The best disposable cameras, aka single-use cameras, are a great way to try out film photography and capture shots with a uniquely lo-fi, retro look. These are basically the same point-and-shoot models everyone used to take on their holidays in the pre-digital days. Each one is loaded with a single roll of 35mm film, usually with 36 or 24 shots. And most offer little-to-no settings controls, so there's no fiddling with shutter speed or aperture. You point, and you shoot. It's a lot of fun, and couldn't be simpler.
Analogue images are great – full of charm and character. Then, if you want to digitise them, check out our roundup of the best photo scanners. We also have guides to the best cameras overall and the best cameras for beginners if you'd like something that offers more control and versatility.
The best disposable cameras available now
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Best disposable camera for a retro look
+ Vibrant colours
+ One-touch flash
This full-colour camera is a retro treat. The Ilfocolor film gives images a washed-out look that screams Swinging sixties style, with pops of colour that irresistibly draw the eye. It's also hugely easy to use, with a fixed-focus lens and locked shutter speed, plus you can deactivate the flash.
Best cinematic disposable camera
+ Cinematic look
+ Does well in low-light
This camera produces images with a cool, muted colour palette. In the daytime, it gives scenes a cool blue tone that's understated and highly distinctive. At night, it imbues points of light with a halation effect that translates to an intense red glow. Great for creating smoky, atmospheric, dreamlike images.
Best disposable camera for colour tints
+ Coloured flash
This camera is simple to operate and comes with some fun features, such as colour gels that can be placed over the flash to give an image a stylised tint of colour. It contains a more subtle and muted film than some of Lomography's wildly coloured emulsions, making it perfect for exploring the city.
Best disposable camera for flash
+ Good mid-range ISO
+ 10-foot flash range
With its fixed-focus lens, its single-button operation and its powerful built-in flash, this is an archetypal disposable film camera. Loaded with ISO 400 Fuji Superia colour film, it’ll do well in the majority of lighting conditions, probably only struggling in the black of night. Plus it’s very simple to use.
Best basic B&W disposable camera
+ AAA battery power
+ Easy to reload
This stylish rechargeable camera from Harman functions like a disposable, but is actually reusable. Its built-in flash is powered with AAA batteries, and in the box, you get two rolls of Kentmere, a budget black and white film with a usefully high ISO of 400 for use in all different lighting conditions.
Best waterproof disposable camera
+ Hardy and waterproof
+ Wrist strap
This has one advantage over other disposable cameras when it comes to holiday use – it’s waterproof and sandproof. It can be submerged down to depths of 3m, meaning it’s ideal for leisurely dips in the sea, and its included yellow wrist strap means you can keep it secure and not worry about drops.
Best disposable camera for contrast
+ Dramatic, high-contrast film
+ Wide exposure latitude
For a classic black-and-white look with fantastic tonality, this is a great choice that works in lots of lighting conditions. The camera features a dual element 30mm f10 lens with a shutter speed of 1/125 and the Built in flash which can be turned on or off as required.
Best B&W disposable for easy processing
+ Stylish, contrast-y film
+ Flexible processing options
Ilford’s XP2 super film is a high-contrast B&W film with a stylish grain that’s ideal for getting shots with a little drama and flair. Unusually, it can be developed using the C41 process normally reserved for colour film. This can really save you a headache.
Best B&W disposable camera for detail
+ All-purpose B&W film
+ Fine grain, great sharpness
This camera is great for getting clear and sharp images that are full of detail. You do have to get it processed with proper black-and-white processing, which can be time-consuming and expensive, but the images that come back are all but guaranteed to look a cut above.