|Ricoh GX8 - Manuel exposure settings
The choice for aperture values in manual setting or aperture priority is also very limited. There are three aperture values available, and they have a non-standard size. So you won't find: f/2.8, f/4 and f/8 but instead: f/2.5, f/4.7 and f/8.1. It doesn't have to be a problem in itself but for those who'd like to work with a separate meter for precise metering will be disappointed. You'd expect a lot more from a camera like the Ricoh Caplio GX8 and in my opinion Ricoh drops a stitch here. Let's put it this way: our opinion is that a camera like the GX8 is a perfect camera for profound photography. On the other side we do understand that Ricoh is aiming at a certain target group that doesn't desire these extensive applications. There might be room for Ricoh to add another type of digital camera to the assortment. Besides manual mode and aperture priority, we find some shooting modes. A shutter priority is lacking. It might seem strange that it's lacking, but in my experience this mode is not used on a regular base. The shooting modes of course offer the P mode. And because of the low choice concerning aperture values, I used this mode most of the time. Besides that a number of pre-programmed scenes is available, like Portrait, Landscape and High sensitivity.
Ricoh camera - Contrast images and Clearness
The Ricoh Caplio GX8 features a strong contrast, maybe too strong for some of us. The pictures do seem clearer because of it though. Also the sharpness is strong. This means that JPEG artefacts show quickly and finer detail is lost because of the high clearness impression. If you experiment a little with the sharpness of the camera, a softer setting will show a more balanced result. You have the choice between Normal and Soft clarity. RAW would have also come in handy here; you'd have been able to decide the amount of clearness yourself.
GX8 camera - ISO sensitivity
A very important parameter is the sensitivity. The Ricoh Caplio GX8 features one of the largest ranges of ISO settings in its digital compact camera's class. It runs from ISO 64 up to ISO 1600. Unfortunately not all sensitivities are equally useful. ISO 200 to 400 is still fine, but a higher ISO setting than these two, shows visible digital noise. From ISO 800 clearly visible. That is overdrawing it a bit, but the images taken with this sensitivity cannot be used versatile.
|Most competitors feature ISO values up to ISO 400, and that surely is for a reason! On the other hand, Ricoh does offer this possibility, enabling you to take that one difficult image, so offering the possibility is the main thing, the (printing) quality not of that much importance at that moment.
Ricoh - Colour rendition and Light metering
The colour rendition is great, the automatic white balance offers a correct result in most cases. Characteristic for most digital compact cameras is that the automatic white balance fails the user in artificial light circumstances. This also seems to be the case with the Ricoh Caplio GX8, although less than what we see with many of its competitors. Fortunately you have the possibility to choose a different white balance and create your own white balance. Light metering offers three different ones: spot, 256 segment matrix and centre weighted metering. Segment matrix metering is standard and it will cope with almost every situation. The images are slightly under-exposed, about 1/3-2/3 step. This however is not too bad on a digital camera, it prevents bleached out areas on an image. Strangely enough an exposure lock is lacking. It should have been available on a camera like the Ricoh Caplio GX8! You can get around it, by using the manual exposure, but then there is only a small choice of aperture values. Hopefully this will be improved on the next version.
Performance of the optics
Nature photographers will certainly appreciate the macro mode. The normal range lets you focus as close as 30cm. Macro mode offers the possibility to do so at a distance of 1cm. And in Macro mode the range runs up to infinity. Which means you can leave your Ricoh Caplio GX8 in macro mode to be able to use the entire range, very handy! At maximum aperture you will find some corner shading, especially in wide angle, a phenomenon that is not too unusual, and that I frequently encounter. The wide angle also suffers from barrel distortion which is quite common on a lens like this. In telephoto mode all is neutral. Purple fringing, occurring by chromatic aberration or blooming, doesn't play a significant role. Only wide angle shows some of it at high contrasts. The Ricoh Caplio GX8 lens performs great and achieves excellent results.