Ricoh Caplio R3 Announced

September 7, 2005 | Mark Goldstein | Digital Compact Cameras | 422 Comments | |

Ricoh Caplio R3The Ricoh Caplio R3 digital camera is announced. The Ricoh R3 is a 5 megapixel compact camera with a 7x optical zoom lens equivalent to 28-200mm. The R3 also features vibration correction of the CCD. The Ricoh Caplio R3 will be available in both black and silver colour. Price and availability to be confirmed.

Ricoh UK Press Release

The Caplio R3: A pocket-sized digital compact that combines the 7.1x optical zoom with vibration control.

London 2005. Ricoh announces the launch of the Caplio R3 compact digital camera. This new model features a 7.1x optical wide zoom - the largest in its class *  – and a vibration correction function.

* Among digital cameras lighter than 150g as of Aug 29th          

With a smaller body, the new Caplio R3, has a 7.1x (28—200 mm) wide-angle, high-powered zoom lens - the biggest in its class. The lens was created by adopting the newly developed Double Retracting Lens System, an advance on the highly successful Retracting Lens System, the original lens storage system engineered by Ricoh for its innovative products. Moreover, to address blurred images caused by hand movement inherent to long focal ranges, the Caplio R3 avoids this problem in telephoto, macro, or indoor shots with the addition of a vibration correction function.

By letting part of the lens assembly protrude from the camera body during lens storage, the wide-angle, high-powered zoom lens is even more compact.

Ricoh has historically manufactured products based on the concept of Expandability. In addition to the wide-angle high powered zoom, the new Caplio R3 expands the range of shooting even further by employing such enhanced features as 1cm macro function - Ricoh’s specialty - and quick response times. 

Ricoh Caplio R3Main Features for Caplio R3:
7.1x wide zoom lens, largest in its class, in a 26mm body!
The newly developed Double Retracting Lens System allows part of the lens assembly to protrude from the camera body during lens storage. This enables the body, a mere 26 mm, to have a 28–200 mm 7.1x wide zoom lens. (The Caplio R2 has a 28–135 mm 4.8x lens.)
The highly versatile Caplio R3 delivers outstanding results in practically any photographic situation, whether it’s capturing a panoramic landscape in one shot, wide-angle images in a room where everything is very close, or the fine details of distant objects.

Vibration Correction Function, based on Ricoh’s original CCD shift method.
Whenever it detects excessive camera motion, the vibration correction system, developed from Ricoh’s original CCD shift method, moves the CCD in the opposite direction to counterbalance camera shake, resulting in sharp pictures that would have been blurred otherwise.

As it is not necessary to incorporate the vibration correction system into the lens, many lens design options, were available, facilitating the design of a slim body and a wide to long telephoto range lens.

The Caplio R3 shows its effectiveness best in high-powered telephoto, macro, or indoor shots without using flash. Once again the vibration correction function allows for sharp images that would not be possible otherwise.

The macro function, a Ricoh specialty, has been strengthened.
The camera’s macro mode, can take a macro shot of an object from just 1 cm away.
The new zoom macro function automatically sets the focal distance of the lens at the optimum distance for capturing an image of each object as large and close as possible.
If AF Target Selection is used, it is even possible to focus on objects within the frame without moving the camera. By determining the optimum field of view, taking into consideration such information as the size or contrast of the object, focusing accuracy becomes that much higher when shooting in macro.

The skew correction function.
Through an original algorithm, which automatically detects trapezoids in images and corrects them to rectangles, images of such things as blackboards, documents, or time schedules shot at any angle can be corrected so that the image looks as though it were shot from the front. The camera is most effective in business environments where blackboards, overhead projector, OHPs, time schedules; signs, etc. cannot be shot from the front.

The popular high-speed response capability enables stress-free shooting.
Release time lag (the time from the instant the shutter button is fully pressed—without using focus lock—until exposure actually starts) is as fast as approx. 0.09sec. on average. Quick responses are essential in order to capture picture-perfect but near-instantaneous moments such as the expressions and movement of children or pets. Now stress-free, near-instantaneous shots are possible.

Time calculated from the instant the focus is locked (half-press) until exposure actually starts is a miraculous 0.007 seconds on average.

Shooting interval and start time are both rapid, approx. 0.5 and 1.1 seconds, respectively (measured while the flash is off).

The long-life rechargeable battery, a standard accessory, lets you shoot approx. 310 pictures.
Thanks to the power-saving features of the internal circuit, it is possible to capture up to 310 separate images under CIPA standards using the standard accessory rechargeable battery even while using the large LCD display.

The 5.13 million square pixel CCD and original image processing system enables shooting of high-definition pictures.
The CCD is effective up to 5.13 million square pixels with the Smooth Imaging Engine image processing system. Combined with the vibration correction function, representative, superior, high-definition images can be created. It is possible to select a 35mm aspect ratio (the horizontal to vertical ratio of the image) of 3:2.

High operational performance.
The Caplio R3 has an easy-to-see 2.5-inch large-scale LCD monitor.

