The Ricoh RZ-728 is probably as compact as a point and shoot film camera can get. How does its size affect the use of its many features?
Released sometime towards the end of the 1990s, this probably makes the Ricoh RZ-728 one of the more technologically advanced zoom film cameras produced, before digital began taking over. At least, at the cheaper end of point and shoot film camera production.
The most noticeable aspect of this is the ‘real image viewfinder’, which displays the field of view as the camera lens zooms in and out. It’s hard to know if this is as accurate as an SLR camera, or a mirrorless digital camera. Nevertheless, it is a feature which none of the previous point and shoots that I’ve reviewed has and is probably more useful in zoom cameras than prime lens cameras. It is certainly a welcome feature and, at times, it was easy to forget that this was a film camera and not digital.
Ricoh RZ-728 specifications
The Ricoh RZ-728 has a 28-70mm zoom lens, with an aperture ranging between ƒ5.6 and ƒ10. The lens itself is comprised of five elements in four groups. Film loading is automatic and the camera exposes at (slightly disappointing) 100 and 400 ISO. Other features include a self timer, red-eye reduction, infinity focus, as well as the ability to control the use of the built-in flash (the flash can be disabled, or forced to engage), all of which are indicated on the LCD display, located on top of the camera – which also shows the frame number.
The Ricoh RZ-728 in use
The zoom function is controlled by a lever at the back of camera, (which interestingly reminded me of the zoom control on my Panasonic LX7). The zooming action is a bit noisy, by modern digital standards, but the zoom control lever is perfectly usable. There is also macro button on the front of the camera, although I couldn’t get this to work.
Most of the various modes and features of the Ricoh RZ-728 are controlled using quite small buttons on the top of the camera, next to the LCD display. I also found the viewfinder of the Ricoh RZ-728 to be rather ‘cramped’. But this is only to be expected, with a zoom camera this small.
The Ricoh RZ-728 is small, compact and packs most of the features that I would expect of a comparatively recent point and shoot film zoom camera of its class.