Yashica's new 'digiFilm' camera uses pretend film rolls

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Yashica recently teased an “unprecedented” new product, and now it's official - welcome to the Yashica Y35 - a new ‘digiFilm’ camera that shoots digital photos with the help of pretend rolls of film that must be used to change settings.

Styled after Yashica’s original Electro 35, which had the world’s first electronic-controlled shutter, the Y35 features a 1/3.2-inch CMOS sensor that shoots 14-megapixel photos and features a fixed 35mm f/2.8 lens.

Yashica say the camera is designed to “recapture the joy and meaning of analogue-photography” while “eliminating the time and expense required for film development.”

To make it clear, the camera doesn't shoot analogue - rather it shoots digital but has film sensibilities.

Still with us? To use it, you need to first carry Yashica’s new “digiFilm” canisters along with you. Each pretend film roll is used for a precise combination of ISO and aspect ratios. Instead of changing those settings through a camera setting or menu, Yashica’s new camera requires you to make a physical swap in the back of the camera.

So to change settings, from say colour to black and white, you first pop out your digiFilm roll and insert the new one, then “wind on the film” for a brief period first. There's also a “film advancement lever” you need to use too.

“At this millisecond of pulse, it grants us time to inspire and think, the exact moment the shutter snaps,” Yashica says.

There will be 4 different digiFilm rolls at launch: ISO 1600 High Speed, Black & White (ISO 400), ISO 200 Ultra Fine (standard color photos), and 120 Format (6×6 and ISO 200. “Perfect for Instagram,” Yashica says).

The film rolls are only used for changing your camera’s mode — photos themselves are stored on an SD card like any modern camera.

Features and specs of the camera itself include a built-in viewfinder, a minimum focusing distance of 3 feet (~1m), 5 shutter speeds (1s, 1/30s, 1/60s, 1/250s, 1/500s), a micro USB port, a tripod mount, a battery port for 2 AA batteries, and an advanced automatic mode that helps properly expose shots. The camera has no LCD to review images.

“Using YASHICA Y35 is a journey to the truth—there is no instant gratification of a review screen, no delete button, and no hiding from mistakes,” Yashica says. “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 – because it must solid the first tie or the moment is lost.”

Yashica has launched the Y35 on Kickstarter, where a contribution of about $125US will get you the best deal on a camera and the ISO 200 digiFilm. A pledge of $150 will get you the camera and all 4 types of digiFilm. It's already proving a hit, meeting its funding goal of $102,504 in just four hours.

You can watch a video on it here:

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