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Recently, I came across a very interesting and unique film camera, the Ilford HP5 Plus Single Use Film Camera. As the name says, this is a single-use disposable film camera that comes pre-loaded with Ilford ISO 400 HP5 film.
This is a medium-contrast black and white film which instantly made me purchase this $10 camera and give it a try. That’s not all; it also features a built-in flash and a large enough viewfinder.
Being a film camera, it offers a total of 27 exposures, after which the camera becomes disposable. As you would expect at this price, it is a solid plastic body. However, the coolest thing about this Ilford camera is its ‘white & green’ design, which looks quite trendy and classy. Not sure about you, but I did not dispose of the camera and have kept it with me for its design.
While I was clicking photos with this camera on the streets, at least 10 people approached me to know more about this camera.
The ergonomics of this camera is just like any 35mm film camera back in the days, but a lot lighter. At the top, it displays the number of remaining exposures, and next to it is the shutter release button. Interestingly, in order to trigger the flash, you have to press the button placed below the flash. Is the flash powerful enough? Well, it is decent enough for the price that we pay for this film camera.
The viewfinder is actually good in terms of visibility. Also, if you are a DSLR camera user, do keep in mind that there is a slight difference in what you see through the viewfinder and what the film captures. So you must compose your frame accordingly as the viewfinder sits above the film/lens. In case you plan to purchase this camera, kindly be cautious with the lens, as it can easily attract fingerprints or dust.
Before I share my views about the image quality out of this $10 single-use camera, I must admit my expectations were very low. But surprisingly the images came out pretty well while doing street photography, with high contrast and good exposure control. The moment I saw the first print, I was excited to see the film-like monochrome look. For me, the grains were just what I would expect out of Ilford ISO 400 film. Nothing more, nothing less.
Obviously, we cannot compare the results out of this disposal camera with an SLR camera, but for me, it can get the job done when the situation demands. Just for fun, I might buy this single-use camera again instead of using film in my SLR camera.
I am not much aware about how to develop the film, so I had a hard time finding a good color lab in my locality. But I guess it depends on the region. If you do have multiple lab options nearby, that’s awesome.
If you are enthusiastic about testing cool camera gadgets, you must give this camera a try. There might be times when you do not want to carry your SLR, or are not technically sound with camera settings. This is when the Ilford HP5 single use camera can help you capture decent images. I would love to know what you guys feel about this cool camera? How did you like the image quality?