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Ricoh Caplio G4 Wide

By dpreview staff on Aug 19, 2003 at 23:18 GMT

Ricoh has today announced the Caplio G4wide digital camera. As with the standard G4 it is a 3.24-megapixel, 3x optical zoom but the Caplio G4wide has a newly developed compact lens and exceptional speed. The lens arrangement comprises three lenses, one of which is a concave Meniscus aspherical lens made of low-dispersion glass with a high refractive index.

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Press Release:

28-85mm Zoom and 0.14 Second Shutter Response Raise the Bar for Digital Cameras

Tokyo, August 19, 2003. Ricoh is extremely pleased to announce the release of the Caplio G4wide digital camera.

Ricoh has taken digital photography to a new level with the new 3.24-megapixel Caplio G4wide. This technologically impressive camera boasts both a newly developed compact lens and exceptional speed.

The Caplio G4wide's 3x zoom lens ranges from 28mm to 85mm (equivalent on a 35mm camera). A unique lens arrangement and use of highly refractive low-dispersion aspherical lenses allows it to perform on the level of conventional 35mm film cameras, a significant step in the evolution of the digital camera.

Speed is another area in which the Caplio G4wide distinguishes itself. With a shutter response time of just 0.14 seconds, it exceeds the speed of a conventional 35mm camera. Indeed, the Caplio G4wide's shutter response time is the world's fastest in its class*.
* As of August 19, 2003 for all auto-focus digital cameras. Speed measured as time between depressing shutter release button and starting exposure in auto-focus mode without using focus lock.

Start-up time is also blazing fast-a mere 1.8 seconds. The camera's quick response times assure that the photographer can capture the desired shot with a minimum of delay.

An adjust button allows the user to easily adjust exposure, white balance, and ISO without going into Menu. Moreover, the imaging software provided makes instant image transfers from the Caplio G4wide to USB-equipped personal computers fast and easy.

To power the camera, users have the choice of an optional long-lasting lithium-ion battery that enables hundreds of shots to be taken between charges, two convenient AA alkaline or nickel metal hydride batteries, or an AC adapter.

Six practical scene modes are available: portrait, sports, landscape, night scene, text, and high-sensitivity. In the latter mode, the screen automatically illuminates subjects to aid in framing the picture in under-lit environments.

Main Features

Groundbreaking zoom lens
Zoom lenses for digital cameras generally do not compare favorably to those for conventional 35mm cameras. The main reason for this is because digital camera lenses require more peripheral light. Ricoh was able to overcome this handicap through a unique arrangement of eight lens elements in three groups. The first group, the most important for realizing a wider lens, comprises three lenses, one of which is a concave Meniscus aspherical lens made of low-dispersion glass with a high refractive index.

With the Caplio G4wide, users no longer have to make any sacrifices in zoom performance for the convenience of a digital camera.

World's shortest release time lag
Action photography is a snap thanks to the Caplio G4wide's world-record release time lag of 0.14 seconds. This speed effectively eliminates the problematic slow shutter response time found on the great majority of digital cameras today. The Caplio G4wide achieves such speed with its hybrid auto-focusing system, comprising both external and through-the-lens focusing. From an amazing 1/2000th of a second to long exposures of 8 seconds, the shutter speed gives users the ability to capture a vast range of shooting possibilities.

1.8-second start-up time
Frustratingly slow start-up times are a thing of the past for users of the Caplio G4wide. The camera is ready to go in a mere 1.8 seconds.

Adjust button
Thanks to this button, the user can adjust exposure (+2 to -2), white balance and ISO (125-800) without going into Menu.

Convenient and dependable power sources
Using the optional lithium-ion battery, the Caplio G4wide can take a remarkable 4,300 shots* between recharges. An optional AC adapter is available for those wishing to take advantage of a nearby power source. The camera also has the rare ability to switch to two AA alkaline or nickel metal hydride batteries.

