I have a penchant for toy cameras, and it all started with the Lomo L-CA. I've since sold the Russian shooter, but I've held on to the Holga as a camera I really enjoy using despite its quirks--light leaks, soft images, plastic lens, and total lack of control. But that's what I like about such low-tech snappers.
Previously I wrote a Crave blog about the Yashica EZ F521, which from its toy-like facade, could very well be a digital twin to the Holga. After trying out the camera for a weekend, I have to say that the Yashica is close, but definitely not quaint enough to be a Holga.
The EZ F521 may look big in pictures, but in reality it's quite small. Compared with a regular Holga, the Yashica is a petite half size. Weight-wise, it's light enough that you'll forget it's even in your tote bag.
The lens barrel can be rotated between two focal lengths: normal and macro. In normal mode, subjects that are 5 feet or more away will appear sharp, while macro mode allows you to snap about a half a foot to 1.3 feet away from the shooter.
Interestingly, the lens has a reddish tinge to it. I checked with the shop that loaned us the camera and the owner wasn't quite sure why it's like that. But this effect didn't surface in any of my shots.
There's a nice optical viewfinder on the Yashica, but this doesn't give a good representation of what you are taking. Still, it's a nice retro implementation.
Be warned about the flash because it's really bright. Subjects near the camera appeared washed-out, but that's the fun of using a toy-like camera.
Let's shoot Taking pictures with the EZ F521 is as simple as point and shoot. In fact, there isn't even a half-press mechanism on the shutter for prefocusing. Just frame and snap.… Read more