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Ricoh R10 - Ricoh R10

By Cliff Smith

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

8

Like the R8, the R10's body is all aluminium, and is built to Ricoh's usual high standard. The overall design is pretty much identical to the R8, apart from the larger screen size, an extension to the rubberised handgrip on the front and a slight re-shaping of the thumbgrip on the back. The back of the camera also sports an extra button, a user-programmable Function button which is set to AE-lock by default, but can be set to one of seven options, including AF target selection, setting minimum aperture, and a selection of bracketing options. It can also be set to activate one of the R10's other new features, optional stepped zoom.

Normally stepped zoom is found on cheaper cameras, and the R10 normally has a nice continually-adjustable zoom control, operated via a rotary bezel around the shutter button. However it also has the option to use stepped zoom, with the steps set at commonly used focal lengths, including 35, 50, 85, 105 and 135mm (equivalent). This is useful if you want to simulate the magnification of a prime lens.

The R10 has the same brilliantly simple customisable user interface as the R8 and R7, with a small joystick-like button that is used both for main menu navigation and in Adjustment mode to quickly alter up to four shooting options. The parameters that are available on this quick menu can be changed in the main menu, with a wide range of alternatives including ISO setting, exposure compensation, white balance, image quality, focus mode, metering mode, drive mode and others, providing a welcome degree of user customisation and easy controllability.

One extra addition is the inclusion of an idiot-proof Easy mode on the main dial, although with such an easy-to-use interface it hardly seems necessary. In this mode the only adjustable parameter is picture quality, and most of the main menu options are disabled.

One feature that I do like a lot is the on-screen digital spirit-level, a small match-needle display that tells you straight away if the camera is tilted, which way and by how much. It works in both horizontal and vertical formats, flipping automatically as the camera is turned. If more cameras had this feature it could mean an end to tilted horizons and sloping oceans. Another addition to the display is the minimum focusing distance available in macro mode, which varies according to the current focal length setting.

Most of the other features of the R10 are identical to the R8, including sensor-shift image stabilisation, multi-point autofocus, 256-segment evaluative metering, VGA 30fps video recording and optional manual focusing.

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Yasmar49

February 12, 2009, 3:00 pm

I'm a great fan of this series (succession) of cameras. Not being convinced that an ever-increasing pixel count brings any real advantage for normal shooting, I've stuck with an R4, with 7 megapixels. As a small, pocketable device, it's incredibly versatile. I've even used it for copying old photographs by daylight, and it does a very good job. My first Ricoh was its only 110 model, and this had a stunningly good f 2.8 lens, capable of sharp (if of course grainy) b/w enlargements up to full-plate. One or two were successfully used in a book I wrote.

Billy Rubin

February 12, 2009, 3:20 pm

I bought the R10 last October to replace a Ricoh RR30 which had given good service over six years. I agree with the review, it does have issues with noise and occasional odd white balance errors (in a series of images every now and again I'll get one with a bad blue colour cast). To be honest if I'd waited for the reviews I wouldn't have bought the camera. It's not all bad, in good light it performs well and even night shots are acceptable as can be seen on my Flickr page http://www.flickr.com/photos/7...

theimer

February 12, 2009, 4:51 pm

Cliff, you wrote "Why Ricoh didn’t switch to the excellent 1/1.75-inch sensor from the GR Digital II is a mystery." Is it? With a larger sensor, which is indeed physically better suited for low noise and/or high ISO, they couldn't have squeezed a 7.1x zoom into a body that small. However, Panasonic has proven with the TZ5 and the FZ28, that it is possible to obtain a reasonable balance of noise and detail even out of a 1/2.3 inch / 10 MP sensor, if you combine a high-quality sensor with clever processing. (Would be interesting, what Panasonic processing made out of the Ricoh sensor and vice-versa...)


Greetings! theimer

Frankf9d

February 12, 2009, 9:27 pm

No viewfinder, , , again.


Must be a goverment edict for compacts, I can't believe the manufacturers just operate a 'Simply not an option' sort of consumer service.

Peter Smithson

February 14, 2009, 12:35 am

I had the R6. I loved the zoom range and the ultra compact body. The menus were well designed and it had a lot of features for such a small camera. I don't think it's fair to compare it to the excellent TZ5 as that is just a bit too bulky to put in your pocket and forget about. It's not an ultra compact. I did sell my R6 due to the grain - especially noticeable on overcast days. Fine for holiday snaps (in the sun!). Got a Fujifilm f100fd now which has a decent zoom and much better sensor.

tulipfield

April 30, 2009, 4:28 am

I think this camera has something special by not being perfect, a collecters item for artistic users, I made a download of pics of its competitors in another review site and the ricoh came out best for me.

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