Digital Camera Home > Digital Camera Reviews > Ricoh Digital Cameras > Ricoh Caplio RR30

Digital Cameras - Ricoh Caplio RR30 Test Images

 

I've begun including links in our reviews to a Thumber-generated index page for the 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:

Trouble with exposure with the original firmware, and a very cool color balance, though resolution is good.

The extreme tonal range of this image makes it a tough shot for many digicams, which is precisely why I set it up this way, and why I shoot it with no fill flash or reflector to open the shadows. The object is to hold both highlight and shadow detail without producing a "flat" picture with muddy colors, and the RR30 had a little trouble with the high-key lighting.

The shot at right was taken with the camera's original firmware (see the note below), with a +1.7 EV exposure compensation adjustment, which still resulted in slightly dark midtones, and a dim overall exposure. However, bumping the exposure compensation up to +2.0 EV overexposed the entire shot. Despite a slight blue cast, I chose the Auto white balance for the main series, as the Daylight setting produced a much cooler image. The Manual setting resulted in a warmer color balance, but with a strong yellow-greenish cast.

Skin tones are rather cool, from the blue cast, but the blue flowers in the bouquet actually don't look too bad. They're just a little dark, with faint purplish tints at the edges of the petals, but they still look pretty good. (This is a very difficult blue for many digicams to get right. For reference, the flowers are a light navy blue with slight purplish tints in them.) The strong reds and greens in the bouquet appear very dark, with fairly low saturation. Resolution is moderately high, with a good level of detail visible throughout the frame. Shadow detail is pretty good, with moderate noise. Details are slightly soft throughout the frame.

To view the entire exposure series at zero and from +1.0 to +2.0 EV, see files RR30OUTAP0.HTM, and RR30OUTAP3.HTM through RR30OUTAP6.HTM on the thumbnail index page.


About the camera firmware and underexposures like this one: After I'd already shot all my test images with the RR30, I learned that Ricoh had updated the firmware, to fix a few minor bugs. The update didn't mention exposure issues as being one of the things that was corrected, but it in fact greatly helped shots like this one and the far-field shots below. I reshot the far-field images with the new firmware, and found that they were more or less properly exposed, where the originals had been very dark, as in the shot above. I didn't get a chance to re-shoot the Outdoor Portrait shots before sending the camera back though, but the results would be pretty much as seen here, only with (a lot) less exposure compensation required...



 

Closer Portrait:

Good resolution and detail, though slightly cool color.

As with the wider shot above, color balance is quite cool in this shot, and the images is a little dark, despite a +0.3 EV exposure compensation adjustment. (Note that this closeup shot required much less compensation than the shot above, even though it was also shot with the camera's original firmware.) The RR30's 3x zoom lens helps prevent distortion of Marti's features, although her face does look slightly more rounded than in reality. Detail in her face and hair is stronger in this shot, though details are again slightly soft. Detail is minimal in the deep shadows, though noise is only moderate.

To view the entire exposure series from zero to +1.0 EV, see files RR30FACAP0.HTM through RR30FACAP3.HTM on the thumbnail index page.


 

Indoor Portrait, Flash:
Normal Flash
-0.3 EV

Good intensity (a bit too much, in fact) and coverage with the built-in flash, though slight color casts from the dual light sources.

The RR30's built-in flash illuminated the subject well, with reasonably good intensity at the default exposure setting. Interestingly enough though, I found the best exposure with a -0.3 EV exposure compensation adjustment. (This is very unusual for this shot, most cameras tend to underexpose it significantly.) The white value on Marti's shirt is good, and the flash coverage is good on her face and on the flower bouquet. The background incandescent lighting results in an orange cast on the back wall, which spills onto the backs of Marti's hands, her hair, and parts of her face slightly, but not to an excessive extent. Light from the flash has a bluish tint though, which combines with the orange tint from the room lighting to give her skin a slightly odd coloring. I also noticed that as the exposure increased, the orange color cast turned to a pinkish cast, and overall color looked less natural. Still, results here are pretty good overall.

To view the entire exposure series, from -1.0 to +1.3 EV, see files RR3INFM3.HTM through RR3INFP4.HTM on the thumbnail index page.



