The word “unprecedented” gets thrown around a lot these days, and it looks like once-renowned camera manufacturer Yashica is the latest company to use it to describe the new digiFilm Camera Y35 camera they just launched on Kickstarter.
The Y35 may be called unprecedented for a reason though. The camera forces you to insert digital “film” cartridges into the back of the camera. Users can choose from ISO 200 normal color film, ISO 400 black and white film, ISO 1600 high-speed color film, and 120 format 6x6 color film cartridges. The cartridges can’t save any photos. They simply decide the "film" (i.e. preset) that will be used while that cartridge is in the camera. You still need an SD card to actually save images.
All of this is hooked up to a camera that has a 35mm-equivalent f/2.8 lens, a 14-megapixel sensor, a viewfinder, and is powered by two AA batteries. Shutter speeds that are available are one second, 1/30, 1/60, 1/250, or 1/500 — and nothing else. And there's no delete button to erase pictures; nor is there a screen on the back to review them.
The concept sounds novel and creates some limitations (including the need to physically wind a "film advance" lever to force a pause between photos) that could be viewed by some as artistic. That is, until you notice the sensor size. The camera's 1/3.2-inch sensor is playing in smartphone and point-and-shoot territory.
That said, the price isn’t too far off from point-and-shoot territory, with the early-bird Kickstarter price of $124 to snag the camera and the ISO 200 normal color film cartridge, and $150 for all of the cartridges. Some of the deals are available for today only, after which the price goes up.
The company says more digiFilms will be on the way.
The campaign launched today and hit its funding goal of $102,504 in four hours. Somewhere, someone wants to make Yashica great again.