The good old analog lifestyle is experiencing a revival, and even digital junkies are taking part in it. While advancements in camera, gaming, and music technology in the last decade have simplified lives, their predecessors have found a comfortable spot in the present, and the two groups now remarkably co-exist. It's not a cultural shift, rather, it's a renewed interest in analog products—from film cameras and vinyl records to computer games.
This holiday season, countless adult men have been lining up at department stores for first dibs on modern versions of the gaming consoles of their childhood, from the Nintendo Mini Classic to the Mini FamiCom, now considered fancy, and made to function even with high-performance 108-inch curved UHD TVs and surround sound systems in all their old-fashioned 2D gaming glory. Dozens of classic games are pre-installed in the consoles, which come with the classic controllers for extra nostalgia.
The Nintendo Mini FamiCom and Mini Classic, available at Toys 'R Us branches nationwide
Of course we can't forget analog cameras, which have seen a resurgence even among young teens the past five years.
There will always be something inherently beautiful about flicking through old family albums, and for years, we all relied solely on chemically-processed photographic film to capture our fondest memories. But then the digital age came along and provided a more suitable and convenient way to shoot and store countless photographs, causing a tremendous setback for film manufacturing companies such as Kodak and Polaroid for a while. But despite the digital era almost decimating much of the photographic film industry, the continuous demand across the globe from a good number of hobbyists and photographers has been enough to keep the production of traditional film alive.
Today, film enjoys a steady growth in sales through companies like Fujifilm, which still makes 35mm and 120mm formats and an instant camera called Instax; the Impossible Project, which manufactures instant film compatible with old Polaroid cameras and several reissues of classic instant cameras; and Lomography, which makes various quirky analog cameras that deliver many kinds of photo effects. More recently, mainstream brands such as Leica and Michael Kors have joined the bandwagon to create their own versions of limited edition instant cameras. The Leica Sofort uses the same film as an Instax, but, with a reengineered aperture and lens, delivers crisper, more vivid instant images. Michael Kors, on the other hand, collaborated with Fujifilm for a limited release of a gold metallic edition of the high-performance Instax Mini 70, which has a smart selfie mode and a shooting system that adjusts brightness and contrast automatically for sharp images.
The Leica Sofort instant camera
The Michael Kors x Instax Mini 70
Lomography cameras such as Diana, Holga, Fisheye, and La Sardina, available at snapnook.com
Polaroid films and cameras by The Impossible Project
As for music, vinyl will always have a unique appeal to music lovers from different generations. Music fans swear by the warm, mahogany-rich sound that LPs provide, and revel in the gratification from holding a record, seeing the cover art, and playing it on a turntable. One cannot deny that this “uncompressed” music is honest and comes directly from the studios where it was recorded. For many collectors and music fans, it’s all about the experience. To this day, pop artists produce vinyl records in limited numbers, which are sold at mainstream music stores. Modern turntables have also found a reincarnation with manufacturers such as Audio Technica, Crosley, and the hipper Satchmi. For the holidays, Burberry has partnered with singer Elton John for a release of limited vinyl LP box containing six of his remastered albums. The records come in a special red and gold Burberry box with Elton’s embossed signature.
Limited edition Burberry x Elton John vinyl collection