How Much Does It Cost To Develop a Disposable Camera

The photography industry is constantly evolving, and I love the fact that there are so many methods today using which you can preserve your memories. You can now buy disposable cameras if you are looking for single-use cameras. I prefer using these cameras whenever there is any event or party and during short trips.

I first used it when I had a fun day out with my friends and realized we had forgotten to take our cameras with us. Then one of my friends suggested getting a disposable camera, and fortunately, we got it at a convenience store on the way.

But since then, I have preferred to buy disposable cameras for parties and weddings since it’s convenient to allot one camera to one occasion and keep the pictures categorized accordingly.

continental camera how much does it cost to develop a disposable camera

However, I have come across the question- “How much does it cost to develop a disposable camera?” quite a few times now, the most recent being my cousin. And hence I thought it would be helpful to discuss this topic via this article. So if you are curious about it too, keep reading until the end.

What is a disposable camera?

A disposable camera is a highly affordable photography option that you can use only once. The term ‘single use’ camera is also used for this type of camera. What I love about disposable cameras is that it is fun for all age groups, including children.

In terms of design, a disposable camera contains all the parts as a regular one, including lenses, shutters, and so on. The only difference is instead of a sensor, you will find a film roll inside, which helps you take pictures.

disposable camera

Once you use up the disposable camera, you can take out the film roll and take it to the film processing center to develop the pictures. You can even do it yourself if you are well versed with the process. Another reason why I love using disposable cameras in events is because of how compact and lightweight they are.

The technology with disposable cameras has developed quite a lot, and today you even get waterproof options if you want to try underwater photography.

How can you develop pictures from your disposable cameras?

Now let us suppose you have clicked enough pictures on your disposable camera. So how do you develop those? The process is pretty straightforward, and I have categorized it into two steps for you.

Research about a suitable processing center

Even though disposable cameras are very convenient, they are not prevalent everywhere. So you first need to research film processing centers and camera shops that can develop the pictures for you.

Browsing the internet is the most convenient option here, or you can ask someone who uses a disposable camera. Again, there are a few popular stores, both online and physical, which do the job. We will discuss them in detail later in this article.

research about a suitable processing center

Take your camera to the store

Once you find a decent film processing center, the next step is to take your camera to the store. I have observed that typically it takes approximately 6-9 days to get developed copies of your film roll. But that can vary from store to store. You must detach the tag from your camera to submit it later while collecting the developed copy.

How much does it cost to develop a disposable camera?

I cannot give you an exact answer to the question, ‘How much does it cost to develop a disposable camera?’ It majorly depends on your chosen processing center. But I will share an approximate average cost to give you an idea. Moreover, the type of finish you select and the number of copies also play a role in deciding the price.

develop a disposable camera

Typically, if you want to print 4×6 inches photographs and choose a glossy finish, it will cost you approximately $0.50 per copy. The price can slightly increase to $2.50 per print if you go for a matte finish. Now let us suppose you want to increase the size of the copies. So, for example, if you’re going to print 8×10 inches photographs, it can cost you approximately $4 per print.

As you may have already figured out, the price per print depends on various factors. Glossy photographs are usually cheaper as compared to matte finish ones. And if you are worried about the size factor, that again depends on whether a particular size range is available at your chosen store.

Where can you go to develop a disposable camera?

You will come across different processing centers when you research them on the Internet. Here are some popular ones and the average prices you can expect if you get your disposable camera developed from here.

Some popular local drug stores develop disposable camera films. But the results are primarily mediocre, and it is better not to expect superb resolution. Plus, most of these stores do not give back the negatives using which you can print better resolution pictures.

I feel going to a reputable processing center or choosing an online processing lab is a better option to get good results. I will put down my top recommendations below.

where can you go to develop a disposable camera

Local stores


Did you think Walmart developed disposable camera film? Yes, they do! But since they do not do it in-house, it can take a couple of weeks for you to get your prints. I agree that the waiting time is a bit long, and you do not get your negatives back either, but Walmart offers relatively good-quality photos.

