While some might view disposable cameras as too cheap to produce high-quality pictures, that is largely untrue, and for many people they are a viable picture-taking option.
What Are They?
Disposable cameras are cameras that are meant to be used once. They function just like traditional point and shoot cameras. The camera itself is made of cardboard and plastic, and you turn the entire camera in to be developed. A number of film companies make disposable cameras, including Kodak and Fujifilm, although there are also various store brands available.
Disposable cameras are convenient and cost-effective. You never have to worry about replacing batteries or exposing the film as you load it into the camera. If you break or lose a disposable camera, you'll certainly be sad that you lost the pictures you had already taken, but you'll be out much less money than if you lost a traditional camera. This makes them ideal for children, although anyone can benefit from a stress-free camera.
There are a few specialty disposable cameras available. Perhaps you want to take panoramic photos of the Grand Canyon but you don't want to invest in an Advantix camera just for that occasion. You can buy an Advantix disposable camera that includes the panoramic setting for a fraction of the cost. There are also underwater disposable cameras available for your diving and snorkeling adventures, or even just for bringing to a pool party. Encased in plastic, they're slightly more expensive than a basic disposable camera, but still far cheaper than any sort of underwater photography gear.
If you would like digital prints, there aren't any disposable cameras out there that automatically take digital photos, but it's simple to turn your pictures into digital files through either choosing to receive a picture CD when you develop your film or later scanning photos you'd like to share with your friends.
Fun and Games
One of the most popular uses of disposable cameras is to gather candid shots at weddings. A disposable camera is placed on each table at the reception and it's up to the guests sitting at that table to take pictures of the events of the evening and each other. There are cameras with specially designed covers that are made just for this purpose, but it's often cheaper to buy standard cameras. It's really up to you if the white lace design is worth an extra few dollars for each camera. When you develop your photos, it will be well worth it to do it at a store that allows you to return photos that you don't want, because there you will inevitably end up with out of focus shots and other accidents of the camera.
Disposable cameras are also popular for scavenger hunts. Whether it's for a club event or just a group of friends, you first come up with a list of things that people should get pictures of (you can get really creative here) and then send out small groups with a disposable camera to hunt down as many photo ops as possible.