• Recommended by TR
Ricoh Caplio R7


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The R7's overall performance is also little changed from its predecessor. It starts up in a little over two seconds, which is pretty brisk, and shuts down again in under two seconds. The AF system is also very quick in good light, focusing in a fraction regardless of range and zoom setting. In lower light it slows down noticeably, but its low-light focusing is very reliable, and with the bright AF assist lamp it has no trouble focusing in the dark at a range of several metres. As with the R6, shooting speed is extremely impressive. In single-shot mode it can shoot over a frame a second, and in continuous mode it can manage two frames a second at full resolution and keep it up until the memory card is full. The R7 is powered by a 1000mAh Li-ion rechargeable battery, larger than the one in the R6. I couldn't find any specific claim about battery duration, but I shot over 150 photos and the charge meter was still reading full.

The only negative point about the R7's performance, and one which may put some people off, is how noisy it is. I'm not talking about image noise here, but the actual mechanical noise of the camera's operation. Power-up, zooming and focusing are all accompanied by loud whirring sounds as the motors and cogs inside the camera spin. It is far louder than any comparable compact, and it makes the camera sound a bit clunky and primitive, when nothing could be farther from the truth.

With the higher resolution sensor and new processing engine, image quality is also improved over the already impressive R6. The 256-segment metering provides very accurate exposures, although where it reached the limits of its dynamic range I found it tended to burn out highlights in order to keep shadow detail. Default colour rendition is also a little more highly saturated than is usually the case, but a quick adjustment in the menu provided a more naturalistic tone. The overall level of detail is very good, although no better than I would expect from an 8MP camera, but once again it is the lens that is the stand-out feature, providing excellent corner-to-corner sharpness and detail across the focal length range, with virtually no barrel distortion at all at wide angle, and only the tiniest hint of chromatic aberration in the corners of the frame. Noise control at higher ISO settings is also excellent, with usable images right up to 800 ISO.


Once again Ricoh demonstrates that in terms of technical ability and value for money, its cameras are among the best on the market. The Caplio R7 is an outstandingly versatile pocket compact with an unmatched list of features. It is stylish, well made, has blindingly fast performance and excellent picture quality, at a price that beats its few competitors. If it doesn't sell like hot cakes this Christmas then Ricoh needs to fire its advertising agency.

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Patrick Hansell

June 13, 2009, 3:56 am

I bought this Ricoh camera after reading this review, and a few others all saying the same sort of thing.

First impressions were pretty good. Took decent photos straight out of the box. In fact, i have to say that as far as the actual photos it takes go, i cannot fault it. Photos are consistently sharp with vibrant colours.

Upon receipt i was slightly disappointed to find that the zoom lever wobbled slightly and generally didn't feel as solid as it's chromed appearance might have you believe. The rest of the controls all felt pretty solid and were easy to use though.

However, when i took the camera on holiday only 1 week after receiving it, the lens jammed half way out. I put this down to a grain of sand, but after forcing the lens to retract again could not see anything. Whenever i turned the camera back on, the same thing happened.

When i got back home, I sent the camera back and received a brand new one under warranty. I was rather alarmed to find that after just 1 more week, this camera suffered exactly the same fate. As it had been nowhere near the beach (or anywhere else sandy), i can only presume that this is down to a design fault in the lens, by which dirt is let down the side of the lens or perhaps a flaw in the mechanical side of the zoom. The camera did eventually start up again and i have been using it since, but it still occasionally does this jamming thing.

Overall, I would not recommend this camera as it has proved to be unreliable, even if the photos it produces are very good. What is the good of it if it refuses to turn on at just the right moment?


September 12, 2009, 12:28 am

Avoid! Our camera lasted almost 10 months before the lens jammed... We returned it to Jessops, and after a long wait we received a replacement unit. 7 months later, exactly the same problem occured again. We returned it again, and Jessops said that this is a known problem with these cameras, and that is why they no longer stock Ricoh products! They have offered us a full refund! So, "Well done Jessops! But not so well done Ricoh..."


November 25, 2009, 5:13 pm

I also had the same problem. First time was after 6 months. Sent it back and it was fixed under warrenty. Then happened a second time. Its a shame because it takes excellent photos, this is definitely the last time I will touch one of their cameras.


December 2, 2009, 6:35 pm

I have had this camera for 2 years - purchased after reading the excited reviews on this website. The same exact thing happened only a few months into owning it. It happens every so often, and I never got it fixed as I heard it was a recurring issue with this camera and to be without it for months while it was being fixed, just to have the same problem happen seemed silly. The photo quality is great, but the frustration in dealing with the lens jam leads me to have to not recommend.


February 10, 2010, 8:37 pm

Great camera with excellent daylight photo quality, but for night shots its a hit & miss. I have had my camera for 2+ years and have shot well over 4,000 images without any problems what so ever "maybe I have been lucky" and if the lens packs up I will add another comment.

Phil if you are reading this dont be put off.

Mark 38

April 9, 2010, 6:00 pm

too have had the same problem as everybody else i.e. repeatedly sticking lens. At the moment I am still arguing with Jessops, who claim not to have experienced this before. NeoDoug1 was luckier than me! In any event despite good pictures this is a camera to avoid.


December 14, 2012, 1:07 pm

Me too. My first one jammed, and was replaced. Now the replacement has suffered the same problem. My nect compact will be a Nikon.

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