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Get the Picture

Save the fancy digital cameras for serious occasions -- on hot summer weekends, these party-friendly disposables deliver plenty of flash for your cash.

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A picture may be worth a thousand words -- but just how much are you willing to shell out for a throwaway camera? Focus your sights on our tried-and-true picks and stretch your limited disposable income to its optimal disposable outcome.

For general use, you can count on the Kodak Max Flash HQ (pictured; 27 exposures, $11 at Kam Photo) to deliver impeccably clear indoor or outdoor shots (its lens is far superior to those found in most disposables). Buying in bulk is a deal at Kam Photo -- if you stock up on 50 Flash HQs, they'll mark units down to $8. For for almost half the price of a Flash HQ, head to Kmart for a Kodak Max Flash One-Time-Use (27 exposures, $6.89 at Kmart stores). These will give you perfectly good snaps -- and you'll be able to afford more of them. Too far from the Jitney? Midtown's Colortek chain's "house" disposables with Kodak Max film are $9.99 through the end of the month (pictured; 27 exposures, at Colortek stores).

On your summer getaways, pack these special-function cameras and you won't miss a shot. We like Fujifilm's QuickSnap Waterproof (pictured; 27 exposures, $14.99 at Duane Reade stores) for underwater action: It gives you 27 snaps with 35-mm. film and can dive as deep as seventeen feet. Kodak's Advantix Switchable (pictured; 25 exposures, $17.95 at Colortek) is a splurge, but it takes panoramic shots as well as the usual kind, so it's ideal for travel. Duane Reade's Outdoor camera (pictured; 27 exposures, $6.99 at Duane Reade stores) handles close-ups in bright sunlight surprisingly well.

Kam Photo, 407 Park Ave., near 28th St. (212-696-9182); Kmart, 250 W. 34th St. (212-760-1188) or 770 Broadway, at Astor Pl. (212-673-1540); Colortek, 400 Madison Ave., near 47th St. (212-715-9850).


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