Rolleiflex digital twin-lens reflex: what if it were true?

Disappeared from the radar for several years, the German company Rollei seems to announce its arrival on the digital camera market through a twitter account newly created.

An abandoned brand?

It’s been decades since photographers have heard from the brand. Quite popular 90 years ago, it distinguished itself thanks to its TLR (Twin Lens Reflex) system. To overcome certain technical constraints of the time, twin-lens cameras used a first lens for shooting and a second for aiming. It was thus necessary to hold the device at waist level to frame its image using the viewfinder located on the upper part of the TLR.

In a message posted on the Twitter account @OfficialRolleiis announced “the first modern LRT”. In a second tweet, we discover some characteristics. This mysterious device would thus be equipped with 70mm f/2.8 lenses in a tropicalized aluminum case. There would be the traditional waist-level viewfinder, as well as an optional digital viewfinder with a 3.2-inch, 3 million-dot LCD screen. In addition, there would be two slots for SDXC/SDHC cards for a total weight of 850 g, which would make us forget the disappointment of the Instant Kamera, an Instax Mini camouflaged in an InstantFlex casing.

Twin Lens Reflex technology was created decades ago to meet constraints that are now obsolete. We are curious to see how such a technique can bring real added value compared to hybrids equipped with an electronic viewfinder, which are more compact and, above all, allow great freedom of movement without having to hold the camera at waist level. .

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Real information or hoax?

If the information can only arouse the enthusiasm of photography enthusiasts, some elements remain obscure. Indeed, the Twitter account that shared the information is still very recent, created in March 2023. And if it seems credible, as well as the photo using the company logo, there is no other mention formalizing the link between the Twitter page and the current site.

A quick passage over it also shows us the turn taken by the German brand. Rollei is now content to sell photo accessories of all kinds, ranging from simple filters to drones, lighting, lenses, tripods and backpacks. Obviously, all the equipment offered seems to be only a selection of white label products, rebadged Rollei. Faced with this, it is difficult for us to imagine this forgotten brand returning to the forefront with an exclusive technology.

On the other hand, the date announced in the tweet (April 4, 2023, i.e. 04/20/2023) is also widely spread on the web to fuel memes. It refers to a popular movement in favor of cannabis. Although it may be a banal coincidence, the hoax hypothesis cannot therefore be excluded. We just have to wait until then to find out if this is indeed the first twin-lens reflex to join our labs or a big joke.

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