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Ricoh RDC-6000

Ricoh's inexpensive 2 megapixel digicam doubles as a USB webcam. (With optional software.)

<<Reference: Datasheet :(Previous) | (Next): Print-Friendly Review Version>>

RDC-6000 Sample Images

Review First Posted: 1/9/2001

We've begun including links in our reviews to a Thumber-generated index page for our test shots. The Thumber data includes a host of information on the images, including shutter speed, ISO setting, compression setting, etc. Rather than clutter the page below with *all* that detail, we're posting the Thumber index so only those interested in the information need wade through it! ;)


Outdoor portrait: (945k)
The extreme tonal range of this image makes it a tough shot for many digicams, which is precisely why we set it up this way. The object is to hold highlight and shadow detail without producing a "flat" picture with muddy colors, and the Ricoh RDC-6000's exposure system had a lot of trouble in this area. We shot samples of this image with the automatic (939k), daylight (946k), and manual (956k) white balance modes. The camera apparently had a hard time interpreting the harsh lighting, as none of the white balance choices seemed 100 percent accurate. The most noticeable color shifts are visible in the daylight and automatic settings, with daylight white balance producing a warm cast and automatic producing a greenish image. We selected the manual setting for our main image, though it appears slightly bluish, with rather pink skin tones. In all three images, a hot area is noticeable around the center of the image, particularly over the right shoulder of the model. The blues of the model's pants and in the flowers are close to being accurate, but the tonal rendition leaves a good bit to be desired. We chose an exposure compensation of +0.75 EV units for our main shot (945k) for this category. This left the skin tones about the right brightness, but the highlights at that point were completely blown out. The image is a bit soft relative to other 2 megapixel cameras we've tested, most noticeably in the fine details of the model's hair and in the flowers. The shadow areas show hardly any detail, as well as a moderately high noise level. The table below shows a standard exposure compensation series, in increments of 0.25 EV.

Exposure Compensation Settings:
0 EV
1/ 256
F/ 13
(961 k)
0.25 EV
1/ 215
F/ 13
(961 k)
0.5 EV
1/ 140
F/ 6.5
(944 k)
0.75 EV
1/ 91
F/ 6.5
(945 k)
1.0 EV
1/ 70
F/ 6.5
(941 k)
1.25 EV
1/ 166
F/ 6.5
(936 k)



 
Closer portrait: (953k)
As is usually the case with cameras we test, the RDC-6000 required less exposure compensation on this shot than the one above, since the model's face (midtone brightness values) fill more of the frame. For our main shot (953k) for this test, we chose an exposure compensation of only +0.25 EV. The RDC-6000 had the same difficulty with the very strong highlights in this test as in the previous one: By the time we had dialed-in enough exposure compensation to produce good skin tones, the highlights were completely blown out. Like most other fixed focal-length cameras though, the RDC-6000 has another limitation in shots of this sort: The relatively wide-angle lens tends to distort people's features, particularly when you get close enough for their face to fill the frame. The wide angle focal length makes faces appear very round, and enlarges noses out of proportion with the rest of the image. The RDC-6000's wide angle lens is great for getting all of a scene into the picture, but is really ill-suited for close-in portrait work like this. The table below shows the results of an exposure series

Exposure Compensation Settings:
0 EV
1/ 431
F/ 6.5
(952 k)
0.25 EV
1/ 332
F/ 6.5
(953 k)
0.5 EV
1/ 256
F/ 6.5
(947 k)
0.75 EV
1/ 215
F/ 6.5
(944 k)
1.0 EV
1/ 152
F/ 6.5
(911 k)



 
Indoor Portrait, Flash: (941k)
The RDC-6000's flash does a reasonably good job of illuminating the subject, though the overall image appears quite dark and color balance is very magenta. First, we shot with no exposure compensation, which produced this (927k) dark, rather magenta-hued image. Though the majority of the image is quite dark, the highlight areas of the model's white shirt are nearly blown-out. Next, we added a +1.0 EV (941k) exposure adjustment, which brightened the image ever so slightly, but kept the magenta cast. Again, the highlights of the model's shirt are a bit bright. We also noticed that the overall flash area is quite small, as it creates a bright spot in the center of the image, with a great deal of falloff near the edges and corners. Next, we decreased the exposure compensation to -0.5 EV (937k), which darkened the image slightly, and just barely intensified the magenta cast. Finally, we shot with the RDC-6000's Slow Synchro (948k) flash mode, and decreased the exposure compensation to -0.75 EV. The slow synchro mode produce by far the best exposure in the midtones, but at the cost of totally losing highlight details in the model's shirt. OVerall, we felt that the +1 EV exposure was probably the best representation of the RDC-6000's flash capabilities, and so chose that for our main shot for this category.


