A Brisbane based crew have delivered on their Kickstarter promise to deliver a “camera for the small moments”, the Flashback Camera. It’s a digital film camera, or a film-like digital camera more to the point.
I’m an avid Kickstarter backer, but especially for cool gadgets like this, and it was a pleasure to unpack.
The idea is to take the point-and-shoot disposable film camera vibe to a digital setting, mainly for the purposes of getting off our phones, disposing of cameras a lot less, and making memories.
I don’t have a full review in me, instead, a reflection on having used it for a week: it’s a lot of fun and a beautifully made product.
I have but one issue, probably the same one that everyone who has ever clicked the shutter on their iPhone then instantly been able to share and edit the photo.
In an update today the makers have expanded on the feature I find most annoying. That at the end of the arbitrary digital film roll of 27 photos it takes about 48 hours for the photos to “develop”:
The processing done to develop your photos is currently too intensive to run on a mobile device. Over the last 2 years, we developed our own effects. In particular, our method to generate film grain is complex. Often, “film grain” effects are based on adding random digital noise, but true film grain is fundamentally different. Analog images are composed of grains, not pixels, and our method follows this closely. Our vision for this product has always been to stay true to the analog world, and we’ve worked hard to never compromise on that. If we were satisfied with simple filters, we could run them inside the app, but we continue to believe that our current setup is the most flexible in providing the best possible photos from this camera.
Personally, I think there would be greater customer satisfaction if that 48 hour time period was minimised to the actual required time to process, and ultimately that could be brought on to the device. I think the iPhone CPU has proven itself to be apt at processing photos.
It would be nice if the processed photos had better metadata as well, like orientation of photo, date and time that was correct, that the flash even if enabled accidentally by fat fingers wouldn’t fire in full sun, and ultimately this last one is just me being really nerdy: GPS co-ordinates of photos so the captured memories end up in iCloud Photo Library memories.
Here’s some demo photos take over the weekend in Exmouth and the Gold Coast …