Plus, Walmart is typically easily accessible as most primary locations have one. You’ll also get a separate CD containing the scanned pictures and negatives without extra cost.

Considering the cost factor, I assume you will choose the 4×6 size. So if you choose the most common exposure count, 27 exposures, it should cost you approximately $10.96. The price will increase as the exposure count increases.


CVS also takes a couple of weeks to develop disposable camera films. But again, their quality is pretty decent and should not disappoint you. Like Walmart, you do not get your negatives back here, either.

does cvs develop film
Does CVS Develop Film

So how much does it cost to develop a disposable camera at CVS? The price range is a little expensive as compared to Walmart. Choosing the standard 4×6 inches size range will cost you approximately $14.99 for the 27 exposures count.


Walgreens is another option you can consider, and they use a third party to develop your films. It will take a couple of weeks, but they also offer good-quality prints. A CD of the photos is included in the cost you pay, but you do not get your negatives back.

Developing your disposable camera at Walgreens will cost approximately $15.86 for a count of 27 exposures.

Online photo lab

I recommend online processing Labs as they are consistent, and the quality of prints you get is better than the ones from local drug stores. Another plus point is that you also get your negatives. However, if you do not live near one of these online stores, you will have to ship your film roll so they can process it.

Hence, you will have to pay a small shipping fee and the development cost. But some online processing labs offer free shipping too. Mentioned below are my top three recommendations.

The Darkroom

This reputed photo lab has been functioning for almost 40 years, and one of my friends has used it too. You can reach out to them on their website; the ordering system is very straightforward. You can get your negatives back, and the price is the same for both colored and black and white disposable cameras.

the darkroom

So how much does it cost to develop a disposable camera at The Dark Room? It will cost you approximately $15 and an additional $5.95  for return shipping. However, the development price reduces to around $11 if you do not want the scanned pictures.


This photo lab is located in Pittsburg, Kansas, and they do the development process at a meager price. They charge a flat shipping rate irrespective of the number of film rolls so that you can place your bulk processing orders here.


You will have to pay approximately $19.90 to develop a disposable camera, which includes a $7.95 return shipping fee. However, Mpix does not produce a black white film.

Dwayne’s Photo

It is a highly affordable photo lab on the list, and they have an easy-to-navigate website. The turnaround time of fewer than 14 days is relatively fast, you get your negatives back, and I loved the customer service.

dwayne's photo

It will cost you approximately $14 to develop film for your disposable camera, which includes a $5 return shipping fee. If you want to develop any additional rolls, they will charge you an extra $0.50. The cost reduces to $11, including shipping, if you do not want the scanned pictures.

The DIY route

If you want to take the DIY approach, you can also do that if you have enough knowledge in this field. Multiple videos and written guides are available on the Internet to help you out.


Hopefully, this article can answer the question- ‘how much does it cost to develop a disposable camera?’ Walmart is a good option if you are okay with not getting your negatives back. But if getting them back is essential, my pick would be The Darkroom or Dwayne’s Photo, as they are affordable, and you can get your negatives back.


Can I develop my disposable camera at CVS?

Yes, you can develop film for your disposable camera at CVS. It will take around 7 to 10 days, costing approximately $14.99 for 27 exposures. But do not expect to get back the negatives.

How much does it cost to develop disposable?

The cost of film development of disposable cameras varies from store to store, but the average cost for a standard print is approximately $0.50 to $5 per copy. The price may differ and even increase if you go for a matte finish or bigger sizes. You might also have to pay a small shipping fee if you choose an online store.

How much does Walgreens charge to develop disposable?

Walgreens charges approximately $15.86 for film development of a disposable camera with an exposure count of 27. The price increases with the exposure count and can even go up to $17.99.

What is the cheapest way to develop film?

The best way to develop your disposable camera film is to choose a local drug store, like Walmart, Walgreens, CVS, etc. They offer decent quality, but the turnaround time is sometimes high, and you do not get your negatives back.