During playback, 12 pictures can be displayed simultaneously on the large screen. While checking previous and subsequent pictures, the screen can be separated into three parts to allow fast forwarding and rewinding.

The brightness of the LCD can be increased to maximum with a single touch and visibility can be adjusted to suit well-lighted areas.

Ricoh Caplio R3A design combining style with portability.
The design combines functionality and texture with such features as a comfortable grip, easy-to-use controls, high-grade materials, surface finishing, and a compact body of 95.0 mm (W) x 53.0 mm (H) x 26.0 mm (D).

Price and Availability:
The Caplio R3 will be available in both black and silver colour. Price to be confirmed.

Ricoh Caplio R3 Major Specifications:
CCD Effective 5.13 million square pixels (5.25 million pixels), 1/2.5-inch primary colour CCD
Lens Focal length f4.6-33 (equivalent to 28-200mm for 35mm cameras. When setting Step Zoom, six fixed possible steps: 28mm, 35mm, 50mm, 85mm, 135mm, and 200mm)Brightness (F value) F 3.3 (W)-4.8 (T)
Vibration correction function CCD shift method
Zoom Optical 7.1x zoom, Digital 3.6x zoom
Object Distance approx. 0.3m-∞ (Wide), approx. 1.0m-∞ (Telephoto) Macro: approx. 0.01m-∞ (Wide), approx. 0.14m-∞ (Telephoto)

 8,4,2,1-1/2000 sec.   

 1/30-1/2000 sec.
Resolution (pixels)

  2592 x 1944,2592 x 1728,2048 x 1536,1280 x 960,640 x 480   2592 x 1944,2048 x 1536

320 x 240,160 x 120
Picture Mode*1 F(Fine)/N (Normal)
ISO Sensitivity AUTO/64,100,200,400,800
Flash  Auto/ Red-Eye Reduction/ Mandatory Flash/ Slow Synchro/ Flash Off ,Flash Range*2: approx. 0.2m-2.4m (Wide), approx. 0.14m-1.8m (Telephoto) (ISO: AUTO)
Focus Auto Focus/ Manual Focus/ Snap/ ∞ (includes AF auxiliary light)
Exposure Adjustment TTL-CCD method photometric system: Multi (256 segments)/ Center weight/ Spot
Exposure Compensation Manual Compensation (+2.0~-2.0EV in 1/3EV steps) Auto Bracket Function (-0.5EV.±0.+0.5EV)
White Balance Auto/ Fixed (Daylight, Overcast, Tungsten light, Tungsten light 2, Fluorescent, Manual)
Recording Media SD Memory Card (3.3V 32,64,128,256,512MB,1GB)/Multi Media Card, Internal Memory (26MB)
Storage Capacity*3 (No. of Pictures)(Internal 26MB Memory) <Still> 2592x 1944(F:13,N:22), 2592x1728(F:14) 2048x1536(F:18,N36),1280x960(F:33,N63),640x480(N:277)
Storage Capacity(Time)(Internal 26MB Memory) <Motion> 1 minute 17 seconds (320x240, 15frames/second), 4minutes 38 seconds*4 (160x120, 15 frames/second),39 seconds ( 320x240, 30frames/second),2minutes 26 seconds(160x120, 30 frames/second)<Sound> 56 minutes 45 seconds *5
Storage Capacity (File Sizes)(Internal 26MB Memory) <Still> 2592 x 1944. F: approx. 1.83MB N: approx. 1.06MB,2592x1728. F:1.63MB, 2048 x 1536.F: approx. 1.31MB N: approx. 672KB,1280 x 960 F: approx. 686KB N: approx. 356KB,640 x 480 N: approx. 83KB
Recording Mode Still (Continuous, S-Continuous, M-Continuous), Scene Mode (Portrait, Sports, Distant Landscape Night Scene, Text, High Sensitivity, Zoom Macro, Skew correction), Motion, Sound
Recording Format

Compressed: JPEG (Exif ver. 2.21) DCF*6compliant, DPOF support TIFF (MMR system ITU-T.6) AVI (Open DML Motion JPEG Format compliant)

 WAV (Exif ver.2.21 μ law)
LCD Monitor 2.5 inch Translucent Amorphous Silicon TFT LCD (approx. 114,000 pixels)
Self Timer Operating Time: approx. 10 sec./ 2 sec.
Interval Timer Shooting interval: 5 sec. – 3 hours (in 5 sec. increments) *7
PC Interface USB1.1 Choice of Ricoh original or Mass Storage driver*8
AV Interface Audio Out/ Video Out
Video Signal Method NTSC/PAL switchable
Dimensions (W x D x H) 95.0mm(W) x26.0mm(D)x53.0mm(H) (excluding projections)
Weight Approx. 135g (without battery, Hand strap)Accessories approx. 30g (Rechargeable battery, Hand strap)
Battery Rechargeable Battery (DB-60), AC adaptor (AC-4c,optional accessories)
Shooting Capacity*9 Based on CIPA Standard: using the DB-60, approx. 310 pictures
Operating Temperature 0~40 ℃ 