 
Indoor portrait, no flash: (953k)
This shot is always a very tough test of a camera's white balance capability, given the strong, yellowish color cast of the household incandescent bulbs used for the lighting, and again, the RDC-6000's white balance system has a difficult time. We tested the automatic (939k), incandescent (941k), and manual (953k) white balance settings, eventually settling on manual for our main series. The incandescent white balance setting produced a very warm image, while the automatic and manual settings produced similar results. Both result in slightly magenta images, though we felt the overall color balance was a little more accurate with the manual setting. Despite the color cast, color balance looks reasonably good in the flowers, though the model's face is very warm. We chose a +0.75 EV adjustment for our main shot, as anything beyond that overexposed the highlight areas. (Actually, the highlight areas are pretty hot in the lower exposure compensation settings as well.) A moderate amount of noise is present throughout the entire image, most noticeable in the shadow areas. We also snapped sample images with the camera's ISO 200 (935k) and ISO 400 (938k) settings, which markedly improved the overall exposure. Though both images showed odd splotchy color casts in the background wall, the overall exposure and color balance looks much better and more accurate. Noise level does visibly increase, but the better color balance is almost worth it. The table below shows a range of exposure adjustments from zero to +1.75 EV.

Exposure Compensation Settings:
0 EV
1/ 12
F/ 2.8
(955 k)
0.25 EV
1/ 11
F/ 2.8
(959 k)
0.5 EV
1/ 7
F/ 2.8
(1010 k)
0.75 EV
1/ 9
F/ 2.8
(953 k)
1.0 EV
1/ 7
F/ 2.8
(1020 k)
1.25 EV
1/ 6
F/ 2.8
(980 k)
1.5 EV
1/ 5
F/ 2.8
(973 k)



 
House shot: (874k)
NOTE that this is the "new" house shot, a much higher-resolution poster than we first used in our tests. To compare the image of the RDC-6000 with previously tested cameras, here's a shot of the original house poster in the manual (733k) white balance setting.

We shot samples of this image with the automatic (62k), daylight (62k), manual (62k), fluorescent (61k), and user defined (61k) white balance modes, choosing the manual setting as the most accurate overall. Both daylight and automatic white balance settings produced slightly greenish images, while the fluorescent setting resulted in a yellowish image. Overall, we found the best color balance and white value with the manual setting, which based the white balance on a white card held in front of the lens. Resolution looks pretty good throughout the image, with a nice amount of fine detail visible in the tree limbs, shrubbery, and house front. Though we can see a lot of detail, the entire image appears a little soft (particularly in the nonlinear details of the foliage). Noise is moderately high in the roof shingles and shadow areas throughout the front of the house. In-camera sharpening is just scarcely visible, with just a pixel or two of the halo effect visible around the light and dark edges of the white trim along the roof line. The entire image appears slightly dim, but color balance and exposure look much better here than with our Outdoor and Indoor portraits. The table below shows the full range of resolution and quality settings for the RDC-6000.

Resolution/Quality series
Large/Fine
1/ 41
F/ 4
(874 k)
Large/Normal
1/ 45
F/ 4
(476 k)
Large/Economy
1/ 45
F/ 4
(248 k)
Medium/Medium
1/ 45
F/ 4
(218 k)
Medium/Normal
1/ 45
F/ 4
(128 k)
Medium/Economy
1/ 45
F/ 4
(62 k)
Small/Fine
1/ 45
F/ 4
(145 k)
Small/Normal
1/ 45
F/ 4
(84 k)
Small/Economy
1/ 45
F/ 4
(42 k)



 
 
Far-Field Test (642k)
This image is shot at infinity to test far-field lens performance. NOTE that this image cannot be directly compared to the other "house" shot, which is a poster, shot in the studio. The rendering of detail in the poster will be very different than in this shot, and color values (and even the presence or absence of leaves on the trees!) will vary in this subject as the seasons progress. In general though, you can evaluate detail in the bricks, shingles and window detail, and in the tree branches against the sky. Compression artifacts are most likely to show in the trim along the edge of the roof, in the bricks, or in the relatively "flat" areas in the windows.

