New Rolleiflex MiniDigi AF5.0 Redefines a Camera Classic
The original Rolleiflex twin-lens 6x6 camera was a photographer's dream come true when it was first introduced in 1929, and Rollei still makes a similar camera today. Leave it to Japan's Komomura Corp., however, to pay tribute to the Rollei 6x6 by creating a 5 megapixel mini digital camera that takes the concept of "retro cute" to a new plateau.
The Japanese post-war economic boom used quality, convenience and above all miniaturization as its cornerstones. It gave us the first popular transistor radios, the revolutionary Sony Walkman and Toyota's omnipresent Corolla. Those early days are recalled by many Japanese with a hefty dose of nostalgia and longing for "the good old days", and retro-styled products are often well received in the marketplace.
Take the new Rolleiflex MiniDigi AF5.0 for example. This latest improvement over the 3.1 megapixel model introduced to rave reviews several years ago still evokes the original twin-lens look of the 1929 Rollei 6x6. As a respectful homage to its inspiration, the new MiniDigi features mucho chrome & aluminum trim and prominently displays the scrolled "Rolleiflex" logo across its front.
The AF5.0 comes in your choice of black or red, the latter shade emphasizing even more strongly its vintage look. It's not quite steampunk, but then, not everybody likes steampunk's brass & rivets aesthetic.
The MiniDigi manages to look retro without sacrificing a professional, "form follows function" appearance that was (and is) a trademark of the Rollei 6x6. Be prepared to pay a 21st century price for the retro-chic styling, though: ¥41,000, or about $420 at the current exchange rate.