Can Yashica's New digiFilm Camera Make Them Relevant Again?

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.

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Pieter Batenburg's picture

I really don't see the point, unless you are a hipster.

michael buehrle's picture

ya, no. i'm with you. i'm sure hipsters will think it's the greatest thing, well i guess they did since they funded it. pointless new camera.

Angel Corro's picture

This looks like a fun little fieldtrip camera so I dont have to carry the big dslr.

Matt Nikkel's picture

It's a 1/3.2 sensor with a fixed aperture and a max shutter speed of 1/500. You could carry around literally any other digital camera (including your phone) and get as good or better image quality.

Aleksey Eltsov's picture

Looks like a toy or funny gift for photographers. Fujifilm’s X70 or X100 series is more suitable for real field trip (but they cost more).

Peter Gargiulo's picture

Really ridiculous. Maybe good for a child's introduction to photography.

David T's picture

Not a bad idea actually. Forcing the photographer to slow down can be educational or therapeutic.

Elias Hardt's picture

There’s just no point. It costs as much as a decent point and shoot, but without the utility. You have to pay to change the ISO. You have to pay to change the ISO *on a digital camera*. ...Why would anyone put money into this?

Samuel Flores Sanchez's picture

I don't understand. Who are the potential target clients? My God, buy a real film camera and stop f*****g around!

Ariel Martini's picture

unprecedently stupid

Roger Jones's picture

WOW! Having to wind your film/digital again, think before you shoot. How much fun. I mean I own enough film cameras and a crap load of digital cameras, no lenses to buy? Sign me up.
This will be a hoot, I'd love to see a digifilm for my film cameras.
And time march on
Have fun

Deleted Account's picture

At first I was excited because I was thinking this would be a camera that could shoot Film OR Digital in one body but this is just a huge gimmick and I don't expect it to be much of a success.

aaronbratkovics's picture

Yo they got a silver fuji x100f that's basically the same thing. I mean gotta put an SD card and a battery in it. Some people will think it's film. Fake it until you make it.

Anthony Cayetano's picture

Lots of fanfare, lots of hype, ZERO appeal. Unless they cost $45, then that may be something.

Ignace Maenhaut van Lemberge's picture

'Sounds' like fun. And I'm everything but a hipster.

Adventure Photo's picture

For real? Is it April Fools Day?

Jessica Jones's picture

She drinks, she smokes, she takes fake film digi photos. What kind of ad was that?!

Joshua Mattox's picture

Get rid of the cartridges and have a dial for ISO (even if its only 4 settings). Don't make people wind the thing. Make it aperture priority only. Is it actually a rangefinder? If not, make it one. Have a switch for BW or color. Do all that and I'd buy it.

Heratch Ekmekjian's picture

This will probably sell well at Urban Outfitters.

Heratch Ekmekjian's picture
Neville Ross's picture

If Urban Outfitters still sold cameras, yeah.

Steve Wilson's picture

The Hispter's New Clothes... a parable of abject stupidity.

Paul Elliott's picture

THIS IS STUPID! - sorry... _whispers_ this is really really really stupid.

Allen Freeman's picture

I thought the point was to be able to use your old film cameras again? Here you still need to buy another camera? I agree with most of the comments here, makes no sense. I laugh at the “slows the photographer down to think out their shots, be more creative”. Where else do you ask someone to do that? “If you use outdated technology, it will help you!” Really? I still prefer the round wheel thank you.

Paul Elliott's picture

I am thinking of downgrading my Mac to a Pentium 133 so I can really consider my edits...

Marc DeGeorge's picture

It's a cute idea. And at $124 could wind up being a fun toy on those days you don't feel like taking something else. However I do think Yashica may have misunderstood their target market. We'll have to wait and see.

Really, if you just want a photo with a "film" look and film workflow, you should just shoot film.

Allen Freeman's picture

I used the Nikon Df for a few years and had the best of both worlds. Awesome digital camera, great quality shots and most people thought it was a film camera.