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Ricoh announces CX6 CMOS compact superzoom

By dpreview staff on Nov 15, 2011 at 18:46 GMT

Ricoh has announced the CX6, the latest in its line of compact superzoom cameras. It features a 10MP back-lit CMOS sensor and the familiar 10.7x 28-300mm equivalent image stabilized zoom lens. The latest model features improved processing and hardware to offer faster focusing (with claimed AF times as fast as 0.1 sec), as well as a dedicated movie shooting button. It also gains Aperture and Shutter Priority exposure modes and the Sony WhiteMagic 1.23M dot VGA LCD screen.

Ricoh announces the CX6 compact digital camera

Featuring high-speed autofocus as fast as 0.1 seconds and zoom assist monitor for easier telephoto photography

Tokyo, Japan, November 15, 2011—Ricoh Co., Ltd. (president and CEO: Shiro Kondo) today announced the development and release of the CX6, a new digital camera featuring a high magnification 10.7x (28-300 mm) optical wide-angle zoom lens that achieves even shorter autofocus (AF) times through the introduction of a new AF system.

With the adoption of a new system enhancing both the hardware and software of the hybrid AF system introduced on the CX5, the new CX6 achieves AF focusing times as fast as 0.1 seconds. You will be sure to capture that fleeting shutter chance.

The high-brightness LCD monitor is approximately 1.7 times brighter than the previous model for better visibility outdoors. The CX6 also adds a function for automatic adjustment of brightness based on the level of brightness of the subject, and this make it possible to minimize the loss of visibility that can occur due to changes in the shooting environment. In addition, for telephoto shooting, the new zoom assist monitor function displays a small image on the LCD monitor so that you can always check the framing of the shot.

The new aperture/shutter-speed priority modes enable you to more richly express the atmosphere of the subject, and the snap movie function lets you more easily enjoy shooting movies. A release button especially for movies has also been added, and a wider range of functions (autofocus, zoom, etc.) are available for movie shooting.

The CX6 compact digital camera takes the design concept of “A tool you will want to use every day” another step forward.

Available in three colors: Black, Silver, and Pink.

Main features of the new CX6

1. Even greater speed achieved with enhancement of Ricoh’s original hybrid AF system

  • With the new system created, by enhancing both the hardware and software of the hybrid AF system introduced on the CX5, the CX6 achieves focusing times as short as 0.1 seconds not only at 28 mm wide-angle but also at 300 mm telephoto. No matter where in the zoom range you are shooting, you can capture that shutter chance.
  • AF continuous shooting has been added to the continuous shooting menu. With this function, the CX6 can continuously shoot even moving subjects at speeds of up to 3 frames/second while continuing to focus.

    *AF focusing times were measured under Ricoh measurement conditions.

2. Easy framing of telephoto shots with the new zoom assist monitor function

  • During telephoto shooting at 93 mm and higher, the new “zoom assist monitor” display mode simultaneously displays on the LCD monitor a small image equivalent to an 85 mm focal length. The resulting ability to always confirm the framing position makes telephoto shooting even easier.

3. Super-resolution technology and a noise reduction function for high image quality across a wide range of photo expression

  • By performing noise reduction processing immediately after the signal is output by the CMOS sensor, the CX6 is able to reduce noise while maintaining resolution, tone characteristics, and color saturation. When noise reduction is set to MAX, it is possible to do sophisticated variance-estimation type noise reduction processing in which the sensor image data's noise distribution is analyzed and the optimum processing is done for each region.
  • The back-illuminated CMOS sensor is strong in low-light shooting situations.
  • Super-resolution technology enables the CX6 to record photographs with a high-resolution feel by automatically discerning outlines, details, and gradations in the image and processing it based on the optimum settings for each. The level of super-resolution can be set to Off, Weak, or Strong.

4. Aperture/shutter-speed priority (A/S) modes have been added to the mode dial for even greater shooting freedom

  • The CX6 expands your shooting freedom by adding aperture priority (A) mode and shutter-speed priority (S) mode. These modes bring the photographer a richer range of expressive possibilities. For example, the ability to specify maximum or minimum aperture can be used when you want to make the subject stand out in macro photography, and the ability to adjust the shutter speed will enable you to handle situations where you want to emphasize subject movement or freeze the movement of a subject in motion.

