Home » Cameras » Camera » Ricoh GX200 » Ricoh GX200

Ricoh GX200 - Ricoh GX200

By Jamie Harrison


Our Score


Review Price free/subscription

Ricoh hasn't strayed too far from the GX100 design path. This is a small but traditionally styled camera. It is very well made and feels solid and robust. The black finish and rubberised grip maintain the 35mm tradition, while the manual mode and viewfinder options, together with the square format mode, are sure to appeal to purists and experimentalists alike. I especially liked using the square format with in black and white mode.

The camera is slim so it easily fits in a pocket, though less so with the viewfinder attached, and the lens protrudes once the camera is powered up. Start up time (and power down) is around a second, which includes the time for the lens to extend into position, and the auto focus is fast and accurate. While it's not as fast as a DSLR in operational speed, it's still a pretty nifty number compared to other compacts. One slow-down factor is the time it takes to remove the lens cap - something DSLR users are familiar with but if your migrating from a lower end compact, with an automatic lens cover (or no lens cover) this may take some getting used to (and remembering!).

Changing shooting modes is via a wheel on the top plate - another traditional aspect - while the menu is navigated through the familiar four-way controller. This also offers quick access to macro mode, flash modes and self-timer. Other adjustments can be made through the ‘adj' switch. This button offers left and right rocking for changing shutter speeds in manual mode. Pressing this switch will bring up commonly used settings such as white balance options, ISO speeds, ±2EV exposure compensation and image size and quality. It also lets you pick a combination of AE and AF lock options, which I discovered to be very useful.

If you have the viewfinder kit, then you can switch between viewing images and menu on the EVF or monitor via a dedicated button. A separate display button adds EVF/monitor information such as a nine square grid, histogram, the electronic level and shooting information. The monitor itself knocks spots off most compacts and is a selling point in itself.

The menu system is easy to read with a yellow and white on black interface and clear typeface, and the various options and menus are clearly labelled. It can be a bit laborious though when switching through the menu pages - there's three for the shooting menu and five for the set up menu.

Previous page
Next page

Sean Groarke

June 25, 2008, 11:04 am

Interesting review (as ever!)

Very valid conclusion that the 12MP sensor crammed in to this camera almost inevitably leads to very dodgy pictures at higher ISO values. Yet Ricoh pitch this as an "enthusiasts" camera. Well let me tell Ricoh something: a real enthusiast will know enough to know that they are simply pitching yet another "Ooooh look how many megapixels I've got" camera to people who don't know better.

Here's an interesting thought: imagine this camera had a state-of-the art 8MP (or 6MP or whatever) sensor. All other things being equal, would the overall "Picture Quality" have been better? I say "Yes". Until Ricoh (and others) grasp this, they won't sell their stuff to *real* enthusiasts...

We all say the megapixel wars are over. But no one appears to have told that to the manufacturers!


June 25, 2008, 1:15 pm

I've used a Canon G6 for four years now (without ever really liking it - it can't focus indoors, and ISO 200 is only just about usable...) so the combo of decent image stabilisation and pocketable size, with usable ISO 400 seems fine to me. Shows how far things have come... That said, I've recommended Fuji F31s and F40s to everyone I know, so when the Canon (or Ricoh) is out of its depth I just grab a Fuji from someone ;-)

Lance Uppercut

June 25, 2008, 1:18 pm

Blurry out of focus pictures of the camera?

Andy Vandervell

June 25, 2008, 1:36 pm

Yes, it hasn't gone unnoticed. ;)

Kai Griffin

June 25, 2008, 1:52 pm

I think you missed the big upgrade here: the RAW processing speed has gone from 5 seconds per image to 5 RAW images per second. Frankly, the JPEG image processing engine is irrelevant (not least because it's so poor), because you can now shoot excellent quality RAW files without the speed handicap of the old GX-100. This is big news!

sedentary male

June 25, 2008, 3:41 pm

I like this model for various reasons. I did seriously consider the Sigma DP1 but appeared to be a very tempremental beast with unreliable white balance, generally very slow shutter lag & AF, very long read/write and processing times, prone to lens flare, low res LCD, colour castes, longwinded menu, poor flash, no historgram, can't shoot RAW and JPEG, bad/no macro, highest ISO 800 and so on.

