Oh, my goodness. What a time to be alive. What a time to be alive and a hipster that’s into photography but is just too lazy to pick up proper film photography. If you tick both of those checkboxes, Yashica’s got a new camera for you and it is called the Y35. To sum it up, it’s basically a camera that combines the convenience of digital with some of the inconveniences of shooting film. Let me explain.
First up, it is, for all intents and purposes, a digital camera. Despite its looks and some of the funky mechanics, the Yashica Y35 is a digital camera. It features a 1/3.2-inch CMOS sensor, that can take 14-megapixel photos, which is paired with a 35mm f/2.8 lens. PetaPixel reports that it’s “designed to recapture the joy of analogue photography” without the complications of developing film.
What Yashica does want to recapture is the experience of inserting and removing film, plus the need to let the “film” wind up and advance via a dedicated lever. Y’know, like a pretend film camera.
To use the Yashica Y35, you will need to purchase little modules called digiFilm (these are your pretend film rolls) which contain a preset combination of ISO and aspect ratios. So, instead of changing these settings in a menu system on the camera, you simply pop in the digiFilm with your desired settings, let the thing “wind up” and you’re good to go. There’s even a lever you have to pull each time you take a shot so you can take the next shot.
In bringing the whole “film experience” together, you can also pop the back plate to reveal a spot for you to pop in batteries and a little nook for your digiFilm modules. At launch, there will be four digiFilm “rolls”: ISO1600 High Speed, ISO400 Black & White, ISO200 Ultra Fine (colour) and 120 Format (6×6) at ISO200.
One thing you will notice is missing from this camera is an LCD screen to review your photographs and Yashica says that it is by design.
It does have a viewfinder built-in and 5 shutter speeds that range from 1s to 1/500s. It is powered by two AA batteries, has a focusing distance of about 1m and has an auto mode.
Since these digiFilms are only there to change your camera’s settings (photos still get saved into an SD card) one might wonder if this is just a gimmick to milk consumers of more money that they otherwise would with a bog-standard digital camera. And, well, I think you’re right.
However, looking at the camera — the way it looks — and the potential levels of snobbery you can achieve with that film advancement lever, there’s a small part in me that just really really wants one. It just sounds like a whole lot of fun without the pain of needing to spend a bunch of cash on developing actual film.
If you are like me, the Yashica Y35 is currently on Kickstarter and a pledge of USD142 can net you the camera plus two digiFilm modules.