Digital zoom is pants, you’d get better results simply cropping your standard prints, which is why the paltry 3x optical zoom that slimline digital cameras have been stuck with for ages now has become a bone of some contention. Thankfully, Ricoh has stepped in to double it.
The Caplio R30 is the saviour of voyeurs everywhere with its 5.7x optical wide zoom which is squeezed into a body of just 95 x 53 x 26mm and weighing 135g. Backed up by five megapixels, your shots of Lucy the woman… um daughter… um cat next door should come out great. Of course, if you want to ruin your razor sharp shots the optical zoom can be combined with the digital one for a wonderfully high, but inevitably blurry 20.5x
You’ll get approximately 330 pictures off a single charge though (providing you have a big enough SD Card to go with the 28MB of internal memory) which should be more than enough before you get chased down the street for whatever it was you were doing at 20.5x, while a 2.5in LCD will give the police a good look at what you were snapping after they catch you. A downside (or perhaps an upside in a court of law) is the maximum video resolution of just 320 x 240, though there can be no excuse for the USB1.1 connection in a modern piece of hardware.
That said, the RRP of £219.99 including VAT through reseller Alpha Digital is rather reasonable and it is available now. Whether you choose to buy one probably depends on your priorities and when I say ‘priorities’ I mean your need for a 5.7x optical zoom and when I say ‘your need for a 5.7x optical zoom’ I mean your desire to break your restraining orders.