Ricoh Caplio GX100 Review
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
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|
1/1.75" Type CCD
|File formats|| Still: JPEG, RAW (DNG), RAW & JPEG
Movie: AVI (Open DML Motion JPEG Format Compliant)
5.1-15.3mm (24-72 35 mm equivalent) 3x optical zoom
|Conversion lenses||19mm equivalent wide converter (Optional)|
|Digital zoom||up to 4x|
|Focus||• Auto focus
• Manual focus
• Snap (Hyperfocal)
•Normal Shooting: External Passive/CCD method, Macro: CCD method
|AF area modes|| Multi-point (17 points)
|AF assist lamp||Yes|
|Focus distance|| 30cm - ∞ (wide & telephoto)
1cm - ∞ (wide macro)
4cm - ∞ (tele macro)
1cm - ∞ (zoom macro)
|Metering|| Multi (256 zone)
|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
|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)
My setting 1&2
|Scene modes|| Portrait
|White balance|| Auto
• 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)|
Range: 20cm - 5m (wide), 15cm - 3m (tele) (auto ISO)
|Viewfinder||Removeable electronic viewfinder|
|LCD monitor|| 2.5" TFT LCD
•170° view angle.
|Connectivity||• USB 2.0 Hi-Speed
• AV out
|Print compliance|| EXIF 2.21
|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)|
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