Yashica Elite 70
Point & Shoot

Yashica Elite 70 Review – No Zeiss No Problem – By Sean Benham

August 3, 2021

When I hear about Yashica and point and shoot cameras I think of the T series. Just doing a search on eBay, T3 and T4 start in the $300 range. As we know with many of these plastic devices, once they break, they’re not able to be fixed. I’m not here to knock those cameras, because in fact, from what I’ve seen, they produce nice photos. What I wanted to share with you is a different Yashica that honestly surprised me with it’s quality of shots, both with metering and sharpness. The Yashica Elite 70, also named Yashica Elite 70 Zoom, Yashica EZS Zoom 70, Yashica Zoomate 70, and finally Kyocera Campus 70.

Specifications

The Elite 70 has a 38-70mm lens, with apertures f/5.2-f/9.1, shutter speeds 2.8s-1/250, ISO range of 100-800. The flash can be turned off, and it uses 2AA batteries. It’s assembled in China with parts made in Japan as printed on the bottom of it. The cost of this camera in 1995 when it came out would have been $223/£162 today with inflation. As you can see from these specs, nothing really stands out minus the AA batteries.

Yashica Elite 70

So why the Yashica Elite 70? First off I found this at a garage sale for $2.50 and thought okay it’s not T3 or T4, but I do like Yashica. As an owner of the Electro 35 GSN, I know they’ve had a long history of good glass, but with 1990s plastic point and shoots, I could also be let down. With hundreds of varieties from that era, especially with 38-70 zooms, there’s a lot of junk out there.

So without having to do anything to this camera I grabbed a roll of Kodak Ultramax 400 and popped in two AA batteries and this is what I got…

Shooting Outdoors

Yashica Elite 70

A mid-afternoon shot that came out extremely sharp and really nailed the light balance. Historically I’ve usually avoided shooting high noon shots because many times my photos are washed out, but with this camera they really amazed me!

Here’s another waterfront shot at midday.

Yashica Elite 70

The colors really popped and the red was spot on. Again the water came out very well.

Shooting Indoors

So the Yashica Elite 70 performs well outside in bright light, how about indoors?

Yashica Elite 70

With a f/5.2 lens at maximum aperture, indoors will be tough without flash. This shot was handheld, and in low lighting I found that once again the Yashica Elite 70 metered quite well! Not as sharp as I would like but with a tripod maybe corrected. Next I tried it with the timer sitting on a table.

Yashica Elite 70

Overall I enjoyed the metering and the reflection of light off the table but the image is a bit soft with greater distances. Perhaps the flash could have added some details, but also made me quite noticeable, which I wouldn’t enjoy.

Using Zoom

Most of the time I don’t use zoom as I like to turn a camera on and use my legs to frame the picture, but the next photo I decided to zoom to 70mm and I found it just as sharp as 38mm with no vignetting either.

Yashica Elite 70

Next up are two landscape shots, the first one is 38mm, and second at 70mm.

Yashica Elite 70

38mm

70mm

I’ve taken many landscape photos and it does very well at all focal lengths.

And finally a shot that combines sunlight and shade and once again the Elite 70 handles the metering like an ace. I remember taking this shot very quickly to not draw attention. So this was a very quick fire.

Yashica Elite 70

Conclusion

Would I recommend the Yashica Elite 70? Definitely! This is a keeper in my arsenal of point & shoots. In fact this might be my favorite pocketable daytime go-to camera currently. The shortcomings of the Elite 70 are the slower lens and smaller viewfinder, but I can’t say much anything else negative about it. I’m not a flash user so to be able to turn off the flash is pretty important. It’s a perfect camera to toss in your bag and hit the streets and not worry if it breaks or gets lost. While I don’t know much about the glass, I’m guessing this is the best part about it.

Thank you. To see more of my work, please visit my Instagram page.

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4 Comments

  • Reply
    Gordon Palmer
    August 3, 2021 at 12:37 pm

    Ooo I Love ‘hidden gem’ stories like this – Always great to hear and see the unsung heroes of the P&S world – especially when they’re reasonably priced!

  • Reply
    Tom Perry
    August 3, 2021 at 5:44 pm

    Great stuff – Ultramax and this Yashica look like a good combination.

  • Reply
    Rock
    August 9, 2021 at 11:49 pm

    I agree with Tom i.e you can’t go wrong with ultramax in a Yashica, well that’s what I think. Nice shots, by the way. Cheers, Rock

    • Reply
      Sean Benham
      August 10, 2021 at 1:52 am

      Definitely, that is a very nice combo. And thanks!

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