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Ricoh's CX5 digital camera. Photo provided by Ricoh Co. Ltd. Ricoh CX5: Hybrid AF makes its comeback (UPDATED)
(Wednesday, January 26, 2011 - 14:44 EST)

Just slightly ahead of its traditional six-month schedule, Japan's Ricoh Co. Ltd. has today announced its CX5 digital camera, a replacement for its previous CX4 model, and the company's first camera in several years to include its distinctive Hybrid AF system.

The Ricoh CX5 features the same ten megapixel, backside illuminated CMOS image sensor and 10.7x folding optical zoom lens as its predecessor. The CX5 also retains that camera's sensor shift image stabilization, 3.0-inch high-res LCD panel, SD / SDHC storage, and custom lithium ion battery pack. Body size and styling are near-identical, and weight has been decreased just ever so slightly.

The main change since the CX4 relates to autofocusing. The Ricoh CX5 includes a Hybrid AF system which determines an approximate point of focus using a dedicated, passive AF sensor adjacent to the flash strobe, then fine-tunes this using contrast detection. It's a system that we've seen previously in quite a few of Ricoh's cameras, but it's been absent from the feature set in all models since the GX100 shipped in 2007. Other significant changes in the CX5 include a new Micro HDMI video output, three new scene modes, and support for Eye-Fi X2 wifi-capable Secure Digital flash cards. In a couple of areas, the Ricoh CX5 doesn't quite match its predecessor, though. Available internal memory has been halved to 40MB, and battery life falls by around 10% to 280 shots on a charge.

The Ricoh CX5 goes on sale in Japan from February 10, 2011, with monthly production of 50,000 units. Pricing has not been disclosed, and nor has the company indicated any plans for sale in overseas markets, such as the USA. More details can be found in our Ricoh CX5 preview, and the Ricoh website includes five full-resolution sample images.

Ricoh CX5
Ricoh's CX5 digital camera. Photo provided by Ricoh Co. Ltd. Click for a bigger picture!
Model NumberNorth America: CX5
Dimensions4.0 x 2.3 x 1.2 in.
(102 x 59 x 29 mm)
Weight6.9 oz (197 g)
Image Capture
Sensor TypeCMOS
1/2.3" (approx. 0.43 in. diagonal)
10.60 megapixels (total)
10.00 megapixels (effective)
Aspect Ratio4:3, 3:2
Image Dimensions3648 x 2736 (10.0 megapixels)
3648 x 2432 (8.9 megapixels)
2736 x 2736 (7.5 megapixels)
3648 x 2048 (7.5 megapixels)
2592 x 1944 (5.0 megapixels)
2048 x 1536 (3.1 megapixels)
1728 x 1296 (2.2 megapixels)
1280 x 960 (1.2 megapixels)
640 x 480 (0.3 megapixels)
Image Quality2 levels
Image Preview / Review
LCD3.0 in. diagonal
920,000 dots (approx. 307,000 pixels)
Playback Zoom16.0x max
Lens TypeRicoh Zoom; 10 elements in 7 groups (4 asph. elements, 5 asph. surfaces)
10.7x optical zoom
Image StabilizationYes
Focal Length4.9 - 52.5mm (actual)
28 - 300mm (35mm equivalent)
Aperture Rangef/3.5 (wide) / f/5.6 (tele) - ???
Focusing SystemMulti / spot contrast detection with face priority and tracking
Has AF assist lamp
Manual focus possible
Focusing RangeNormal: 12" - infinity (30 cm - infinity)
Macro: 0.4" - 4,082" (1 cm - 10,000 cm)
ISO SensitivityAuto, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200
Shutter Speed8 - 1/2000 seco d
Exposure ModesProgram
Metering Modes256-segment multi, center-weighted, spot
Exposure Compensation+/- 2.0EV in 1/3EV increments
White BalanceImage Sensor - Auto, Multi-Pattern Auto, Outdoors, Cloudy, Incandescent 1, Incandescent 2, Fluorescent, Manual
Internal FlashModes: Auto Flash, Red-eye Flash, Flash On, Slow Synchro, Flash Off
Range: Approx. 20 cm - 4.0 m (Wide), approx. 28 cm - 3.0 m (Telephoto) (ISO Auto to 1600 max.)
Flash Exposure Compensation+/- 2.0EV in 1/3EV increments
Scene ModesPortrait, Discreet Mode, Night. Port., Night Landscape Multi-shot, Sports, Landscape, Zoom Macro, Pets, Skew Correct Mode, High Sens, Text Mode, Fireworks, Cooking, Golf Swing Continuous
Digital ZoomUp to 4.8x
Self TimerYes, 2 or 10 seconds
Movie FormatAVI (OpenDML Motion JPEG) with audio
Recording MediumSD/MMC including SDHC, Built-in
File SystemFAT16, FAT32, complies with Design Rule for Camera File System (DCF)
File FormatJPEG (EXIF v2.3)
VideoHigh definition: Yes (HDMI)
Standard definition: Yes, NTSC / PAL switchable
ComputerUSB 2.0 High Speed
Battery TypeLithium Ion rechargeable
Battery Form FactorProprietary DB-100
Product Bundle
SoftwareMediaBrowser and DL-10 software for PC, VM-1 software for Mac
Flash Memory40.0MB built-in memory
Digital Print Order Format (DPOF) compliantYes
PictBridge CompliantNo
Internal MicrophoneYes
Internal SpeakerYes
Tripod MountYes
Remote ControlYes
More Photos
Ricoh's CX5 digital camera. Photo provided by Ricoh Co. Ltd. Click for a bigger picture!
Ricoh's CX5 digital camera. Photo provided by Ricoh Co. Ltd. Click for a bigger picture!
Ricoh's CX5 digital camera. Photo provided by Ricoh Co. Ltd. Click for a bigger picture!

