Ricoh preparing 5mpix, 7.1x ultracompact?|
(Tuesday, August 30, 2005 - 05:34 EDT)
Articles from several Chinese websites recently suggest that office automation / consumer electronics company Ricoh Co. Ltd. of Japan is working on a new digital camera model with a fairly interesting feature set.
The rumored Ricoh Caplio R3 would follow in the footsteps of the company's Caplio R1, R2, and R2S models, which offered 4.8x optical zoom lenses in ultracompact bodies. The new R3, according to these rumors, would be even smaller at 95 x 53 x 26mm, just a millimeter or two larger in each direction than Panasonic's current Lumix FX-series cameras.
Despite the decrease in size, it would offer an impressive 28 - 200mm F3.3-4.8 7.1x optical zoom lens that would dominate the front of the camera. This would be coupled to a 5.0 megapixel CCD image sensor that apparently provides for an anti-shake feature as well (although it isn't clear if this would be accomplished in software with a reduction in resolution, or in hardware by moving the entire sensor as in Konica Minolta's CCD-Shift Anti-Shake system).
Other rumored features include a second-generation imaging engine, an ISO sensitivity range from 64 - 800, 2.5" LCD display with 114,000 pixels, macro focusing to one centimeter, one second startup time, and two frames per second burst capability.
News of the camera first appeared on two Chinese websites, and has since been removed from both (although Google's cache still shows the info from one of the sites, which has not taken its product images offline). Numerous Japanese blogs (1, 2, 3, amongst others) have also picked the story up, and several German shopping websites also list the model number. So - is the Caplio R3 real? We don't yet know - the pictures look reasonably convincing, and if the camera is officially announced, you'll hear about it on our news page.