View Full Version : Digital or Disposible

08-29-2006, 05:56 PM
I am a person with little to almost no experience in photography,
which is why I take pictures as little as possible. This year however
I decided to bite the bullet and do what I could and my pictures
turned out better than I thought they would, however a few
didn't turn out, because I forgot to wind up the camera. I was
just wondering do people prefer digital or disposible camera? I
think one day I'd like to have a digital camera but disposible
camera can be just as good as long as you have 2 on you. :toothy:

08-29-2006, 06:19 PM
I would recommend disposable because digitals can be stolen easily at conventions just like what happened to mine. Also I had a friend who's digital camera broke when she drop it by accident. The good thing about digital is you can post the pics right a way and save them on your computer.

08-29-2006, 07:35 PM
Digital all the way. I never leave home without mine, and its been through the wars. But the pics it takes are worth it, especially at cons where the convention lighting kills disposable cameras. And I can make sure I get the shot I want, edit it on the computer, and not waste money on bad film.

Sure, the camera cost a couple hundred bucks, but if a disposable camera costs $15, and developing the pics is another $20, the thing pays for itself in a couple months. The money I've saved with it greatly outweighs what I've spent, and I'm always satisfied with my pics.

Also, as for being stolen, I just never let go of it at a con. I take it everwhere. And, like anything else valuable - purses, liscenses, ATM cards, cell phones - you just have to be careful.

Ami Yuy
08-29-2006, 07:40 PM
Advantages of Digital:
- Don't have to print anything you don't want
- Can take, view, and then delete anything right away
- Re-usable memory - don't have to go buy a new card each time you have filled it up and saves money in the long run
- Instant gratification
- Most basic digitals have generally consinstent good quality

Downsides of Digital:
- Have to make a bit of an effort to get them printed, then again, not much more than with film
- Bit of a large investment in the beginning - but pays for itself over time

Advantages to Disposable:
- Cheap each time - but adds up over time
- If you lose it, it's not too big of a deal
- Unless you get a digital disposable - you can't see the pictures right away - but they're also more expensive

Downsides of Disposable:
- Not guarenteed great quality every time


Granted, this is just pulled off the top of my head, but that's what I can come up with right now.

I'm heavily biased towards digital because of the quality and quickness and would HIGHLY recommend it.

And everything *Shiva* said. ^_^

08-30-2006, 01:01 AM
There used to be a lot more disposable cameras on the market, but they are becoming less and less available as there are more and more cheapie digitals popping up.

08-30-2006, 05:58 AM
Somewhat of an apples to oranges comparison.

Completely different media. Completely different target usage.

Do you only take pictures once a year, at a convention?

Digital versus film, or purchasing a body versus a disposable. It's hard to compare both media and type as differences, because they aren't really on comparable ground.

Solely on price per image over the course of a year, digital.

Solely on quality of output, digital.

Solely on features, digital.

Solely on cheap to replace if stolen, disposable film.

The only thing you really get out of have a disposable camera, is a low startup cost and replacement cost if stolen.

But, other than that, disposables have a hard time matching film, even purely based on cost if you use the camera year round.


08-30-2006, 07:33 PM
My camera that I take with me and have used at con's a few times is a HP = Hewlett Packard. My other friend's however are all Sony users.

disposable vs HP camera? :D


for those who can't decide... they do make disposable digital camera... ::evil grins:: so you can have both world

single-use digital camera that will cost you only $11

there are ways to make it 'non' single-use... but that would be cheating ;)

also the VERY low end 640 x 480 Pixels VGA digtal camera for about $30.


seriously tho... in the long run... digital is what i would recomend... see all the wise comments above and below... for why ;)

- Alex

08-30-2006, 10:58 PM
Yes, it appears that disposable film cameras are slowly being replaced by disposable digital cameras. Even if a person doesn't want to pay hundreds of dollars for a digital camera, the disposable digital camera are adequate for casual picture takers.

Film is being relegated to specific situation that digital still cannot compete with yet, but a casual picture taker will not encounter those situations.

08-30-2006, 11:11 PM
It depends on how many pics you're going to take. If you're one of those ppl that will take more than 100, then digital of course. But if it's just a side thing for fun, it's be to use disposable, just in case it's stolen, like CountMetal said. Remember that if you get a digital camera though, you can use it in the future. :]

08-30-2006, 11:33 PM
As long as you take good care of your camera, the risk of losing it or having it stolen shouldn't be any worse than the risk of losing or having stolen an MP3 player or such.

The two should really be adopted for different situations. Disposables are good really when you have no other option. That and if you're going into a situation where you don't want to have a decently expensive piece of equipment at risk (near the ocean, for example). Otherwise, I'm betting most of the people here use digital, if for no other reason than it makes it a LOT easier to get pictures uploaded to cosplay.com and the rest of the web. ;)

If you're shooting enough to where you're actually thinking about the purchase in any term, digital is probably going to be better. If you're only shooting a very limited number of times a year (my math says 400-500 shots a year would make a breakeven point on pure cost alone, so if you shoot less than that), then maybe sticking with disposables on an as needed basis would be better.

