We all know that disposable cameras are pretty bad for the planet, and aren't nearly as accessible or affordable as they used to be. While shooting with a film camera is the more environmentally friendly option, many people will still opt for the aesthetic of using disposable cameras instead, especially when on vacation.
Thankfully, there's a new blend of old-school photography with digital technology potentially arriving to the market in the form of the Flashback ONE35 camera, created by a tech startup from Australia, with the hopes of allowing photographers to once again focus on living the moment and waiting for images to develop.
• These are the best retro cameras for fans of nostalgia.
This isn't the first time that issues surrounding the rising cost of film and developing processess, as well as the harmful single-use plastics from disposable film cameras have been brought to light. We previously tested and reviewed the Paper Shoot Paper Camera which was pitched as a revolutionary replacement and solution to disposable cameras - but it wasn't quite there yet in our opinion.
Currently in the early stages of crowdfunding via Kickstarter, the new ONE35 digital camera had already reached its goal within just 13 minutes! As most of the time with funding campaigns like this, it's unclear when (or if) we'll see the new ONE35 digital camera actually arrive on the camera market, although, it would likely be one of the cheapest digital cameras around if the retro-digital blend did catch on. Crowdfunders can get the camera for AU$125 (that's around $83 / £66).
Flashback is a startup tech brand based in Australia, founded by Kelric Mullen and Mackenzie (Mack) Salisbury. The idea behind the digital-retro camera is to replicate the experience of using an old-style film camera, and it even has a winder too! There's no need for pesky batteries either, as it charges via USB-C and has internal memory so you won't even need an SD card.
Flashback started the project of creating the ONE35 camera with the hopes of encouraging people to live more candidly, in the moment, and away from the social media frenzy of sharing instantaneous Instagram highlights and Reels. Don't worry though, it can still be used to create images that look like different retro film types, and will provide the aesthetic that even the best camera phones can't master.
The ONE35 camera despite capturing digital images will actually make you wait an entire day (24 hours to be exact) for the photos to "develop" before being transferred over to the custom mobile app on your phone, once the film roll is at its maximum 27-image capacity. There's no screen on the digital camera either to instant review your photos, so the mystery and waiting time is the fun part.
It is however equipped with a viewfinder, a shutter release, and a bright Xenon flash, so the Flashback ONE35 might just be revolutionary for replacing the outdated and eco-unfriendly disposables, and ideal for those who love shooting film but hate having to get it developed - or even festivalgoers who would prefer not to have their smartphone pick-pocketed but still want to capture some photos of the day.
The camera also promises to try and make your images look like film - and is offering what it calls "different types of film", which we assume are digital filters or plug-ins applied by the camera. The initial choice will be between #flashbackclassic which we are told is inspired by Fujifilm's Superia color print film; #flashbackmono meanwhile promises a high-contrast black-and-white look. Other "emulsions" are promised for the future, if things go well.
Maybe this camera should've been called the Juxtapose, as it seems to offer a unique balance of film and digital, plus modern with retro, and all the best parts of different technological eras into a new Non-Disposable Digital Disposable Camera. Would you get one? Let us know.
• You might also be interested in the best disposable cameras, as well as the best instant cameras, while not forgetting the best film for 35mm cameras and the best slide viewers to complement your setup of the best darkroom equipment.