DISC film cameras were introduced by Kodak in 1982, and the film has not been sold since the beginning of this century.  It was a film format destined from the beginning to be a disaster.  The image size on disc cameras was 8.2mm x 10.6mm -- similar to the Minox format of 9mm x 11mm. But the Minox cameras used rolls of film in a tiny cassette.  Kodak decided to use tiny chips of film attached to a rotating, plastic disc.  Although the image size was large enough to produce a good 4x6 inch print, this could only be achieved with a good quality lens and good camera-holding technique -- two things often lacking with every-day camera users.  As a result, most consumers were not pleased with their results.  In addition, although the cameras were thin, they were inordinately large for the film size (see below).  This was a result of the circular disc "film fan", as well as the various bells and whistles that the manufacturers decided to build in, such as electronic flashes, motor drives, etc. as well as the batteries to power them. Add in the fact that there was only one film choice -- ISO 200 color negative film -- and that the film discs had only 15 exposures each, and that there was virtually no control over any photographic feature -- focusing, f-stop, shutter speed, film speed, etc. -- most people thought of them as toys, and balked at the high prices for the top-of-the-line DISC cameras. Despite all this, Kodak sold millions of these cameras over the years -- as did other DISC camera manufacturers.

Too be clear, Kodak's original DISC cameras had high quality four-element lenses with an aspherical element, and a few other DISC camera manufacturers also produced great lenses, but most were simple three-element, plastic lenses. However, that wasn't enough to compensate for the camera-consumer connection. If not used carefully, these cameras -- even with good lenses -- will produce blurry results. The cameras are small and light, and while some have relatively fast shutter speeds -- thanks in part to the typically fast f2.8 lens (with a slower lens, a slower shutter speed is needed)-- they are very easily moved during the exposure. Add in the fact that the tiny negative requires extreme magnification to make a standard print, and you have a recipe for disaster.

Disc cameras varied it their approach to correct exposure, and ranged from primitive, which relied a lot on the film's flexibility regarding exposure, to more "sophisticated", "auto-exposure" "systems" that typically had two shutter speed settings (such as 1/200 for SUNNY and 1/100 for CLOUDY/FLASH) and/or two f-stop settings (such as f6 for SUNNY and f2.8 for CLOUDY/FLASH).

Much like the Kodak 110 film format that preceded it, other camera makers jumped on the DISC camera bandwagon, sold DISC cameras with more features than the Kodak versions, at lower prices, and Kodak quickly dropped out.  Haking was the leader of the pack, but most of Haking's cameras were sold under countless labels from Achiever ro Zykkor. Kodak finally stopped selling the film in 1998 -- yet another disaster for Kodak -- and it helped push them into the shape they are in today.

In the end, the DISC camera failed mainly because it could not be reloaded -- similar to the 110 fiasco that Kodak created. But after the DISC camera failure, Kodak put its nose to the grindstone again, and decided to create yet another disaster -- the APS format, again with film cassettes which could not be reloaded. Three strikes and Kodak was OUT!!! Here's a shot of the smallest DISC camera (which had 15 exposures per disc) compared to a Minox camera having the same sized film format (center), and a Minolta 16mm camera with a format twice the size. The Minox and Minolta cameras used cassettes that are easy to reload providing over 24 exposures each.

Many of these DISC camera, especially the inexpensive ones, were given away, or sold, for promotional purposes. They are exactly the same as the cameras listed here but have a decal or marking for the promoted product, and may appear in a different color than the original, for example. There are too many of them to list here, but you can find a list of many of them over at:


This list is inaccurate and incomplete. An incredible number of manufacturers jumped on the disc camera band wagon, never realizing what a dead end it would be with consumers.  Typically, these cameras were very simple and specifics were never listed by the manufacturer. Since so many styles and types were made, it is impossible to list them all. If you are able to provide more accurate information than is listed here, please contact us.

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