We shot this image with the automatic white balance mode, since it produced the most accurate color balance. Color balance looks pretty accurate overall, though the blue sky is very intense, and the red bricks are just slightly undersaturated. This shot is a strong test of detail, given the practically infinite range of fine detail present in natural objects viewed from a distance. Resolution looks very good, with a lot of fine detail visible in the tree branches against the sky, as well as in the shrubbery in front of the house and in the house front details. Again, we noticed that the overall image appears somewhat soft. We also judge a camera's dynamic range in this shot, comparing how well the camera holds detail in both the shadow and highlight areas. The RDC-6000 has a poor dynamic range, as it completely loses detail in the bright bay window and other highlight areas. Likewise, the dark shadows of the wooded areas are somewhat lacking in detail. A moderate amount of noise exists in the roof shingles and shadows. We also shot with the 100 (827k), 200 (882k), and 400 (962k) ISO settings, noticing interesting shifts in color saturation and exposure. Overall color saturation appears the most intense at the 100 ISO setting, though the blues become even more intense at 200 ISO. Alternatively, at 400 ISO, the entire image becomes much darker, and the colors more muted. (The variable ISO shots were taken at nominal exposure, our main resolution series was shot at a compensation of +0.25 EV.) As you might expect, noise level dramatically increases with the higher ISO settings. The table below shows the full resolution and quality series.

Resolution/Quality series
Large/Fine
1/ 181
F/ 6.5
(842 k)
Large/Normal
1/ 181
F/ 6.5
(473 k)
Large/Economy
1/ 181
F/ 6.5
(247 k)
Medium/Medium
1/ 181
F/ 6.5
(206 k)
Medium/Normal
1/ 181
F/ 6.5
(125 k)
Medium/Economy
1/ 181
F/ 6.5
(62 k)
Small/Fine
1/ 181
F/ 6.5
(136 k)
Small/Normal
1/ 181
F/ 6.5
(84 k)
Small/Economy
1/ 181
F/ 6.5
(42 k)



 
 
Lens Zoom Range
We've received a number of requests from readers to take shots showing the lens focal length range of those cameras with zoom lenses. Though the RDC-6000 doesn't feature an optical zoom lens, we're happy to show you the field of view with the lens at full wide angle, as well as at the 2x and 4x digital telephoto settings (sorry, we skipped the 3x setting). In normal shooting mode, the RDC-6000 presents a reasonably wide field of view, with just a trace of barrel distortion noticeable along the roof line (though the angle of the roof line can at times be deceiving when compared to the ground line, almost like an optical illusion). As is common with "digital zoom" features, the image size decreases in direct proportion to the zoom level, dropping to 640x480 at 2x and 400x304 at 4x. As always, our view of digital zoom is that it might have limited usefulness for web publishers or for email usage, but can't remotely be compared to the action of an actual zoom lens..

Wide Angle (Normal)
Shutter: 1/279
Aperture: F6.5
(62k)
2x Digital Telephoto
Shutter: 1/362
Aperture: F6.5
(151k)
4x Digital Telephoto
Shutter: 1/395
Aperture: F6.5
(65k)



 
 
Musicians Poster (953k)
We shot samples of this image using the automatic (63k), daylight (63k), fluorescent (63k), and manual (63k) white balance settings, choosing the manual setting as the most accurate. Both the automatic and fluorescent settings produced bluish images, with automatic producing the strongest color cast. The daylight and manual settings actually resulted in similar images, but we picked the manual setting as the daylight setting was a hair warmer (particularly noticeable in the skin tones). (The heavy amount of blue in the image often tricks digicams into overcompensating, so the RDC-6000 does pretty well with this shot.) Color balance is actually quite good throughout the image, with the difficult blue of the Oriental model's robe coming out about right (though maybe a little dark). Skin tones also look good, though we noticed that the RDC-6000 seems to have trouble dealing with red gradients. Fairly subtle reddish gradations on the poster result in obvious red patches (noticeable on the cheeks of both the Oriental and Caucasian models). Resolution looks good, with a lot of the fine detail visible in the bird wings and silver threads on the blue robe, including the subtle color gradations on the wings (though these details tend to wash out on the brighter parts of the bird wing and on the other smaller bird). The flower garland, violin strings, and beaded necklaces also show a fair amount of detail. Noise is moderately high throughout the image. Below is our standard resolution and quality series.

