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Ricoh announces HZ15 Europe-only compact superzoom

By dpreview staff on Aug 28, 2013 at 22:53 GMT

Ricoh has announced the Ricoh HZ15, a 15x compact superzoom that will only be sold in Europe. Though it isn't sold under the Pentax name, it bears a striking resemblance to Optio compacts of recent years. It features a 16 megapixel CCD sensor, 24-360mm equivalent zoom lens, 720p HD video and sensor-shift 'SR' shake reduction (terminology definitely borrowed from Pentax cameras). Though not a remarkable compact superzoom, it provides some idea of Ricoh's intentions for the brand going forward and what role Pentax plays in it.

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Press Release:

RICOH HZ15

A high-magnification digital compact camera, featuring an optical 15X zoom lens with 24mm wide-angle coverage, designed for the easy capture of an extensive range of subjects and scenes

RICOH IMAGING COMPANY LTD. is pleased to announce the launch of the RICOH HZ15 digital compact camera, featuring a compact, lightweight, easy-to-carry body; a high-magnification optical 15-times zoom lens; and a large 3.0-inch LCD monitor.

This new model has a host of outstanding features, including an optical 15-times zoom lens with 24mm ultra-wide-angle coverage, high-resolution image capture with 16 effective megapixels, a large, easy-to-view 3.0-inch LCD monitor, and a sophisticated SR (Shake Reduction) mechanism. In addition, meticulous attention has been paid to every design detail, from the high-grade, glossy black coating to the easy-to-hold grip, enhancing the HZ15’s functional operation and stylish appearance.

Major Features

  1. Optical 15-times zoom lens with 24mm wide-angle coverage
    Within its compact, lightweight body, the HZ15 features a powerful optical 15-times zoom lens covering focal lengths from 24mm wide-angle to 360mm super-telephoto (in the 35mm format). Thanks to this extra-wide zoom range, the HZ15 can capture beautiful images in a wide range of subjects and scenes — from spectacular landscapes to fast-action sports events. It even offers macro photography at a minimum focusing distance of just three centimetres from the subject.

  2. State-of-the-art shake reduction mechanism
    The HZ15 comes equipped with an innovative CCD-shift-type SR (Shake Reduction) mechanism to deliver sharp, blur-free images even under camera-shake-prone shooting conditions, such as when photographing in the telephoto range, in the dark with only incidental light, or for sunset scenes.

  3. Exceptional image quality
    With 16 effective megapixels, the HZ15 captures well-defined, high-quality images with extra-fine resolution. It also records beautiful HD-quality movie clips (at 1280 x 720 pixels).

  4. Stylish, easy-to-hold body design
    Every design detail of the HZ15, including the finish and texture of the camera body, has been optimised for comfort, quality and operability. These include a glossy black coating on the body, an easy-to-hold grip, and functionally laid-out control buttons and switches.

  5. Large 3.0-inch LCD monitor
    The HZ15 features a 3.0-inch LCD monitor with approximately 230,000 dots. This large monitor provides a clear view of images and menus, so the photographer can quickly and efficiently check the captured images and menu settings.

  6. 20 Scene modes for easy capture of specific subjects and scenes
    The HZ15 provides 20 distinctive Scene modes to automatically optimise all shooting settings for a given scene or subject. With a simple choice of the icon corresponding to the desired Scene mode, this handy feature allows the user to take beautiful images with minimal effort.

  7. High-resolution, HD-quality movie recording with push-button start
    The HZ15 captures beautiful, HD-quality movie clips (1280 x 720 pixels, 16:9 proportions, approx. 30 frames per second).* Thanks to an independent movie recording button on the camera’s top panel, the user can instantly switch to the movie recording mode from any other shooting mode. The user can also take advantage of the sophisticated Movie SR (Shake Reduction) mode to minimise annoying camera shake during movie recording.
    * When the HZ15’s AV output terminal is used, movie clips are output as normal image-size data. If the user wishes to play back movie clips at HD resolution (1280 x 720 pixels), the data must be transferred to a personal computer for playback.

  8. Other features
    ・In-body recharging system, for simple, mobile-phone-style battery recharging
    ・Compatibility with Eye-Fi wireless LAN SD memory cards
    ・Image viewing, editing and filing software included: MediaImpression 3.6.1 LE (Windows version compatible with Windows 8) and MediaImpression 2.2 LE (Macintosh version compatible with Mac OS X 10.8)

    ♦Design and Specifications are subject to change without notice.

    Pricing and availability:
    RRP: TBA

    Available from: end September 2013

Additional images

Ricoh HZ15 Ricoh HZ15

Comments

Total comments: 66
Joseph Mama
By Joseph Mama (7 months ago)

Wow, I thought I had accidentally gone back to 2011 archives or something. 720 video? 15x zoom? Seriously??!?