*1: Only N (Normal) is available for 640×480 size, only F (Fine) is available for 2592x1728 size
*2: When the flash range is set for ISO AUTO or ISO 400
*3: Average number of still images it is possible to record.
*4: Maximum recording time of 168 min. 30 sec. is possible with a 1GB SD card.
*5: Maximum recording time of 2063 min. 25 sec. is possible with a 1GB SD card.
*6: DCF is the abbreviation of JEITA standard “Design rule for Camera File system”. (It does not guarantee perfect inter-camera compatibility.)
*7: With flash OFF
*8: Mass Storage driver is compatible with Windows Me/2000/XP, Mac OS9, and OSX10.2-10.4
   It is not compatible with Windows 98/98SE or Mac OS8.6,
*9 Battery performance was measured using CIPA-standard parameters. Actual performance may vary according to usage conditions and the brand of the battery.

*Windows is a registered trademark or trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the U.S.A. and other countries.
* Mac OS is a registered trademark of Apple Computer, Inc. in the U.S.A. and other countries.

About Ricoh:
A pioneer in digital office equipment, Ricoh provides state-of-the-art multifunctional printing devices tailored to corporate office customer needs, and offers a broad range of digital, networked products, including copiers, printers, fax machines, DVD/CD media, and digital cameras.
With 347 consolidated subsidiaries worldwide, Ricoh employs 75,100 people with consolidated sales of 1.81 trillion YEN. The Ricoh Group currently enjoys No.1 market share for plain paper copiers in Europe, Japan and No.2 share in the USA.

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Now this is an interesting looking camera. The "double" retracting lens system is a confusing name in that is sounds like it would be even more retractable than a normal lens system, that is, until you realize that normal lens systems are "triple" retracting, even though they are not called that. Clearly, feature naming is not one of Ricoh's strong points, e.g., "vibration correction function", "skew correction function", etc., but that does not worry me, as long as they deliver the goods.

The R3 does not have in-camera red-eye fix, or a pop-up lens like Panasonic's LX1 for preventing red-eye, but Ricoh did something which may be even better. They put the flash and lens at diagonally opposite ends of the camera, which puts even more separation between them than the pop-up flash of the LX1, where the flash is sitting directly above the lens.

What worries me about the R3 is its 2.5" LCD, with only 114,000 pixels, and also the fact that the third part of the lens system always protrudes from the 1" thick body. I wonder how far it will protrude, and if a lens cap will be required.

Even so, if those are the worst things you can say about it, the R3 should prove to be an awesome camera (for my wife).

7:49 pm - Wednesday, September 7, 2005


What is wrong with this picture? According to pictures I have just seen, the R3 lens is fully retractable into the camera, with an internal lens cap, and does NOT protrude from the camera when OFF. This is contrary to the information contained in Ricoh's press release. Apparently, the "double" retracting lens refers to "two" lens elements sliding out of the way when the lens retracts, and this is what allows the large lens to retract fully into the camera body. So the R3 really is an "ultra-compact", and not just a "semi-ultra-compact" like Panasonic's LX1.

8:23 pm - Friday, September 9, 2005


I see now that Ricoh have amended their original press release, replacing "... letting part of the lens assembly protrude from the camera body during lens storage ..." with "... letting the lens fully retract into the camera body during (lens) storage". So that makes two areas where Ricoh comes up short, (1) naming camera features and (2) translating press releases to English, although presumably, these are related. :)

8:54 pm - Friday, September 9, 2005

#4 Amazingly Amazed

You really are one dumb bastard, Gary!

Look here:

now you can see that it has a retractable, automatic lens cover.

Stop with your speculating and assuming and do some actual research, for crying out loud!

6:35 am - Saturday, September 10, 2005

#5 Amazingly Amazed

It also says on the website that the camera has a battery capacity of around 310 photos with a single charge. That's damned good, and it can get to that capacity probably because it has just a few less pixels in its LCD to have to refresh.

This is the smallest of any digicam in the world with an Optical zoom of over 5x.
The "double-retracting" lens system in this camera is unique, being miraculously squeezed in to a body of only 26mm thick, and facilitates for the 7.1x zoom.
The vibration reduction mechanism is based on a CCD-shift system.

6:51 am - Saturday, September 10, 2005

#6 Mark Goldstein

Amazingly Amazed, I'd appreciate it if you would refrain from swearing at other readers.

4:31 pm - Saturday, September 10, 2005


Thank you, Mark. Now I wish I had gotten my GED.

AA, the tradeoff of decreased LCD pixels for increased battery shot capacity is not one I would have elected to make. The link provided in comment #2 has the same information you mention, as well as some interesing graphics showing the workings of the vibration reduction system (all in English :)).

7:45 pm - Saturday, September 10, 2005


I also which I had taken an interesting typing course.

7:49 pm - Saturday, September 10, 2005


Which wish is which? The R3 also has a slight bend to it (something not shown on the Ricoh website), which should facilitate gripping, not to mention the stylish flare it adds to the camera. Other interesting features not mentioned on the Ricoh website are the R3's TIFF format, and maximum ISO value of 800. Information found only on the Ricoh website are the R3's 7 step zoom, its F3.3(W) - F4.8(T) lens aperture range, and its maximum SD card size of 1M.

