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Main / Articles: Tips for buying a disposable camera

Americans bought more than 200-million disposable cameras last year. In fact, most people who still use film use a disposable camera. Now there are disposable digital cameras. Consumer Reports just took a look at what they offer.
These days, when you see people taking pictures, odds are they're using a digital camera.

"We like digital cameras because they produce better results," says Noi Yamamoto. "You can see the picture as you're taking them and know if you got the shot or not," explained Jim Trythall. And Lyn Bush says, "The biggest thing I like about it, immediately you can look and see if the picture is good."

Consumer Reports just tested disposable digital cameras. One from CVS is called Digital One Time Use Camera. The other is the Dakota Digital Single-Use Camera.

"With the single-use digital you can make 25 photos. You take the camera back to the store where you got it for processing. You get your prints. You get a CD with the original images on it and you can use that to make more prints at home."

Both cameras have "picture preview and a delete feature." But you don't get all the benefits.

"With a single-use digital you do get a preview screen that lets you see the photo you've taken, but you can only delete the last photo you took," explains David Heim. "With a regular digital camera, you can delete any of your photos."

To check the quality of the prints, testers took shots of the same images used to test regular digital cameras. The prints from the disposable digitals turned out grainy.

As for the snapshots, Consumer Reports found the flash uneven. All-in-all, the prints weren't nearly as good as those from regular digital cameras. And, when the prints were enlarged, testers found the photo quality really deteriorated.

On top of that, disposable digitals are expensive, 15 to 20 dollars, plus ten dollars for processing. Consumer Reports says if you're just getting into digital photography, a better deal is the three-megapixel camera it named a Best Buy. It's the Fujifilm FinePix A330 for 140 dollars.

You'll get better prints and spend a lot less money in the long run.

With digital cameras, you can find ones with three megapixels all the way up to eight or more. Some are point-and-shoot. Others are single lens reflex. To help you decide which is right for you, has developed a digital photo guide. Just click on the tab, "Electronics and Computers." And, Consumer Reports' July issue, now on newsstands, is devoted to digital photography.

Article source: by Judi Gatson

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