This is a syndicated blog post from Giorgio Scalici. It and the images here are being used with permission.
Hey mates! Hope you are doing great!
Today I’m gonna talk you about a very very cheap full frame camera.
Yes, the title is a little bit provoking – did you start to think about some X100/XE/XT full frame reading it? – but it still says the truth.
And the truth is that you can have a full frame camera, with optical viewfinder and no shutter lag for about 7 Euro!
Sounds crazy but it’s real.
Not 7000 nor 700, just 7 Euro.
Or to be more correct, a little bit less than 1000 yen.
In fact i’m reviewing the japanese Fujifilm “Utsurun – Desu” camera.
I’ve been in Japan for 20 magic days and I found a lot of shops – even souvenir shops – selling this kind of disposable camera. It exists in many variants, ranging from 400 iso to 1600 iso and it exists with 27 or 39 exposures. I bought the 1600 iso one with 39 exposure for almost the same price of a single roll of film.
I was interested in making some street shots with it and all i can say is that i really enjoyed using it, it was a funny and relaxing experience.
Now let’s talk about the camera.
The name itself is great.
In fact “Utsurun – Desu” just means “It take pictures“.
Fujifilm calls it a “Film with lens” and that’s a really funny definition!
The camera is very very light and small – it fits in your pocket without any doubt – and it’s made of plastic. That feels good. It’s like you don’t have to think about your camera: it can get stolen or broken or everything else without any worry from you. Being so light you feel you can carry it anywhere and so you do it, thus probably shooting things that otherwise you wouldn’t shoot. That’s a great point!
It has a 32mm lens, a pretty neat choice to me since it’s perfectly between the 28mm and the 35mm without being too wide.
It also have a flash, powered by two batteries that are inside the body ( read until the end to know how i know it ) that’s easy to use: when you are in dark situation, you action the button near the lens, wait until the flash is ready – there is a red light saying it – and then snap. If you don’t need the flash anymore, re-action that button shutting thus down the flash.
The camera has fixed focus. It has only one shutter speed that is 1/140. And it also have only one aperture that is f10.
Are those limitations?
This means that you don’t have to think anything else except from composing the viewfinder.
This is such a liberating experience!
It makes you feel really concerned about WHAT you are shooting and not about HOW to do it.
Just find an interesting scene, compose as better as you can through your viewfinder, turn on or not the flash if you think you need it and SNAP!
Click that big button that makes a funny “clack!”.
One interesting thing about this is that this camera doesn’t have any shutter lag. It seems crazy but it’s real. In street photography one of the most important thing is to snap at the exact moment, and cameras like the Leicas are famous for having an almost inexhisisting shutter lag. Even this little fuji does so and it’s really really great.
But the best and more surprising thing about this camera is the viewfinder.
It’s really big and bright. Just to compare, it’s brighter and bigger than the viewfinder of an Olympus XA2 (CHECK MY REVIEW HERE) or Fuji X10.
Why does a cheap disposable camera have a better optical viewfinder than more expensive digital cameras?
And why if I buy an external optical viewfinder should i pay a lot of money?
That’s just marketing mates. And it’s shit.
That’s why I almost destroyed my Utsuru-Desu after finishing my 39 exposures.
To make a viewfinder out of it!
If you are interested in making a viewfinder for you too, check this LINK.
In the end, you pay 7€ to shoot 39 pics and to have a good optical viewfinder for other cameras. Oh, and inside you also find two batteries that you can use! ahah! Sounds like a bargain!!!
To finish, HERE is a commercial about an old model of this disposable cameras: try to breathe just a little bit of the crazy and wonderful japanese culture!
Here are more pictures i shot with my Utsuru-Desu, I hope you like them!
I hope you liked this informal, non technical review. It’s intended to be a sum of the experiences i had with this camera.
Any questions? Doubts? Use the comments!
Giorgio Scalici is 26 years old and a Medical Doctor working as a Resident in Internal Medicine at the hospital Policlinico P. Giaccone of Palermo. “About five years ago I discovered street photography and since then I had no doubts about what to shoot: people living their daily life. I went through a lot of cameras in those years, and I learned how to shoot, develop and print Film. After this time in the darkroom the “lightroom” workflow became easier to me. Now i know what i want and i have all the tools to get it!” “I was finalist and I exposed in Miami for the MSPF 2015, and I worked one year for the VIA! project with exhibitions in Rome, Venice, La Spezia and going to Germany soon. In May 2016 I joined the italian street photography collective Eye Go Bananas and we are going to renew street photography’s world!”