UPDATED 2011-01-27 16:11ET: We've just received confirmation that the Ricoh CX5 digital camera should be arriving in the US market some time around the middle of February, priced at about US$400.

Original Source Press Release:

Offering High-speed Focus with a Hybrid AF System: Compact digital camera with 10.7× optical zoom (28-300 mm)

Introducing the new CX5

RICOH COMPANY, LTD. (helmed by president and CEO Shiro Kondo) will be releasing its newly developed CX5 digital camera model with its wide-angle, high magnification 10.7× optical zoom (28–300 mm) lens, which has a higher autofocus speed due to the use of Ricoh's new hybrid AF system.

With the new CX5 model, AF focusing times are decreased to as low as 0.2 sec. for both wide-angle 28 mm and telephoto 300 mm, up to half as short compared to the CX4, using Ricoh's unique new hybrid AF system. This ensures that you reliably capture the image you were waiting for, never to miss another good shot again.

Using super-resolution technology, the CX5 also allows (1) recording of images with improved resolution using the "Super-resolution" setting and (2) telephoto shooting at up to 600 mm equivalent with minimal degradation in image quality using "Super-resolution Zoom."

Furthermore, in addition to the new Cooking, Fireworks, and Continuous Golf Swing scene modes, the CX5 has improved features that make shooting photographs even more fun through the use of super-resolution zoom during Zoom Macro mode shooting and other functions. The CX5 is an even more enhanced compact digital camera that was designed based on the concept of it being "a tool that you will find yourself wanting to use every day."

Available in three colors: Black, Silver, and Pink.

Main Features of the New CX5 Model

  1. High-speed autofocus using the unique hybrid AF system developed by Ricoh

    • Equipped with Ricoh's unique new hybrid AF system in combination with a passive AF sensor that continuously measures the distance between the camera and subject using an area sensor together with Contrast AF (a system in which the imaging elements search for the peak location for contrast on the subject and focus on that location).

    • Enables AF focusing times to be shortened to as low as 0.2 sec. for both wide-angle 28 mm and telephoto 300 mm, up to half as short compared to the CX4 model. Ensures that you capture the image you were waiting for over the entire zoom range so that you never miss another good shot again.

  2. Improved image resolution through use of super-resolution technology

    • Enables amazing photographs with high resolution to be produced using the CX5's new super-resolution technology, which discerns outlines, details, and gradations in the image automatically and processes the image based on the optimal settings for each. The level of super-resolution can be set to OFF, Weak, or Strong.

  3. Super-resolution zoom equivalent to up to 600 mm in addition to the 10.7× 28–300 mm optical zoom

    • Allows a wide-angle, high-magnification 10.7× optical zoom lens to fit into a compact body with a thickness of 29.4 mm using Ricoh's unique retracting lens system.

    • Equipped with super-resolution zoom that enables magnification of up to 2.0×. Enables telephoto shooting at up to 600 mm equivalent with minimal degradation in image quality.

