This is one of the weirder ones we’ve seen for some time. Former Japanese manufacturer Yashica – or, to be more accurate, the Honk Kong-based firm which now owns the brand – has taken to Kickstarter to announced the new Y35 camera and its “unprecedented” digiFILM system.
And unprecedented it certainly is. We think.
Yashica Y35 digiFilm – What is it?
It’s not one hundred per cent clear yet exactly how this product works, but the digiFilm Y35 appears to be a digital camera designed specifically to operate like a film SLR. It requires a digiFilm canister to be loaded into it in order to work, and requires winding between shots (though it isn’t clear whether the winder actually does anything or is entirely cosmetic).
If you need that explained again we don’t blame you – it’s a digital camera, sporting a 14MP 1/3.2-inch CMOS sensor, but it requires digital “film” canisters in order to work. Of these there are a range, including ISO 1600 High Speed, Black & White, ISO 200 Ultra Fine and 120 Format (6×6). We’re told more are on the way.
It’s not clear whether the canisters contain any analogue material at all, or exactly what they do (best guess seems to be a kind of mandatory filter system).
Yashica Y35 – The camera
According to the spec, the camera also has SD card storage (presumably not in the canisters), and has a fixed 35mm lens with a maximum aperture. Its shutter speeds can be set in five selectable steps, and it is powered by two AA batteries.
It also conspicuously lacks a few ubiquitous features of modern digital cameras, most notably a rear LCD for image review, and a delete button. “The world seen from the viewfinder of Y35, might be a little slower, a little prettier, transporting us back to a time when we all pay a little bit more attention, and causing us to care each shot before clicking the shutter,” the marketing text says, annoyingly.
Yashica Y35 – How do I get one?
The firm is clearly intending to trade off of film nostalgia, and is doing so successfully – the Kickstarter is poised on the brink of hitting its HK$800,000 (£77,500) target at time of writing.
If you’re feeling curious, you can back the Yashica 35 and digiFilm here. You’ve got until November 19th, though if you want the camera at its cheapest you’ll need to pledge at least HK$968 (about £94) within the next few hours, as the limited 24-hour kickoff deal ends soon.
The firm promises the product will be ready to ship in April 2018 – at which point we’ll maybe find out exactly what it is.