9:58 pm - Saturday, September 10, 2005

#10 AlexF

Seems to be a new CCD. Its not the same resolution as the one in the R2 cam.
I suppose its a Sony CCD because the 5 MP Sony cams have the same resolution options.
Can sombody gather a little more info?

7:50 pm - Monday, September 12, 2005

#11 Travis Royal

Does the Caplio R3 have a view finder or does it not? If it has a view finder is it an EVF? Or does the user looker at the screen on the back for all picture taking?

12:26 am - Tuesday, September 13, 2005


Based on the specs I read at DPReview, the R3's 5 megapixel, 1/2.5" CCD appears to be the same one Ricoh used in their R1V and R2 models. As to its manufacturer, Sony would be a good guess.

I think the reason Ricoh stayed with the 1/2.5" CCD was for its smaller image circle, which allowed them to use a lens with smaller dimensions, and thus enabled them to pack a 4.8x, and now, a 7.1x optical zoom range into an ultra-compact camera. HP and Pentax did the same thing with their 5 megapixel, 5x optical zoom, Photosmart R817 and R818, and Optio SV and SVi ultra-compact models, respectively.

With the 1/2.5" CCD, they did not want to go over 5 megapixels to keep noise down. A 5 megapixel, 1/2.5" CCD has about the same size pixels as an 8 megapixel, 1/1.8" CCD, which is what Ricoh used in their GX8 model. And although the GX8 and R3 are about the same size, the GX8 could get away with using a 1/1.8" CCD since the lens is only a 3x optical zoom.

No viewfinder on the R3, only a 2.5" LCD. Personally, although others do, I do not find that to be a problem.

2:23 am - Tuesday, September 13, 2005

#13 AlexF

Based on the specs, it's clearly not the same ccd as in the previews r-models. It's a little different in the size: R§ has a '5.25 million square pixels' CCD, the r2/r1v has '5.19 million square pixels' based on Ricoh's specs. In the R1v/R2 the pictures are taken in the same resolution as in the 5 MP Casio/Miolta cams. The R§ has the same picture resolution as the Sony 5 MP cams.

That's why i suppose its a different CCD from Sony.

12:51 pm - Tuesday, September 13, 2005


Alex, I see what you mean. I should have gone to the Ricoh site for the specs, rather than DPReview. They do an excellent job at keeping up with ALL the cameras, and you have to expect errors here and there. Even Ricoh's effective pixel specs for the three cameras do not agree with any of their actual maximum image sizes, if you do the multiplication.

8:40 am - Wednesday, September 14, 2005


One thing interesting I noted on the Ricoh site. The R1V and R2 use a DB-50 Li-Ion battery, as well as two AA batteries. The R3 uses a DB-60 Li-Ion battery, but there is no mention of any substitution. However, the GR uses the same DB-60 Li-Ion, and can also use two AAA batteries. It would be nice if the R3 also uses AAA batteries.

8:41 am - Wednesday, September 14, 2005

#16 Ian Hensman

Gary, maybe Ricoh are shy about mentioning the ISO 800 capability after the less-that-flattering comments that are out there about the high noise levels at high ISO on the R2?

2:09 pm - Wednesday, September 14, 2005


I have just started following Ricoh digitals since the R3's introduction (its 7.1x optical zoom in an ultra-compact really caught my eye), so I am unaware of the R2's noise problem at high ISOs, but I can certainly imagine it.

One thing I have noticed, on all camera websites, is their use of a previous camera's review, spec sheet, etc., as a boiler plate for a new camera model. How many times have you seen a review start out talking about camera X2, and then switch to talking about camera X1? I am sure that is what happened with the DPReview spec sheet for the R3 with respect to its CCD specs. The numbers were just leftovers from their previous R2 spec sheet.

I am also hoping this is what happened at the Ricoh website with the R3's LCD spec. Wouldn't it be nice if the 114,000 LCD pixel resolution number was just leftover from the R2 spec sheet, and Ricoh has actually continued with their trend of improving the LCD with each new model by stepping up to the LCD used in the GR with its 210,000 pixel resolution?

Maybe the 1GB maximum SD card size is just a leftover number from the R2's spec sheet, as well. One can always hope. :)

7:14 pm - Wednesday, September 14, 2005


It's not looking good for the R3 with respect to noise. The Olympus
Mju Digital 800 and HP Photosmart R817 both use exactly the same
CCD (I'm guessing here based on their gross pixels spec), and both
have received terrible reviews for their CCD noise performance.