    • Enables even greater magnification of the subject from super-resolution zoom with use of digital zoom. Allows photographs to be taken with ultra-telephoto zoom at up to 2880 mm.

  4. High-quality photography that widens the range of image expression

    • Offering reduced loss of detail in highlights using an output pixel interpolation algorithm residing in dedicated logic circuits in the Smooth Imaging Engine IV imaging engine to allow high-contrast scenes to be reproduced more faithfully, exactly as they appear to the naked eye.

    • Reduces noise without affecting resolution, tone characteristics, or color using a noise reduction algorithm to process the image signal as it is output from the CMOS image sensor. Enables sophisticated variance-estimation type noise reduction processing in which the sensor image data's noise variance is analyzed and the optimum processing is done for each region when the noise reduction level is set to MAX.

    • Equipped with a back-illuminated 10.00 million-pixel CMOS sensor. Ensures that beautiful images can be captured even in dark scenes.

  5. 14 different types of Scene Modes providing easy access to whole suites of photographic techniques specifically adapted to the subject

    • Comes with a new Cooking mode that is perfect for shooting photographs of food. The new Cooking mode setting enables the brightness and color tone of the scene to be adjusted while the subject is checked.

    • Includes a new Fireworks mode that works great for taking shots of fireworks as they flash across the sky.

    • Comes with a new Golf Swing Continuous mode that displays grid lines during shooting and playback. Perfect to use for checking your golf swing.

    • Enables super-resolution zoom to be used in Zoom Macro mode, which optimizes the zoom position automatically to allow the subject to be shot even larger than with normal macro shooting. Allows the subject to be shot even larger without any degradation of image quality as with normal zoom.

  6. Creative shooting modes that allow you to enjoy shooting creative images

    • Comes with six different types including Soft Focus, Cross Process, Toy Camera, and Miniaturize that can be selected to fit the subject and type of scene. Allows you to enjoy shooting images with a variety of effects.

  7. High-definition 3.0-inch, 920,000-dot LCD monitor

    • Equipped with a large, high-definition LCD monitor that has a wide viewing angle and high contrast. With a fluorine coat to prevent soiling, a hard coat to prevent scratches, and an anti-reflection (AR) coat designed to protect the screen against dirt and damage and guarantee excellent visibility even outdoors in direct sunlight.

    • Reproduces image colors vividly with sRGB comparison of 100% for the color reproduction range.

  8. A wide variety of functions based on the concept of the CX5 being "a tool that you will find yourself wanting to use every day"

    • Equipped with new HDMI terminals. Allows high-definition (HD) movies with a frame size of 1280×720 pixels to be viewed on an HD TV using an HDMI cable (sold separately).

    • Comes equipped with macro shooting functions that allow you to get as close to the subject as 1 cm for wide-angle (*) and 28 cm for telephoto. (*) Equivalent to 31 mm for 35-mm film equivalents.

    • Enables high-speed continuous shooting at speeds of up to approx. 5 frames/sec.

    • Equipped with Scene Auto Mode, which automatically switches to the optimal shooting settings for the scene when the camera is merely pointed at a scene.

    • Comes with Subject-tracking AF, which continuously tracks and focuses on the subject automatically.

    • The CX5 is compatible with Eye-Fi cards (X2 Series), SD memory cards with built-in wireless LAN functionality, which enables captured images to be transferred wirelessly to a computer or online image sharing service automatically. An icon will appear while an Eye-Fi card is being used to display the communications status.

CX5 Option

Product Name Model Name
Rechargeable Battery DB-100
Battery Charger BJ-10
Soft Case (Black) SC-90BK
Soft Case (Brown) SC-90BN
Neck Strap ST-2
HDMI Cable HC-1
  • Focal lengths indicated in this news release are 35mm film camera equivalents.

  • MP files listed in this news release are Extended MP files that are compliant with the CIPA-standard Multi-Picture format. (The file extension is MPO.)
    With MP file images recorded by the CX5, a selected frame can be extracted and saved as an individual JPEG image within the camera.

  • AF focusing times were measured under Ricoh measurement conditions.

  • This product is not guaranteed to work with all Eye-Fi card features (including wireless data transmission capability).

  • For more information on Eye-Fi cards, visit the Eye-Fi webpage.

  • Eye-Fi cards are approved for use in the country of purchase only.

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