Everybody takes pictures on vacation. If we didnt, how would we be able to torture our friends with our photo albums filled with 65 pictures of us standing on the beach? If we didnt live in the era of the digital camera, how could we make those pictures into wallpaper for our computers so we could assault every person who enters our home with pictures of us standing on the beach? And lets not even talk about Christmas cards without pictures. It would be a sad, sad day if there were no vacation pictures. This is why we have a digital camera, of course. A digital camera that the children are not allowed to touch. Ever. So whats a family to do? Certainly not put up with whining the whole trip over this strictly imposed rule. No, a far better response is to buy cheap, disposable (single use) cameras for the children. They may then take whatever pictures they please without endangering Her Royal Digitalness and everyone is happy!
Now, when it comes down to it, it seems that most of these single use cameras cost about ten bucks and have 27 exposures on them in other words, they all look about the same. So how did we choose this Fuji Quicksnap 800 Waterproof Camera? Was it the 35 mm film? The 27 exposures? Perhaps the fact that the thing takes pictures underwater to a depth of 35 feet? That would be a good reason. But that wasnt it. We chose the Fuji Quicksnap 800 Waterproof Camera because, between my two children, they got four of them yes, four - for their birthdays. Apparently our extended family members are aware that we cruelly deprive the offspring of the right to Digitalize with our camera. And each and every one of them chose this exact model. Coincidence? Perhaps. Im far more inclined to believe is was
.fate. Why, you ask? (and I know you do) Because this little $10 camera takes excellent pictures!
We really put these babies through their paces. The kids hauled them all over the place, taking pictures on the beach, in the pool, in a volcano, at the Ironman. You name it, they snapped at it. There were even several beautiful, up close and personal self portraits, revealing exactly how big a human eye or nose can appear through the lens of a camera, in the shallow end of a swimming pool. The camera itself is cute sort of a transparent casing with a little wrist strap and a lever type, um, lever that you push to take the picture. I have no idea what that thing is called, but it isnt a button, its a cute little lever. The film needs to be manually advanced (be means of a little wheel on top), which I count as a good thing. For the kids, it meant far fewer accidental pictures of walls and feet, though no fewer intentional pictures of noses and parents looking goofy. There is no flash on this camera, so it really is best for outdoor use. If you plan to vacation exclusively indoors (or in a location with perpetual gloom), you might want to choose a different model.
When getting the photos developed, we had the option of getting negatives, prints, a disc or all three. We chose the disc and have been very happy with the quality of the pictures. When downloaded to the computer, each photo is 1800x1215 pixels. This is more than big enough to do a little cropping and maintain image integrity. The images are almost without exception (okay, a few exceptions during self-portrait hour) focused beautifully (this is a point and shoot camera, no manual focus adjustments are possible). Even the shots of runners during the Ironman turned out quite well, with little blur with movement (of the subject there was some blur in the shot taken while the photographer was falling backwards off a small wall mid-shoot). Colors are true and vibrant. On land we have no complaints about how these little cameras performed.
The real test of the Fuji Quicksnap 800 is under water. As the specs boast, it is waterproof up to a depth of 35 feet. Well, we didnt get down that far. But up to a depth of approximately four feet, these cameras did a terrific job. We have pictures of children performing various acrobatics in the pool as well as some marvelous pictures of sea life in the ocean. The pictures taken in the ocean got a little grainy as the water got churned up with sand, but the cameras never failed to function, even under those gritty conditions. We have some fabulous, clear, lovely pictures of a solitary sea turtle grazing among the rocks. The water was clear and the photos are beautiful, the blue of the sky reflecting down into the water, even the bubbles from the turtle showing up clear and sharp.
Now I know almost nothing about the intricacies of cameras and photography. If you talk to me about apertures I might think youre discussing a medical procedure. And we werent looking for anything complicated. We wanted idiot proof cameras that our children could use, abuse and enjoy (not that the children are idiots, its just an expression
.). They bumped these cameras around for eleven days. They got dropped, sat on, swung on a wrist and bonked into an iron railing, smacked against a lava wall and more, and came through with flying colors (ooh, pun intended!). For kids, these cameras are terrific. For travel, camp or whenever they want to take pictures on their own and you dont want to pay to have your camera repaired when they fall off a lava wall, the Fuji Quicksnap 800 is an excellent choice. Theyre cheap, theyre simple to use and they can take a pretty decent beating. The development option of getting the digital disc is a boon to those of us who keep track of photos on our computers, and also allows the cropping out of any unfortunate goofy parent who might have accidentally (on purpose) ended up in a picture.
So an enthusiastic recommendation for the single use Fuji Quicksnap 800 Waterproof Camera. We can now torture our friends and family not only with the dozens and dozens of pictures we took on vacation, but the pictures our delightful progeny took as well. In fact, we can play it as one long slide show, forcing everyone to gather around the computer to vicariously enjoy our trip. Its a no lose proposition (for us). Our camera stays in one piece, the kids get to take good quality pictures without a huge outlay of cash and we get to annoy the world with the results forever after. Vacation pictures. The gift that keeps on giving.
*Note that we heard from several sources that you should not let these cameras, or any single use, film loaded camera, go through the scanning equipment at the airport. That means either in packed luggage or carry-ons. We took ours out and they checked them manually. Others have said they dont believe this to be an issue but we decided better safe than sorry.*
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Amount Paid (US$): about $10
This Camera is a Good Choice if You Want Something... Fool-Proof for Absolute Beginners