The Ricoh CX3 is the third in a line of CX compacts that goes back to the CX1, released in early 2009. The CX3 doesn't represent a huge leap forward compared to its predecessors, but it does pack a new, more versatile lens, which covers the equivalent of 28-300mm. Other notable features include Ricoh's dual shot 'DR' high dynamic range mode, and a very high resolution 920,000 dot LCD screen, which is still unusual for a compact camera. In most respects, the CX3 is a pleasure to use.
Unfortunately, where the CX3 falls down is its image quality, which is rather sub-par at all ISO settings. At a pixel level the CX3's output is muddy at all ISO settings, and especially unpleasant towards the high end of the ISO scale. The CX3 is the only camera whose output in some situations actually looks poor even on the rear LCD screen. Overall, the CX3 is a really enjoyable camera to use, and ergonomically, it is one of the best on the market, but although it is perfectly capable of turning out excellent postcard-sized prints, its image quality doesn't stand up to critical scrutiny.
|Max resolution||3648 x 2736|
|Effective pixels||10 megapixels|
|Sensor size||1/2.3" (6.17 x 4.55 mm)|
|ISO||Auto, 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600,3200|
|Focal length (equiv.)||28–300 mm|
|Max shutter speed||1/2000 sec|
|Storage types||SD/SDHC card, Internal|
|USB||USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)|
|Weight (inc. batteries)||206 g (0.45 lb / 7.27 oz)|
|Dimensions||102 x 58 x 29 mm (4.02 x 2.28 x 1.14″)|
The Ricoh CX3 is one of the nicest cameras in this group test to take out and use. We love the high resolution screen and well thought out interface, and the amount of control that Ricoh gives you over its large feature set is fairly comprehensive. Unfortunately, image quality is where it falls down compared to other models in this group test. But if you don't need to make large prints, the Ricoh is a good (albeit quite expensive) option.
Good for: Control freaks that want to be able to adjust every aspect of their camera's performance
Not so good for: Anyone that places image quality over ergonomics