 

Indoor Portrait, No Flash:
Auto White Balance
Incandescent White Balance
Manual White Balance

Better than average color, best with the Incandescent white balance option, but good results with Manual as well.

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. The RR30's Auto white balance had a little difficulty here, producing a warm, brownish image, but still far from the worst I've seen with this subject. I felt the Incandescent option produced the most natural color balance, closely matching the mood of the original lighting, although the Manual setting also produced good results (just slightly greenish). Marti's skin tone is orange here, and the blue flowers of the bouquet are quite dark and purplish. Overall saturation is slightly low as well, from the dim exposure. The shot at right has a +1.7 EV exposure compensation adjustment, which is higher than average for this shot. Even with this high of an adjustment, the image is slightly dim. Raising the exposure compensation to +2.0, however, loses highlight detail in the white shirt. (NOTE though, that these shots were taken with the camera's original firmware, so it's possible that less exposure compensation would have been required after the firmware update.)

ISO Series:
The RR30 shows higher than average noise in most instances, even at the lowest sensitivity setting. At ISO 800, the noise is very high, to the point that I'd consider the images to be unusable.

ISO Series
ISO 200
ISO 400
ISO 800



 

House Shot:
Auto White Balance
Daylight White Balance
Manual White Balance

Slight color casts with each white balance tested, but pretty good resolution and detail.

The RR30's Daylight white balance setting produced the best color here, though with a slight cool cast. Still, the white value on the house trim looked best overall. The Auto setting produced acceptable results, although with slightly more warmth than I'd like, and the Manual setting resulted in a pronounced magenta cast. Resolution is moderately high, with good detail in the tree limbs above the roof and in the house front. The fine foliage in front of the house also shows good detail, though with slightly high contrast. Details are reasonably sharp throughout the frame, though all four corners betray some softness.



 

Far-Field Test

Good resolution and detail, though exposure is bright and color balance a bit blue.

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.

This is my ultimate "resolution shot," given the infinite range of detail in a natural scene like this, and the RR30 performs fairly well. Detail is good in the tree limbs over the roof as well as in the fine foliage in front of the house, though leaf patterns are defined more by contrast than inherent sharpness. That said, details are sharp enough throughout most of the frame, though the corners of the frame are somewhat soft. I also noticed a bit of coma and chromatic aberration around the pieces of blue sky in the top corners of the image. While the image has a rather contrasty appearance to it, the RR30 manages to hold onto detail in both the harsh highlights and deep shadows, showing a pretty good dynamic range. Overall color is bluish, and the image is slightly overexposed, but results are still pretty good. The table below shows a standard resolution and quality series, followed by ISO and sharpness series.

Resolution Series:

Wide Angle "Fine"
JPEG
"Normal"
JPEG
2,048 x 1,536
RR3FARLF
RR3FARLN
1,280 x 960
RR3FARMF
RR3FARMN
640 x 480
RR3FARSF
-



ISO Series:

ISO Series
ISO 200
ISO 400
ISO 800


Sharpness Series:

Sharpness Series
Soft
Normal
Sharp



 

Lens Zoom Range

A typical 3x zoom range.

I routinely shoot this series of images to show the field of view for each camera, with the lens at full wide angle, at maximum telephoto (3x, in this case), and at full telephoto with the digital zoom enabled. The RR30's lens is equivalent to a 35-105mm zoom on a 35mm camera. That corresponds to a moderate wide angle to a good telephoto. Following are the results at each zoom setting.

Wide Angle
3x Telephoto
Digital Telephoto


 

Musicians Poster
Auto White Balance
Daylight White Balance
Manual White Balance

Some difficulty with color at each white balance setting and a bit underexposed, although resolution is good.

This shot is often a tough test for digicams, as the abundance of blue in the composition frequently tricks white balance systems into producing a warm color balance. The RR30 had just a little trouble here, and produced color casts with each white balance setting tested. Though it's just a little too warm, I eventually settled on the Manual white balance for the main shot. Daylight white balance resulted in a strong magenta tint, and the Auto setting was just a little cool. The warmer color balance of the Manual setting gives the blue background faint green and purple tints, likewise with the blue robe. Resolution is moderately high, with pretty good detail in the embroidery of the blue robe.



