Fuji QuickSnap, ISO 400. enlarge. (About $4 at Adorama. My biggest source of support is when you use that or any of these links, when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live. It helps me keep adding to this free website when you get yours through these links — but I receive nothing for my efforts if you buy elsewhere. Thanks for your support! Ken.
November 2008 More Fuji Reviews
This is a four-dollar disposable plastic camera.
Laugh all you want, but it has many technical and artistic advantages over many other much more expensive film and digital cameras. Its optical finder, flash exposure system and shutter-release feel and lack of delay is superior to most other expensive cameras.
The Quicksnap shoots film (included), and it's trivial to shoot this camera digitally.
Bottom, expired Fuji QuickSnap.
Here are some photos I made on this QuickSnap which expired over a year ago. I'm sure the pictures would have been better if I used one that was still in-date and that hadn't been carried around in the trunk of my hot car these past few years.
The film was processed and scanned for about ten bucks at NCPS, a custom lab which got much better colors than did Costco for print film.
Moon over Mono Lake.
Sunset, Mono Lake. Expired Fuji QuickSnap 400, built-in flash.
Lee Vining Creek Falls. Expired Fuji QuickSnap 400.
The QuickSnap doesn't handle being shot into the sun very well, which is the cause of the rainbow veils.
Bodie. Expired Fuji QuickSnap 400.
I don't think these photos are very good, but if you do, then maybe it suggests that good cameras have nothing to do with good photos. The QuickSnap has the poorest technical image quality of any camera I've ever used, and I've used a lot of junky cameras.
These four photos came from just one 27-exposure QuickSnap. FOr a $4 camera, that's a dollar a photo. Have you gotten at least one good photo for every dollar you've spent on cameras? I know I haven't!
Performance back to top
The QuickSnap's optical finder is one of the biggest and brightest viewfinders I've ever used.
Why is it that this disposable camera, which sells for under $4 complete with flash, battery and film, has a bigger, brighter and clearer finder than the Nikon D300, Leica Minilux, Contax G2, Leica Minilux Zoom and the Nikon 35Ti and 28Ti?
The finder is a joy to use. Not only is it big and clear, it has absolutely no distracting junk in it. There are no AF marks, no meters, no parallax marks, and no blinking lights. I'm free to pay attention to my composition.
Criminy, Nikon went on and on about the advanced aspherical optics in the 35Ti and 28Ti's finders, and the optics of the Fuji QuickSnap are better than them all!
The few cameras with finders as good or better are most 35mm and full-frame digital SLRs, the Mamiya 6 and Mamiya 7 and the Nikon SP. The Nikon SP is unique in having a life-size finder, so you can focus, compose and shoot with both eyes open!
Unlike digital cameras where you compose on an LCD, there is no time lag in the QuickSnap's optical finder. You'll see exactly what's happening the instant it happens, and never miss the peak of the action.
UNlike every SLR, the finder never blacks out at the instant of exposure.
With the QuickSnap, you know if you got the shot or not, especially if you used flash.
The flash switch? It's big and easy to use on the QuickSnap, and again, superior to most other expensive cameras.
Laugh all you want, but it's important to be able to get to the flash controls without having to remove your eye from the finder.
The side of the QuickSnap's finder also shows the flash ready light.
Not only is the QuickSnap's finder superior, but the shutter release is, too.
The QuickSnap's shutter is one smooth, precise flow, while expensive cameras often have annoying detents halfway down to interrupt the flow.
There is no shutter lag.
Unlike most cameras, just push the button and it goes off smoothly and instantly.
Flash Lag and Preflashes
There is no flash lag.
There are no preflashes, so you can use your studio and other wireless strobes. When the shutter goes off, so does the flash, period. Just be sure you have the flash turned to ON before you start to compose.
It's sharp in the middle.
Focus is fixed at about six feet. Objects at infinity are soft, and so are the sides.
Distortion is surprisingly low for lines parallel to the long dimension.
Loading and Unloading
The film winds backwards.
When the roll is done, it's already wound into the metal canister. Pop open the bottom of the QuickSnap, and the film drops right out in daylight.
If you want to reload a QuickSnap, you must do it in a darkroom because you have to pull the film out of the canister and wind it onto a supply reel.
You think I'm cheap? You haven't heard the last of it: I pulled the film out of the QuickSnap and handed it to the lab like any other roll. I kept the QuickSnap body so I can reload it with my own film in my darkroom to save a couple of dollars next time. I can get Fuji 400 at Costco for close to a buck a roll.
The only gotcha is that the Quicksnap engages the film spool not with the usual fork that can engage all film types, but instead with a special serrated edge. Most film spools don't use this edge, so it looks like I'd have to re-use the spool, making re-loading probably too involved even for me.
Even though the label says you won't get your camera back after developing, if you ask your in-person lab nicely, they'll return it to you, and if you say "please," usually will give you all the others you want out of their bin. That's how I got my panoramic camera. The disposable panoramic cameras tend to be pretty good!
I'm so lazy that I popped open the film door on the right side above, and the 35mm cassette dropped out into my hand. You have to reload these in your own dark room by opening it up and winding the film into the left side of the camera. As you shoot, the film is wound back into the cassette and can be opened in daylight, as they do at the lab.
I believe there is an alkaline AA battery to power the flash in each QuickSnap. If you don't want to reload the Quicksnap or re-use the flash in a science project, don't throw away the battery.
If you're not going to re-use the QuickSnap, ask your lab. Many labs send them back to Fuji where most of them are recycled.
Recommendations back to top
Why blow $28 on a crappy Holga, which shoots difficult-to-find and process 120 film, when for $4.00 you can use the superior Fuji QuickSnap, which includes film, flash and an excellent finder? The Holga comes with no film, no flash, and no battery.
If you've gotten bored with photography, the QuickSnap will set you free. You'll enjoy photography with the same fresh, excited eyes you had when you first started.
It is emancipating to concentrate on only the fun of making a good composition, instead of worrying about anything else when making a picture.
Help me help you top
I support my growing family through this website, as crazy as it might seem.
The biggest help is when you use any of these links when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live. It costs you nothing, and is this site's, and thus my family's, biggest source of support. These places have the best prices and service, which is why I've used them since before this website existed. I recommend them all personally.
If you find this page as helpful as a book you might have had to buy or a workshop you may have had to take, feel free to help me continue helping everyone.
As this page is copyrighted and formally registered, it is unlawful to make copies, especially in the form of printouts for personal use. If you wish to make a printout for personal use, you are granted one-time permission only if you PayPal me $5.00 per printout or part thereof. Thank you!
Thanks for reading!