0 upvotes
Digitall
By Digitall (8 months ago)

Wait, the flash is on the right side (photographer perspective) near the grip, where usually the photographer puts his hand to hold the camera and shot?!
Modern engineers...

0 upvotes
Tan68
By Tan68 (8 months ago)

Yep.

Note the little curved ridge beside the flash. That is a cue to the user they have their finger over the flash.

People that hold their P/S in two hands are likely to cover flash on the other side of the camera (if they are prone to doing such things). The little ridge is nice.

1 upvote
Digitall
By Digitall (8 months ago)

Yes thats true, I was looking that little curved ridge. In practice no one will feel it when taking a picture over the time. They want to be different, then do things practical and functional. This is a failure of design.

0 upvotes
Bigfearty
By Bigfearty (7 months ago)

Actually more a sign of old fashioned engineering
Allowing the flash to be further away from the lens reducing red eye

1 upvote
Karroly
By Karroly (7 months ago)

"Modern engineers "? For sure !
Please, have a look at the recent Nikon Coolpix S3500 and S5200...
And also at the many Panasonic, Samsung, Olympus P&S...
Ricoh cannot be the only one to blame for this design choice...

1 upvote
Karroly
By Karroly (8 months ago)

Great ! A Ricoh camera with roughly the same feature set than a Panasonic Lumix DMC ZS-8 (TZ-18) of...2011 !

1 upvote
eivissa1
By eivissa1 (8 months ago)

...and my TZ5 of many years before....

0 upvotes
Karroly
By Karroly (7 months ago)

I would not say the TZ5 9MP sensor and 28-280mm zoom is equivalent to the 16MP sensor and 24-360mm zoom of the Ricoh. The more recent technology (about 5 years !) of the Ricoh sensor certainly would make a better 9MP sensor... And although the zoom range increase does not look that big, it is not an easy task for the designers to make a GOOD one.

1 upvote
slncezgsi
By slncezgsi (8 months ago)

Ricoh could finally put their act together and bring us something that would not just dissolve in the grey masses of compacts. Apart from the forgotten GXR and the new GR there is not much Ricoh could be proud to have their name on - at least when it comes to new cameras. And as a GRDIII owner I am really sorry to say this because the UI and design of this little camera is just great.

Sorry for the rant, I guess I need to take it more easy ...

0 upvotes
Simon97
By Simon97 (8 months ago)

And so begins the dissolution of the Pentax name.

0 upvotes
BorisAkunin
By BorisAkunin (8 months ago)

The Pentax name can only profit from not having such a piece of sh*t associated with it...

Comment edited 9 seconds after posting
7 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (8 months ago)

It almost seems like they think that because F2.8 is "Fast" on a full frame camera they can get away with F3.3-F5.9 on a small sensor camera.

4 upvotes
Tan68
By Tan68 (8 months ago)

???

0 upvotes
cheddargav
By cheddargav (8 months ago)

I'm guessing the news here is the "Pentax design but Ricoh logo" part. Maybe the DSLR's will go the same way? I just hope they sprinkle some of the GR magic over the next batch of cameras, come on Pencoh, get your behinds in gear please

1 upvote
Karroly
By Karroly (8 months ago)

As a Beatles fan, I think Ritax is...more lovely !

1 upvote
peterpainter
By peterpainter (8 months ago)

That's the impression I got too - I don't think the camera itself is 'newsworthy' or that DPR think it is either. Ricoh could actually be shooting themselves in the foot here, though, as their compacts do appear to have a sort of cult following whereas I think Pentax offerings in the compact market have not had the best of reputations for quite a long time.

0 upvotes
Tan68
By Tan68 (8 months ago)

Well, from the outset, Ricoh said Pentax name would not be used on P/S. So I don't really think this camera provides any idea of Ricoh's intentions for the brand going forward and what role Pentax plays in it.

Pentax brand may or may not go away, but this camera is no indication one way or the other.

1 upvote
Joe Ogiba
By Joe Ogiba (8 months ago)

A 720p P&S with tiny sensor in the age of 1080p smartphones with larger sensors ? Next.

http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=Nokia+808&s=int

Look at the DPR banner ad at the top of this page:
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7352/9622693804_c6337c6629_k.jpg

Comment edited 9 minutes after posting
1 upvote
JEROME NOLAS
By JEROME NOLAS (8 months ago)

Ricoh should make high performance cameras only, like GR. It would be great if they could squeeze some zoom in GR body, let's say 24-50mm or
28-60mm, with constant f2.8...I am expecting great products from Ricoh in the future!

0 upvotes
D1N0
By D1N0 (8 months ago)

The only reason this will sell is when it's much cheaper than e.g. a canon powershot 260sx which is a much better camera and already selling for less than €200. (full hd video gps, etc)

0 upvotes
naththo
By naththo (8 months ago)

Yawn that is boring new release of camera. Next please!

