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Ricoh R10 review




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Ricoh is one of the oldest names in digital compact cameras, having launched its first model over ten years ago, but it has never been a particularly prolific manufacturer. Its current line-up consists of just eight cameras. There are four semi-pro models; the Caplio GX100, the GX200, the GR Digital and the GR Digital II; there's the heavy-duty industrial G600, the slim pocket compact R50, and the 10-megapixel, 7.1x zoom R8, which is still available. Adding to this short but interesting list is today's review camera, the new R10.

If you followed the last of those links, you'll spot straight away that the R10 is an upgrade of the R8, sharing a nearly identical body and many of the same features. No, I have no idea what happened to the R9 either. Like its predecessor, the R10 it has a 10.0-megapixel 1/2.3-inch CCD sensor and an f/3.3-5.2, 7.1x zoom lens with a focal length range equivalent to approximately 28-200mm. Where it differs from the R8 is in the LCD monitor, which is now an extra-sharp 3.0-inch unit with a resolution of 460k dots and a very wide viewing angle both vertically and horizontally.

If you were looking for a pocket compact with a good zoom range, a couple of years ago a Ricoh R-series would have been your only option, but since then more manufacturers have moved into this sector of the market, and the R10 has a lot more competition than some of its forebears. The most obvious comparison is the Panasonic TZ series, particularly the new 10-megapixel, 12x zoom DMC-TZ7, although that camera isn't available until April, and then at an as-yet undisclosed price. Also comparable is the superb 8MP, 10x zoom Panasonic DMC-TZ5 (£224), and the almost equally as good 9MP, 10x zoom Canon SX110 IS (£180). Ricoh cameras do have a reputation for being a bit expensive, but surprisingly the R10 undercuts both of these rivals with a price of around £170.


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...


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


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.


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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