Two-megapixel cameras were offered for less than $100.00 in late 2002, with some one-megapixel cameras offered for under $60.00. Discount stores began offering development and processing of digital prints for their customers, offering actual chemical prints in an hour. This was in comparison with inkjet prints they could get from their computers.
These prints were about the same price as film prints, even though the different aspect ratio in digitals showed people that 4x6 digital print cropped some of the image. Some stores now offer prints with the exact same ratios as digital cameras record. The single-use digital camera was introduced in 2003 at a cost of only $11.00. This camera followed the same simple process as the disposable film cameras.
The purchaser would return the camera to the store; receive prints and a CD-ROM of their pictures. The store then refurbishes the camera and it is sold again. This was the major difference between the one-use digital camera and the disposable film camera.
There are now several of these one-use digitals on the market, most of which are identical in function and specifications to the original one-use put out in 2003. However, a few now have superior specifications and are more technologically advanced. These one-use digitals are for the most part less than $20.00 in the stores; this of course does not include the cost of processing the film.
The high demand for digital cameras has increased the number of customer complaints as manufacturers cut corners to maintain competitive prices, with some digital cameras having only a 90-day warranty necessary due to the short service life.
Due to the sharp drop in the price of 35mm cameras, many manufacturers have stopped producing them completely, with one major company dropping out of the camera business altogether.