Disposable Camera Developing: 9 Places Where to Get Film Developed

Short Answer: While disposable cameras are less common than they once were, there are still stores that develop disposable cameras, waterproof cameras, and film, including CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart. You can also develop disposable and waterproof cameras by mail through companies like Mpix, The Photo Lab, and Process One. Below, we have more details of how and where disposable cameras are developed, as well as stores that sell disposable cameras.

In This Article

How Are Disposable Cameras Developed?

The film from a disposable camera is developed in the same manner as standard 35mm film, even if the disposable camera is waterproof. Disposable and waterproof cameras are loaded with 35mm film; when you turn the camera in for developing, the film is removed and developed in a darkroom, using chemicals to convert it into a negative image. The developed film is then washed, dried, and used to make color prints.

This process requires specialized equipment, precise chemical mixtures, dedicated darkroom space, and a skillful technician to develop photos correctly. It can be a somewhat expensive and time-consuming process, which is why fewer stores offer film processing than in years past.

A typical roll of film in a standard or waterproof disposable camera includes 24 or 27 exposures, meaning that you’ll get either 24 or 27 pictures back when the film is developed. Note that certain places price their prints in units of 24, so if you’re developing a roll of film with 27 exposures, a surcharge may apply for the additional three prints.

Physical Stores That Develop Disposable Cameras

Below are the nationwide stores that still accept disposable cameras for development. When using the store locator, be sure to verify that your desired location has a photo center, as not every store will offer these services.

Note that since waterproof cameras and regular disposable cameras contain the same type of film, these places can develop either type of camera.

CVS

  • Price: Starting around $13 for one set of prints
  • Processing time: Seven to 10 days; cameras are sent out for development
  • Options for prints: 4×6 standard prints
  • Digital options: None available
  • Find your nearest CVS; check the “Photos & Passport Photos” box to see locations with film processing
  • Source: Film Developing & Processing at CVS Photo

Walgreens

  • Price: Around $15 per 24 exposures and $16 for 27 exposures; orders do not include negatives
  • Processing time: Three to five days; most stores no longer offer on-site film processing and send the film out for development
  • Options for prints: 4×6 standard prints; 5×7 and 8×10 prints are available for an additional cost
  • Digital options: A CD of digital images is included in the price
  • Find your nearest Walgreens; select “Photo Department” in the filters menu to see locations with film developing services
  • Source: Film Processing at Walgreens Photo and customer support

For more details, see our article: Walgreens Film Developing Price, Hours, and More

Walmart

  • Price: $10 to $14, depending on the number of exposures
  • Processing time: One week; cameras are sent out for development
  • Options for prints: 4×6
  • Digital options: None available
  • Find the nearest Walmart; select “Photo” under the services menu to see locations with film and print services
  • Source: Walmart Prints

Online Stores That Develop Disposable Cameras

Several online companies allow you to mail in your disposable or waterproof camera and receive your prints back by mail a few days later.

The Dark Room

  • Price: Developing starts at $14; prints cost an additional $6 per 4×6 set and $15 per 5×7 set
  • Shipping costs: Paid by The Dark Room. You can print a prepaid label directly off the website or have it sent to you by mail.
  • Processing time: Most orders are shipped back within one to three business days after they are received.
  • Options for prints: 4×6, 5×7
  • Digital options: Photos will be uploaded as digital files for downloading and sharing. Standard scans are included in the price; enhanced scans available for an additional $3; super scans available for an additional $8.
  • Are negatives returned? Yes
  • Begin your order on the Dark Room website

Mpix

  • Price: $0.19 per exposure; additional cost of $0.19 to $3 for each print, depending on the size
  • Shipping costs: You pay to send in the camera, and Mpix will pay to send the negatives back.
  • Processing time: Two to seven days to receive a mailer; 24 to 48 hours after the mailer arrives to receive scanned images
  • Options for prints: Wallets, 3.5×5, 4×4, 4×5, 4×6, 5×5, 5×7, 8×10; additional sizes available for $4 to $22 per print
  • Digital options: Images are placed online within 24 to 48 hours of receiving your film so you can view, download, and share them.
  • Are negatives returned? Yes
  • Begin your order on the Mpix website