7:15 am - Thursday, October 13, 2005

#19 Rohit

i am new to digital cameras
and ricoh r2 and r3 both look good
but i am not able to decide which one i should buy
my concern for r3 are
1.db60 battery(is the AAA replacement is available for it as for G3),
2.LCD resolution (is the resolution good enough)
3.Lack of Viewfinder(does that cause any problem)
4.How good are the cameras of ricoh as a brand compared to its competitors like sony,nikon,canon

please advice me all
thanks in advance

3:36 pm - Thursday, October 13, 2005

#20 Jason

Is there anywhere in the US that sells this camera? I can't find one anywhere yet

4:52 pm - Thursday, October 13, 2005


Rohit, it is difficult to give advice about a camera without first knowing
something about its intended use. I assume you are interested in an
ultra-compact with a high zoom, thus your interest in the R3. I do not
see any advantage in buying the R2, since the R3 has everything the
R2 has, and then some (unless you are looking for a reduced price).

As for the DB-60 battery, the GR Digital uses the same battery, and it
lists the AAA replacement, so I would imagine the R3 also has the AAA
replacement, although it is not specifically listed that way.

Its LCD resolution is definitely not great, but should be good enough.

Lack of an optical viewfinder is really a personal preference. For an
ultra-compact, the choice is between a 2.0" LCD with a wimpy optical
viewfinder, or a 2.5" LCD with no optical viewfinder.

As for the differences between camera companies, there really is not
much difference. It is more a matter of which features you want. For
example, if you are looking for in-camera red-eye fix and D-lighting, a
Nikon Coolpix S4 or an HP Photosmart R817, both of which have high
zoom, might be a better choice than the R3. If you are interested in a
camera with 16:9 aspect ratio for viewing on a wide-screen TV, check
out the Panasonic Lumix LX1. If your major concern is image quality,
you should be looking into a larger camera like the Sony DMC-R1, or
one of the many digital SLRs.

The Achilles heel of all ultra-compacts with high zoom, is that they use
a 1/2.5" CCD in order to keep the lens small enough so as to fit into an
ultra-compact size, which means they will all be noisy. However, noise
is something which you can easily circumvent by avoiding the camera's
higher ISO settings, which is not normally a problem to do.

Most of all, don't be fooled into thinking that more megapixels is better.
For ultra-compacts, anything over 5 megapixels is a total waste. If you
look at Mark's reviews of the Ricoh GX (a 5 megapixel camera) and the
supposedly "improved" GX8 (an 8 megapixel camera) which both utilize
a 1/1.8" CCD, you will notice that the 8 megapixel GX8 (which received
a 3 out of 5 rating) had much noisier images than the 5 megapixel GX
(which received a higher 4 out of 5 rating).

And read the reviews before buying. As many as you can. What looks
good according to its specs, may have unforeseen problems that show
up in the reviews. PhotographyBLOG reviews many cameras, as does
DPReview and Steve's Digicams, just to name a few. And this site also
lets you know where the reviews are on other sites.

Hope that helps. Good luck.

Jason, I have not heard anything about the R3's scheduled release.

8:38 pm - Thursday, October 13, 2005

#22 Rohit

Hi Gary,
Thank you for valuable comments
I guess that gives me the conclusion that R3 gives the good quality picture...which i am looking for
could you advice me that red eye reduction is required feature for this camera or not... means if the camera takes picture so fine that it is not needed at all
also one more thing , can we do panning while shooting the video


10:21 am - Friday, October 14, 2005

#23 Alex

@ Gary P
It seems not to be the same CCD as in the Mju 800 (8MP) and HP r871 (5 MP).
The Specs of the CCD's are totally different.
Some Sony Models have the same CCD Specs.

@ all

Are there sample images of the Ricoh R3 available anywhere?
I'm really exited to see some....

3:14 pm - Friday, October 14, 2005


Thank you, Alex. I do not know what I was thinking. I still believe the
Ricoh R3 and the HP R817 use the same 5.25 megapixel CCD. How or
why I lumped the 8 megapixel Olympus in there, I have no idea.

6:27 pm - Friday, October 14, 2005


Rohit, whether the R3 yields good quality images remains to be seen,
as we have not yet had any reviews or sample images. Still, it would
be fair to speculate, based on Ricoh's track record, the image quality
of the R3 will be very good at least at its lower ISO settings. And with
its vibration correction function, shooting at lower ISOs should not be
a problem for the R3.

Good question about the red-eye. It is a problem that plagues most
small cameras, and has nothing to do with the camera's quality. It is
caused by the close proximity of the camera's flash to its lens, where
the closer the two are together, the worse the red-eye problem.

All camera's have a red-eye reduction "flash" mode, which uses two
consecutive flashes, the first flash (pre-flash) to close the pupils, and
the second flash immediately following to take the picture. This does
help to reduce red-eye, but it is not always effective.

Some cameras now include an in-camera red-eye "fix" feature, which
automatically locates the red-eye in an image after the shot has been
taken, and replaces the red-eye pixels with black ones, or ones of the
normal eye color. This feature is especially useful for printing directly
from the camera, as it eliminates any need for post-processing with a
computer to remove the red-eye.

Some cameras also have a pop-up flash system, which positions the
flash further from the lens, and helps to eliminate red-eye. While the
R3 does not have the pop-up flash, its flash and lens are at diagonally
opposite ends of the camera, which should definitely help eliminate the
red-eye problem. Eliminating the problem is better than trying to fix it,
so if the R3 is effective at doing this, you might not need the in-camera
red-eye fix feature, and an occasional red-eye problem can always be
fixed on the computer.

