Could You Take the Disposable Camera Challenge?

Us photographers love our expensive gear that features the best quality in optics, autofocus, sensor design, and more and offers us the utmost control of every last setting. So, could you take a shooting challenge with the lowest quality camera and absolutely no control over any settings? Check out this fun disposable camera challenge. 

Coming to you from our friends over at Mango Street, this neat video follows them as they take the disposable camera challenge. These cameras have waned in popularity quite a bit with the rise of digital and smartphones, but back in the 1980s and 1990s, you couldn't go to any popular vacation spot or social gathering without seeing tons of them in the hands of tourists and family members. They were super convenient, as you simply took the pictures without setting anything at all (except for turning on the flash if you thought you needed it), and when you had gone through the roll of film, you simply dropped the camera off at your local photo mat and came back a few days later to your prints. For a photographer, it sounds like a nightmare, though, which is what makes this challenge so interesting and fun. Check out the video above to see how it went! 

Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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We photographers...
We (-) love our expensive gear...

Not us.

I could, but why would I? Plenty of better toy cameras running around the marketplace if I want to go that route.

"So, could you take a shooting challenge with the lowest quality camera and absolutely no control over any settings?"

That's not really a challenge. I do it from time to time. Crappy toy cameras are fun and you can get interesting results.

What are you taking about "lowest quality"? Are you aware that a single 24mm x 36mm frame of 35mm film (regardless of what camera it's being used in) contains 20 million pixels? You can easily make a 20x30in enlargement from a 35mm negative. That's 4470x2980 pixels which is (4470x2980=)13,320,600 that's over 13 megapixels! Theoretically there is no limit to how big you can enlarge a film print so there's nothing low quality about that.

Youre right when you talk about the film resolution, but the disposable cameras usually have cheap lenses which can heavily affect the final image.

Also, when it comes to talking bout how many megapixels film has, really depends crom film to film. You cant compare the fine grain E100 to something like a cheap Fuji C200, which will have larger and far more noticable grain, limiting just how big you can print