If you have ever gotten a hand on a Vivitar compact 35mm camera, there’s a high chance that it’s a rebranded from other brands. The camera I am reviewing today is no different: the Vivitar PZ3815 DB.
First, you might be thinking: “What kind of naming scheme is that?”. Well, the PZ (which may stand for picture “easy”) indicates the camera is flagship tier, the number “3815” means it starts at 38mm and zooms to 15(0)mm. Lastly, the DB stands for “Date Back or Data Back”, which means the camera can imprint date on your pictures.
The Vivitar PZ3815 DB is a camera released in 2003, and it’s rather pricey for the brand Vivitar. I did some research and found out that this camera is a rebranded Minox CD150 DB, but the Minox CD150 DB is a restyled version of the Konica Z-up 150e. Along with the Minox CD 150 DB, the Vivitar PZ3815 DB being the latest iteration, these cameras now has the additional date back feature, which the standard Minox CD150 and Konica Z-up 150e lack.
Because this camera was released at the end of the film era, it pretty much has everything you’d expect from a camera in the early 2000’s. It has the typical shooting modes plus red eye, +1.5 exposure compensation and slow sync flash. Along with the versatile zoom lens, this camera is suitable for most occasions.
The great thing about the Vivitar PZ3815 DB is that when you turn on the camera, it will reset your setting to auto but pressing the mode button once will revert to your last setting. This is a nice touch as you don’t have to cycle through a bunch of modes with one button. The date back also works until 2052, a nice bonus. The LCD is also always on, so you can see the date, battery status and number of exposure taken.
Here’s some pictures taken with the Vivitar PZ3815 DB using Fujifilm Superia 400.
There’s something about the design of the Vivitar PZ3815 DB that I really like, it’s very industrial, the stainless steel plate reminds me of modern appliances like a fridge you would find in store today. The built quality is surprisingly nice, the plastic is solid and feels good in the hand. The buttons are responsive, the shutter button is deep and has a positive half press. The viewfinder size is decent, it’s very clear and has framing guidelines. The Vivitar PZ3815 DB lens is a 38mm-155mm f/4.5 – f/13.8, it has a rather long range, the optics is decent, it can produce pleasing photos with balanced exposure.