5. 10.7x 28-300 mm optical zoom plus super-resolution zoom equivalent to up to 600 mm

  • Ricoh’s original retracting lens system has made it possible to fit the high-magnification 10.7x optical wide-angle zoom lens into a thin 28.5 mm compact body.
  • The super-resolution zoom can zoom up to 2x. It enables you to do telephoto photography up to an equivalent of 600 mm with minimal image quality deterioration.
  • Using the digital zoom enables you to magnify the subject beyond the super-resolution zoom level and shoot with super-telephoto photography at a maximum of 2880 mm.

6. Movie release button added for easier movie shooting

  • In a first for the CX series, the CX6 has a new release button especially for movie photography. Now you can easily enjoy shooting movies even without a mode dial change.
  • The addition of autofocus and zoom functions enhances your ability to shoot high-quality movies.
  • There is a “snap movie shooting” function for shooting of short video clips and also functions for easily segmenting and playing video clips. Together these capabilities make it easy for you to create and view video works in the camera. Stereo sound recording* is also possible so you can shoot not just images but also movies with a realistic feel.

    *The sound is recorded in stereo, but playback on the camera is done in monaural.

7. High-brightness LCD monitor approx. 1.7 times brighter than before; automatic brightness adjustment function also added

  • The 3.0-inch 1.23-million-dot* VGA LCD monitor has a wide viewing angle and a brightness level approximately 1.7 times higher than the CX5. It achieves excellent visibility even outdoors.
  • A function has been added for automatic adjustment of brightness by the camera. It minimizes loss of visibility caused by changes in the shooting environment.
  • The screen has a fluorine coat to prevent soiling, a hard coat to prevent scratches, and an anti-reflection coat for excellent visibility.

    *White pixels added to RGB for approximately 1.23 million dots.

8. "Bleach bypass" added for more creative fun with creative shooting mode

  • Recording images with heightened contrast and muted colors, bleach bypass enables you to create pictures with atmosphere and an austere elegance.

CX6 options

Rechargeable battery DB-100
Battery charger BJ-10
Soft case (black) SC-100BK
Soft case (white) SC-100WT
Cable switch CA-2
HDMI cable HC-1
Neck strap (black) ST-4BK
Neck strap (pink) ST-4PK
Neck strap (blue) ST-4BL
Neck strap (green) ST-4GR
Neck strap (brown) ST-4BN
I own it
I want it
I had it
Discuss in the forums


Total comments: 35
Gregory Chang
By Gregory Chang (Nov 19, 2011)

CX-3 at Amazon for $169 seems very attractive for minimally "slow" compared to the latest but an excellent buy?

Edmund Dorf
By Edmund Dorf (Nov 16, 2011)

F3.5? You've got to be kidding if you expect people to take this camera seriously.

By AVe (Nov 16, 2011)

Too bad it seems that Ricoh has (again) improved on the back side (LCD) rather then the front side (wider and/or brighter lens).
Let's see if IQ is finally OK. Although it's wise not jumping on the train increasing the pixelcount (see Pana TZ20...) Ricoh is still not on par with equally priced P&S camera's :'(

Dan Ortego
By Dan Ortego (Nov 16, 2011)

Oops, wrong thread.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
By poorfatjames (Nov 16, 2011)


By D R C (Nov 16, 2011)

Is the Sony WhiteMagic 1.23M dot VGA LCD screen any good in bright sunlight? As most of these smaller compact cameras do not have an optical viewfinder the new screen could be what I have after for ages.

By gl2k (Nov 16, 2011)

Seems that more and more manufacturers step back to a reasonable 10 MP. Which is more than enough for that purpose. A few years ago a 10 MP cam would have been unsalable.
Nice to see anyway.

Debankur Mukherjee
By Debankur Mukherjee (Nov 16, 2011)

sensor size ??

By grafli (Nov 16, 2011)

1/2.33" --> same as the CX5

By Hansadlp (Nov 16, 2011)

The CX6 seems to be another update without changing the basic concept. Therfore much of the citisism on former CX cameras can - and will - be repeated. Ricoh makes small improvements but overall it is a very pleasurable camera that is capable of very, very good results, once you get the hang of it. I'm thinking of replacing my former CX5, which unfortunately broke down, with this new camera because I miss the Ricoh experience. My EPL-1 certainly produces superior results (3/4 sensor size = much better IQ than any compact sensor), but Ricoh's portability and user experience (mainly the very good UI) make me grab the CX even more often than the Olympus.

