Tried & tested: Candid camera

Click to follow
The Independent Culture
Disposable cameras are easy to use, convenient to develop and so much cheaper than ordinary cameras that you don't need to worry about getting them insured. But with so many on the market it's hard to know which one you should snap up. Six cameras (all with flash) were put to the test by our panel: professional photographer Paul de Delve, artist Lyn Melville-James, art student Adam Amrani, SLR camera enthusiast Melanie Abbott and amateur photographers Elena Macleod and Phillipa Siddons. The cameras were judged on design, functions and instructions; the resulting prints on sharpness, flash coverage and tonal range. The main gripes were baffling diagrams, clumsy controls and inadequate flashes. But for quick snaps the Kodak disposable was a clear winner, while Ilford's black-and-white camera should inspire a whole new generation of impoverished art photographers

..AGFA

Le Box Go! pounds 8.99

Melanie: `Too tiny! You need a head the size of a pygmy to use this. And the viewfinder is too small and badly placed.'

Lyn: `Disappointing, blurry results. The lens is not as sharp as it could be and I couldn't get focus definition at 3m.'

Phillipa: `Too small to have such a wide flash range, and the flash is too powerful.'

Agfa 0181 231 4903

.SUPERDRUG

Single Use Camera with Flash pounds 7.99

Melanie: `This is a real idiot-proof camera, with everything from the viewfinder to the winder labelled.'

Lyn: `Dingy colours with a lack of clarity, even though the flash was so direct it gave my subjects red-eye. It's cheap film and it looks it.'

Paul: `The poorest colour and sharpness of the test.'

Available at all Superdrug stores

.....KODAK

Fun Gold Flash pounds 8.99

Adam: `Good size and length; you don't have to crush your face up against it to see through the viewfinder.'

Paul: `As a fun camera it gives the best print results for quick snaps.'

Phillipa: `Good for continuous pictures, and a quick full recharge of the flash.'

Melanie: `1.5m flash range is very limiting for party snaps.'

Kodak 01442 845710

...FUJI

Quicksnap Super 800 Flash pounds 8.99

Paul: `The clearest viewfinder of all six cameras.'

Elena: `Photos are much darker than the other cameras. The flash is good up to 1.5m in dull conditions, beyond which photos become blurred and dark.'

Lyn: `My favourite - strong and with a great flash button that can be pulled out for continuous use, or left in for single shots.'

Fuji 0171 586 5900

..BOOTS

Single Use Camera with Flash pounds 7.99

Elena: `The flash takes too long to prepare. I had to hold down the button for ages before it was ready, so no good for spontaneous photos.'

Melanie: `At 4m the centre light circle was very narrow, and I couldn't see much of the detail at the edges of the prints.'

Phillipa: `I found having to press the flash button while taking the picture really awkward.'

Boots 0845 0708090

....ILFORD

Black and White Single Use Camera pounds 8.99

Paul: `An excellent introduction to black-and-white photography. Clear, simple instructions too.'

Elena: `Good prints, but from further away than 2m, shots become dark and blurred.'

Lyn: `Indicator light goes out fairly quickly when you take your finger off the flash. Flash has to be recharged, which means you have to frame your shot beforehand.'

Tesco, Jessops, Supasnaps, or call 01565 650000

Comments