Following a few years of silence, the camera firm Yashica has returned with a fresh product -- just one which looks like its own analog legacy, even though it cann't remotely begin to speak to it. The new product is actually a digital camera named the Y35 which appears just like Yashica's older Electro 3-5 film camera. Except the Y35 involves a clearly contemporary twist: rather than using picture, it uses "digiFilm," that are essentially physical plugins which add different photograph filters into the camera.
The item is supposed to evoke a number of the fun parts of shooting picture -- you've got to "wind" it between each shot, for example -- without some of the drawbacks, like having to locate (and pay) a location to develop it in 2017. It is a cute idea, and part of me loves the analog vibe which Yashica is trying to convey here. However, the Y35 is likewise very clearly only a toy in comparison to some modern camera, and it feels like a rather impractical one in that.
The Y35 camera has a 35mm lens and an aperture that opens up to f/2.8. You can not pick shutter speed (it is done automatically), and also ISO option, such as on a movie camera, is locked to the digiFilm cartridge that you insert at the back (supposedly, at a minimum; the film speed might just be a descriptive portion of the filter). Yashica is offering four movie choices to begin: ISO 200 colour, ISO 1600 colour, ISO 400 black and white, black and 120 film (aka square). Despite the fact that you are inserting fake film, the film does not really store your photos; you will still need to add an SD card.
A nice as the concept is, the Y35 is going to be a hard sell. It's a inexpensive camera that is likely going to shoot much worse pictures than your smart phone, all while being much less convenient to carry about and shoot with. Photo filters may be fun, but they seem a whole lot less exciting when you have to cover every individual filter cartridge, change them in and out, and try not to lose them. And while the Y35 may provide a number of their tactile feel missing from digital cameras, then there are tons of programs that provide a likewise analog-inspired growing encounter.
Naturally, the product is found on Kickstarter, where it is selling for about $140. The usual caveats apply, and that is particularly true here because it is not at all clear who's really behind this campaign. Today's Yashica isn't in any way related to the Yashica that made cameras decades ago. The company was sold a few occasions and most recently appeared to end up in the hands of a investment company named MF Jebsen. It is very likely that business licensed the Yashica name out to whatever party ended up making this, letting them lean on institutions with the brand to help sell this new product.