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Digital Disposable Camera - The Basics on Disposable Digital Cameras - How They Work, Upsides of Disposable Digital Cameras

Is This Camera for You?

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Are you curious about trying a disposable digital camera instead of a traditional film camera? Or maybe you want to try the benefits of digital before investing in an expensive model? Either way, you have come to the right place. In this article, we will go over the basics on how these digital disposables work as well as their major pros and cons so you can decide whether or not they are for you.

How They Work

Disposable digital cameras are more accurately referred to as “single use” cameras. Single use for you, that is – after the photo processing company develops your pictures, they will delete the images and repackage it again for sale. This is why they can offer these cameras to you so cheaply – they get multiple uses out of each one.

The process for using disposable digital cameras is just about identical to normal versions. You purchase the camera, take your allotted amount of pictures (which can vary from camera to camera), and then bring it back to the photo processing station to have them “developed”. You can order different print sizes, and many times you can get an inexpensive photo CD added to your order that contains the image files from all of your pictures.

Digital disposables use their own file format that is not recognized by normal computers. They cannot be easily connected to any home computer, either – they are purposely created to connect only to the company’s own proprietary machines. By doing this, they ensure that you will bring the camera back to them in order to have your prints converted and developed. Uploading pictures yourself is one digital benefit that you will not have with these cameras.

However, you will be able to view your images on most cameras because of a small LCD screen. You will also be able to delete unwanted pictures and re-take better ones to fill their place. Some models have limits on deletion, however, only allowing you to delete the last picture taken. Be sure to ask about the specific features of the model you are looking at if you are not sure.

Upsides of Disposable Digital Cameras

Disposable digital cameras allow you to delete and re-take pictures, and many let you see the pictures you have taken on a small LCD screen. This way, you can make sure to submit only the best pictures for development, as opposed to traditional film cameras where you only get one shot for every picture.

These cameras are also extremely inexpensive when compared to normal digital cameras, which start around $200 for a camera of decent quality. Because of the low price tag, many people feel more confident in taking this type of camera with them on rigorous trips or long vacations without much fear or breakage or theft.

Another upside is the ability to get inexpensive picture CD’s at the time of development, which allows you to easily load your pictures onto your computer and email them to friends.

Downsides of Disposable Digital Cameras

Single-use digital cameras do not come with many of the options that more expensive models have. Typically, the only options available are a possible zoom function and control over the flash. Image resolution is much lower than that of regular digital cameras, somewhere in the range of 1-2 megapixels (average-priced digital cameras usually have 7 or more). Pictures from a 1 or 2 megapixel camera are good for emailing to friends and viewing on a computer, but you should not expect to make large prints with this resolution.

As mentioned before, sometimes single-use digitals limit your ability to delete pictures to only the last one taken. Also be wary of models that do not have an LCD screen, which further reduces any benefit that you will get from going digital.

Because these cameras use their own file type and do not offer home computer compatibility, you will not be able to upload any pictures directly to your computer. You will have to go through the camera developer to get your pictures, just like a traditional film camera.

Other Things to Watch For

Some single-use camera makers will include the word “digital” in their product title even though they actually use a traditional film camera. The “digital” in this case usually refers to some kind of package deal involving digital copies of the prints with development. Be wary of these models if you want to try a real digital camera – if it has any mention of “film” or “35 mm” on the package, does nott have an LCD screen, or does not allow you to delete pictures, then it is time to look for a different product! Even if the camera is digital, you would be completely missing out on the benefits of going digital.

That’s it for this guide to the disposable digital camera. If you want to try the benefits of digital without investing lots of money in a new camera, this is a great place to start.

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