 

Macro Shot
Standard Macro Shot
Macro with Flash

Very tiny macro area with excellent detail.

The RR30 did a really excellent job in the macro category, capturing a very tiny minimum area of only 0.79 x 0.59 inches (20 x 15 millimeters). Resolution is very high, with excellent detail in the fibers of the dollar bill. Corner softness is a bit stronger in this shot, possibly due to the very close shooting range. Because of the close shooting distance, the camera's flash had trouble throttling down for the macro area, and produced an uneven exposure.



 

"Davebox" Test Target
Auto White Balance
Daylight White Balance
Manual White Balance

Slight overexposure, and color casts with each white balance setting, good color saturation, average hue accuracy.

All three of the RR30's white balance settings produced slightly off color here. I chose the Auto white balance despite a slight warm cast, though the Manual setting produced nearly identical results. Daylight white balance had a much cooler cast, but overall color was too cool to my eye. The images look just a bit bright, but the RR30 does manage to just barely distinguish the subtle tonal variations of the Q60 target. Additionally, the bright white areas of the resolution target and white color blocks appear to glow. Colors are reasonably bright and vibrant in the large color blocks, though slightly off in hue. The shadow area of the charcoal briquettes shows limited detail, with moderate noise.



 

Low-Light Tests

Good low-light performance using the time exposure option.

In its normal exposure mode, the RR30 can shoot down to the light level of typical city night scenes (1 foot-candle, 11 lux) pretty well. Using its time exposure option though, it can shoot down to the darkest levels of my test (1/16 foot-candle, 0.63 lux). The RR30 has no dark-frame noise subtraction system, so "hot pixel" noise was pretty evident for any exposure of a second or longer. I had a hard time telling what level the autofocus would reliably work to though: It sometimes indicated it was focused when it actually wasn't, and other times seemed to think it wasn't focused when it actually was. Overall, it seemed to work OK down to 1 foot-candle, although its performance beyond that point was rather variable. All in all, a decent low-light performer, at least on a par with competing digicam models. The table below shows samples of the best shot we could get at each light level. The images are untouched, exactly as they came from the camera, just as are all the rest of the test photos on this site.

  1fc
11lux
1/2fc
5.5lux
1/4fc
2.7lux
1/8fc
1.3lux
1/16fc
0.67lx
ISO
200
Click to see RR3LL2003.JPG

2 secs
F2.6
ISO: 200

Click to see RR3LL2004.JPG

4 secs
F2.6
ISO: 200

Click to see RR3LL2005.JPG

8 secs
F2.6
ISO: 200

Click to see RR3LL2006.JPG

8 secs
F2.6
ISO: 200

Click to see RR3LL2007.JPG

8 secs
F2.6
ISO: 200

ISO
400
Click to see RR3LL4003.JPG

1/1 secs
F2.6
ISO: 400

Click to see RR3LL4004.JPG

2 secs
F2.6
ISO: 400

Click to see RR3LL4005.JPG

4 secs
F2.6
ISO: 400

Click to see RR3LL4006.JPG

8 secs
F2.6
ISO: 400

Click to see RR3LL4007.JPG

8 secs
F2.6
ISO: 400

ISO
800
Click to see RR3LL8003.JPG

1/2 secs
F2.6
ISO: 800

Click to see RR3LL8004.JPG

1/1 secs
F2.6
ISO: 800

Click to see RR3LL8005.JPG

2 secs
F2.6
ISO: 800

Click to see RR3LL8006.JPG

4 secs
F2.6
ISO: 800

Click to see RR3LL8007.JPG

4 secs
F2.6
ISO: 800

Night
Portrait
Mode
Click to see RR3LLNS03.JPG

1/1 secs
F2.6
ISO: 154

Click to see RR3LLNS04.JPG

1/1 secs
F2.6
ISO: 154

Click to see RR3LLNS05.JPG

1/1 secs
F2.6
ISO: 154

Click to see RR3LLNS06.JPG

1/1 secs
F2.6
ISO: 154

Click to see RR3LLNS07.JPG

1/1 secs
F2.6
ISO: 154




 

Flash Range Test

Good flash range (only a little falloff at the 14 foot limit of our test) but at the expense of high image noise.

