Ricoh G700 short review
Short review of the Ricoh G700. Firmware used for most of the time have been 1.12 and 1.09 before that.
Full size sample images can be seen in my gallery here at Dpreview.
I've had the G700 for some months now but are not using it much anymore. While the size is smaller I find that I like the faster aperture and lower NR in the Ricoh Caplio 500SE better. The G700 of course have a clear edge for video recording in HD but unfortunately these are being smudged partly as can be seen in my video with the copper snake on Youtube so I'm not that enthusiastic over that feature after all. Having thought I might find it more useful.
Having the lens placed so darned near the rounded grip is not optimally. The water is cold at this time of the year and it is harder to dip the camera down into the water vertically and keep the fingers from freezing. I don't have that problem with the 500SE or 400G wide which have the lens more on the left side of the body.
It is also easy to get a finger in the way when using gloves which can be seen in one of against the light pictures which I've taken vertically. Definitely not optimally during the winter and I may expect Ricoh to make a design-change for the G800.
An other feature which probably could be introduced already now if Ricoh would like is so that the camera go into hibernate for long interval-shooting. Thus one wouldn't have to keep the camera wired for long intervals.
Other changes may be the way half-pressing the shutter for video-recording works. Now it stops the the recording instead for refocus. My advice would be to alter that and let the 'OK' button stop the recording instead or simply just full-press the shutter release-button.
Regarding image quality I think it basically is the grey noise which makes the picture look more dull than these in fact would. It shouldn't be impossibly to add the option noise reduction off which are available in the Ricoh CX. Hence there would be possible to save more fine-details.
That is just some more or less needed improvements for the Ricoh G700 and G700SE. There are certainly more that I've not thought of at the moment while this is being written.
Improved metering compared to older models.
Elegant handling and what might be the best user interface among these rugged and waterproof compacts.
Good lcd which tolerates narrow viewing angles.
Useful ADJ-button means fast access to exposure compensation, iso and AF-modes etc. It is possible to customize the ADJ-button - Add and remove up to four-menu settings which may be useful.
Focuses marginally faster than the G600 but still slower than the 500G/SE
Auto-iso reaches one stop too far and it can't be changed. From Iso 64-400.
HD 1080P is nice but creates huge-files and some minor smudging of noise and details.
No possibility to use optical zoom (only digital) or refocus during a movie-recording. Half pressing the shutter stops the movie recording instead for allowing to refocus. Doh! And there is no focus tracking either.
Not real image stabilization but some software-fix which contributes to ruin details - Better leave it turned off.
Noise reduction are marginally heavier than for previous model, the G600. More artifacts but still not way too badly unlike some competitors which figured in this years group-test here on Dpreview.
Macro only available at 33mm or longer focal-lengths.
Setting the flash to Flash 10m also raises the iso to 1600 without inform the user about that. It is claimed in the manual but first on page 64 and not on page 31 which is about "using the flash".
So, an unpleasant surprise waits around the corner the first time using that flash-setting and you'll probably never use that setting again once you have seen the result on a TFT screen. The G600 had that feature too.
Poorly buffered with "Edit detection" turned on means that one get stuck with a delay of seven seconds between each picture. The way around this is to set continues mode to ON and you won't have to wait until next picture can be taken.
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