The Magic of Disposable Cameras

We live in times where technology is always improving, always changing. New iPhone models are released annually, Kindles make reading lighter (literally), and smart speakers can update you about the weather, traffic conditions, and more almost instantly. In such a cutting-edge society, using something as obsolete as a disposable camera seems time-consuming and almost silly. Why use such a device when you could easily snap a high-quality picture with a smartphone?

There definitely seems to be more pros than cons when it comes to disposable cameras, but I recently discovered that they are an excellent example of the idiom “Don’t judge a book by its cover.”

Photo by Analogicus

Disposable cameras come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, but the model I like to use is called Fujicolor Simple Ace. You can easily find them at stores like Bic Camera or Loft; they’re usually next to the Polaroid cameras. I bought my first disposable camera on a whim because I thought they looked interesting and wanted to try taking photos from a new perspective. My belated realization that I couldn't check (or re-take, for that matter) the photos only temporarily dampened my excitement -- I soon came to appreciate this irreversibility. Knowing that I'd have to wait until I got through the whole roll to see the results made me think more about what I wanted to capture. 

Of course, I still love the convenience of my iPhone’s built-in camera and admit that I use that more than my disposable camera. However, the simplicity of the latter is a feature which is easy to figure out and quite enjoyable. The developing process might seem like a bit of a chore, but it actually isn’t that bad. A quick Google search led me to the photo development counter at Bicqlo with my Simple Ace, and an hour and a half later I was walking home with an envelope of freshly developed prints! Take a look at the small, yet clearly noticeable differences between digital photos and their print counterparts. 

If you’re interested in photography but haven’t tried using disposable cameras yet, I highly recommend getting one and testing it out. The one I use is reasonably priced and lets you take 39 shots. 39 may not seem like a lot, but the satisfaction of pressing the shutter and not knowing how it turned out will make you want to take more and in the blink of an eye, you’ll be heading out to get your photos developed!