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Ricoh CX3 review




Our Score:



  • Impeccable build quality
  • Very fast
  • Very fast


  • Low quality 3200 ISO setting
  • No manual exposure controls
  • Occasional over-exposure

Key Features

  • 10.6 megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor
  • 720p HD video recording
  • 10.7x wide-angle zoom lens
  • 3-inch 920k monitor
  • 206g
  • Manufacturer: Ricoh
  • Review Price: free/subscription

I've always been used to Ricoh launching about one new camera a year, but over the past 12 months the company has gone into overdrive, launching the CX1, then upgrading the lens to launch the CX2 last September. Now just six months later we have the new CX3, which is going on sale here in the UK early next month. I was very impressed with both the CX1 and the CX2, so I was very pleased to get my hands on a full production sample before it hits the stores. I've been trying it out for the past couple of weeks, and I have to say the CX series just keeps getting better and better.

The CX3 is again an incremental upgrade of the previous model, but as before the changes are far from insignificant. While it has the same all-metal body, high quality 10.7x wide-angle zoom lens and ultra-sharp three-inch 920k monitor as the CX2, it adds the must-have 720p HD video recording, and more importantly it is one of the first compact cameras to feature the latest in digital imaging technology, a 10.6 megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor.

The long-zoom compact market is a highly competitive one, and the CX3 has a couple of serious rivals, the most notable of course being the multi-award-winning Panasonic TZ7 and its replacement the impressive-looking new TZ10 which I'll be reviewing later this week. The TZ7 is currently selling for around £260 and the TZ10 will likely be priced at around £280-£300 when it goes on sale next month. Also competing for the same customers and due for imminent replacement is the Canon SX200 IS (£215). Its successor will be the SX210 IS which also goes on sale next month priced at a hefty £359. Compared to these the CX3's launch price of £299.99 doesn't seem too expensive.

Billy Rubin

February 23, 2010, 1:06 pm

I'm very tempted to upgrade from my Ricoh R10 to the CX3, if only it had RAW I'd buy it in a heartbeat.

Ed 3

February 23, 2010, 2:03 pm

Noise at 400 ISO but still gets 9/10 for image quality?


February 23, 2010, 4:00 pm

@Ed: Noise at 400

Yeah, to be honest I was expecting a really good ISO with what is meant to be a new super low light CCD. Surely the biggest problems with compacts is bad ISO, not getting this right really makes the camera stink, OK for outdoor shots but useless for party's etc.

Compare the ISO shots to the Fuji, it's a world apart.


Cliff Smith

February 23, 2010, 4:27 pm

Almost all compact cameras show image noise at 400 ISO. It's how well that noise is controlled, and its effect on overall image quality that counts. Also there's more to image quality than noise.

Ray Hopper

February 23, 2010, 5:49 pm

As an ex-Sony HX1 owner, eagerly looking for a lens-capless alternative, the big downside of the HX1's 10fps was the 17 seconds it took to write to memory. How long is the write-time for the CX3


February 23, 2010, 8:32 pm

HD video on a cmos sensor, i cant stand the jelly effect. what a pointless add-on


February 23, 2010, 10:55 pm

Interesting... pretty much down to this Camera and the incoming Panasonic TZ10. Looking forward to it's review.


February 24, 2010, 8:37 pm

First reviews of TZ10 are worse than TZ7.Still a CCD, CX3 is CMOS, whitnest the difference in speed, it's like using a pentium 3 vs a Icore...

I'm interested in Sony HX5 and Casio FH100, the latter one has very promissing specs, but never have seen a Casio life.

Ray Hopper

February 28, 2010, 6:42 am

BG - I too am interested in the TZ10 (and 8), HX5 and FH100, also the Fuji F80. The Samsung TL350 also has an interesting spec., although only a 5x zoom. Then there's rumours of an LX3 replacement. One of these will be my next carry-round so please Cliff get busy whizzing round Exeter with all of these. (What are you doing down there - thought you were a Brighton man like me !)


March 3, 2010, 11:09 pm

Dodger - I am beginning to think that the CX3 is closing in on the Panasonic TZ series in terms of quality. Especially after the slightly disappointing TZ10 review.

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