Summary

Our Score

8/10

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Ricoh R10

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.
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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.
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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.

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