The Canon G9 on the other hand has an excellent feature set Raw+JPEG, rugged, solid construction and excellent build quality, it doesn't have that killer 'wide' 28mm or 24mm as with the GX200 and tilting viewfinder which is useful if you are stuck in a wheel chair. The GX200 is a high-end F2.5 24mm ultra-wide-angle zoom in a pocketable compact body, manual shooting (aperture, shutter priority and SNAP mode, lovely jubly), electronic view-finder (wheel chair, hello), 460K LCD and continuous RAW capture to 5 frames !!! WOWzer. The electronic level could prove useful too. My Settings options great for registering different shooting settings. Manul flash adjustment, at last! along with "1st Curtain" or "2nd Curtain." D'uh, what's that for? (better google it),what else!?!?

Luan Bach

June 25, 2008, 3:55 pm

𧸖 ? Isn't that more expensive than a Nikon D40 kit ? The D40 won't be that much larger and will have far better image quality.


June 25, 2008, 7:36 pm

Noticed that some of the sample photographs, including both black-and-white ones, were taken in Budapest, Hungary. Just curious, did you happen to be in Budapest for a couple of days while doing the review, or was the test unit provided by Ricoh Hungary?

Jamie Harrison

June 25, 2008, 7:52 pm

I happened to have a weekend break in Budapest just after I received the camera, so took advantage of the better weather just for you!


June 25, 2008, 11:40 pm

Jamie, how long is the delay between capture of RAW images in single shot mode? How long is the wait after a 5 frame RAW burst?


Jamie Harrison

June 26, 2008, 6:35 pm

It shoots at around 1fps in single shot and continuous. The delay after the burst is around 20 seconds (using a standard Sandisk SD card. In JPEG mode it's still around 1fps with continuous shooting to card capacity.


July 3, 2008, 1:44 am

Luan Bach said:

"𧸖 ? Isn't that more expensive than a Nikon D40 kit ? The D40 won't be that much larger and will have far better image quality."

Not that much larger? I don't think you appreciate how small and light the GX200 is compared to the D40. You can put it in a shirt pocket (bit of a squeeze, but still).

Jamie Harrison said:

"The delay after the burst is around 20 seconds (using a standard Sandisk SD card."

Apparently, if you use a fast card the buffer-full delay is about 8 seconds.

Marty Said

July 5, 2008, 10:25 am

Ok - so what are the better alternatives to the GX200 if you want to have something to throw in your pocket???


July 16, 2008, 3:08 am

I cant wait to get my hands on this one! I already own a GX100, and even though is slow as a turtle in RAW mode, the flash sucks and noice over 400 ASA is terrible, its still one of my favorite cameras. Why? Its small, well buildt and a compact with a 24 mm lense is a real gemstone in all the rubble you find out there. I already had a Canon G9 when I got the GX 100. Its been collecting dust ever since. The G9 its a nice camera, but the access to manual controls in the Ricoh is ultra fast. I carry the GX 100 around my neck like a real tourist, and exposure control with the small multi function button is working like a charm, a detail I really enjoy when I use it walking the streets. The only thing thats really bugging me is the terrible delay between shots in RAW mode. Its seems the GX200 has solved that problem really well. I huge nice chip would have been really nice, but this little baby on 400 asa will solve most of my problems, anyway.

Ted Orland

August 4, 2008, 10:46 pm

I'm specifically interested in a camera that can shoot in square format, and the GX-200 (and GX-100) are the only cameras I've found that can do that.

Does anyone know of another digital camera that shoots square format?

Also, do the electronic and viewscreen on the GX-200 display a square image, or simply provide dotted crop-lines or something like that on a full screen image?


October 18, 2008, 7:01 pm

sedentary_male said on 25th June 2008

The 1st curtain flash is on the start of the release time of the shutter, the 2nd curtain flash is on the end of the (long) release time: so on the second curtain flash there is first a movement bij the available light before the flash goes off.

Mike Bell

December 1, 2008, 3:08 pm

Having looked at a number of reviews of high end compacts the GX200 seems to tick all the boxes as far as I'm concerned. I agree with the comments about pixel cramming and wonder when the technicians will start to win the battle with the marketing departments.

One thing I don't understand about all digital camera reviews is the obsession with high iso performance. In over 40 years of film photography I can count on the fingers of one hand the times I bought film with a speed greater than 200. When I did I accepted the inevitable increase in grain as a reasonable trade off.

comments powered by Disqus