1 upvote
By toysandme (Nov 16, 2011)

I see no mention of it here but the main reason why I have been attracted to Ricoh cameras over the years is their (almost) unique time-lapse feature. As a matter of fact, this is the only reason why I have bought their cameras. I hope they keep this feature and make it more flexible with say, one frame a second instead of one frame per 5 seconds.

By AVe (Nov 16, 2011)

Yes, time-lapse is still unique.
I'm using it when shooting for meteors: 8 seconds exposure, each 10 seconds taking a picture.
I'm only wondering why all those meteors appear in the 2 seconds which are not exposed ;-)

By Greynerd (Nov 17, 2011)

The Samsung WB2000/TL350 has time lapse.

By grafli (Nov 18, 2011)

Pentax W60 Outdoor Camera has a good time-lapse feature.
But I like the Ricoh better ;-)
It has way better IQ...

By Montong (Dec 11, 2011)

I picked the CX camera's for the macro abilities which are very good for a PnS but the timelapse was attractive too.

But I was disappointed to find that it was time lapse pics only. There is no function for recording time lapse in video with a video playback function.

By Josh152 (Nov 16, 2011)

After you learn how to use a camera there is no going back to camera with out a manual mode. No full Manual means it's not even consideration in my book.

By BBsLX5 (Nov 16, 2011)

A *hopefully* better than decent (but spec-wise at least, not appearing "great") travel zoom w/o the bulk of a bridge camera . A welcome break from the ridiculous megapixel wars hopefully will result in better than expected results from the selectable metering modes, semi-manual shooting modes & manual focusing available, w/ the bigger cmos sensor providing faster burst & better low-light shooting. Troubling though at first glance @ the specs (for it's apparent $400 (U.S.) or so list price when it debuts) includes the lens being slow (f3.5-5.6), apparently no fully manual mode, no RAW capability, and only 720p mpeg AVI HD video when increasingly, especially in cameras touting larger sensors, the standard is 1080 w/ a more up to date video codec.

By BBsLX5 (Nov 16, 2011)

Wrote the above preliminary take on the expected I.Q. if the sensor size of the CX6 was 2/3" as was wrongly reported by some sources. Ricoh quotes the sensor size as 1 over 1/2.33", the same size as 95% of the sensors that have been in compact fixed lens p&s cameras for the past several years. That being understood, it doesn't look like this is going to be bought w/ expectations of outstanding I.Q. (pending posted image samples demonstrating to the contrary of course). It'll be bought for the extended zoom in a smaller than bridge camera-sized package, semi-manual control features & will hopefully include things like the time lapse feature available on other Ricoh models. Will smaller size w/ more user-controls, more (if un-spectacularly bright) zoom, and a few unique features (but not RAW) convince people to spend premium bucks for the CX6 over offerings that are currently on the market? I wouldn't, but some Ricoh fans might be convinced it's feature-rich enough for their needs.

1 upvote
Ashley Pomeroy
By Ashley Pomeroy (Nov 15, 2011)

Talking about the flash, I've always wondered why some enterprising compact camera manufacturer doesn't build it as a ring around the lens mount; it'd be a mini ring flash. 'twould go down well with hobbyists, and even if it doesn't work very well it would at least be something to put in the press release.

anthony mazzeri
By anthony mazzeri (Nov 16, 2011)

Interesting idea, could work on existing models as a third-party ring flash operated via a cord from the hotshoe which could attach onto cameras such as the Ricoh GRD or GXR-S10 which have a removeable ring cap to mount adapters and converters on the lens.

Antonio Rojilla
By Antonio Rojilla (Nov 16, 2011)

I'd prefer the flash to be in... the lens cap. Try to imagine this: the cap has a hinge at the top and when the cap is on the flash it is in the inner side -hidden, facing the lens- then you turn on the camera by moving the cap up and the flash is now facing your subject at a decent height over the lens. Solves the problem of what to do with the cap, frees space in the camera -and even the on/off button can be devoted to anything else-, and helps minimize red eye. Oh, and it could even bounce back! :)

Edit: typo.

