29th Jan 2006

Disposable Digital Cameras

If you are looking for disposable digital cameras the good news is: They exist! The bad news is: They probably aren’t what you think they are.

Kodak Plus Digital Single-Use CameraThe street price for the Kodak PlusDigital Single-Use Camera is $9.95 (US).

Although the disposable digital camera is touted by Kodak as being “ideal for anyone who wants an inexpensive, single-use camera and is interested in trying digital for the first time.” I don’t totally agree.

How it Works

The camera has 12MB of internal memory, runs on included AA alkaline batteries, features an automatic flash and a self timer and can store up to 25 pictures. Sounds good so far.

However, upon closer examination you find that the camera has no way to instantly view pictures like the LCD view screens on all other digital cameras, and YOU CANNOT DOWNLOAD THE IMAGES TO YOUR PC YOURSELF! The camera uses a proprietary image format. It cannot be connected to a PC to transfer photos. This means that you are required to return the camera to your retailer and pay the usual processing costs for developing. You automatically receive your images on CD-ROM.

The Real Cost of the Single Use Digital

Not only is that very inconvenient, but it drives the total cost of the disposable digital camera and processing to $25 instead of the $10 that you thought you were going to get away with paying. With cheap “real” digital cameras available for an average of $50 to $99, it doesn’t take long for a disposable digital camera to lose its low-price appeal.

Not Really Disposable!

The term “disposable” is a misnomer as well. Once the prints have been developed, the retailer returns the camera to Kodak for recycling. Kodak then refurbishes each camera and sends it back out for resale at it’s usual retail price..

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