Old School Photo Lab

  • Price: Starting at $13
  • Shipping costs: Paid by Old School Photo Lab. Film ships free when processing is ordered. If you choose to pay for shipping, $1 will be deducted from the total cost.
  • Processing time: Four to five days once received
  • Options for prints: 4×6 or 5×7
  • Digital options: Film can be scanned only with no prints for $5 extra. Scans can be included with 4×6 prints for an additional $11 or included with 5×7 prints for an additional $18.
  • Are negatives returned? Yes. You can also request a new disposable camera for an additional $7.
  • Begin your order on the Old School Photo Lab website

The Photo Lab

  • Price: $9.99 for one set, $12.99 for two sets
  • Shipping costs: Actual shipping costs are calculated when the order is complete, and you must pay them.
  • Processing time: Shipped back the same day it is received
  • Options for prints: 4×6
  • Digital options: You can add a photo CD for $4.99 for standard resolution (4×6 @ 300 dpi) or premium resolution (8×10 @ 300 dpi)
  • Are negatives returned? Yes. Negatives are cut and placed in clear protective sleeves for archiving.
  • Begin your order on the Photo Lab website

Process One

  • Price: $3.99 to develop the film plus $0.30 per print for your first set of 24 prints; additional print sets and additional prints over the standard 24 exposures are $0.15 per print
  • Shipping costs: Price you pay depends on shipment method and city of origin. Choices include USPS First Class, USPS Priority Mail, UPS Ground, or UPS Overnight.
  • Processing time: One business day
  • Options for prints: 4×6; 5×7 available for extra $0.75 per print
  • Digital options: Pictures can be scanned to a CD for $4.99 if ordered with prints, at standard resolution (1200×1800); for $7.99 if ordered without prints, standard resolution; or for $13.00 if ordered without prints, medium resolution (2400×3600)
  • Are negatives returned? Yes. Negatives are cut and placed in clear protective sleeves for archiving.
  • Begin your order on the Process One website

York Photo

  • Price: Starting at $4.50 per disposable camera up to 27 glossy photos; matte photos start at $6.50
  • Shipping costs: $1.95 per print set from one roll of film to be shipped anywhere within the U.S.
  • Processing time: Two to three weeks from when York Photo receives your camera
  • Options for prints: 4×6
  • Digital options: You can add a CD to your order for an additional $3 per camera.
  • Are negatives returned? Yes. Negatives are cut and placed in clear protective sleeves for archiving.
  • Print and fill out the order form and mailing label to begin your order or email mailers@yorklabs.com to request that a mailer be sent to you.

Places That Do NOT Develop Disposable Cameras

Because of the expense and resources required to develop film, many places do not offer this service. So, you don’t have to wonder whether we simply left your favorite photo center off the list, here are a few places that do not develop disposable cameras.

Stores That Sell Disposable Cameras

Disposable cameras, including waterproof or underwater disposable cameras, are available for sale from a variety of stores and online retailers. Note that in stores, camera availability will vary by location.

Amazon

  • Available cameras: Fujifilm, Ilford, Kodak, and SunFlash disposable and waterproof cameras; single and multi-pack options are available
  • Price: Around $10 to $50, depending on brand and quantity
  • Shop for disposable cameras on Amazon

CVS

Walgreens

In Summary

Many places still have the facilities to develop disposable and waterproof cameras, including CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, The Dark Room, Old School Photo Lab, and York Photo. When choosing where to have your disposable camera developed, consider three main factors: the price range, the medium of delivery for the photos (digital vs. prints), and the level of convenience. You may receive prints faster with an in-store option, but you can also use an online store to get the prints developed without ever leaving home.

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32 comments

  • For disposable cameras – just break them apart. There’s just a plain old film canister in there. Learned it on youtube. I have no idea what I actually thought was in there. I guess I figured it was some ‘special’ film that needed a ‘special’ machine to process. :-0 I felt quite dumb after seeing the videos!

    • Kathleen Wilson says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      Hi Kim,
      Thanks for sharing your experience! While there’s probably some danger in damaging the film by breaking the disposable camera apart, it is good to know that it’s an option if necessary.

  • It looks like Walgreens has changed its basic price for film processing for 24 exposures to $14.99 using the link you provided.

    • Rebecca Turley says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      Hi David,

      Thanks for catching this price increase at Walgreens! We have updated the article to reflect this.