* A maximum of 4,300 shots under power-save mode (flash off, without zooming, LCD off, with VGA); up to 400 shots under normal usage conditions (with 50% flash and zoom usage, LCD on, 30 seconds between shots, reviews of all photos).

1cm macro; 4cm tele macro
The Caplio G4wide takes macros as close as 1cm from a subject, allowing the photographer to capture the smallest details: flowers, the surface of a gemstone, even details virtually invisible to the human eye.

The photographer may also take advantage of the tele macro function, which provides the same magnification but allows one to move the camera 4cm away in order to prevent the shadow of the camera from creeping into the shot.

Six distinct scene modes
Portrait, sports, landscape, night scene, text and high-sensitivity. All these modes help optimize results in varied shooting situations.

Multi-shot shooting
In M-continuous mode, with the shutter button held down the camera memorizes the last 16 shots, taken at 0.13-second intervals, in one file. This comes in handy when users are uncertain about the start or finish of a particular action.

In S-continuous mode, it can take a series of 16 shots - at 0.13-second intervals, for two seconds of footage - in one file with just one press of the shutter button. When reviewing the 16 shots in playback, each frame can be enlarged individually and quickly skimmed back and forth, creating a sense of animation.

All this makes the Caplio G4wide a useful and enjoyable tool to analyze golf swings and other action sequences. In normal continuous mode, the intervals are 0.3 seconds while the button in being pressed.

Practical exposure options
A 256-point light sensor scans the subject area to determine optimal exposure settings; it also offers center weighted and spot metering that incorporates auto-bracketing.

Quick reviews at the press of a button
Most cameras require users to switch modes if they want to review results. With the Caplio G4wide, however, users can take advantage of the "Quick review" capability in any shooting mode. All they have to do is press a button to display the most recent image.

High-sensitivity display
The high-sensitivity mode provides superior visibility in dim environments, aiding framing and shooting by illuminating subjects.

Aluminum face
The front of the camera is clad in aluminum, for a stylishly sophisticated look and feel.

Synchro monitor mode
In this mode the camera conserves power by turning the monitor off before shooting. The monitor comes on when the shutter button is pressed to preview a shot or operate the zoom, and remains on for several seconds after a picture is taken.

Compatible with Secure Digital memory cards
The Caplio G4wide has 8MB of internal memory and can also use optional Secure Digital memory cards. These exceptionally compact devices do not need a power source to store information and permit fast and simple downloads of images. The camera is also compatible with Multimedia cards.

Simple image transfers
After installing the RICOH GATE L software into a Windows PC or Mac OS computer, the user simply turns off the camera and links it up via a USB cable. The computer will then instantly start importing at an impressive speed of 3 megabytes per second. Mac OS X users can import images with iPhoto, while Windows XP users can take advantage of Windows Image Acquisition.

Video- and sound-recording capability
One of the more attractive features of the Caplio G4wide is its ability to capture 120 seconds of AVI video with sound. This is perfect for times when only motion will do. The camera also acts as a convenient voice recorder, and enables the user to leave an 8-second “voice memo” stamp to photos taken.

Auto-bracket and white balance bracket
When challenging lighting situations such as heavy sunlight arise, the handy auto-bracketing function allows the user to take three individual shots, at different exposure settings, at one time. The same functionality applies to the white balance bracket setting by applying tones of red, normal white and blue to three separate images.

