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Ricoh Caplio GX100 Review

August 2007 | By Simon Joinson

Announced back in March the Ricoh Caplio GX100 is officially the successor to the GX8, but it could equally well be described as a zoom version of the flagship GR-D, as it shares a very similar design, feature set and interface. The GX100 has several features to set it apart from the majority of 10MP compacts, most interestingly a 3x zoom lens with an unparalleled wideangle capability, covering a range equivalent to 24-72mm on a 35mm camera. This equates to an increase in the diagonal field of view of around 20 degrees field of view compared to the 35 or 36mm short end of most compact camera zooms - that's a huge difference if you're shooting interiors or landscapes. The GX100 is also the world's first digital compact to offer an (optional) removable electronic viewfinder, which slips into the flash hot shoe and tilts upwards through 90 degrees.

Like the GR-D the GX100 offers 'SLR like' control thanks to twin control dials, raw capture (using the 'universal' DNG format) and a high level of customization options. All this, combined with the somber design and finish, is designed to leave potential purchasers in no doubt that this is a serious camera for serious users wanting an alternative to an SLR that they can slip into a jacket pocket. On paper the GX100 offers a uniquely appealing mix of features, so let's find out how well it does in practice, starting as ever with the headline features:

  • 24 to 72 mm high-performance wide zoom lens in a compact body (25mm thick)
  • CCD-shift image stabilization (Vibration Correction function)
  • 10.01 MP CCD
  • Smooth Imaging Engine II Processor
  • 7 blade iris aperture
  • Tilted and removable electronic viewfinder
  • 2.5-inch 230,000 LCD panel with a wide 170° view angle.
  • Twin-dial control system
  • Raw & JPEG capture
  • Optional 19mm equivalent wide converter
  • Manual, Program, Program shift AE and Aperture Priority modes
  • 1 cm macro mode
  • Rechargeable Li-Ion battery or AAA cells
  • 4:3, 3:2 and 1:1 aspect ratio options

24mm lens

As mentioned above the GX100 is one of the only digital compact cameras to ever sport a 24mm equivalent wideangle zoom, and this brings huge practical as well as creative benefits for many kinds of photography. In the example below the 24mm equiv. lens on the GX100 has allowed me to capture the full height of the church from a fairly short distance, whereas the 36mm widest setting on the Fujifilm F40fd I was also carrying simply isn't wide enough. From interiors to large groups to architectural and landscape photography, the versatility offered by such a wide zoom cannot be overstated.

Ricoh GX100, 24mm equiv. Fujifilm F40fd, 36mm equiv.

Ricoh GX100 specifications

Street price • US:$699.99 (with viewfinder), $599.99 (without viewfinder)
• UK: £399.99 (inc. viewfinder), £349.99 (without viewfinder)
Body Material Metal and plastic
Sensor

• 1/1.75" Type CCD
• 10.3 million pixels total
• 10.01 million effective pixels

Image sizes

• 3648x2736
• 3648x2432
• 2736x2736
• 3264x2448
• 2592x1944
• 2048x1536
• 1280x960
• 640x48

Movie clips

• 640x480
• 320x240
• 15 or 30 fps

File formats • Still: JPEG, RAW (DNG), RAW & JPEG
• Movie: AVI (Open DML Motion JPEG Format Compliant)
• Sound: WAV
Lens

• 5.1-15.3mm (24-72 35 mm equivalent) 3x optical zoom
• F2.5-4.4
• 11 elements in 7 groups, including aspheric surface lenses and high-refractive-index, low-dispersion lenses

Image stabilization CCD-Shift
Conversion lenses 19mm equivalent wide converter (Optional)
Digital zoom up to 4x
Focus • Auto focus
• Manual focus
• Snap (Hyperfocal)
• Infinity
•Normal Shooting: External Passive/CCD method, Macro: CCD method
AF area modes • Multi-point (17 points)
• Spot
AF assist lamp Yes
Focus distance • 30cm - ∞ (wide & telephoto)
• 1cm - ∞ (wide macro)
• 4cm - ∞ (tele macro)
• 1cm - ∞ (zoom macro)
Metering • Multi (256 zone)
• Center weighted
• Spot
ISO sensitivity • Auto
• Auto High
• ISO 80
• ISO 100
• ISO 200
• ISO 400
• ISO 800
• ISO 1600
Exposure compensation • +/- 2 EV
• 1/3 EV steps
Exposure bracketing • +/- 0.3EV
• +/- 0.5EV
Shutter speed • Still images: 180 - 1/2000 sec
• Movies: 1/30 - 1/2000 sec
Aperture • F2.5 - 9.1 (wide)
• F4.4 - 15.8 (wide)
Modes • Cont
• S-Cont
• M-Cont
• Program-shift
• Aperture-priority
• Manual exposure
• Movie mode
• My setting 1&2
Scene modes • Portrait
• Sports
• Landscape
• Nightscape
• Skew correction
• Text
• Zoom macro
• High sensitivity
White balance • Auto
• Outdoors
• Cloudy
• Incandescent
• Fluorescent
• Custom
• WB bracketing
White balance fine tune no
Self timer 2 or 10 sec
Interval timer 5 sec - 3 hours interval selectable
Continuous shooting • Cont (Limited only by size of card) 1.6 to 2.4 fps (dependent. on file size/quality).
• Multi-shot (16 shots combined into one image) at 7.5fps
• M (Memory-reversal)-CONT
Image parameters Hard, normal, soft, b/w, two presets (contrast, saturation, sharpening, 5 levels each)
Flash • Auto
• Forced off
• Forced on
• Red-eye reduction
• Slow-sync
• Soft Flash
• Range: 20cm - 5m (wide), 15cm - 3m (tele) (auto ISO)
Viewfinder Removeable electronic viewfinder
LCD monitor • 2.5" TFT LCD
• 230k pixels
•170° view angle.
Connectivity • USB 2.0 Hi-Speed
• AV out
Print compliance • EXIF 2.21
• DPOF
Storage • SDHC/SD/MMC card
• 26MB internal memory
Power • DB-60 Li-ion battery
• 2 x AAA cells (alkaline/oxyride/NIMH)
• BJ-6 Charger included
Weight 220 g (no card, batteries or strap)
250 g (with batteries and strap)
Dimensions 111.6 mm (W) × 58.0 mm (H) × 25.0 mm (D) (excluding projecting parts)


If you're new to digital photography you may wish to read the Digital Photography Glossary before diving into this article (it may help you understand some of the terms used).

Conclusion / Recommendation / Ratings are based on the opinion of the reviewer, you should read the ENTIRE review before coming to your own conclusions.

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This article is Copyright 2007 Simon Joinson / dpreview.com and the review in part or in whole may NOT be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the author. For information on reproducing any part of this review (or any images) please contact: Phil Askey

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