|As said before, the camera lies perfectly in ones hand. The material feels comfortable and the housing very solid. The back of the camera shows a nice piece of work. The fine metal coloured oversized buttons in combination with the as nicely designed multi-functional command dial, with above it the zoom button and a small switch make it look very well-organized. The 1.8-inch monitor has a resolution of approximately 110.000 pixels. The time that a monitor could not be used when capturing sunny outdoor images seems to be definitely over. The display responds quickly and doesn't slow down at unexpected, fast movements. The menu, activated through one of the buttons on the back of the camera, looks well organized. Ricoh uses various colours but prevented the camera from becoming a "fairground attraction". As quickly as the camera is ready to shoot, just as quickly can one navigate through the menu, a relief compared with some menus we still experience here and there.
The front of the Caplio R1 is delightful to the eye. The beautiful brushed front looks classy and in spite of the fact that it is only outer appearance, it gives the Caplio R1 its own face. The camera is activated by a large sized silver coloured slide, which also serves as a grip. Sliding the slide away, the specially designed folded up 4.8x optical zoom lens appears from the housing. The optical viewfinder is placed above to the zoom lens and next to it we find the AF screen. The built-in flash is placed more towards the grip. To complete it all Ricoh punched three minuscule holes on the down part of the front to hide the microphone behind it. The camera doesn't suffer from "fingerprints" allthough its aluminium and silver coloured material would implicate that. The camera keeps its classy appearance.
|The side of the R1 offers room to the compartment for the necessary power and the memory card. Many cameras still suffer from inferior battery covers and so does the R1. The housing is so beautifully designed, why isn't it possible to create a properly closing adequate cover? The compartment closes properly, however the cover is a bit loose and one has to be aware of how to shut it. The cover has to be lifted somewhat, to be able to close. Chances that a user skips lifting it and the cover forces to close are large. Underneath the compartment we find some two interfaces, one for A/V-out and one for USB 1.1. Presently we see a change from USB 1.1 to the 2.0 version. The Caplio still sticks with the standard USB 1.1 interface for the moment. The bottom of the camera features a (metal) universal tripod, placed almost completely in the centre of the camera. On the side of the bottom a speaker is hidden.
The small size of the camera is deceiving, one doesn't expect it to be a 4.0 Megapixel camera equipped with a 4.8x optical zoom lens. The range is 28-135mm, a range which makes this camera a practically all-round employable camera. Even telephoto images can be taken in combination with the digital zoom, however the quality will decrease considerably.
Ricoh has got a very beautiful looking camera in his hands with this Caplio R1. The camera has a nice aluminium housing and feels very solid. The design is rather perfect, let alone one small beautyspot, the cover for the battery/memory compartment. The Ricoh Caplio R1 will look great next to competing celebrities, on the shelf of the local dealer.