Ricoh G700 Overview
The Ricoh G700 has a lengthy list of features making it well-suited to industrial and cleanroom usage -- some of which we've seen before to varying degrees, and some which are brand new. The G700 is water- and dustproofing to the highest standards in the Japanese JIS 2-8 and European IEC 529 specifications, and merits an IP68 rating. This means that it is considered to offer complete protection against dust, and allows immersion beyond one meter underwater in conditions defined by the manufacturer. In the case of the Ricoh G700, underwater use is said to be possible at up to a depth of five meters, for as long as two hours.
The G700 is also shockproof to the MIL-STD-810F Method 516.5 procedure IV, the Transit Drop test, which requires that up to five samples of the camera be dropped a total of 26 times onto two-inch thick plywood over concrete, so that it will land on each of its faces, edges, and corners. The G700 passes this test from 2.0 meters, even when powered on. With its optional wide-angle converter lens attached, it will still pass the test from 1.5 meters -- the same height from which the previous G600 model could pass this test body-only. The G700 can also be operated at temperatures between -10C and 40C.
We've seen plenty of waterproof, dustproof, shockproof, and even freezeproof cameras over the years, but Ricoh takes this a step further by making the G700's body from materials that allow cleaning with ethanol and hypochlorous acid-based disinfectants. This allows use in environments such as medical facilities, and those producing items such as pharmaceuticals, food, and cosmetics, where hygiene is a must. The G700's controls also feature large buttons, making the camera conducive to use with gloved hands.
Further features of the Ricoh G700 make it well-suited to business and industrial use, including a security function that allows password protection of the camera at various levels -- for example, preventing use of the camera altogether, preventing image playback, restricting camera settings changes, or even setting the camera to only allow use of write-once, read-many (WORM) memory cards from SanDisk. The G700 can also be set to secure images as they're captured, so that any subsequent modifications to the images can be detected using the supplied Ricoh EC1 software package.
One final feature that's particularly unusual is that the Ricoh G700 can read a variety of linear and matrix barcodes by placing them in front of the lens, and then store the information from the barcode as a camera memo in the EXIF header of an image. Compatible barcode types include the following:
Linear: EAN-13/8 (JAN-13/8), UPC-A/E, UPC/EAN (with add-ons), Interleaved 2 of 5, CODEBAR (NW-7), CODE 39, CODE 93, CODE 128 TYPE C, GS1-128 (EAN-128), and RSS (GS1 DataBar)
Matrix: QR Code, Micro QR Code, DataMatrix(ECC200), PDF417, Micro PDF417, MaxiCode, EAN・UCC Composite(GS1 DataBar Composite)
The Ricoh G700 has a twelve megapixel CCD image sensor, coupled to a Ricoh-branded, prism-folded 5x optical zoom lens with 37mm lens thread. The lens provides 35mm-equivalent focal lengths ranging from a useful 28mm wide angle to a moderate 140mm telephoto. There's no optical or mechanical stabilization, with the Ricoh G700 instead relying on digital image stabilization, which generally works by raising ISO sensitivities (and noise), or sometimes using software deblurring techniques. Maximum aperture ranges from f/3.5 to f/5.5 across the zoom range. Both automatic contrast detection and manual focusing are possible, with a minimum focusing distance in macro mode of just one centimeter. ISO sensitivities range from 64 to 3,200 equivalents, shutter speeds from 1/1,500 to eight seconds, and metering modes include 256-segment multi, center-weighted, and spot. A selection of six scene modes includes a Firefighting option, again hinting at this camera's unusually workmanlike design.
There's no optical or electronic viewfinder on the Ricoh G700, with a high-res 920,000 dot 3.0-inch LCD display catering for all interaction. JPEG still images and 720p AVI MotionJPEG movies are stored in 103MB of internal memory, or on SD / SDHC cards, including SanDisk's single-write WORM media. Connectivity includes video output of unspecified type, and USB 2.0 High Speed data. Optional accessories include a DW-5 wide conversion lens, which when attached gives a very generous 22mm-equivalent field of view.
There are currently no plans to bring the Ricoh G700 to the United States market. In Japan, the Ricoh G700 goes on sale from September 10, 2010, and pricing information was not available at press time.