Updated: Article title and text changed to reflect the fact that the name of the Ricoh R8 does not include the word "Caplio".
Ricoh has today announced the launch of its latest wide-zoom compact. The R8 succeeds the extremely popular Caplio R7 as the flagship of Ricoh's consumer compact range. Or at least, I hope it's popular. Judging by the number of reader letters about it and the number of times the review has been read it should have sold like hot cakes.
The new model retains the excellent 28-200mm equivalent 7.1x ultra-compact zoom lens of its predecessor, giving it a body just 22.5mm thick, and also keeps the moving-sensor image stabilisation system and Smooth Imaging Engine II processor. What it adds is a 10.3-megapixel 1/2.3-inch CCD sensor and a new 2.7-inch LCD monitor with 460,000 dot resolution, twice the resolution of most other compact camera screens.
It also adds several new shooting features, including the square-format picture size option (2736 x 2736) from the GX100, a new double action zoom control with variable speed, and a new fixed minimum aperture function for maximum depth of field. Also included are new in-camera editing functions including contrast levels and image tone adjustment.
The appearance of the camera has been updated as well, with a new clean and functional look that some might describe as a bit plain. The control system has also been revised, with an enhanced function button replacing the more usual D-pad.
The R8 will be going on sale in March with a list price of £249.99.