Yashica Releases Its 'digiFilm' Kickstarter-Backed Camera, and It’s Really, Really Bad

A year ago, a once-storied name in photography, Yashica, launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund its glorious return to photography, this time digitally.

The premise of the camera they announced is that anyone with warm memories of the old days of film could use Yashica’s faux-film cartridges, called “digiFilm” to change the Y35 camera’s settings to whatever preset was indicated on the cartridge. Even if you didn't have warm memories of film, sometimes these artificial limitations are just what’s needed to get the creative juices flowing.

However, those creative juices can turn sour when early backers, who spent at least $124 on a package with one digiFilm cartridge, receive a camera that, to many initial recipients at least, feels like it was made out of parts from the local dollar store.

One YouTuber describes it as a “scam” and akin to something a student would put together at the last minute for a class. Others describe wrong cables being included in the package (the camera features a micro-USB connection, but is shipped with a mini-USB cable that doesn't work with it), fake plastic buttons, a fake viewfinder, parts that break or fall off almost immediately, and general problems that aren't OK in a toy camera, let alone something that is ostensibly a serious, artistic photographic tool.

While it’s probably not even worth talking about image quality at this point, the same unboxing video above describes it as “bad, like a webcam with an Instagram filter,” which to be honest, is about what the pictures on the original Kickstarter page looked like straight from the company.

Incredibly, you can actually still buy a Y35 camera on the Kickstarter page, though for a lot more money than initial backers paid. It sounds like, though, that buyers should expect the unexpected, just like the tagline for the camera on that page says.

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It's not really Yashica. That is just a name that another company bought the right to use. Like Vivitar is no longer the Vivitar of the past. Like Abercrombie & Fitch really doesn't exist except in name. Walk into an Abercrombie & Fitch and try to find a fly rod or a shotgun.

Jarrett Hunt's picture

Why does it seem like Fstoppers is always late when sharing news?

michaeljin's picture

Because they are.

Simon Patterson's picture

Petapixel is for photography news - it is usually days earlier and is generally more careful with facts than Fstoppers. Fstoppers is for some of the more left-field ideas and views, and the reviews and critique videos.

michaeljin's picture

It's rare that people actually receiving a Kickstarter are angrier prior to having received it. The Y35 lives up to the "expect the unexpected" motto. This is a pretty unique type of dumpster fire.

Krzysztof Kurzaj's picture

Not feeling bad for all those dreamers who backed this YaSHITca branded joke of a camera. If people are willing to hand over their hard earned money to companies who only have some concept product then I say those folks fully deserve to be disappointed.
It's a simple market principal. If company invest their own money into R&D, production, marketing, logistics, etc. they need to make sure their product will sell. There is a good chance this product will fulfill some criteria in order for the company to get their money back and make some profit as well.
But if you hand them money first, rest assured they will be cutting costs left and right and genuinely not care about their product's quality. It's just how it works.

Lenzy Ruffin's picture

What exactly did they expect for approximately one hundred dollars?

Matthias Kirk's picture

You can get a kid's camera with the same sensor for half that price. It comes fully waterproof and with a LCD and a 32gb memory card included. Plus, it actually works. So, for a hundred bucks you can expect more...

Lars Daniel Terkelsen's picture

Forrest Gump comes to mind: "Stupid is, what stupid does."