Ricoh Capilo G4 Specifications

Recording Format
Still: JPEG(Exif 2.2)
        DCF "Design rule for Camera File system", DPOF support
Tex : TIFF(MMR system,ITU-T.6)
Motion : AVI(Open DML Motion JPEG)
Sound : WAV(Exif ver. 2.2)
Video Signal Method
NTSC/PAL switchable
Recording Medium
Internal 8MB/SD Memory card TM (3.3V 8/16/32/64/128/256/512MB)/
MultiMediaCard TM (16/32/64MB)
CCD 1/2.7-inch CCD with 3.34 million square pixels(effective 3.24 million pixels)
Resolution
Still : 2048x1536/1280x960/640x480
Text : 2048x1536/1280x960
Motion : 320x240,160x120
Recording Mode
STILL/STILL+SOUND/MOTION+SOUND/VOIC MEMO/ CONTINUOUS/
S-CONTINUOUS/M-CONTINUOUS/SCENE (Portrait, Sports, Landscape,
Text, Nightscape, High-sensitivity)
Picture Mode
Fine/Normal
Lens
F : 2.6-4.3, 8 glass elements in 7 groups
Shooting Range
30cm(11.8in.) to infinity/Macro:1cm(0.4in.) -60cm(23.6in.)
Wide, 4cm(1.6in.)-60cm(23.6in.) Tele
Zoom
Optical 3x zoom f=4.2-12.7mm(28-85mm in 35mm camera format)
Digital 3.4x zoom(640x480 only)
Shutter
Still : 8,4,2,1-1/2000sec.(mechanical/electronic shutter)
Motion :1/30-1/2000sec.(electronic shutter)
Iso Sensitivity
AUTO/Selectable ISO(equivalent to 125/200/400/800)
Optical Viewfinder
Real-image
Monitor Display
1.6" Translucent Amorphous Silicon TFT LCD(approx. 80,000 pixels)
Built-In Flash
AUTO/ON/SLOW SYNCHRO/OFF/RED-EYE REDUCTION,
Focus
AUTO-FOCUS/MANUAL FOCUS/FIXED FOCUS(snap/infinity)
Exposure Mode
Programmed AE:TTL-CCD method
Photometric system:CENTERWEIGHT/SPOT/MULTI
Exposure Adjustment
MANUAL EXPOSURE COMPENSATION(+/- 2.0 EV in 1/3EV steps)
White Balance
AUTO/DAYLIGHT/OVERCAST/TUNGSTEN LIGHT/
FLUORESCENT LIGHT/MANUAL(One Push)
Selftimer
Approx. 10sec./2sec. Delay
Interfaces
PC: USB*1
Audio Out/Video Out
Battery
AA Alkaline x 2 (NiMH possible), or
Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery(optional)
Dimensions ( W X D X H )
112.9 x 36.4 x 57.5mm, 4.4 x 1.4 x 2.3inch (excluding projection)
Weight
Approx. 175g (6.1oz.)(without battery,SD memory card, Hand strap)
*1 Limited to PCs with Windows 98/98SE/2000/Me/XP pre-installed or Macintosh with Mac OS 8.6-9.2.2/Mac OS X 10.1.2-10.2.6(USB service 1.1 or later) * Coming soon, firmware supporting PictBridge will be available for downloading at the Ricoh Web site.

Contents

  • RICOH Gate La*3 (Launcher Application)
  • DU-10*4
  • USB driver
  • WIA driver (for Windows XP)
  • Mounter (for Mac OS 8.6-9.2.2 and Mac OS X 10.1.2-10.2.6)
  • Acrobat Reader*5 (for Windows98/98SE/Me/2000/XP)

*2 RICOH Gate La is not compatible with Mac OS X 10.1.2-10.2.6
*3 No camera control function.
*4 DU-10 is not compatible with Mac OS 8.6-9.2.2/Mac OS X 10.1.2-10.2.6
*5 Acrobat Reader is not compatible with Mac OS 8.6-9.2.2/Mac OS X 10.1.2-10.2.6

* Only USB connection is possible when connecting the G4 to a PC. It is not compatible with serial connection.

Optional Accessories

FM-SD53 PC card adapter
DB-43 Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery
BJ-2 Battery Charger
AC-4a AC Adapter

Click here for the Capilo G4 Wide Product Info Page

Click here for "Secrets behind the Caplio's new
wide-angle zoom lens"

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