You might have snapped up a few waterproof disposable cameras at a sale, but check the bottom of the package. There’s an expiration date printed that shows you until when the film is still good. Using expired film may result in photo discoloration, light streaks or damage to the camera while shooting.
What to look for in a quality waterproof disposable camera
Waterproof and depth rating
If you are using a disposable camera to take photos underwater, it’s easy to assume that you aren’t a professional and won’t be swimming at record-breaking depths. But you never know what you might come across in the ocean. A good-quality waterproof disposable camera can easily take photos at depths of 50 feet.
The last thing you want when swimming with a waterproof camera is for water to seep inside. Care must be taken so that the camera isn’t bumped or dropped on hard surfaces that can compromise the casing. However, a good-quality disposable camera for underwater use has a tough outer shell that can withstand most conditions.
Easy to use
Far less complex than most modern cameras, a disposable model is incredibly easy to operate. But that’s not to say that everybody can handle it. A good-quality disposable camera has minimal moving parts so that children can use it, too.
How much you can expect to spend on a waterproof disposable camera
The average price of a waterproof disposable camera largely depends on its manufacturer and depth rating, and the capacity of the included film. An easy-to-use but limited camera sells for $15-$20, while a device with a flash or more rugged casing retails for $30-$40.
Waterproof disposable camera FAQ
Can you record video clips on a disposable camera?
A. No. Since it uses camera film, a disposable camera is only used to take still photos. It is impossible to record videos or even short clips, as the roll of film doesn’t support it.
What is the big knob on the top for?
A. Once you take a photo, the film doesn’t automatically move on to the next photo. You turn or activate the big dial on the top to move the film inside onto the next frame. If you don’t and take another photo, you’ll get a double exposure, which — if it’s what you intend — makes for a neat effect.
What’s the best waterproof disposable camera to buy?
Top waterproof disposable camera
What you need to know: This disposable camera is encased in a solid clear plastic housing that can take a beating before cracking.
What you’ll love: Pre-loaded with Fujicolor Superia X-TRA 800 35-millimeter film, the camera has a maximum of 27 exposures, a shutter speed and is durable enough to withstand water pressure up to 35 feet.
What you should consider: The shutter speed of 0.01 seconds can’t be adjusted, making the camera almost useless in dark or shadowy conditions.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top waterproof disposable camera for the money
What you need to know: Using the standard 35-millimeter photographic film, you can take up to 27 photos.
What you’ll love: It has a robust clear casing with a big wheel at the top to wind the film along. This makes it easy for children to operate, as it also has a sturdy wristband.
What you should consider: It has an ISO of 400, which is common for disposable cameras, but insufficient in low-light conditions.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: If you want to take photos at deeper depths than with most waterproof disposable cameras, this is a perfect choice.
What you’ll love: Working at a depth of 50 feet, this camera is a great choice for reef diving or snorkeling along the coast. You can take up to 27 photos on the 35-millimeter film and it comes with a detachable wrist strap.
What you should consider: Some users said the camera produced poor-quality photos out of the water.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Charlie Fripp writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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