Anime London
08-31-2006, 12:11 AM
camera thief seems to be a big thing nowadays. I backup all my pictures daily and I don't keep accessories with the camera. I sometimes keep a Japanese travel charm with a bell on it on the camera.

The real problem is most cosplayers who take pictures don't figure carrying stuff as part of their costume. Pockets are a novel idea in cosplaying so it seems.


The problem with disposable film cameras is limited function. I have used disposables and I find the view finder on them off severely.

Disposable offset when using view finder.

Your optics on a disposable might be glass but even cheap digital cameras like HP120 are plastic. Forget focus... it's fixed. ASA400 is good indoors even without flash sometimes. ASA100 is only good outdoors on a good day.

As for immediate, you can specify getting a CD of your pictures when you get it processed. Be aware that bargain bin disposable may be pass or near due date. Just like food, film can go bad.


Digital cameras in the 2 megapixel range are good and cheap. I had originally picked up Nova DC-2L which was $80 and had 16meg internal. It could only take up to 128Meg SD flash memory. It also had one curse, under Halogen lighting, your pictures were all yellow.


However it had some useful features like EV setting which allows to up the light the camera takes per picture which allow for some shots even at night without flash. Another advantage is it could do video with small size with no sound.

I did see the same camera go for $53can at Excess Cargo. It's fine once you understand some of the settings and an excellent learner camera. Still fixed focus though. If you got for a digital camera I would get a card reader so you could possibly burn off your pictures onto CD.

When uncertain go for disposables with good enough ASA setting to be of use indoors until you are familar with a camera. However with a cheap digital you can reuse over and over again and first and foremost, practice taking pictures even if you delete most of them.

Ari Rockefeller
08-31-2006, 03:04 AM
Digitals are good and all, but you gotta be sure to get a memory card for yours (they go as high as 1 GB, but even a 256 or 512 should suit most needs), because most cameras can't hold more than a couple dozen pictures. I found this out the hard way at Otakon ought-4.

08-31-2006, 10:36 AM
I definately recommend a good digital camera, and since you are novice a point and shoot (I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE!!! My dad's canon powershot). At the last con I went to I took over 500 pictures over the course of 3 days and cost in developing that alone had it been on film ($3 per 24 at Sam's Club...where the hell does it still cost $20 anyway) it would have cost me $624 to develope not counting the cost of film, tax, and replacing the camera battery since I don't think it would have lasted through that many pictures. But since it was digital all I had to worry about was recharging the battery after maybe 100 photos/a few movies. Digitals unlike disposibles have a high start up cost but after using it a few times it pretty much pays for itself.

Plus with a good digital you can do things like zoom in and adjust for the bad lighting in a room, and most importantly at least to me, you can explore and have fun with the camera, you'll find you will take more pictures because of the fact that you can just delete it later if you don't like it, you don't have to be a great photographer to take great pictures, notice that professionals don't use disposibles (and they could since they could just pass the cost on to the consumer) because it doesn't allow you to select the picture you want to take you are left limited to the viewfinder.

Just remember to keep your camera with you. It isn't like a cosplayer is going to mug you for it, at the last con I went to I kept it in it's case attached to a belt or wrapped around my wrist, there is no reason to ever leave it unattended...because there are people who if they see a $500 camera sitting around on a table because the owner decided to run off without it, well they are going to have a new camera.

Plus with this question no one brought up the logic or need to have these pictures on film...pictures of friends, family, and yourself I could understand having a solid copy of, but like 15/20 years down the line are you really going to need/keep a box of cosplay pictures of people who you don't even know? It's just easier to keep all the pictures of general cosplayers like that on a cd and backed up on a memory stick.

09-03-2006, 09:08 AM
I recommend digital cameras over disposable ones. The digital camera allows you take higher quality pictures, edit on your camera, and you can reuse the memory cards.

09-03-2006, 12:36 PM
I got myself a disposable one, since I hate taking pictures except for the animecon I went to. You don't have a preview window like o digital cameras, which gave some pretty funny results in my case.
first day: perfect pictures
second day, 4 hours of sleep: pictures were a bit crooked or just "off"
third and final day, 3 hours of sleep (don't ask...just don't...ask...): most of the people I photographed were beheaded, or only an arm or a leg showed on the pictures. Looking at these made me realise that I should probably get a better nightrest at the next con :p

09-03-2006, 04:16 PM
I must say that after getting my digital camera... I will never get a disposable ever again. The picture quality is just 100 times better in a digital than I could ever get in a disposable.

As for getting camera stolen? Just keep them with you at all times, it's as simple as that. I had mine strapped over my shoulder except for when someone was taking my picture. It never left my sight.

The initial investment might be higher with digital, but it MORE than pays for itself in the long run. I don't regret my purchase one bit. :D

09-08-2006, 11:54 AM
In addition to everything already mentioned, I'd like to add that if you're using a digital at conventions indoors (horrible lighting!), you will probably have to do a lot of colour correction on the photos.

If you go disposable, the film labs you get your photos printed at will probably do that for you.