My Ricoh CX1 Review Part 1

Started Apr 1, 2009 | Discussions thread
ForumParentFirstPrevious
Flat view
w4rmk Contributing Member • Posts: 571
My Ricoh CX1 Review Part 1

Here are some of my thoughts regarding my new Ricoh CX1. This is not intended to be a complete review since that's been done already. This is just some of my random observations after a few days of use. I would also recommend reading the following reviews:
http://www.photographyblog.com/reviews/ricoh_cx1_review/
http://www.photoreview.com.au/Ricoh/reviews/slimline/ricoh-cx1.aspx

For a quick background I have previously owned the Ricoh R3, R5, R6. I currently own the following compacts: Panasonic FX500, Fujifilm F40, Fujifilm F200EXR.

I purchased a Ricoh CX1 this past weekend from Adorama. I looked at both the Silver and Black and felt that the black looked much better. They had the R10 right next to the CX1 and the bodies are pretty much identical. I also picked up the genuine Ricoh leather case along with a generic spare battery. FYI, the CX1 uses the same battery as many Panasonic's (DMW-BCE10).

Kit / Unpacking:

The items included are pretty much standard for what you get these days, the wall charger is the type that plugs directly into the wall which I really like. It charges the battery in about 2 hours. The battery is 940mah. The Adorama generic is rated at 1200mah. Genuine Panasonic's are rated at 1000mah. In real world usage I suspect they are probably pretty much the same. Nothing else of any interest in included just the standard fare - usb cable, software, manual, etc. There is no doubt this is a real USA kit because the English manual is the only one included in the box. It's a nice size book that covers everything and has many nice hints and notes throughout.

Body / Design:

My first impression holding the camera is that it feels really well built and solid. Ricoh significantly improved the build over the R3/5/6 series which felt like they used some cheap materials. The joystick on the back is sold and moves with confidence. The power button is nicely recessed so it won't be accidentally pressed. The mode dial has just enough friction so it doesn't spin too easily. I particularly like how the entire front is black including the frame around the lens. Each tube of the 3 piece zoom section is completely black. As a reference on both the Fuji F200EXR and Panasonic FX500 cameras these sections are silver even if you buy the black color cameras.

Zoom / Lens

If you ever tried any of the early Ricoh R series cameras you know that their zoom mechanisms were loud and crunchy sounding. I was so glad to find that Ricoh has fixed this and the zoom on the CX1 is fairly quiet and smooth. I have felt better zooms but this one is decent and won’t annoy. Having the zoom control around the shutter button is ideal in my opinion. Feels much more natural that buttons on the back of the camera that were on the early R series. One of main draws of the Ricoh is its excellent zoom range for the size of the camera. I mean 28-200mm is just about ideal. There are wider and longer but nothing that covers the same range in this body size. The lens performance so far has been very good. I don’t see any blurry sections of lack of sharpness.

LCD Screen

All I can say about the LCD is WOW is this sucker sharp! 920k pixels are you kidding me! This looks sharper than the screen on my iPhone. It brings a smile to my face every time I look at it. It’s leaps and bounds better than the LCDs on my other compacts. The little level display is awesome and works great, first time I’ve seen that in a compact. I like how Ricoh shows a good amount of detail on screen, including the zoom position and when half-pressing the shutter it shows the aperture, shutter speed and ISO that will be used before the picture is taken. The menu system is pretty good although some of Ricoh’s terminology is unique and required me to do some reading to make sure I knew what they were talking about. Also a little cool find I came across today – when the camera is off if you hold the play button for a few seconds the camera will turn on in playback mode without extending the lens, very nice.

Ricoh Image Quality in the Past

Let me start out by saying that I have been very disappointed in the image quality from the Ricoh R3/R5/R6 cameras. I really wanted to like those cameras because of the excellent zoom range but the image quality just flat out stunk. There was noise even at ISO 80. I also didn’t like how Ricoh handled noise reduction, at higher ISO I would get noise bands, color specs, etc. it was just a mess. In the case of the previous R cameras I couldn’t return them fast enough. So needless to say Ricoh had a very skeptical buyer here…

ForumParentFirstPrevious
Flat view
Post (hide subjects) Posted by
FFF
FFF
FFF
ForumParentFirstPrevious
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum PPrevious NNext WNext unread UUpvote SSubscribe RReply QQuote BBookmark MMy threads
Color scheme? Blue / Yellow