  • Beverly R says:

    Hi–I used to get my film developed through York Photo. Hadn’t used them for years (when I started doing digital only), but after looking at the prices of these other companies, I thought to search and found them right away. Having found them, I not only have great confidence the experience should be the same (completely reliable), I am even more thrilled their prices are still second to none (which is what got me using them all those years ago for film). I’ll spend less than $10 for developing, 27 single 4×6 prints AND digital access. Can’t find anything comparable. May I offer them as another organization to add to your list. Thank you for this primer, though, it really helped get me started on the process.

    • Laura Bachmann says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      Thanks for the tip, Beverly! York does look like another great option for people to develop their disposable cameras, and we’ve added them to the list.

      • Beverly R says:

        So glad. Forgot to also mention they pay for outbound shipping–they provide a shipping label to send your cameras to them.

          • Beverly R. says:

            Here is the link to the page where they have the order form for York Photo developing.

            http://www.yorkphoto.com/Content.aspx?Page=Order+Form+%26+Mailing+Label

            I couldn’t drill down to it searching on their site, I actually had to put the search in Google to find this page. However, it is here that you find all the costs defined, and where you print the mailing label, so you don’t need to inquire with the company directly. As you can see, it’s $1.95/camera S&H.

            Thank you so much for sharing the info, hoping it’s helpful for others. The price sure was right, and past experience (assuming it’s still true today) is that it’s a very reliable company.

          • Laura Bachmann says:
            First Quarter Finance logostaff

            Hi Beverly, you’re great at this! Updated again, and thank you again!

  • Hello,

    I have been looking for some place that can help develop a CVS digital one time use camera from 2009. I have 2 of them of my son when he was a baby that had been missing until just now found after a move. I tried to drop them off with CVS for them to send off to be developed however they came back 2 weeks later saying they no longer offer the service anymore. I am hoping to find some place that can help. I have found some “hacks” online however I do not have the skill set to go through with it. Thanks for the time.

    JK

    • Rebecca Turley says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      Hi JK,

      CVS still offers disposable camera processing. We did find that not all CVS locations offer this service, so it may be best to contact another CVS near you to see if the service is still offered. Use this link to search for another CVS near you.

      • Thank you all for the responses. However, the issue is the cameras in question are digital disposable cameras. There is no film. There are a couple of you tube videos about these however way neyond my capabilities to pull off. CVS has confirmed for me that they no longer develope these type of devices that they used to sell. I haven’t given up hope yet!

        • Kathleen Wilson says:
          First Quarter Finance logostaff

          Hi JK,
          I’m sorry this is giving you such a hard time. There’s definitely a different between traditional disposable cameras that have film and digital disposable cameras. While CVS may not be able to develop them, this article from 4 months ago makes it seem like some other places we’ve listed in our article (Walgreens and Walmart, for example) may be able to take the digital disposable camera and get the pictures off of it for you either in store or by sending it to an off-site developing location.

          • Right. So far no one has the special cord to attach to it in order to develope. I will keep trying though as the battery wont last forever and the small screen on the back is starting to dim. Thanks for the heads up/chin up!

  • Do any of these places take coupons for the developing services? I need to develop 10 which will be pricey!

    • Rebecca Turley says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      Hi Deen,

      Target, Walgreens, CVS, etc. may run processing sales at any given time, so it’s always important to check with them, either in-store or online. I also found that some of the online companies will offer deals for processing multiple cameras. For example, Old School Photo Lab offers this deal: “Multi Roll Processing discount! Shoot more, save more! 2-4 Rolls save 10% 5+ rolls save 15%”. You can learn more about this discount here.

  • Hi I really need to get 6 disposable cameras developed! There from my wedding! Back in 2014. But can’t seem to find a place that will do them anymore. I live in Nova Scotia, CA. How do I go about getting them shipped, or even maybe finding a place that will still develop them! Could really use the help! You can email me if easier! Thank You

    • Rebecca Turley says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      Hi Faye,

      Looks like you’re in luck! We found Atlantic Photo in Halifax that actually develops film on-site (a rarity anymore). You can find more info about their photo developing services here. You can also contact them at (902) 423-6724 (ext 1) or toll-free at 1 866-905-3335 for more information.

