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Ricoh Caplio R1 | Digital Camera Review | Control
The Ricoh Caplio R1 has a well-organized lay-out concerning the buttons. This clearly distinguishes the Caplio R1 from competing models. Not an abundance with all the trimmings, but only the sufficient amount of well placed buttons, necessary to get the utmost out of the Ricoh Caplio R1. The camera lacks a command dial on the top side of the camera but is directly operated with the button next to the optical viewfinder. The limited amount of buttons is a joy. The camera is activated by sliding the grip on the front of the camera to the side. Almost immediately the camera is ready to shoot. The speed the camera needs to get ready to shoot is impressive and is one of the fastest in the world. The zoom button operates easily. Zooming from wide angle (28mm) to telephoto (135mm) only takes a mere second. Zooming is rather precise, in approximately 30 small steps. The handy Step Zoom function can be activated through the menu. Once activated, the zoom lens will zoom from 28mm to 135mm in four steps leaving the in-between steps out.
Ricoh Caplio R1 | Digital Camera Ricoh Caplio R1 | Digital Camera
The fact that the 4.8x optical zoom lens shoots out of its cover and finishes first, is truly a great performance but the most handy performance in practice is the shutter response. It is a true discovery to experience the speed of the world's fastest shutter response time. The Caplio R1 can simply be called ultra-fast. The shutter release takes place almost immediately, only 0.003 second is needed. In the past we experienced many slow cameras which made us miss spontaneous moments, or that one special moment took place just in front of the photographer's eye without being captured. Ricoh has introduced fast digital cameras before, but the Caplio R1 beats them all!

The camera is equipped with a very tiny optical viewfinder. It is so small that someone who doesn't suffer from a tunnel phobia will develop one immediately. In principal this is not so problematic. In practice it turns out that the optical viewfinder on a digital camera usually is being avoided instinctly and that the presence of a fine quality LCD monitor is appreciated and welcomed with great enthusiasm. The same occurs with the Caplio R1. The monitor's response is smooth, with an excellent rendering. Even the fast unexpected movements are handled well by the monitor.

The menu of the camera looks colourful, without being annoying. Navigating is easy and smoothly with the multi-control button on the back of the camera. In camera mode there are two main menus, Shooting Settings and Setup. The Shooting Settings and Setup are divided in three divisions, with their own various settings. As said, changing the divisions to your own desires is a piece of cake. When the camera is set to the Movie mode, again we meet the main menus, Shooting Settings now consists of one division and the Setup of three.
The playback mode, which can be activated through the separate button in the center of the switch, has two main menus, Playback Shootings and Setup. The first one has one division with various settings and Setup again consists of three.
The structure of the menu is well organized and clearly visible. All in all it is comprehensive and logically divided.

A handy option is the ADJ button. Behind this button we find exposure compensation, white balance and ISO settings. What lacks is a direct access to the resolution adjustments. No button available for it, but through the Setup function the resolution setting can be related to the ADJ button. Pressing the button 4x the added mode will be available. The ADJ button comes in very useful in practise. If you have to dive into the menu every time image defining actions have to be taken, it would slow you down and it would be rather annoying.

The Caplio R1 has a beautiful zoom range. Even more for a camera with such compact dimensions, the R1 only measures 25mm in thickness. More and more we witness the introduction of models equipped with a wide-angle lens. Ricoh got the message a while ago and it's striking to see that a manufacterer like Ricoh set the tone on the market with his digital cameras equipped with small wide angle lenses. Specifically the wide angle offers so much more creativity and flexibility for photographing. Taking landscape images or taking images in a limited environmental space is possible with wide angle. Beside that the enhancement of telephoto range to 135mm is a welcoming addition. It is that little extra that offers just a little more when for example portrait images are taken.

Operating the Caplio R1 really is a piece of cake. The auto operation doesn't require a manual anymore, and the advanced photographer will find his way blindfolded. The camera is ideal for starters but also the more experienced photographers will highly appreciate the compact size, the optical range and the many settings this camera offers.
Ricoh Caplio R1 Ricoh Caplio R1
   
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