1 upvote
Babya
By Babya (8 months ago)

Wifi capability could have made the camera more appealing. Battery is a LB-050-more of GE/JK imaging type of battery.

0 upvotes
tamras29
By tamras29 (8 months ago)

Personally, I'm still sticking to my 6 year old GX100. IMO Ricoh have yet to produce a model that would tempt me to replace it as my pocket DSLR replacement. 16mp on such a tiny sensor - what nonsense!

0 upvotes
blank_
By blank_ (8 months ago)

thats olympus-like ugly. Hard to believe the same company makes the GR .

0 upvotes
BG_CX3_DPREVIEW
By BG_CX3_DPREVIEW (8 months ago)

Thanks God i never sold my Ricoh CX6,

this is a rebadged Pentax, probably a sketch that fell off the designers desk and a buss guy noticed it, hey, we did not bring anything new under Ricoh lately, lets use this, it sits between the Pentax Optio 10 and 18,

it has the Pentax button layout, and oh, Ricoh,

I hope you understand in Europ we no longer use stones to carve in, a 230 K dot LCD?? please, my CX6 uses a 1.2 mio.

You can buy an almost new CX6 at roughly 100 euro, so, this HZ-whatever, will it sell at , say 30 euro or more?

What a waste, i'm a Ricoh fan and really feel obused now, i still cannot sit.....

1 upvote
schaki
By schaki (8 months ago)

I think that you are quite right here about it is just a camera produced by Sanyo which in fact would have been a Pentax Optio. That was also my impression when i wrote about it in the Ricoh-section in the forum. As you, I also noticed the button-layout.
I'll surely pass on this one and hang on to the good old Ricoh Caplio R3 which only have 28-200mm zoom but pretty fast focus and Low NR which preserves details nicely.
This Ricoh-wannabe HZ15 is a joke probably just so that Ricoh at least would have another camera on the shelves. One which Pentax could have kept in own their mostly disgraceful Optio-series..
But no no no. Them decided to try to pull Ricoh down into that slippery mud as well. I'm very disappointed over this announcement.
Btw. I finally found some CX6 full size sample images at the Japanese Dcwatch which showed what NR Off is up to and I was positively surprised about the result. I believe you are doing a wise choice to keep that camera - for sure better than the HZ15.

1 upvote
m700
By m700 (8 months ago)

Why are compact sensors sooo small and pixel counts are doubling every 3 years? Lots of extra noise and image quality decline.

2 upvotes
Leandros S
By Leandros S (8 months ago)

I've yet to see a thorough test comparing natively small vs. downsampled resolution, in either a contemporary or older camera... Then again, Nokia...

0 upvotes
Northgrove
By Northgrove (8 months ago)

They're small so that they can fit a 15x superzoom lens in a compact package. As for why they want to fit a 15x zoom, ask the consumers.

1 upvote
Andy Crowe
By Andy Crowe (8 months ago)

Pixel counts doubling every 3 years? Most 8MP superzooms I know were released in 2007, 6 years ago.

1 upvote
Freelock7
By Freelock7 (8 months ago)

We will judge by using it! Wait & see!....;)

1 upvote
TitusXIII
By TitusXIII (8 months ago)

What a shameful way to waste talent and resources.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
1 upvote
ogl
By ogl (8 months ago)

Such P&S camera is developed by 1 engineer for several weeks on PC.

0 upvotes
BorisAkunin
By BorisAkunin (8 months ago)

And you wouldn't want that guy anywhere near the development of any decent camera, anyway...

0 upvotes
Tan68
By Tan68 (8 months ago)

Hey, now...

You know, someone loves that engineer. Any engr has a momma and likely a daddy just like most of us..

Take it easy on him/her.

0 upvotes
Timmbits
By Timmbits (8 months ago)

another baby-sensor for the shelves of department stores destined to the ignorant masses... at least they limit it to one entry, and not a dozen like some companies

0 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (8 months ago)

Spare me. I'm sure you know what a 24-360mm lens for a daddy sensor would look like.

6 upvotes
Leandros S
By Leandros S (8 months ago)

@tkbslc: Fujifilm X-S1

0 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (8 months ago)

Nah, a 2/3" CMOS is a toddler-sensor at best.

0 upvotes
Karroly
By Karroly (8 months ago)

@Leandros S
Not really, the X-S1 has a 24-624mm equivalent zoom, not a 24-360mm one...

0 upvotes
Leandros S
By Leandros S (8 months ago)

The point is, the concept of fitting a larger sensor has been tried, and was "so successful" that the X-S line was discontinued after its first outing. So... no market, rant as you may! Unlikely that a modest cut in features would suddenly make it a roaring success...

