The Yashica digiFilm Camera Gets Delay in Part Due to Optics Refinement

The Yashica digiFilm Camera everyone gawked at is delayed

I’m sure that no one can forget about the great photography bait and switch of 2017: the Yashica digiFilm Camera. It teased something analog film photographers drooled for and became really excited about. But when announced, it left analog photographers really angry and digital photographers cackling with laughter. To add a bit more salt to the wound, news has come that the camera is getting a delay. While some may be willing to quickly blame this on a Chinese company and how so many cheap products just seem to fall apart, that isn’t really the case. In the company’s latest Kickstarter Update, quite the opposite is the case. The Yashica digiFilm Camera is getting even more refinement.

To refresh your memory, the Yashica digiFilm Camera was announced on Kickstarter after some teases online. Everything that they teased hinted at an analog film camera. In all honesty it would seem crazy to create a film camera in modern days, but film is seeing a resurgence for smaller companies. As a friend in the industry told me, “The hype is huge, the sales are not.” Those photographers giving into the hype were treated with a great bait and switch. The Yashica digiFilm Camera is a camera you load with digital film packs to get different looking results and ISOs. There’s a small sensor, and the overall size of the camera is almost that of a point and shoot. It spawned a lot of hatred from photographers, yet it was also backed quite heavily. But the company set stretch goals for themselves and used the platform quite wisely: allowing them to make the lens f2, give it a larger sensor than originally anticipated, etc.

After a relative period of quiet, backers were expecting to get their cameras this month. But it seems there are problems. In the update, the Yashica digiFilm Camera needed to have things fixed under the hood including the mechanical winder gear and box being enhanced. They’re also enhancing the lens: it’s a five piece optic now and according to their update, “We can achieve now the image TV Distortion <= 2.5%.”

When you think about this in the sense of conventional digital cameras, this is something that could have easily been done. But instead, the Yashica digiFilm Camera is actually doing something revolutionary. Let’s go down the list:

  • How many cameras allow you to switch the look out to get dramatically different results?
  • How many cameras give you the ergonomic experience of film? Not a single Leica really does but the M-A comes close. Fujifilm doesn’t really.
  • How many modern digital cameras have a film advance?
  • How many cameras give you all the limitations of film that folks really want?

To some this may sound preposterous. I mean, any sensical person might think that folks are stupid for wanting limitations. But it’s not about that. It’s often about having an experience that one hasn’t had before. I’ve tried to explain this to many photographers who shot film and moved to digital and never want to shoot film again. They had their chance: we didn’t really. This is a bridge between digital and film.

I personally backed the Yashica digiFilm Camera. And even though I won’t see it until July, I’m pretty excited for the experience that I’m going to get. You can read more from Yashica over on their Kickstarter Update.

Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.