The low-down: This 10 megapixel camera has a 28–300mm lens (film equivalent). Stabilisation is by sensor shift. The 75mm LCD is outstanding, with very high resolution. Construction quality is good but on-body controls are sparse. The little joystick works well enough but it is easy to press in the wrong direction. However we like the simple push and prod exposure compensation. The camera boasts Super Resolution, which is a sort of in-camera smart sharpening and a dual auto-focus system. Ricoh provide excellent instruction manuals.
Like: Automatic white balance is outstanding. We took photos in a weird mix of florescent, daylight and tungsten and had good results every time. The super resolution function works well. Images up to ISO400 are free of annoying digital noise. The hybrid focus system – contrast detect plus infra-red distance detect – is fast and accurate. We love Ricoh’s LCDs and elegant menus, although the myopic might have difficulty with the small fonts.
Dislike: The lens at its 300mm extension is poor. With the digital zoom boost it is ridiculous. Why do they do it? We didn’t get one acceptable photo at the zoom limit.
Verdict: Ricoh have never been in the pixel race and they have stuck with 10 megapixels in their compacts. The pixel density is still greater than the best – the Panasonic LX5 and Canon G12, which have larger sensors – but is much better than run-of-the-mill compacts. Fewer pixels means less noise and better dynamic range. It’s a pity about the silly 300mm zoom, but presumably they do it because they can. Used in a sensible focal length zone the lens is excellent. With judicious use this camera returns consistently good results. And there is a Food Mode for restaurant reviewers!