Make way for the King in this Digital World

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Make way for the King in this Digital World
27 Dec 2021
6 min read


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Before DSLRs and smartphones were a thing, people made memories on film cameras. They especially loved the disposable cameras, which were cheaper than anything. Want to learn more about these beautiful antique cameras? Read on! #ThinkWithNiche

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Today your pocket has a very powerful device that can catch anything and make it a memory for you. Yes, you guessed it right, your smartphone. It can take photos for you and keep them digitally available for an eternity. Today photographs are mostly taken from a mobile both professionally and just for fun. DSLRs and mirrorless cameras are the things to look at in this era. Owning a mirrorless is somewhat a status symbol. Professional photographers use everything from a phone to a full-frame mirrorless to capture any moment. The question for you is, do you know about the camera that existed before the digital revolution? Yes? Amazing! No? No issues! I’m here to tell you about the ancestor of these digital cameras that became the partner of some legendary photographers of all time.

History of Disposable Cameras

Fujifilm was the first company known to make disposable cameras in 1986. There was a company before Fujifilm that made disposable cameras way back in 1966. The company was called FEX that brought disposable cameras made of Bakelite in front of the world. Before FEX, Photo-Pac made a camera out of cardboard in 1949. This camera by Photo-Pac shot eight exposures, and for processing, the images were mailed in. These cameras did not have film enclosed in them. This problem was solved soon, and cameras got 35mm film inside them. However, this camera couldn’t make any good impression. FEX similarly made its camera and named it ‘Photo Pack Matic.’

Fujifilm, on the other hand, made the disposable camera that used 35mm film (Utsurun-Desu or QuickSnap line of cameras). The competitor of Fujifilm, Kodak, used 110mm film for its Fling line of disposable cameras in 1987. The following year, Kodak introduced 35mm film in their cameras and renamed the camera. FunSaver was the new name, and Fling was discontinued soon after. So much struggle, I tell you! These cameras had uniqueness in them, which made them popular in no time. The Utsurun line was welcomed, with open arms in Japan. Seeing the popularity of this model, companies like Konica, Nikon, and Canon made plans to release their versions of disposable cameras. Upon the release, to get ahead of the competition, Fujifilm added new features to its disposable camera, such as the addition of flash, making the case waterproof, and introducing panoramic photography. By 2005, disposable cameras were all over and were a normal thing. In Mission Impossible 3 (2006), a disposable kodak camera was used to deliver the mission details to Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise).

By now, you must be wondering what a disposable camera is. How can a person dispose of a costly camera? Don’t worry! I’ll clear every doubt you have. Disposable cameras are commonly known as single-use cameras. They have a pre-installed film in them and can be used once. After the film had all the shots on it, the camera body was dumped, and the film was taken to studios to get developed. These cameras were very cheap as no money was put into the body of the camera. It was just cardboard that was dumped after the photoshoot. They were point-and-shoot type cameras and completely focus-free. These cameras were fitted with a flash unit and were still relatively cheap. The disposable camera can be refilled and reused again. Hence called recyclable cameras.

In 2004, many companies released digital disposable cameras hoping to take over the market by storm, but they could not get the same success as their film camera counterparts. In addition to this, a digital disposable camera is prone to hacking.

Single-use camera with some uses

These disposable cameras were almost in every bag pack and purse out there. Tourists used to have many units with them to capture every moment they spent exploring. Once the film roll is fully exposed, they can use a new one for the journey ahead.

Do you remember Monica and Chandler’s Wedding from FRIENDS? They had their wedding recorded in many disposable cameras, which they wanted to get processed soon, but Chandler lost those somehow. These disposable cameras were used as wedding gifts. Guests can pick the disposable cameras and shoot the wedding completely in their way. It would be such a nice gift for the newlyweds.

People used to carry these cameras in their cars and use them when something happened to their automotive. These were a part of the accident kit to click photos on the spot of an accident. It would help them in their insurance claims with ease.

Are disposable cameras still relevant today?

In the era of digital photographers, the ancient art form of a film camera can get obsolete, but even today, these cameras are used by some of the best photographers. Using a film camera in this era is something worth experiencing, and using disposable cameras is icing on the cake. Many content creators and well-established photographers use these disposable cameras to create vintage photographs that look amazing and bring back nostalgic feelings. These cameras can produce some beautiful images that can be only achieved nowadays by applying some filters. They give beautiful photographs without any edits on them. If you are sure about your skills as a photographer, you can use these disposable cameras to make some amazing pieces of art.

Before going for high-end mirrorless cameras, get these little ones to train yourself, and trust me, you’ll love the process. After all, they are the reason modern-day cameras exist the way they are.