How to open a disposable camera

Written by angela tague Google
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How to open a disposable camera
Rewind disposable camera film before opening the camera. (front of camera image by Aleksandr Ugorenkov from

The convenience, low cost and portability of a disposable camera appeal to many photo enthusiasts. You don't need a computer, photo editing software or a home printer to see the photographs. After shooting the last frame of film on a disposable camera, simply remove the roll of film and drop it off for processing. Since disposable cameras only offer a one-time use, choose to recycle, dispose of or give the camera to the photo processing store after opening.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Scissors
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Towel
  • Light-resistant film bag

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  1. 1

    Finish the roll of film. Take pictures or hold your hand over the lens and push the shutter button to use the last frames of film.

  2. 2

    Rewind the film. Wind the advancing film dial---on the top, back right corner of the camera--to the right until it stops and feels snug.

  3. 3

    Remove any packaging from the disposable camera. Use scissors to trim off cardboard packaging to reveal the plastic camera body.

  4. 4

    Flip the camera over and look at the bottom. Look for a small black button. Some disposable cameras have a manual rewind button. If the camera has the button, push the rewind button and hold it in while turning the round, manual rewind lever on the top left corner of the camera with your other hand. Turn the lever until the film is taut.

  5. 5

    Look for a small white line or indent of a hinged area on the base of the disposable camera. Place the head of a flathead screwdriver on the line, press down and pry the screwdriver back toward you so the back panel of the disposable camera opens.

  6. 6

    Pry open the plastic camera back panel and carefully remove the roll of film by lifting it out of the recessed holding area. Take the film to a photo processing lab.

Tips and warnings

  • Some brands of disposable cameras place the hinged area on the side of the camera. This style can still be opened with a screwdriver.
  • If the film roll will not rewind, open the disposable camera in a completely dark room to avoid exposing the film to light and ruining he photos. Go into a room without a window, place a towel at the base of the door to block out light and remove the film. Place the roll of film into a light-resistant film bag purchased from a photography supply retailer.

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