Comment edited 23 seconds after posting
By AVe (Nov 16, 2011)

Well, with my R4 the Metz 28CS-2 is my saviour.
Now I can make a 25m2 room being lit well in ISO 64!
It's as much pockatable as my R4.

By grafli (Nov 30, 2011)

I have the Metz 45CL-4 for night landscape photography @ ISO 400 it will lite 25 Meter in distance!
With the DSLR it's 256 meter with ISO 6400 and 30mm F1.4
It's fired with a Photodiod on the second flash...

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
By Prognathous (Nov 15, 2011)

The CX6 looks like a nice camera (all current Ricoh cameras are), but it should have included the following features:

- RAW format support
- M mode
- 1080P movie mode
- Wider-than-28mm wide end

Without the RAW support I won't personally consider buying one. Modern Ricoh cameras (released after the GX8 and GRD1) use such heavy noise-reduction in JPEG mode, that RAW is simply essential. The CX6 is likely to suffer from the same NR problem, making it far from ideal to anyone who doesn't like smeared ("smooth") pictures.

Joe Ogiba
By Joe Ogiba (Nov 15, 2011)

I agree, even the top smartphones now have 1080p and Sony & Panasonic have 1080p60 in some of their P&S along with 24mm eqiv. wide zooms.

By RGBowman (Nov 15, 2011)

Thanks for your critique. I am looking for a pocket camera to take any where in lieu of my dslr for those spontaneous times when I wish I had a camera. My primary concerns are image quality, diversity in the lens, ability to shoot fast, and a degree of ruggedness to withstand going any where I go. I plan to put pictures on the web site, but don't expect to make large format hard copies above standard letter size. Staying under $500, what would you recommend?

By schaki (Nov 15, 2011)

I agree that too much NR are used in newer Ricohs. But as long as GX8 and GRDl are OK I would assume that the same go for the GX100 which have been regarded as the last old school Ricoh.

By Hansadlp (Nov 16, 2011)

You can set noise reduction with Ricoh camera's. Altough even 'off' isn't completely off, it makes a significant change in IQ when compared to auto, strong or max settings. Not many compacts offer this flexibility.

By abolit (Nov 15, 2011)

oh man. another piece of ....

1 upvote
Zoltan Csuka
By Zoltan Csuka (Nov 15, 2011)

Flash on the handgrip?! That is impossible and will no doubt cause a lot of issues. I still remember the Nikon 5000 compact (from 2001) causing end-less issues/complaints with placing the flash between the grip and lens. But this Ricoh is 200% worse. There must be total chaos at Ricoh to let something like this slip through.

By wetsleet (Nov 15, 2011)

I've just picked up my compact, and in fact the fingers of the right hand do not naturally cover the flash position, instead they naturally curl downwards, well away from the flash position. Maybe I'm not normal?

My wife has the Fujifilm F31fd with the flash on the other side above the lens - she is always putting her finger over it.

By exp1orer (Nov 15, 2011)

the flash on my Casio z750 is on the right side and i never had any problem with it. the casio z750 was the best compact in its class when it came out 6 years ago.

By Kirppu (Nov 15, 2011)

Right hand side flash, first thing coming to my mind is fingers are going to be in front of the flash when you hold this camera.

By tkbslc (Nov 15, 2011)

It looks like there is a little grip with a finger rest right under the flash. So they may habe thought of that. Middle finger rests on that grip right under flash and pointer goes up to work the shutter.

The way Nikon and Canon (and other) do it, is just as annoying. You have a pop up flash on the left right where you need to grip the camera. There's just only so much they can fit on these little cameras and usually proper ergonomics is the first thing to go in the compromise.

1 upvote
By Hansadlp (Nov 16, 2011)

Flash position was an issue with my now broken CX5. I had to rember holding the camera in a different way when using the flash. I wonder if the CX6 will be better, flash position on the CX 1/2/3 was a little better. I agree with oher commentors that many compacts can be critised for their flash position. Just read what is being said about the Canon S90/95 flash that pops up every time you turn on the camera.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
Total comments: 35