  • Sally Jones says:

    Walgreens charges $13.99 for processing a 24 exposure roll and it includes a “free” photo CD of the digital images. You don’t receive negatives. They send it out, so it takes 5-7 days.

    • Sarah Quinn says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      Sally,

      You’re absolutely right. Thank you so much for adding to our understanding of what Walgreens offers; we’ve already updated this article accordingly to reflect Walgreens’ current policies and offerings. We appreciate your comment!

  • What do you think of a company called “customcameracollection” located in NY ? Phone
    number 1.800.929.0130
    I’m looking to develop throw away cameras.

    • Sarah Quinn says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      Ruby,

      I called and spoke to Custom Camera Collection about their development services for disposable cameras. A representative at Custom Camera Collection informed me that CCC does not have develop disposable cameras in their store, but they will send them out to a professional development service in New York to get them developed. They charge $8.99 per camera. Once you drop off your camera, they will ship it to the development company, and after a 24-hour turnaround time, it will take approximately 2 days to arrive at your home by USPS. They send you a CD and negatives in return; you can then take the CD to Walgreens, Costco, or another photo processing company and print them there (or, of course, have prints made for an additional charge at Custom Camera Collection). I hope this helps!

  • Veronica Flagan says:

    Hi! I normally get my disposable cameras developed at walgreens but find that they come out grainy a lot of the time is that a disposable camera problem or a walgreens problem? if walgreens then where out of all of these places would you say does the best job printing clear photos. Thanks so much.

    • Hillary M. Miller says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      Hi Veronica,

      It’s tough to say exactly what’s causing the graininess of the photos, as there are a few factors at play. I would say that in general, it’s most likely the result of the high-speed (i.e. grainy) film in disposable cameras, which is a factor that tends to become especially pronounced in photos with low light. Nearly all photo labs have equipment to auto-adjust the saturation, brightness, and contrast of images to make sure they turn out well, but photos taken in poor lighting can suffer from these adjustments. This process tends to be fairly standard across most photo labs, so there’s no guarantee that you’ll have better results with another company and I wasn’t able to find reports that one of them provides definitively better photos than the rest — but it’s certainly worth trying one of the options we provide in the article for a comparison. I hope this helps!

    • I’ve had the same issue with Walgreens photo developing. They ruined a whole roll of my pictures. That’s why I’m here. Was looking for a different option other then Walgreens.

      • Hillary M. Miller says:
        First Quarter Finance logostaff

        Hi Heather,

        Old School Photo Lab might be worth a try. The Dark Room also gets numerous votes from film photographers as a great film processing site. These are two sites that seem to be among the most reputable for consistent and high-quality photo developing. I hope this helps!

  • Nancy PMarie says:

    Where can I get a one time camera developed by mail.? What is the address for sending it to. There was no envelop in the purchase package.

    • Hillary M. Miller says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      Hi Nancy,

      All the companies listed under the “Online Resources That Offer Disposable Camera Developing” section will allow you to mail in a disposable camera to have it developed. To which company would you like to send your disposable camera (Target, Process One, The Dark Room, etc.)? I’d be happy to find the mailing address for you!

  • Walgreens no longer develops IN STORE. And Target doesn’t send them out from their stores at all any longer.

    • Hillary M. Miller says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      Hi Lori,

      You’re absolutely right about Walgreens! I apologize for any confusion that the article has caused. I contacted a Walgreens representative to confirm this information and you’re correct that Walgreens no longer develops film in-store. Customers can still drop off their film, and Walgreens will send it to a different facility to have it developed. I’ve corrected this information in the article. While Target doesn’t provide in-store services either, the company does offer a mail-in film development service (that’s why we classified it under Online Resources, rather than as a physical store that develops film). Again, our apologies for any frustration or inconvenience caused by the misinformation in the article, and thank you for bringing the issue to our attention.

      Edit 06/2017: Target no longer offers 35mm film development in store or by mail-in. The article has been updated to reflect this.

      • Kathy N. says:

        Also Walgreens won’t accept your disposable camera unless they have the shipment envelopes to send them off in. They will send you away. They also don’t send them to their developer but once a week and only if they have a certain number to send. So if they only have one camera in the store
        To send it will sit there waiting.