Ricoh Caplio GX8 review
Altogether - a great camera.
Construction - feels great in the hand, but the plastic tripod thread should have been metal.
Features - no other pocket camera in existence offers a 28mm wide angle lens, a built-in optical viewfinder and a flash hot-shoe. The GX8 is one of a kind. 1 cm macro, interval shooting, manual controls, hyperfocal focus option (Snap mode) round up a very capable camera.
Image quality - very good image quality, though there is some corner softness and CA. Nothing to worry about in real life shots. Those who prefer smeared images are likely to complain about noise, but I prefer to do my own noise-reduction thank you very much.
Ease of use - Ricoh cameras are very easy to use (much of it due to clearly labeled menus and programmable ADJ button) and the GX8 with its front dial is one of the best among them. The only two usability issues can be found in the quick post-view button which doesn't show a histogram (so you have to spin the mode dial to the regular post-view), and in the 2" timer which resets after every shot. I solved the latter by using a cable release.
Value for money - the GX8 was last available for about $400 including a 22mm adapter lens, a case, a lens hood and of course Li-Ion pack and charger (the camera also supports AA batteries). Other camera with such a wide lens and a hot-shoe cost a lot more.
My first month shots with the GX8 can be found here:
http ://boren.sent.com/Ricoh/GX8-4-2007 (remove the space)
There's some dust on the sensor. Particles are mostly visible when shooting using narrow aperture values and even backgrounds, but they're quite easy to remove in Paint Shop Pro.
What else? I would be happy if the Sharpness=Soft setting would mean Sharpness=Off, but the camera does apply some level of sharpening even in this setting.