The buffer memory has been expanded, necessary not just for the larger images produced by the higher resolution sensor, but also to allow faster shooting of up to five Raw images. The camera also has 16-shot continuous shooting in JPEG mode with a couple of variations, producing a grid of 16 shots on one frame. Apparently this is useful for analysing golf swings and the like.
On the metering front the camera features 256-segment Multi Light Metering as well as centre weighted and spot metering options. Exposure modes meanwhile cover Program AE and Auto AE as well as aperture priority AE and manual control. A selection of scene modes are available, including landscape, portrait, sports, nightscape, text mode, skew correct and zoom macro. The macro focusing continues in the Ricoh tradition, with 1cm minimum distance. The skew correct feature is used to correct the geometry of rectangular subjects, such as a flat copy document for example. There’s also a My Setting mode, in which you can store personalised parameters, while a pair of programmable function buttons let you chose your own fast access functions, such as switching between Raw and JPEG for example.
Images are saved either to the 58MB internal memory or to SD/SDHC media, with a choice of Raw or JPEG. The Raw format is DNG so you don’t need to wait for Adobe to update Photoshop or Lightroom before you can start to process images. Of course, you can still use the Caplio software that comes with the camera if you don’t have the other programs. Video files can also be shot, saved in AVI format to the capacity of the media card.
There’s a huge array of shooting formats in comparison to other compacts. As well as the 4:3 12MP option and some lower resolution version of that format, you can also shoot in 3:2 format, the same as 35mm film, with 10MP resolution. There’s also a 9MP 1:1 or square format, for those who remember 120 roll film. All of these options are available in Raw as well as Normal and Fine JPEG compressions, so there are plenty of user options.