Disposable Cameras





Disposable Cameras


The disposable camera is a single use camera in the form of a box camera intended for single use that comes with an installed roll of film. Majority of disposable cameras use fixed focus lenses. The majority of these cameras are usually equipped with integrated flash units; the cameras have 135 films or use an APS cartridge. Some of the disposable cameras use actual cartridges that are normally used in normal and reusable cameras. Others may use internally wound film in an open spool. The cameras are recyclable given that they are only filled with new films and resold. Disposable cameras have been termed as innovations in the cinematography market given that they provide a means of solving issues relative to the carbon footprint left by the cinematography industry. The cameras are preferable in circumstances where a reusable camera has been lost, damaged, forgotten, stolen and in situations where an individual is not able to afford a regular camera.


The disposable camera is seemingly a product that has a relatively simple design. However, beneath the plastic shell of a disposable camera is an intricately engineered frame. The inner frame provides housing for the different camera components that provide it with functional capabilities. The right fronts of the camera in the inner frame have the circuit board of the energy cells as well as housing for the lens or shutter mechanism of the camera. In addition, the back of the inner frame provides housing for the film advance wheel and the film. The top has a trigger and a counter to provide the number of pictures taken. The camera is relatively simple to use which is one of the main considerations during production. Its disassembly is relatively easy given that the whole camera is held together using snaps, chips and simple catches. The camera does not use any screws, which makes it easy to dissemble and assemble back together.

            The main components of the disposable camera are identified as the lens, which forms the image as light moves through the lens where it is focused, and moved to the film. Another component is the shutter mechanism that opens and closes to allow movement of light to the fill to form images and closes to protect the film from light damage. Films are made of sheets of plastic that are coated with emulsion. The emulsion on exposure to adequate light forms latent images that are later developed into pictures after chemical processing. The film transport is a plastic container in the shape of a cylinder that provides protection to the exposed film from additional exposure to light. Other components include the viewfinder, the counter mechanism, energy cell and the electronic flash.

Production usually depends on the immediate demand for products. The costs of production are similar in nature to other production processes’ costs. Fixed costs are classified as costs of labor in the form of salaries, raw materials, costs of plant and property. Variable costs may also include labor costs in the form of wages depending on the levels of production, transport costs, energy costs, and regulatory costs.

Market Structure:

The market of disposable cameras is generally the cinematography market given that this product serves similar purposes to that of a regular camera. The difference between the disposable camera and a regular camera is generally the ability for re-use in the same market. They have been preferred as they are considered as relatively cheap to obtain and provide immediate solutions for individuals. They both provide users with the expected service of taking quality pictures. Disposable cameras are highly popular among tourists. There is minimal fear of loss given that they are relatively cheap to obtain. They are also used for underwater photography purposes especially for individuals who do not own underwater cameras. In addition, the market in recent years has extended to weddings given that they are used as wedding favors for use by the guests. They may come in different colors to match the different color themes for different weddings.

In addition, the market also extends to accident camera kits that usually contain disposable cameras. They are used in forensics to take images as evidence after occurrence of an accident. The cameras provide a less than perfect style of imagery, which makes them preferable among some photographers. In addition, digital one-time cameras are also other types of cameras available in different markets around the world. Digital disposable cameras have not received similar success and attention compared to film-based disposable cameras. This is attributable to the expensive process of production of such cameras in comparison to the production of a normal digital camera and the resulting poor quality of images as compared to digital cameras.

Revenue Stream:

Kodak estimates that they have recycled more than 1.5 billion disposable cameras since the year 1990. The camera is made up of components that are 77-90% reproducible. The digital camera market has continued to grow over the years despite its market share being taken up by the entry of smartphones. Smartphones have revolutionized the cinematography as they provide users with effective solutions for their picture or imagery needs. In the year 2010, photographic products generated an estimated $55billion in revenues. Cameras consisted of more than 60% of the entire market or $35billion in accruable revenues.

The pricing of disposable cameras and related products is based on the prevailing prices of other products from competitors. In addition, this also includes factoring the costs of production and the expected profit margins in the prices of commodities. The demand and supply of disposable cameras around the world is a primary consideration towards pricing of commodities given that high demand results in higher prices whereas lower demand results in low prices to woo additional number of consumers.  


The presence of merging markets has spurred a large demand for cameras of ally types including disposable cameras. This is mainly due to the new sources of disposable incomes for populations within the emerging markets. It is important to note that there are customers who are driven by the need to find immediate or short-term solutions for their needs whereas others are driven by the need to find long-term solutions during decision making to purchase a product. Addressing such needs can be achieved by both regular and disposable cameras given that they serve different purposes for the consumer.


The disposable cameras have been successful in providing photographers and marine biologists with cheap solutions towards underwater cinematography. Regular underwater cameras are relatively expensive and only provide a long-term solution for the needs of a consumer. The disposable cameras may be used for underwater activities in the wake of evolution towards digital camera products.


Disposable cameras are undeniably some of the most fascinating innovations of the 21st century. They provide immediate and inexpensive solutions for the needs of photography enthusiasts and the public at large. they have provided solutions to consumers in instances when regular cameras are lost, damaged, stolen or out of order and there is an immediate need to take pictures.

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