Resolution/Quality series
Large/Fine
1/ 27
F/ 4
(953 k)
Large/Normal
1/ 27
F/ 4
(480 k)
Large/Economy
1/ 27
F/ 4
(239 k)
Medium/Medium
1/ 23
F/ 4
(220 k)
Medium/Normal
1/ 23
F/ 4
(128 k)
Medium/Economy
1/ 23
F/ 4
(63 k)
Small/Fine
1/ 23
F/ 4
(144 k)
Small/Normal
1/ 23
F/ 4
(85 k)
Small/Economy
1/ 23
F/ 4
(42 k)



 
Macro Shot (910k)
The RDC-6000 performs moderately well in the macro category, capturing a minimum area of 4.13 x 3.10 inches (104.85 x 78.63mm). Color balance looks about right, and there's a nice amount of detail visible. The brooch appears a little soft, possibly due to a limited depth of field. We also noticed a fairly bright area in the center of the image, which gives the light background of the dollar bill a slightly magenta cast.


"Davebox" Test Target (967k)
We shot samples of this target with the automatic (66k), daylight (66k), fluorescent (66k), and manual (66k) white balance settings, again choosing the manual setting for our main series. The daylight and automatic settings both produced greenish results, with very blown-out highlight areas. The fluorescent setting also had a greenish tint, but without the warm cast in the highlight areas. We were actually pretty impressed with the manual white balance setting's performance, given the difficulties encountered with the RDC-6000's white balance system in other parts of our testing. The large cyan, magenta, and yellow color blocks look reasonably accurate, though the magenta block appears slightly undersaturated. The RDC-6000 just barely distinguishes between the red and magenta color blocks on the middle, horizontal color chart, which is a problem area for many digicams. As we've noticed all along, exposure is a little too bright, evidenced by loss of the subtle tonal variations in the Q60 chart, which are visible only up to the "C" range (another common problem area for digicams). Interestingly, gray balance in the mid- to three-quarter tones is a bit uneven, with the upper blocks of the vertical gray scale showing significant hue variations. The shadow area of the briquettes shows only a very limited amount detail, as does the white gauze area, which features very bright highlights. Noise is moderate throughout the image, mostly noticeable in the black areas and shadows. We again shot with the camera's 100 (967k), 200 (962k), and 400 (980k) ISO settings, noticing that the exposure darkened with the 200 and 400 settings. Additionally, the 400 setting showed a higher magenta level in the black areas, and noise was greatly increased. Below is our standard resolution and quality series.

Resolution/Quality series
Large/Fine
1/ 41
F/ 4
(967 k)
Large/Normal
1/ 41
F/ 4
(475 k)
Large/Economy
1/ 41
F/ 4
(241 k)
Medium/Medium
1/ 41
F/ 4
(249 k)
Medium/Normal
1/ 41
F/ 4
(124 k)
Medium/Economy
1/ 41
F/ 4
(66 k)
Small/Fine
1/ 41
F/ 4
(165 k)
Small/Normal
1/ 41
F/ 4
(86 k)
Small/Economy
1/ 41
F/ 4
(45 k)



 
Low-Light Tests
As we expected, the RDC-6000 didn't fare too well in the low-light category, due to its rather short maximum exposure time. We were only able to obtain bright, useable images at light levels as low as four foot-candles (22 lux) at the 200 and 400 ISO settings, and as low as two foot-candles (44 lux) at the 100 ISO setting. Beyond that, the image became very dim, with only the reflection in the silver lid visible at the 1/16 foot candle (0.67 lux) level. Noise is moderately high with the 100 ISO setting, and dramatically higher with the 200 and 400 ISO levels. To put the RDC-6000's low light performance into perspective, an average city night scene under modern street lighting corresponds to a light level of about one foot-candle. The table below shows the best exposure we were able to obtain for each ISO setting at a range of illumination levels. Images in this table (like all of our sample photos) are untouched, exactly as they came from the camera.

