Ricoh R10 Review
|Full model name:||Ricoh R10|
|Dimensions:||4.0 x 2.3 x 1.0 in.
(102 x 58 x 26 mm)
|Weight:||5.9 oz (168 g)|
|Full specs:||Ricoh R10 specifications|
The Ricoh R10 sports the same 1/2.3", 10 megapixel CCD image sensor as its predecessor the R8. The R10 likewise retains the same 7.1x optical zoom lens, which offers a useful 28 - 200mm equivalent focal range, and a maximum aperture that varies from f/3.3 to f/5.2 as the zoom is moved from wide angle to telephoto. The most notable change is an upgrade to the LCD display. Where the R8 had a 2.7" panel, the Ricoh R10 boosts this to a 3.0" type instead. Resolution is unchanged at 460,000 dots. Ricoh has also incorporated the "electronic level" function from its GR Digital II and GX200 digital cameras into the R10. Achieved with an electronic sensor, the function allows an indication of whether the camera is level to be given either visually on the LCD display, or audibly via an intermittent tone triggered when the camera is level. The same hardware also allows the addition of a feature that automatically rotates images during playback to match the current orientation of the camera.
A user-programmable Function button has also been added to the rear panel of the camera, and two additional positions have been added to the top panel Mode dial - "Scene", and "Easy". The latter mode disables all but the most frequently used functions of the camera for enhanced simplicity, and also sets the Function button to act as a Backlight Compensation button. Rounding out the changes to the body, the shape of the trim piece that serves as a hand grip on the camera's front has also been altered slightly.
The minimum sensitivity of the Ricoh R10 has been raised somewhat from ISO 64 to ISO 80 equivalent, although the maximum remains unchanged at ISO 1,600 equivalent. The built in memory has also been upgraded from 24MB to 54MB available, and an unusual "Image Flag" function allows the user to select three specific images for quick recall. Ricoh suggests this function could be used to easily recall an image of a map or timetable when traveling. An "Auto Level Compensation" function has been added in record mode (not to be confused with the R8's similar function in playback mode). When this function is set, the Ricoh R10 attempts to prevent loss of detail in highlight and shadow areas of images. Another very slight change is that when in Macro mode, the minimum macro shooting distance (which varies based on zoom position) is shown on the LCD display.
Most other features are unchanged from the original R8 model. As with its predecessor, the Ricoh R10 includes CCD shift-type image stabilization, shutter speeds from 8 to 1/2000 second, three metering modes (256-segment multi, center-weighted, or spot), auto or manual white balance (plus 5 presets and a bracketing function), and a Program mode plus ten scene modes. There's also face detection autofocus, macro focusing down to 1cm, manual focusing capability, a five-mode flash with red-eye reduction and slow sync capabilities, and a VGA movie mode (AVI file format / Motion JPEG compression). As well as the previously mentioned built-in memory, there's also an SD / SDHC card storage slot. Power comes from a proprietary DB-70 battery rated for 270 shots on a charge (300 shots when using LCD auto-dim), and connectivity options include NTSC / PAL video plus USB 2.0 High Speed connectivity.
The Ricoh R10 will be available in Europe and Asia; plans for a US release haven't been disclosed (although Ricoh does now have US dealers). UK pricing is set at £200, with availability there slated for mid October 2008.
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