In my testing, the RR30's flash illuminated the test target all the way out to 14 feet, without any significant decrease in intensity, but like many other digicams these days, it achieves that range by "cheating" a little and increasing its ISO speed. The result is good flash range, but at the cost of higher image noise. Below is the flash range series, with distances from eight to 14 feet from the target.

8 ft 9 ft 10 ft 11 ft 12 ft 13 ft 14 ft
Click to see RR3FL08.JPG

1/97 secs
F4.7
ISO: 308

Click to see RR3FL09.JPG

1/97 secs
F4.7
ISO: 308

Click to see RR3FL10.JPG

1/97 secs
F4.7
ISO: 308

Click to see RR3FL11.JPG

1/97 secs
F4.7
ISO: 308

Click to see RR3FL12.JPG

1/97 secs
F4.7
ISO: 308

Click to see RR3FL13.JPG

1/97 secs
F4.7
ISO: 308

Click to see RR3FL14.JPG

1/97 secs
F4.7
ISO: 308




 

ISO-12233 (WG-18) Resolution Test

Average 3-megapixel resolution, 1,000 lines of "strong detail." Slightly high barrel distortion at wide angle.

The RR30 turned in about an average performance for its 3.2-megapixel class on the "laboratory" resolution test chart. It started showing artifacts in the test patterns at resolutions as low as 600 lines per picture height, in both horizontal and vertical directions. I found "strong detail" out to at least 1,000 lines. "Extinction" of the target patterns occurred at about 1,100 lines.

Optical distortion on the RR30 is slightly high at the wide-angle end, where I measured an approximate 0.9 percent barrel distortion. The telephoto end fared only slightly better, as I measured a 0.4 percent barrel distortion. (Typical values for digicams with 3x zoom lenses that I've tested are 0.8 and 0.2 percent, respectively.) Chromatic aberration is fairly low, showing only faint coloration around the target lines in the corners of the image. (This distortion is visible as a very slight colored fringe around the objects at the edges of the field of view on the resolution target.) There's a little coma here, producing blurriness in the extreme corners. The only other signs of distortion I noticed were some corner softness in several shots, and some coma in the sky portions of the outdoor house shot.

Resolution Series, Wide Angle
Wide Angle "Fine"
JPEG
"Normal"
JPEG
2,048 x 1,536
RR3RESWLF
RR3RESWLN
1,280 x 960
RR3RESWMF
RR3RESWMN
640 x 480 -
RR3RESWSN

 

Resolution Test, Telephoto
2,048 x 1,536
(Fine, Tele)
RR3RESTLF




 

Viewfinder Accuracy/Flash Uniformity

A very accurate LCD monitor, though the optical viewfinder is a rather tight.

The RR30's optical viewfinder is quite tight, showing approximately 77 percent frame accuracy at wide angle, and approximately 86 percent at telephoto. The LCD monitor proved much more accurate, showing about 98 percent frame accuracy at both zoom settings. Given that I like LCD monitors to be as close to 100 percent accuracy as possible, the RR30's LCD monitor does an excellent job here, but the optical viewfinder could really stand some improvement. (I particularly don't like to see a viewfinder change its frame coverage as the lens zooms, as that makes it very hard to know how much to compensate for it.) Flash distribution is somewhat uneven at wide angle, with a little falloff at the corners and edges of the frame. At telephoto, flash distribution is more uniform, but quite hot in the center of the frame.


Wide Angle, Optical

Telephoto, Optical

Wide Angle, LCD

Telephoto, LCD


RR30 Review
RR30 Test Images
RR30 Specifications
RR30 "Picky Details"
Up to Imaging Resource digital cameras area

 

Reader Comments!
Questions, comments or controversy on this article? Click this link to see what other Imaging Resource readers have had to say about Ricoh Caplio RR30, or add comments of your own!


Follow Imaging Resource:

Purchase memory card for Panasonic Lumix DMC-XS3 digital camera
Top 3 photos this month win:

1 $300 Adorama Gift Certificate

2 $200 Adorama Gift Certificate

3 $100 Adorama Gift Certificate