Click to see RD6L1000.JPG

966.8 KB
1/ 7
F 2.8

Click to see RD6L1001.JPG

1,019.4 KB
1/ 5
F 2.8

Click to see RD6L1002.JPG

1,151.1 KB
1/ 5
F 2.8

Click to see RD6L1003.JPG

971.7 KB
1/ 5
F 2.8

Click to see RD6L1004.JPG

727.4 KB
1/ 5
F 2.8

Click to see RD6L1005.JPG

267.7 KB
1/ 5
F 2.8

Click to see RD6L1006.JPG

844.9 KB
1/ 5
F 2.8

Click to see RD6L1007.JPG

242.0 KB
1/ 5
F 2.8

Click to see RD6L2000.JPG

947.9 KB
1/ 7
F 2.8

Click to see RD6L2001.JPG

1,012.4 KB
1/ 6
F 2.8

Click to see RD6L2002.JPG

1,089.4 KB
1/ 5
F 2.8

Click to see RD6L2003.JPG

903.3 KB
1/ 5
F 2.8

Click to see RD6L2004.JPG

763.1 KB
1/ 5
F 2.8

Click to see RD6L2005.JPG

195.6 KB
1/ 5
F 2.8

Click to see RD6L2006.JPG

162.8 KB
1/ 5
F 2.8

Click to see RD6L2007.JPG

116.6 KB
1/ 5
F 2.8

Click to see RD6L4000.JPG

944.2 KB
1/ 10
F 2.8

Click to see RD6L4001.JPG

940.6 KB
1/ 7
F 2.8

Click to see RD6L4002.JPG

1,002.5 KB
1/ 5
F 2.8

Click to see RD6L4003.JPG

1,069.1 KB
1/ 5
F 2.8

Click to see RD6L4004.JPG

890.7 KB
1/ 5
F 2.8

Click to see RD6L4005.JPG

453.0 KB
1/ 5
F 2.8

Click to see RD6L4006.JPG

341.8 KB
1/ 5
F 2.8

Click to see RD6L4007.JPG

425.9 KB
1/ 5
F 2.8




 
Flash Range Test
Ricoh rates the RDC-6000's flash effective from 1.0 to 9.9 feet (0.3 to 3.0m), which is in line with our test results. We found the RDC-6000's flash effective all the way out to 14 feet, although the brightness level immediately drops after nine feet and continues to decrease proportionately at greater distances. We also noticed a very magenta color cast in all the flash images. Below is our flash range series, with distances from eight to 14 feet from the target.

8 ft
1/ 49
F/ 2.8
(257 k)
9 ft
1/ 49
F/ 2.8
(240 k)
10 ft
1/ 49
F/ 2.8
(238 k)
11 ft
1/ 49
F/ 2.8
(299 k)
12 ft
1/ 49
F/ 2.8
(233 k)
13 ft
1/ 49
F/ 2.8
(233 k)
14 ft
1/ 49
F/ 2.8
(237 k)



 
ISO-12233 (WG-18) Resolution Test (963k)
As we observed in our other tests, the RDC-6000's resolution is at the lower end of the current 2 megapixel camera spectrum. (Perhaps not surprising, as it's price is also at the lower end of the spectrum as well.) Good detail is visible out to 700 lines per picture height in both horizontal and vertical directions, but aliasing ("jaggies") start back at about 550 lines in the horizontal direction, and 600 lines in the vertical. Overall, we'd "call" the resolution at 650 lines/picture height in both horizontal and vertical directions.

Resolution/Quality series
Large/Fine
1/ 54
F/ 4
(963 k)
Large/Normal
1/ 59
F/ 4
(469 k)
Large/Economy
1/ 59
F/ 4
(245 k)
Medium/Medium
1/ 59
F/ 4
(254 k)
Medium/Normal
1/ 59
F/ 4
(125 k)
Medium/Economy
1/ 59
F/ 4
(68 k)
Small/Fine
1/ 59
F/ 4
(166 k)
Small/Normal
1/ 59
F/ 4
(85 k)
Small/Economy
1/ 59
F/ 4
(46 k)



 
Viewfinder Accuracy/Flash Uniformity
We found the RDC-6000's optical viewfinder (244k) to be extremely inaccurate, as the resulting image showed a very small area of the target, making it impossible for us to perform our standard measurements. The LCD monitor (1730k) fared much better, showing approximately 95 percent of the final image area at the 2000 x 1480, 1600 x 1200, and 800 x 600 image sizes. However, we noticed that the 640 x 480 (43k) resolution size resulted in a similar final image area as that of the optical viewfinder. We usually like to see LCD monitors as close to 100 percent accuracy as possible, so the RDC-6000 performs well in this respect.

Optical distortion on the RDC-6000 is moderate, as we measured approximately 0.64 percent barrel distortion. This is lower than that of most digicam zoom lenses when set to their widest-angle position, but more than we're accustomed to seeing in fixed focal-length lenses. (0.4% would be more typical.) Flash distribution looks rather uneven, with the brightest spot in the very center of the target and a great deal of falloff around the edges. We also noticed somewhat splotchy color casts across the target as well. Chromatic aberration is quite low though, with only about 1 to 1.5 pixels of color showing around the corner elements of the resolution target.

 

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<<Reference: Datasheet | Print-Friendly Review Version>>

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