0 upvotes
PC Wheeler
By PC Wheeler (8 months ago)

Not a great place for the flash, either

1 upvote
timo
By timo (8 months ago)

Non-news, really.

2 upvotes
billybones1918
By billybones1918 (8 months ago)

Stinky, very stinky going forward

0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (8 months ago)

So, the lens is very similar (actually worse) than that in $100 GE Power Pro X500, "General Imaging Full-HD Digital Camera with 14.4MP, CMOS, 15X Optical Zoom" and similar junk.

1 upvote
BorisAkunin
By BorisAkunin (8 months ago)

Dear Ricoh,

you didn't have to go to the trouble of designing that piece of sh*t just for our sake.

sincerely
Europe

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
7 upvotes
rallyfan
By rallyfan (8 months ago)

I can't recall when I last saw a Ricoh in the wild in the US. It can't have been this decade. It may not have been this century. Distribution isn't their strong suit in the US. It sounds like you can find them in Europe more easily. That's a shame.

1 upvote
peevee1
By peevee1 (8 months ago)

I think I saw something named Ricoh in a clear plastic package hanging in Radio Shack.

0 upvotes
Stefan M
By Stefan M (8 months ago)

The reason you don't see Ricoh in the wild is the reason Ricoh sells like crazy among street shooters.

cheers

0 upvotes
rallyfan
By rallyfan (8 months ago)

I don't see the parallel.

"Street" photographers are creepy and represent the black sheep of the hobbyist sector.

Ricoh, OTOH, isn't creepy; they suffer from poor advertising, poor marketing, poor support, and poor distribution.

0 upvotes
Boerseuntjie
By Boerseuntjie (8 months ago)

Not 1080 only 720, small CCD? what's the point of this? someone please tell Ricoh that compact cameras are a dying breed and this one is already dead before it was born.

4 upvotes
joe6pack
By joe6pack (8 months ago)

Is it only Ricoh? All other cameras I used to see prints the actual focal length instead of the 35mm equivalent focal length (24 - 360mm) in this case.

2 upvotes
utomo99
By utomo99 (8 months ago)

I hope Ricoh releasing bigger sensor compact cameras 1/1.7"
and please make sure the low light photos are good.
and market it worldwide.
many user want compact camera with big sensor, which work good on low light
and also add WiFi

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
PC Wheeler
By PC Wheeler (8 months ago)

Take a look at the Ricoh GR series for "bigger sensor":

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/ricoh-gr

0 upvotes
Richard Murdey
By Richard Murdey (8 months ago)

GR Digital says "hi".

0 upvotes
Gesture
By Gesture (8 months ago)

Almost looks like the Olympus wedge?

2 upvotes
solarider
By solarider (8 months ago)

It would be interesting to know what size/type is the imaging sensor, megapixels don't exactly say much.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (8 months ago)

It's 1/2.3" - the size used in the vast majority of compacts.

6 upvotes
tron555
By tron555 (8 months ago)

Are you going to review this camera?

0 upvotes
thx1138
By thx1138 (8 months ago)

Still CCD, still 1/2.3", f/3.3 my god is it still 2010/11. Nothing super about this zoom camera.

3 upvotes
BorisAkunin
By BorisAkunin (8 months ago)

except superfluous!

Comment edited 21 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
johnami
By johnami (8 months ago)

Well the camera hasn't been tested yet, but going by the reactions of people here, good job it hasn' got the Pentax brand on it!

1 upvote
Hansadlp
By Hansadlp (8 months ago)

Very little Ricoh DNA in this camera. No 1 mil. dot LCD screen, no Ricoh interface. Yes, it seems to be a Pentax in Ricoh drag. What's the strategy behind this? Why not use the Pentax name for low-budget compacts and the Ricoh brand for high end compact camera's such as the GR and GRV or a successor to the GX200 i.e. with a zoom lens. This is a non distinct me-too product without a sparkle of imagination or bright engineering at all. A new Ricoh should be interesting, slightly off beat and quircky, scoring high on a photographers 'want to have' list. This one does not.

0 upvotes
hautesauce
By hautesauce (8 months ago)

Lamenting the loss of the Pentax name is admirable (OK, How many of you out there STILL have your K1000 ?), why hasn't anyone commented on how such a 'ignorable' camera has a feature most of us wish all the rest of our d-shooters had ?

Namely the 'In-body recharging system' via USB ?

0 upvotes
Fingel
By Fingel (7 months ago)

Maybe they will make all compacts Ricoh and all DSLR's Pentax so as not to dilute either name with products they are not known for. Ricoh isn't really known for their DSLR ( or film SLR line ) and Pentax isn't really known for quality point and shoot cameras. Makes sense to me.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 66