This is all speculation, however, so we really need to see some reviews
and/or sample images before drawing any firm conclusions.

8:03 pm - Friday, October 14, 2005


Hi all,
I am thinking of purchasing the Pansonic DMC LX-1 and the Ricoh R3, both attract me because of the image stablization and the wide angle lens (28mm). But both have it's cons and benefits and was wondering if someone can help me make a decision.

Panasonic DMC LX-1
1. Great reputation
2. Leica lens
3. 8.6 MPs
4. movie clips up to 848 x 480 (16:9 Aspect Ratio)
1. 28 - 112mm (35 mm equiv) 4x optical zoom, not really a negative but it's limitation
2. size: 4.2 x 2.2 x 1 in
3. price still in upper $500s

Ricoh R3
1. 28 - 200mm (7x optical), can be very useful when in the Serengetis capturing a still shot of a tiger.
2. light weight 5.8 oz and smaller than the LX-1 @ 3.7 x 2.1 x 1 in
3. shutter lag of 0.007 seconds, with much quicker release than the LX-11
1. 5 megapixel CCD imager? What the hell is that, is it better than the Panasonic DMC LX-1's MEGA O.I.S.(Optical Image Stabilizer)?
2. Max movie resolution of 320x240, what the point of a movie in that resolution?
3. Ricoh R series history of noisy pictures... Does anyone out there have some photos taken by the actual R3?


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1:32 pm - Sunday, October 16, 2005


Will, the decision pretty much comes down to how much use you will
get out of the LX1's 16:9 aspect ratio, versus how much use you will
get out of the R3's 7.1x optical zoom. All other plusses and minuses
are minor considerations in comparison.

However, there are a few things worth noting.

1. With its lens stowed and lens cap attached, the LX1 is actually 2"
thick, not 1" thick as reported. The R3 lens is fully retracting into the
camera body, which truly is 1" thick with the lens stowed, and has an
internal lens cover.

2. The LX1's 28mm wide end applies only to its 16:9 aspect ratio. In
its 4:3 aspect ratio it goes only to 34mm at the wide end, whereas the
R3 goes to 28mm at the wide end in 4:3.

3. The R3's 5 megapixel, 1/2.5" CCD, in comparison to the LX1's 6
megapixel, 1/1.8" CCD (at 4:3 aspect ratio), means that the R3 has
smaller pixels than the LX1, which should result in higher noise than
the LX1; however, if you stay at the low ISOs, which is necessary for
both of these cameras, the noise difference should be negligible.

4. The R3's LCD has inferior resolution compared to the LX1.

5. The LX1's OIS is reportedly very good, and its only real negative is
the high noise. If you stick to its low ISOs, which is made easier by its
OIS, you can avoid the noise problem.

6. The R3's Vibration Correction Function has not yet been reviewed,
and I have not seen any sample images. The fact that the images will
be noisy at high ISOs is a given, but I do not see any advantage of the
LX1 in that regard. The HP Photosmart R817 uses the same CCD as
the R3, so you might want to take a look at the "Image Quality" section
of the R817 review on PhotographyBLOG.

Hope that helps.

8:20 pm - Sunday, October 16, 2005

#28 Maggie

I was speaking to Nao Evason at Ricoh earlier this week and she said the R3 will NOT now be in the shops on 25th October. Stock should HOPEFULLY be available to purchase during the first week of November. She also said that ten cameras have been sent out so that reviews can be written but I do not know in which publicatons the reviews will appear. Anyone any ideas on this?

1:52 pm - Wednesday, October 19, 2005


No R3-specific info; however, besides the previously mentioned R817
review, which shows the same CCD as used in the R3 to be noisy, the
only other relevant information has been in a Nikon Coolpix S4 review,
which shows a similar LCD (2.5" TFT, 110,000 pixels) to the one used
in the R3, to be coarse and difficult to use in bright daylight.

Nikon Coolpix S4

HP R817

There is a rumor going around that Mark is working on an R3 review;
however, I started that rumor. :)

6:46 pm - Wednesday, October 19, 2005

#30 Imran

Hi Gary. since yo seem like the man with all the knowledge here, maybe you cans hed some light on my problem...First of all is there a definite answer to if the R3 can use AAA batterys like the R2(AA) and secondly i will be using the camera for normal picyure taking just as a hobby and then editing on my PC with something like Adobe. Overall, is the Initial picture quality of the R2 and R3 the same? I dont know much about the technical side of Cameras soa apologies in advance if im asking a really stupid question. Thanks in advance.


11:14 am - Thursday, October 20, 2005

#31 Maggie

Hi Imran

Cannot answer all your queries but have just spoken to the ever helpful Nao Evason at Ricoh and she has informed me that the R3 WILL NOT BE ABLE TO USE any sort of AA batteries only the rechargeable Lithium-Ion Rechargeable Battery that comes with the camera.
The latest on the delivery position is that the cameras are due in Germany at the end of this month and then it will take at least one week for them to be on sale in the U.K.


