After a few weeks of teasing, today Yashica announced their new camera via Kickstarter, the Yashica Y35. At first glance, it looks a lot like the classic Yashica Electro 35. Leading up to the announcement, many people thought they were going to release a new and updated 35mm camera. Even though the Y35 is a digital camera, they weren't totally wrong.
Unlike any other digital camera before, the Yashica Y35 uses "rolls of film" or digiFilm as the company is calling it. Photos are still stored on SD cards, but in order to change settings such as ISO or color to black and white, you have to insert a different digiFilm pack.
At first, I hated this. This takes the best parts of a digital camera and makes it more annoying. But after I thought about it (and the camera's lack of LCD screen) some more, I immediately pre-ordered the camera on Kickstarter. The reason being that the inconveniences would actually make me (and others) more conscious of making better images.
- No LCD= no chimping: As much as I try not to, it's habit to check my LCD screen after every couple shots to make such it's coming out the way I want it to. While I think this is especially important if you're in a location or event where you may not be able to recreate the images again, I like the idea of making myself wait until I get home to check.
- Limiting options increases creativity: I have been shooting with only a prime lens for over 4 years and it's absolutely made me a better photographer. By limiting my options more, it will be a great exercise to help me grow as a photographer.
- It's a casual camera: Yashica isn't trying to compete with high end cameras with the Y35. They are targeting it to casual photographers. This isn't the camera you'll use for a photo shoot, but it will be a great street photography camera. I could also see this as a great complementary camera to a Fujifilm Instax.
Is the digiFilm super gimmicky? Absolutely. Am I looking forward to the time when I inevitably lose one of the digiFilm packs? Definitely not. Will it be a fun camera to throw in my bag for casual shoots or while wandering around a city? I think so.