The Yashica camera comeback Kickstarter project is a nightmare

Over a month ago I reported that the Yashica Y35 digiFilm camera project that was funded on Kickstarter is not really what some expected it to be. Things went from bad to worse in the past few weeks as more people started receiving their cameras. Here are some reports:

"Without the batteries, it just feels light and cheap. Adding the batteries, does add a bit of weight which does make it feel a little better in the hand. However, the rest of the camera still has that cheap toy feel. Perhaps this what the “unexpected” part that they had put into their tagline. However, I could see nothing of the “significant upgrades” or anything that Yashica had promised once they had blown passed their shipment deadlines. It was like what Ron Leach from Shutterbug Magazine said “My disappointment is simple: The new Y35 is pretty much a gimmick with nice retro styling—not a tool for serious photographers.”

The sad part is that there was seemingly no attention to detail in the design or construction of this camera. The film rewind knob is molded into the case which adds to the overall cheapness. This could have been used a self-timer or something. They could have at least made it metal which would have made the camera look a little less fake. Same thing with the power switch. The grooves on the power switch of my Electro 35 are similar to that of what you would find on the edge of a coin. The grooves on the Y35 power switch are laughably huge to the point that they look as if someone drew them on a napkin and then just rendered the drawing in a 3D printer. You can adjust the exposure 5 stops where you would set the iso on the Electro 35 which is a nice touch, but they should have added a few more of those touches to round out the camera." (Jason Teale)

Here is a list of issues and complaints put together by PetaPixel:

  • The camera turns off when the shutter is pressed
  • The camera doesn’t even turn on
  • The camera is plastic and cheaply made
  • Camera parts are breaking and falling off
  • Fake buttons molded into the plastic just for looks
  • The camera is hard to hold while pressing the shutter
  • Many backers have yet to receive their cameras and haven’t had any updates on the status
  • Awful image quality comparable to cheap toy cameras for kids
  • Incorrect labeling on the fake film rolls, resulting in mismatched photo styles
  • Black-and-white photos coming out blue
  • An unreliable shutter button that doesn’t always trigger a photo when pressed
  • The shutter takes photos on the way up instead of when its fully pressed down
  • A shutter button so stiff that it’s unusable
  • The winding lever gets jammed and needs to be manually pushed back
  • Stickers on the camera have bubbles and are defective
  • Photos can’t be found after they’re captured
  • Difficulty inserting digiFilm rolls into the camera
  • Removing the lens cover caused the lens to separate from the camera body
  • An included cable that isn’t compatible with the camera
  • Photos are out of focus and distorted

Comments from backers:

You can find much more negative feedback in the comments section of the Kickstarter project (over 3,600 comments so far!) and on the following Facebook groups: Yashica Y35 camera Fan club and Yashica DigiFilm Camera Y35 users.

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