12:23 pm - Thursday, October 20, 2005


Let's examine the facts.

1. Every Ricoh camera since February 2003 (~18 in all) has offered
the dual capability of a DB-43/DB-50/DB-60 Li-Ion battery or AA/AAA
NiMH/Alkaline x2 equivalent.

2. The Ricoh R3 uses a DB-60 Li-Ion battery, but does NOT mention
any dual capability for a AAA equivalent in its specification.

3. The Ricoh GR Digital also uses a DB-60 Li-Ion battery, and DOES
mention the dual capability for a AAA equivalent in its specification.

4. Maggie has a reliable contact at Ricoh who says the Ricoh R3 will
not accept AA batteries.

So what does this all mean?

It is possible Maggie posed the question to her contact for "AA" rather
than "AAA", as indicated in her post above, in which case the reply is
correct for "AA", but gives no indication for "AAA".

It is possible that Maggie posed the question to her contact for "AAA"
correctly, and that the contact merely looked at the R3's spec posted
on the Ricoh website and concluded that the omission of the mention
of "AAA" capability meant that the R3 does not have this capability.

I think what is needed here is for Maggie to pose another question to
her contact specifically asking why the DB-60 battery of the GR Digital
is replaceable by "AAA" batteries, but not so for the R3's DB-60, or is
it the case that this capability was inadvertently omitted in the R3 spec.

It is inconceivable to me that Ricoh would use a DB-60 battery, which
was specifically designed to be AAA replaceable, and not offer a AAA
replacement capability, but then stranger things have happened. :)

7:06 pm - Thursday, October 20, 2005


Imran, I see one advantage of the R2 over the R3; namely, it uses a
higher capacity battery, which allows more shots per battery charge.

Other than that, the R3 either equals or outperforms the R2 in every
respect. The most important advantage of the R3, in terms of image
quality, is its Vibration Correction Function. Then of course, there is
the R3's 7.1x zoom.

Having said that, I would not make any decisions on the R3 until after
reading some reviews, which according to Maggie, should be coming
very soon.

7:30 pm - Thursday, October 20, 2005

#34 Maggie

Hi Gary
I posted a reply last night, well, I thought I did, but it has not appeared here - so will try again.

I found Nao Evason's phone number on the Ricoh UK site, under contacts - 02082 614031 - she is such a helpful pleasant person and seems quite happy to answer questions. She has got or has has hold of a Caplio R3 and she told me she had tried various AA/AAA batteries and she said the R3 will definitely not accept these. She also said she will email me as soon as she knows when either an on-line independent review appears or one in a publication. I am sure if you wanted to ask her other questions, you would find her very willing to do so.



12:21 pm - Friday, October 21, 2005


Thanks, Maggie, that answer is good enough for me ... as illogical as it seems. :)

6:06 pm - Friday, October 21, 2005

#36 Kyle Taylor

Enjoy all of your postings. But would you review comment #3 on Oct 16th about a 5mp
CCD having more noise than a 6mp CCD because the pixels are smaller on the 5mp?
I thought it was the other way around; a 5mp will have larger pixels than a 6 for the same size CCD, and the CCD appears larger for this Ricoh R3 than this Panasonic, which would further compound the problem for the Panasonic vs. this Ricoh model.

By the way, there is a review addressing how many megapixils can you cram onto a small CCD before you do more harm than good in Nov. Popular Science Magazine, pg 81. and the Lumix DMC-FX9 and the Cannon SD500 come out looking pretty good.

2:30 pm - Saturday, October 22, 2005

#37 Kyle Taylor

I meant to clarify, though, that I am most interested in the Ricoh Caplio R3, if the reviews look good. I called Ricoh corporate US and was told that Ricoh cameras are not being imported into US any more. So I will buy off the net from UK, I guess.

Even with no-warranty gray market purchase, I guess you're not giving up too much when Panasonic warranties are only 90 days, as I understand.

And for major problems (such as the recent massive-scope CCD sensor failures: see
and search for CCD failures), manufacturers, including Ricoh, are standing behind their products.

3:13 pm - Saturday, October 22, 2005


Kyle, the R3 CCD is smaller, not larger, than the LX1.

Interpreting CCD sizes is confusing, due to their mixed decimal and
fractional representation.

1/2.5" = 1 divided by 2.5" = 0.400" --- R3 CCD

1/1.8" = 1 divided by 1.8" = 0.556" --- LX1 CCD (in 4:3 aspect ratio)

Even more confusing is the fact that these numbers are completely
meaningless for calculating the actual size of the CCD, and are only
useful for the relative comparison of CCD sizes.

That is disappointing about Ricoh discontinuing its US distribution.

6:30 pm - Saturday, October 22, 2005


Actually, so that the units are correct, the calculations should be:

1/2.5" = 1" divided by 2.5 = 0.400" --- R3 CCD

1/1.8" = 1" divided by 1.8 = 0.556" --- LX1 CCD (in 4:3 aspect ratio)

6:37 pm - Saturday, October 22, 2005

#40 John

I found this forum while hunting for an R3 review. Seems it's mostly guesswork and extrapolation so far, and I'm amazed that Ricoh themselves can't even seem to say what kind of batteries it takes...

