Disposable Camera in the Cold?

Mike22

Active Member
First off, I am not into photography. I take the occasional fish-in-the-net picture to look back on when I think I have no idea how to fish. I use my iPhone 5 to take these photos. This past winter, the cold really got to my phone and it wouldn't always hold up, often prematurely dying within a couple hours on the river. I keep it close to my core body heat under a couple layers, but apparently that isn't enough on the real bitter days.

I do not want to lay down hundreds of bucks on a real camera, as these pictures never make it far beyond my personal library. I am wondering if the mechanical properties of a disposable camera, the ones you buy at a drugstore with actual film, might hold up against the cold better than my phone or other battery-powered electronic devices.
 
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Old Man

A very Old Man
WFF Supporter
Don't get it wet. They don't work very good when damp. Besides the pictures suck. I used one to take a picture of a moose. I was about 10 feet away from it. It was on the bottom of a ditch so I was safe. The picture looked like I was 50 feet away from it. And another time at Northwest Trek, I took a picture of a Buffalo. It was right outside of the tram we were in. It also looked like it was off in the distance.
 
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Rock Creek Fan

Active Member
If it is so cold that batteries are drained, then the film would be brittle at best IMHO... Plus most film cameras have a battery for a flash and potentially other uses on the camera...

Why not buy a used digital camera on CL? Lots of them for under $50. That way the phone should still be usable and have a separate device for digital photos. No film processing charges, easy storage of photos and keep an extra battery for the camera on those huge fish days. Buy a cheap enough digital camera and it is disposable...
 

tkww

Member
First off, I am not into photography. I take the occasional fish-in-the-net picture to look back on when I think I have no idea how to fish. I use my iPhone 5 to take these photos. This past winter, the cold really got to my phone and it wouldn't always hold up, often prematurely dying within a couple hours on the river. I keep it close to my core body heat under a couple layers, but apparently that isn't enough on the real bitter days.

I do not want to lay down hundreds of bucks on a real camera, as these pictures never make it far beyond my personal library.
I realize this isn't in the "bargain" realm, but I set the price for $75-175. Lots of options. Without going into the specifics of any one model, most of the "rugged" cameras are listed as working down pretty cold temps. 14 degrees used to be the common listing, but even that may have improved. The panasonic at the top of the page I just linked to, under the specs, says it will work down to -13. (Burr.)

I've had three different ones over the last decade or so. I've taken them skiing (temps in the 20s) with no problems. Taken them fishing while it's been snowing, and so on. All battery life will diminish with the cold, but I've never had one of them just up and die.

The major advantages here are two (and in your case sounds like a third--cold/battery): 1) They're waterproof, so you don't have to worry about them getting wet. Using your phone on the water is a great way to flat-out destroy your phone. As a bonus, you can also take pictures underwater. 2) They're "rugged"--they can take some abuse, drops, etc. Things that happen with wet hands or when you drop some gear into the back of your truck. Also things that are very, very unhealthy for a phone.

They also provide the option for a second or third battery for any sort of extended use or trips. Get a floating wrist strap if you plan on taking it onto a lake (they're just a few bucks).

I realize it may be more than you want to spend, but even just for personal use, the image quality would far, far exceed a disposable camera. And they offer the other bennefits I mentioned. And they're likely cheaper than the cost of replacing your phone.
 
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