The Ricoh Caplio GX is an interesting digital camera which brings Ricoh in the spotlight again. The camera is equipped with high quality optics and a functional zoom range. The wide angle is getting more and more attractive to more manufacturers and it is good to see Ricoh taking the lead. The way Ricoh lets his camera focus is magnificent! The speed and precise way in which the camera focuses, but also the speed of the shutter release are features in which the Ricoh Caplio GX distinguishes itself.
Personally I find it a missed opportunity that this Ricoh camera isn't developed just a little bit more. The restriction of freedom on the aperture priority and opposite that the freedom of shutter speed priority is rather contradictory. The ISO range of 64 – 1600 ISO seems attractive, however the amount of noise limits the use of the high ISO value. The JPEG compression seems very strong in Fine and desirable is an extra compression with a 1:2 compression. The multi media experience could be more intense with an upgraded resolution from 320x240 pixels to 640x480 pixels, which nowadays is not an exception but almost a standard. The Caplio GX seems to have more potential at which the design of the camera implicates we're dealing with a complete digital camera. The Caplio GX however is more like a combination between entry-level and serious 'photographic' camera, a digital camera with semi-professional features. A somewhat classic design, placing of a hot shoe, the high quality lens, enhancement of wide angle by means of a converter, an innovative focus method with a very fast shutter responding time are ingredients that ask for more. The camera is standard delivered with two alkaline batteries, but to be honest, the lack of a rechargeable Li-Ion battery with matching charger is a disappointment.
On the other hand Ricoh has introduced a fine and user's friendly camera. The compact size and the clearly present hand grip make working with the camera a pleasant experience. The camera's menu is well-organised and the division of the buttons leaves nothing to wish for concerning clearness. The quick selection button ADJ is placed in a useful spot. The Command Dial with the main programs also and it has a very useful division of the menu. The handy built-in scenes are a good way to make carefree snapshots not only for the starting photographer but also for the enhanced user. Beside that the manual settings offer sufficient possibilities to be photographically creative.
The overall conclusion is that the camera definitely leaves behind a good impression and that it certainly is worthwhile to have a closer look at this camera in your local photo shop!
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The Secure Digital memory card is available with storage capacity from 32MB until and included 1GB. The faster variants are mostly available from 256MB until and included 1GB. This type of memory card has become very popular over the past few years and the expectation is that it will only gain in popularity.
The Caplio GX features a so-called Multi-shot function with three different settings; CONT, SCONT and MCONT. The CONT function offers taking more than one image one after the other at which the image is stored every time. In high resolution (2592x1944 and F compression) it means the images are stored with intervals of some 2 seconds and a maximum of 3 images. At a high resolution and N (Normal) compression a maximum of 5 images is possible increasing to 9 images in a resolution of 640x480 pixels. The SCONT function enables a cluster of 16 images joined together in 1 image with a file size of approximately 1.7MB in the highest resolution and compression F (Fine). When a lower resolution is chosen the file size will be smaller. The MCONT function offers the possibility to keep pressing the release button and when releasing it, the last three seconds will be captured in a cluster of 16 images. This series of images in high resolution with a speed of 2 seconds can't be called remarkably fast. Managing the images could use some more power here!
Considering a 256MB storage capacity:
Resolution 2592x1944 TIFF - 26 images
Resolution 2592 x1944 F compression - 152 images
Resolution 2592 x1944 N compression - 260 images
Resolution 2048 x1536 F compression - 213 images
Resolution 2048 x1536 N compression - 416 images
Resolution 1280 x 960 F compression - 426 images
Resolution 1280 x 960 N compression - 853 images
Resolution 640 x 480 N compression - 3413 images
Voice memo – 534 minutes and 34 seconds.