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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Return to retro

Disposable cameras allow users to travel back in time. PHOTO: MITCHELL SHIELDS ’22/THE HAWK

Disposable cameras back in style

In a world of smartphone cameras with increasingly sophisticated lenses and sensor quality, disposable single-use cameras may seem obsolete. But retro is in, and so are disposable cameras, which offer users a vintage photo experience. 

Mark Watrous, a product support specialist at Fujifilm, said people are attracted to disposable cameras because they are inexpensive and easy to use and control.

Fujifilm created its first disposable camera in 1986, offering the QuickSnap single-use cameras marketed for use on the beach, at parties or even underwater with the QuickSnap Marine. 

“You have more control with them if used at events such as a wedding, parties; give them out or place on tables to use,” Watrous said. “At the end of the event, you can collect all of them and not have to worry about people sending, sharing or uploading the images they took.”

Watrous said they have been steady in sales since smartphones came out but there has been a large increase these past couple years.

Disposables are all about authentic content – no filters, no image enhancement. But that authenticity comes at a price. The cost of a one-time use camera ranges from $10 to $14 for 27 exposures. Then there’s an additional fee to get the film developed. At CVS, costs begin at $12.42 for one set of photos.

Lyndsey Longo ’21 said she’s been using disposable cameras before the trend “blew up.”

“I remember two years ago seeing Kylie Jenner post a picture of a disposable camera on her Snapchat and I was like, oh, wow, that is ironic I’ve been doing that for two years now,” Longo said.

Longo also added how she enjoys the surprise that comes in waiting to see how photos come out.

“We are back in the vintage trends and it is very vintage,” Longo said. “People like the fact that you can’t see the photos until they are developed, so it is almost like a surprise waiting for you.”

Maria Scotto ’21 said she thinks disposable cameras have become the new trend because they give you something to hold on to.

“Disposables offer more than your phone does and they are inexpensive,” Scotto said. “It dates the pictures and you have a physical copy. Some people may just like them because they are trendy and aesthetically pleasing, but I like it for what it offers.”

For people who want a foot in both the vintage and modern world, Huji Cam is a smartphone app that creates photos that look like disposable camera snaps.

On Huji Cam you look through a tiny viewfinder to take the picture. The result contains a date and time stamp, just like the real, old thing.

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