135compact.com       35mm ultra compact cameras       Minolta Riva 70W

The Minolta Riva series is a consumer friendly autofocus line of different
zoom and non-zoom camera models. There was a Riva 70 Zoom model, without "W", focal range from 35-70mm. This one, the 70W model, goes from 28 to 70mm and it has impressing data at the wide end: F3.5. So it's as good as the other 28mm premium ultra compacts which all open up to F3.5. It's tempting to have a zoom in case of without carrying a bigger camera. It was first released in 1995. It got some mixed to bad reviews which I cannot confirm. Its main features are:

28-70mm F3.4-8.4 Minolta lens, 4 elements in 4 groups, autofocus with focus lock, min. focus 0,5m, 0,4-1m in close focus mode
Electronic shutter, 2-1/500 for 28mm, 8-1/350 for 70mm
Size 121x66.5x44,  Weight 240 gr. without battery
25-3200 ISO, automatic DX coding, self-timer, automatic film advance, infinity mode

Camera front closed.

Camera back. Viewer with 2 LED, on/off button. Wide/Tele button. Film type window.

Camera front open. The flash moves up automatically.
Flash guide number ~20 (!) (m/ISO 100).

The lens only moves out a little to wide position.

Lens moved out to tele position.

View from above. S
hutter release to the right. LCD screen (flash off). Flash mode button, self-timer button, mode button.

View from below. Tripod socket. Mid-roll rewind button. Battery compartment at the side, takes a CR123 battery.

Film compartment.

This camera is easy to use. Autofocus is responsive and works well. Putting a film is easy as well, you drop the film
, tear the film leader up to the mark and that's it. The camera winds it automatically. It has some manual settings if needed, the menu is very easy to access on a big clear LCD screen. In comparison to the other ultra compacts, the camera has an impressingly powerful flash.

To make a valid conclusion I have to put some rolls through it. The corners are not impressing and yes, there is some vignetting (as with most 28mm compacts), but mine is not as bad as shown in some reviews. It's a very good point and shoot camera with a wide angle zoom lens, good picture quality, nice finish in a small pocketable body which is slightly bulky and a bit heavier than others. A nice find, it's not expensive for its impressing data on paper.