|The front of the camera is mainly dominated by the 3x optical zoom lens. This optical zoom lens is the result of the experiences Ricoh gained from the film-based Ricoh GR cameras. These lenses were praised enormously, but the lenses had a fixed focus. The technique of these lenses is used to design the 3x optical zoom lens of the Caplio GX. The zoom lens has a small ring with thread. Disconnecting it enables placing an adapter ring and on top of that an optional wide angle converter (DW-4) which delivers a 22mm result. Right above the lens the optical viewfinder is placed, on the left the AF screen by which the focus is arranged. The internal flash is positioned left from the middle on the front, but not that far to the left so that the finger of the right hand would accidentally be placed on it.
Coming to the top side of the camera we find a well-organised and simple setting. The well-known Command Dial is also in on it again, and why not? Over the past years his concept has proved itself to be good time after time. The Command Dial can be operated easily with the thumb of the right hand. The release button can be found blindfolded. A small dial button is placed on the hand grip to scroll through various settings or functions. On the left side the hot shoe is placed. The flash range of the internal flash can be enhanced remarkably with this hot shoe. A so-called X Contact Flash has a second chance to live a useful life on the Caplio GX.
The back of the camera is equipped with a 1.8 inch size LCD monitor. This size seems to be the maximum possible for the height of the camera, but it wouldn't look bad on the next generation Caplio digital cameras to be equipped with a 2 inch size monitor. The resolution of the monitor is 130.000 pixels.
|Above the monitor the optical viewfinder is placed which is of a rather small size. No frame or focus frame is used. The optical viewfinder shows a very small part of the optical zoom lens. Down left a small part of the viewfinder is covered by a sticking out part of the zoom lens. One person will relate to it as: disturbing, while someone else will not be bothered about it. On the right side of the monitor the rest of the controls are placed. The small buttons sink a bit too deep into the housing of the camera, in my opinion, but the slight click when pressing the button helps to decide whether the button was pressed well or not good enough. Above it we find the zoom button, very lightly operable, and a quick reacting one.
The bottom of the camera offers a place to the speaker and a universal (metal) tripod connection. The latter one is placed off-centre and the camera will not be exactly in balance but it'll do. It is possible to change the battery and memory card without having to remove the camera from the tripod because the compartment is found in the hand grip.
The compact size and the fine comfortable way the camera lies in ones hand are big advantages on the Caplio GX. The grip offers excellent support and the buttons lie very well-organised. The users' convenience is definitely okay and using the camera is simple. The material feels solid and leaves a good impression.