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Ricoh CX1: Specifications
- Zoom: 7.1x optical
- Resolution: 9.29Mp
- Sensor size: 1/2.3in
- Sensor type: CMOS
- Max. image size: 3456x2592
- File type: JPEG
- Sensitivity: ISO80-1600
- Storage: SD,SDHC
- Focus types: Multi AF, Spot AF, Multi-target AF, manual, fixed (Snap), infinity
- Normal focusing: 30cm-infinity
- Close focusing: 1cm-infinity
- Metering types: Multi, centre-weighted, spot
- Exposure compensation: +/- 2EV in 1/3 step increments
- Shutter speed: 8sec-1/2000sec
- Flash: Built-in (20cm-3.0m wide, 25cm-2.0m tele)
- Monitor: 3in transparent LCD (920,000dot)
- Interface: USB 2.0
- Power: Li-Ion battery
- Size: 101.5x58.3x27.9mm
- Weight: 180g
The most comparable model at the moment is the Fujifilm FinePix F200 EXR which also has a DR mode and is at the same price point of £300. It has 12Mp but only a 5x optical zoom.
Alternatively, the Canon Powershot SX200 IS at £296 has the same size sensor, albeit CCD, but sports a 12x optical zoom and has 12Mp.
Ricoh CX1: Features
In camera editing boundaries have been pushed and now levels and white balance compensation options have been added for in camera editing. In levels you can boost shadow areas to bring out more detail although I don't see why you'd want to do this if you have a DR function and a computer. It works very well and the 920,000dot screen means you get a better indication of what's being adjusted.
A small mode dial is on the top plate and sports the new DR mode.
A 7x optical zoom is hunched in the boxy exterior.
It's fast enough to zoom in and out but if you overcook it and need to adjust, the camera will force you to wait until it's focused before actioning anything else.
In the portrait test, I used the portrait mode as well as face detection and program mode to see if there's any difference. I'm curious as to why the scene mode has a separate option for face detection and when it wasn't selected, the camera didn't focus on the face. Portrait mode has lightened the image slightly but program looks warmer which is unusual. I really like the image with flash as it hardly looks as it's been used but the catchlights and artificial flash on the wall give it away.
I got a really nice effect with the macro mode. It has a close focusing of 1cm which can get close enough in for most of your needs and in the shot I got of a Daffodil stamen, it's blurred the foreground nicely to create an abstract effect while focusing on the centre and capturing the bugs inside the folds of petals.
The Ricoh CX1 has produced a really nice landscape test shot with nice detail in the foreground and no fringing on the white bars. Granted it was an overcast day but there's usually still some kind of fringing visible. maybe Ricoh have got it right with the lens and/or correction software in camera.
The colour test chart is a mixed bag of results. Primary blue is boosted nicely and red isn't far behind but the skin tone tile looks more pale than I usually expect.
Earth brown looks rich but this normally goes hand in hand with the forest green which has come out more faded than usual. Orange looks a little gaunt and I can hardly make out the pastel colours down the left side of blue, orange and brown.
I really like the landscape shot as there's decent detail with little fringing on the white bars or the trees.
Unusual results from the colour test chart with some colours saturated and others that would be looking more tepid.
Ricoh CX1: Noise test
The good news is that the Ricoh CX1 doesn't produce noise at ISO80. The bad news is that the image is distorted with a lack of detail. This trend continues throughout and I'm upset to see blobs of discolouring entering the grey tile at ISO200.
However it's worth noting that it's only really noticeable at full magnification. Viewing at Fit to Screen which is about 27% and it looks ok. Noise gets progressively worse and it's obvious that Ricoh haven't got any closer to solving the problem despite an improved processor and switching to a CMOS sensor.
The ISO80 test.
The ISO1600 test.
I really like the Ricoh CX1 with its boxy design and matt black finish. The screen is lovely to use and the features are many.
It's a shame that the image performance still isn't up to scratch. I like to see smooth images when shooting up to ISO200 but I can't get a result I'm happy with from a Ricoh. Make sure you open up the colour test chart image to full size. It was taken at ISO200 and shows some of the pixellation from the noise control.
In fact noise performance is better on the GRD series of cameras and I think that Ricoh need to start using the technology from the professional range if they want to stay competitive. Either that or find a way to get a larger sensor in the camera.
If you like your cameras looking old school but with good features and you only shoot at ISO100 or lower, then this is for you.
Ricoh CX1: Plus points
Large zoom lens
Dynamic Range mode
Nice use of flash
Ricoh CX1: Minus points
Dubious build quality with plastic front
Bad noise results
Sensor is still too small
Lens has to focus at every zoom step
Low flash range
Prices online for the Ricoh CX1 start at around £300.