Ricoh Caplio GX200 review

Started Oct 26, 2009 | User reviews thread
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Prognathous
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Ricoh Caplio GX200 review
Oct 26, 2009

The GX200 is a wonderful pocket camera, ideal for daylight travel and street photography, but also suitable for nightscapes and indoor photography with the right accessories.

Pros:
+ Small size without compromising ergonomics. The grip is nicer than most compacts and the button layout is great.
+ Superb user interface. Very customizable and easy to use. Almost every important control can be changed in an instant.
+ Fast RAW writings speeds with 5 shot buffer. Very important in a camera intended for serious use that is limited by its small-sensor IQ. With RAW it's always possible to squeeze out a bit more.
+ Hot-shoe. A great addition that makes high-ISO quality less important. It's much easier to just use low-ISO indoor and bounce a small flash (e.g. Metz 20 C-2 or Olympus FL36) to get very flattering lighting without any hand shake or subject movement issues.
+ Excellent optical image quality.
+ The best tele macro performance of any small-sensor camera, ever (at 72mm, it's possible to fill the frame with a 2cm wide object).
+ Digital level. Very useful when shooting landscapes.
+ Electronic viewfinder (EVF). Makes shooting in bright daylight easier than with the LCD, and as a bonus tilts 90 degrees up for shots from odd angles or tripod work.
+ System camera. Ricoh makes high quality 19mm and 135mm adapter lenses, a lens hood, and a cable release. Many flash units can be used.

Cons:
- Noise. The GX200 is probably the noisiest P&S camera in recent years. For best results, lock the camera at ISO 64 and be done with it. Use bounce flash indoors and a mini tripod for ambient light photography or nightscapes.
- Audible noise. AF is not very noisy, but the sound is a bit annoying and feels "cheap". The stabilizer also adds its own rattlesnake-like noise. It best to just turn it off unless shooting handheld under tough ambient light.
- Low frame rate in continues mode. The GX200 can't even shoot 2 fps, while some other Ricoh digicams (CX-series and GXR) manage 4 and 5 fps.
- Slow to change shutter speeds via the ADJ lever. Ricoh should have bound shutter speed (rather than aperture values) to the front wheel.

Problems:

No problems whatsoever. The GX200 is reliable and dependable.

With that said, when traveling abroad I always take along another pocket camera (Fuji F31) that complements the main weak point of the Ricoh - high ISO photography under dim lighting conditions. This also ensures that if one camera fails, the other can be used as a back up.

Prognathous's score
4.9
Average community score
4.6
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