10 Reasons To Buy A Film Camera Instead Of A Disposable

I’ve been shooting disposable cameras for over 10 years, but over time I learned how to get better shots from better cameras. Don’t miss these 10 reasons why you should consider buying a reusable film camera instead of a disposable camera! 

1) Film Cameras Almost Always Take Better Pictures

Most disposable cameras come with a plastic lens, an F11 lens and a 1/100 shutter speed and that is all. This means that it’s tough to create any pictures with any real quality and you’ll often take bad images due to the limitations of the camera. 

The cheapest Point and shoot cameras (around the £50 mark) and nearly all SLR cameras will definitely produce better film shots than a disposable camera. Your film camera will usually automatically change its settings according to the light and it will usually have a lower F stop which will allow you to take sharper images. 

Even the recent releases like the Kodak M35, Ilford sprite and Kodak F9 are better than disposable cameras. These point-and-shoot cameras aren’t better by a whole lot in terms of quality but they are still better in all of the other ways that I’ll explain later. 

2) You’ll Learn A Whole Lot More

You’ll learn a whole lot more if you decide to buy a film camera rather than a disposable one. You’ll learn about different film stocks, you’ll learn how to load and unload your camera and in that process, you’ll become a better photographer. 

The sense of doing things yourself is really a great thing when it comes to film photography and the trials and tribulations along the way are all a part of the learning process that you’re likely to miss if you only use a disposable. 

If you want to learn more but you aren’t sure where to start then you can read this article I made here or you can watch this great video I put together!

How to shoot on film video

3) You Can Use Different Focal Lengths

A lot of point-and-shoot cameras have zoom capabilities so you can change your focal length and with most SLRs, you can change your lenses. This can have a dramatic impact on your final image and unfortunately, with disposables, they’re usually set at around 22mm which is very wide. 

Changing your focal length can completely change your final image!

Changing and using different focal lengths can really change the way an image looks and it’ll provide you with more insight into how photography works. If you stick with a disposable camera then you’ll be doomed to a wide lens with no good capabilities.

4) You’ll Save Money

Yep, you read it right, over time you will more than likely save quite a bit of money if you decide to pick up a film camera instead of a disposable one. Once you’ve made the initial purchase of your camera, the main cost is film and development which will be less overall if you’re not buying premium film stocks.  

5) You May Already Have One

Many people already have a film camera in their home or passed down from family, and if so, you should definitely consider using that rather than purchasing a disposable camera. Carrying out basic checks on an old film camera is fairly easy and you can then get good shots for much less.

I made a video to show people how to check a point-and-shoot camera, if you want to check if an SLR camera works, there are a few good ones on Youtube.

Video on how to test point and shoot cameras

6) You’ll Create Much Less Waste

When you use a disposable camera, it’s a single-use camera so once you send it to be developed, the camera and the canister will be thrown away, also all of your original packaging is thrown away. It’s quite a lot of waste each time you want to use a roll of film.

Using a film camera is much less waste, usually, this is a camera that’s been passed around and used by a number of people and all you really have to buy for it is the camera film. Of course, there’s still an element of waste, but it’s much better for the environment than a disposable camera is!

7) You’ll Only Need One Camera

A really annoying aspect of disposable cameras is that if you want to take any more than 27/36 photos, then you’re going to need more than one camera. When you have your own film camera, you can use it over and over again and all you’ll need is multiple rolls of film.

Just having one film camera will obviously take up less space and be much more convenient than having multiple disposable cameras. This will make travel or festivals stress-free as you take far better pictures with your superior film camera!

8) You’ll Be Able To Use Different Film Stocks

Disposable cameras tend to have set film stocks already loaded inside them, they are usually a fairly cheap and low-quality film stock, so your pictures will also probably not be the highest quality. For instance, Kodak tend to use an 800 ISO version of Kodak Gold, which is good but it’s not great.

When you’re using a film camera, you can choose which kind of film stock you want to use and this can help you to take far better pictures in a style that you like. Often, a film stock can really change the look and feel of an image, also, film stocks are not all of the same quality, some will be less sharp and less clear, which tends to be the case with disposable cameras.

Get a film camera, choose your film stock and get better film pictures!

9) Your Film Camera May Go Up In Value

Chances are, if you buy yourself a reasonable film camera, it’ll probably go up in value within a few years. Since film cameras are basically dying out but demand is increasing again, the value of these cameras is slowly rising. While this isn’t really a reason to buy your film camera, it’ll definitely help you to make the decision on whether to buy a film camera or a disposable.

A lot of film cameras are rising by about 10% year on year, which is a considerable amount, so if you decide to buy your camera now, it’s probably as affordable as it’ll ever be. I like to think if I’m buying an expensive film camera, that money isn’t just gone, I can probably sell it again for similar money or slightly more, so I’ve just borrowed it for a bit. Obviously, this is unless your camera breaks, in which case, I’m sorry, RIP.

10) You’ll Probably Get More Creative With It

If you know that you’re shooting with a good camera then you’re much more likely to get creative with it and try to take more interesting pictures. Using a disposable camera, you have to be really careful to ensure that your pictures aren’t underexposed or blurry. When you’re using a better camera you don’t need to worry about these things so much and this will allow you to explore your creative side more.

Taking a small step into using different types of film cameras will help you to take better pictures, it’ll give you confidence in your abilities and make you excited to try out new things.

Final Word

I will always suggest a film camera instead of a disposable camera. You can take better pictures, save money and the environment. There’s simply no contest. If you want to find out more and learn how to be a better photographer then take a further look at this website and learn some new things!

Thank you, Max.

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