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Ricoh R8 Concise Review

March 2008 | By Lars Rehm

Review based on a production Ricoh R8

Ricoh is a camera manufacturer that tends to swim against the stream, not only in terms of product range but also in the way it schedules its product announcements. While all the big boys announced their new toys just before or right at PMA in Las Vegas, Ricoh decided to wait a couple of weeks longer and let the world know about the new addition to its compact camera range at a rather understated press event.

The R8 comes as an upgrade to the R7, itself launched a mere six months ago. The new model constitutes only a fairly minor upgrade. The key changes are the new, slightly boxier design, the inevitable increase in megapixels (from eight to ten) and a larger 2.7" screen which now has an impressive resolution of 460,000 pixels. The 28-200mm equiv. zoom and 3rd generation Smooth Imaging Engine have been carried over from the predecessor.

In addition the R8 comes with a number of interesting features which are rarely seen on the big manufacturers' cameras. The feature list includes a movable AF/AE target area, 1:1 image ratio option and levels and white balance adjustment in review mode, amongst others.

In the marketplace the Ricoh R8 will be up against such established opponents as the Panasonic TZ series or Canon's SX100 IS. We got one of the first R8 specimens on the launch day and have put it through the ordeal that is the dpreview test process. See how it managed all the abuse and how it shapes up against the competition on the following pages. As usual let's start with the headline features:

  • 10.0 million effective pixels
  • 7.1x (28-200mm equiv.) zoom, step zoom selectable (28, 35, 50, 85, 105, 135, 200mm)
  • ISO 1600
  • Optical Image Stabilization (sensor shift)
  • Smooth Imaging Engine III
  • Face Detection
  • 2.7" LCD screen (460,000 pixels)
  • Levels and white balance adjustment in review mode
  • 1cm macro mode
  • AF/AE target shift

Ricoh R8 specifications

Street price • US: $400
• UK: £250
Sensor

• 1/2.3" Type CCD
• 10 million effective pixels

Image sizes

• 3648 x 2736
• 3648 x 2432 (3:2)
• 2736 x 2736 (1:1)
• 3264 x 2448
• 2592 x 1944
• 2048 x 1536
• 1280 x 960
• 640 x 480

Movie clips

• 640 x 480 (@ either 30 or 15fps)
• 320 x 240 (@ either 30 or 15fps)

File formats • JPEG (EXIF 2.2)
• AVI (Motion JPEG Format)
Lens

• 4.95 mm – 35.4 mm
• Approx. 28 mm – 200mm (35mm equiv.)
• F3.3 -5.2

Image stabilization Yes (CCD shift-type)
Conversion lenses No
Digital zoom up to 5.1x
Focus TTL Contrast Detection AF
AF area mode • Multi AF
• Spot AF
• Manual focus
• Fixed (snap) focus
• Infinity (focus lock)
AF assist lamp Yes
Focus distance • Normal: 0.3m to infinity (entire zoom range)
• Tele: 1m to infinity
• Macro: 1cm to infinity (wide-angle), 25cm to infinity (tele)
Metering • Multi light metering (256 segments)
• Center weighted
• Spot
ISO sensitivity

• Auto ISO
• Auto HI
• ISO 64
• ISO 100
• ISO 200
• ISO 400
• ISO 800
• ISO 1600

Exposure compensation ± 2EV in 1/3 EV steps
Exposure bracketing +/- 0.5EV
Shutter speed 1/2000s to 8s
Aperture F3.3 -5.2
Modes • Auto
Scene modes • Portrait
• Face
• Sports
• Landscape
• Nightscape
• High Sensitivity
• Zoom Macro
• Black & White
• Sepia
• Skew Correction
• Text
White balance

• Automatic
• Outdoors
• Cloudy
• Incandescent
• Incandescent 2
• Fluorescent
• Manual selectable
• WB bracket
• WB adjustment in movie mode

Self timer 2 or 10 sec
Continuous shooting • Continuous
• Continuous - Stream
• Continuous - Memory reversal
• Interval timer
Flash • Auto
• Red Eye Reduction
• Forced on
• Slow synchro
• Soft flash
• Forced off
Flash range • Approx. 20 cm - 3.0 m (Wide-angle, ISO Auto)
• Approx. 25 cm - 2.0 m (Telephoto, ISO Auto)
Viewfinder No
LCD monitor • 2.7“ TFT LCD color monitor
• Approx.460,000 pixels
• Approx. 100% coverage
Connectivity • USB 2.0 High Speed
• AV out (PAL/NTSC)
• DC input
Print compliance • Pictbridge
• DPOF
Storage • SD/SDHC cards
• 24 MB internal memory
Power • DB-70 Lithium Ion battery
• AC adaptor (optional)
Weight (No batt) 126g (excluding battery, memory card and strap)
Dimensions 102 x 58.3 x 26.1 mm (4.0 x 2.3 x 1.0 in)


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.

Images which can be viewed at a larger size have a small magnifying glass icon in the bottom right corner of the image, clicking on the image will display a larger (typically VGA) image in a new window.

To navigate the review simply use the next / previous page buttons, to jump to a particular section either pick the section from the drop down or select it from the navigation bar at the top.

DPReview calibrate their monitors using Color Vision OptiCal at the (fairly well accepted) PC normal gamma 2.2, this means that on our monitors we can make out the difference between all of the (computer generated) grayscale blocks below. We recommend to make the most of this review you should be able to see the difference (at least) between X,Y and Z and ideally A,B and C.

This article is Copyright 2008 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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