Electronic

Pretend you still need film with Yashica’s digital camera

Yashica has unveiled a new camera on Kickstarter that seems to offer the worst parts of both film and digital cameras. The digiFilm camera forces you to load a film-like cartridge that sets the look of your images to match real analog film. For instance, the 1,600 ISO cartridge lets you shoot in low light with high contrast, while the ISO 400 black and white applies a filter that removes all colors. You even have to “wind” the camera before each usage.

The idea is to provide an analog experience with digital tech — once you load the ISO 400 B&W cartridge, you can’t shoot in color, for instance. And the winding forces you to slow down and perhaps concentrate harder on each shot, hopefully yielding better pictures at the end.

The camera otherwise seems, and looks, pretty cheap and plasticky compared to iconic Yashica cameras of yore (the trademark was purchased by Hong Kong’s Jebsen Group). It has a tiny-ish 1/3.2-inch sensor, 35mm equivalent f/2.8 lens, and minimum focus distance of about a meter (3.2 feet). On top of the two mentioned, you can also get ISO 200 ultra fine and old-school square 120 format cartridges. Oddly, they don’t store the digital photos — you still need an SD card for that.

The price is 1,108 HK$ ($142) with two cartridges, or 1,248 HK$ ($160) with all four. The closest thing I can think of to the Yashica model is the Gudak app for the iPhone that makes you wait three days before you can “develop” your digital photos.

In other words, it’s a pretty gimmicky way of recreating the analog experience. But what do I know? The Yashica digiFilm has already quintupled its Kickstarter goal, earning over $650,000 to date, with 39 days still left in the campaign. If you’re interested, remember that Kickstarter projects don’t always pan out.

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