The 1990s and early 2000s were littered with pudgy little point-and-shoot 35mm cameras. Gone were the sleek, straight lines of the 1970s and 1980s. But in were giant conveniences like autofocus, programmed autoexposure, built-in flashes with many modes, and zoom lenses. Even the big camera makers, including Pentax, were in the game. One of Pentax’s point-and shoot series was called IQZoom; this one is the IQZoom EZY.

Pentax IQZoom EZY

Its lens and shutter aren’t really that fast: a 38-70 mm f/4.8-8.5 zoom of five elements in five groups, and a top speed of 1/320 sec., stepping down to 1/3 sec at its slowest. It reads the DX coding on film canisters from ISO 25 to 1600. It offers several shooting modes. A 123 lithium battery powers it all.

Pentax IQZoom EZY

Mine includes a date back; not all of them did. Oh, and I hear that in some markets this camera was called the Espio 70-E.

By the way, if you’re into point-and-shoot 35mm cameras also check out my reviews of the Yashica T2, Kodak VR35 K40, Olympus Stylus, and Canon AF35ML. If you’re a Pentax fan, my gosh have you come to the right place. I adore my Pentax ME, and my Pentax KM. Or you can check out every film camera I’ve ever reviewe here.

This camera belonged to my friend Alice’s dad, who gave it to me with a bunch of his other gear. When I told Alice I was finally shooting this camera, she praised it as a solid performer, the go-to camera when her dad photographed family functions. She said its flash lit smiling family photos just right.

So naturally I shot nothing like that. Instead, I loaded up some Kodak Gold 400 and took it on a photo walk with Margaret through a couple neighborhoods on Indianapolis’s Near Eastside. We began in up-and-coming Cottage Home. The first thing I noticed about the IQZoom EZY was its rubbery, uncertain shutter button. Press it and at some point it decides you meant it and fires the shutter. Instantly, one second, two; you never know. Bleargh.

Cottage Home row houses

But the IQZoom EZY delivered good results, sharp and contrasty. The colors in the scans were blah. These might even be a smidgeon underexposed. But it took very little Photoshoppery to wake them up.

Cottage Home is currently a mix of restored and unrestored homes from around the turn of the last century, plus a handful of new homes. This was a working-class neighborhood in its heyday, but it didn’t fare well in the last half of the last century. It’s gentrifying now.

Cottage Home cottage

Most houses in Cottage Home are modest; this is a rare large, ornate one.

On Dorman Street

We also walked through nearby Woodruff Place, which was Indianapolis’s first suburb. Just writing that cracks me up, because it’s just a mile or so away from Downtown. But in 1872, when it was founded, that was a good distance away from the city. It is a planned community of three parallel boulevards lined with large homes.

Statue in Woodruff Place

In contrast to working-class Cottage Home, Woodruff Place attracted the affluent, who built grand homes. But the neighborhood declined sharply after World War II. Gentrification came early to Woodruff Place, and since the 1980s and 1990s it’s been lovely and charming again. Home prices reflect that. Meanwhile, the setting sun and thick tree canopy conspired to dim the natural light. The IQZoom EZY switched on the flash and I couldn’t figure out how to turn it off.

Woodruff Place

I get it; these cameras are meant for people who don’t know anything about cameras. But I really hated having the flash fire. I’m very much a natural-light guy. I love the look of this storefront shot — except for the flash uselessly reflecting off that window.


I finished off the roll at home as my peonies began to bloom. The IQZoom EZY figured out what to focus on even at this close range.


But strangely, it whiffed focus entirely on this shot of my peony bush by the front door. This should have been easy for the EZY.


But back to Cottage Home for a moment, where this camera had its best moments.

Dorman St. Tavern

To see more photos, check out my Pentax IQZoom EZY gallery.

The IQZoom EZY is a fair to middling 1990s-era point and shoot. Its rubbery-blubbery shutter button will guarantee I never shoot it again, but really, other than that it performed well enough. As I researched for this post, I found all sorts of people that picked up IQZoom-series cameras at thrift stores for a couple bucks. That seems about right.

If you like old film cameras, check out all of my reviews here!
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9 responses to “Pentax IQZoom EZY”

  1. Andy Umbo Avatar
    Andy Umbo

    Every time I move to a new city, I generally start in the center and drive around in ever expanding circles to see everything. You’d be surprised how many people who have lived a lifetime in a city have never seen it all! I ran into Woodruff Place pretty early when doing that here, it’s certainly quite different from other parts of the city and quite unique from other areas of the country where the wealthy wouldn’t have built so close to each other. Every time someone comes to visit me here, it’s one of my tour stops!

    1. Jim Grey ☕️ Avatar

      I’ve been a Northwestsider my whole time in Indy. The Eastside never resonated with me — as a matter of fact, I just outright don’t like parts of the Eastside. So I cut short my explorations of it a long time ago! But now that Margaret and I are figuring out where we’d like to live, we’re looking at neighborhoods that ring Downtown.

  2. hmunro Avatar

    “Pudgy little point-and-shoots.” What a charming and apt description! In spite of being a bit unwieldy I think the IQZoom EZY served you well. I won’t blame you one bit if you decide to shelve it permanently, though: the “rubbery-blubbery shutter button” hardly sounds appealing.

    1. Jim Grey ☕️ Avatar

      That shutter button is this camera’s damning flaw. If the button were more sure, it would be an eminently competent camera for family photo ops.

  3. pesoto74 Avatar

    I kinda feel sorry for these cameras. I have seen a lot of them for offered for a dollar or two and there aren’t many buyers. Back in the day a lot of the cameras of this type went for two or three hundred dollars. Today is easier to sell the give-away cameras like the original time camera than it is to sell one of these.

    1. Jim Grey ☕️ Avatar

      Ha! You’re right, that awful Time camera has greater value than one of these!!

  4. Sam Avatar

    Hey Jim, I got an IQZoom from the 90s too! Not this one, but I’ll have to dig it out. I gave it to my Dad at one point and he still had a roll of film in it when he passed away five years ago. I have the camera here somewhere, but I have been procrastinating in taking that roll out, but I will do. These cameras were excellent as seen in your results!

    1. Jim Grey ☕️ Avatar

      Hard to go wrong with a Pentax lens! But also not easy to deal with that roll of film I’m sure.

  5. […] 80s to early 00s. (According to this wiki, about 60 different models.) Many of them are good, some not so. What makes the IQZoom 928 unique/special that I’d want to get it […]

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