Last Updated on 06/07/2023 by Chris Gampat
As Gen Z snatches up 20-year-old point-and-shoots to get crappy photos without the distraction of a smartphone, an Australia-based start-up has a different approach. The Flashback ONE35 is a cheap digital point-and-shoot with the soul of a disposable film camera. While the innards are digital, the camera only takes 27 photos at a time, users have to wait 24 to 72 hours to “develop” them, and the built-in film stocks are based on actual film.
The ONE35 doesn’t have a screen at the back or any way to view the photos immediately. Instead, the camera has a mechanical winder and shutter release and a little window that displays how many of the 27 exposures remain on the “roll.” The camera “develops” the images by wirelessly sending them to a smartphone, a process that takes between 24 and 72 hours after the “roll” is finished depending on the film stock selected.
The founders, Kelric Mullen and Mackenzie Salisbury, launched Flashback as a way to get the look and experience of film photography without the waste of disposable film cameras. The camera has a Xenon-based flash for that direct flash look. The camera has two “film” types, a color mode based on Fujifilm Superia and a black and white option, though the company says they hope to add more. Flipping through the sample photos, the ONE35 also appears to have the cheap plastic lens that’s characteristic of disposable cameras.
Flashback aims not just to create the look of disposable film but the experience as well — and that’s something I can get on board with. Too often, if I open my iPhone to take a quick photo when my camera isn’t within reach and I’m distracted by a notification. Then, I get lost down the rabbit hole of whatever app sent me the notification, and I’ve lost the rest of that moment.
With the ONE35, you can’t even get lost looking through the photos that you just took because you have to wait at least a day for them. The entire design is going to eliminate chimping and reduce overshooting. I could even see these being great for kids and teens — because if anything teaches patience, the wait for film will. Yes, you can get all of that with actual film, but buying it over and over again adds up, along with the plastic waste. Three Fujifilm QuickSnap disposable film cameras run about $72 on Amazon currently — the ONE35 is around $10 more and lasts beyond just three rolls of film.
The Flashback ONE35 is launching on Kickstarter. Backing a crowd-funding campaign comes with some risk. But, some of that is already negated as Flashback reached its funding goal in just 13 minutes. Pledges that include the camera start at AU$125, which is about $83 USD. Shipping is estimated for August. The Kickstarter campaign is scheduled to run until July 4.