Anyway, to cut to the chase. My shortlist has two cameras, the R3 and the Lumix FX8. I am torn 50:50 between them. The R3 is better on paper, principally the 28-200 lens but to lesser extents manual focus (for those hunting low light situations), TIFF - and timelapse might be fun to try.

But visually it can't quite match the Lumix FX8, which is a cutie. I like the fact that the front of the R3 spaces the flash well aways from the lens to minimise red-eye, but the top panel looks rather ugly with that bend in it (which also makes the camera thicker than it needs to be). They're not in the shops yet so I can't say if it makes the ergonomics better or worse.

And finally, image quality. I've seen results from a friend's Lumix LZ5 which blew me away - does the FX8 use the same chip/processing software? How good is the Ricoh really at capturing digital images, or should they stick to photocopiers? I don't know - and nobody else seems to either.

6:24 pm - Sunday, October 23, 2005

#41 Marcus Bointon

Anyone know if the R3 can take any wide angle adaptors? Is the lens threaded at all, or does it have a body-mount bayonet like the Canon A series? I need to go as wide as possible - 16mm would be good!

8:41 pm - Sunday, October 23, 2005


No lens adapter accessories for the R3. No lens thread either.

8:55 pm - Sunday, October 23, 2005


I prefer to think of this thread as "intelligent" speculation borderlining
on inside information, thanks to Maggie, though I still cannot imagine
the R3 NOT being capable of using AAA batteries. It's like telling me
that Apple Macintoshes will be using Intel processors. I just wouldn't
believe it. :)

The main thing the FX8 has going for it over the R3 is looks. It may
also be somewhat less expensive, so maybe looks and cost. It also
has a 16:9 aspect ratio (via cropping), so maybe its looks, cost, and
16:9 aspect ratio. It also has a 640 x 480 resolution movie mode, so
maybe its looks, cost, 16:9 aspect ratio, and 640 x 480 movie mode.
Of all these advantages, I am guessing from your comment, looks is
probably the one that attracts you the most to the FX8.

Not that the R3 is any slouch when it comes to looks. And its CCD is
very similar to the FX8 CCD, as is its LCD. Yes, the R3 has TIFF, but
I doubt that it will be something you will want to use very much due to
its sluggish performance, though nice to experiment with. The R3 has
a 3:2 aspect ratio (via cropping), although I do not see very much call
for that compared to 16:9. But the one thing about the R3 you cannot
escape is its 28 - 200 mm, 7.1x optical zoom lens.

So it comes down to whether you want a really good looking camera,
or a moderately good looking camera with a 7.1x zoom. Personally,
if I was that interested in the FX8, I would go with the FX9, which has
slightly better noise reduction, adds a 3:2 aspect ratio, and has much
better LCD resolution, that being one of the biggest negatives for the
FX8 and R3, both.

Speculation can only go so far; eventually we will need to see reviews.
In the meantime, you can always call Maggie's contact. If you do call
her, ask her if she is able to get AAA batteries into the GR Digital, and
if so, what the difference is for the R3.

9:03 pm - Sunday, October 23, 2005

#44 John

Hi Gary and thanks for your comments.

'I still cannot imagine the R3 NOT being capable of using AAA batteries.'

Actually I hope it doesn't! Li-Ion for me every time. I think of AA/AAA as a bit regressive, except for flashguns.

'The main thing the FX8 has going for it over the R3 is looks. It may also be somewhat less expensive, so maybe looks and cost.'

Actually the FX8 is about 10% more expensive than the R3, though that's not an issue.

'Of all these advantages, I am guessing from your comment, looks is probably the one that attracts you the most to the FX8.'

True, but only because I'm not interested in movie mode or 16:9. My TV is 4:3 and so is my D70 :coolsmile:. If I want widescreen, there's the crop tool in PhotoShop...

'Yes, the R3 has TIFF, but I doubt that it will be something you will want to use very much due to its sluggish performance'

Well it was an idea for that really great scene where I want as much info as possible. I'm not an 'fps' jockey. However, it's not a dealbreaker.

'But the one thing about the R3 you cannot
escape is its 28 - 200 mm, 7.1x optical zoom lens.'

Absolutely, but I'd like to know how the final image quality compares - eg how good is the chip, how good are the processing algorithims? And how good is the 28-200 lens? The Lumix lens is by Leica, the R3 lens is by - er - Ricoh. Maybe it's great, but maybe there'll be monstrous chromatic aberration at one end or the other? As Patrick Moore says 'We just don't know'.

'if I was that interested in the FX8, I would go with the FX9, which has slightly better noise reduction, adds a 3:2 aspect ratio, and has much better LCD resolution, that being one of the biggest negatives for the
FX8 and R3, both.'

Actually I discounted the FX9; more pixels = smaller pixels = less sensitivity. 5Mp is enough for me; there's always the D70 if I want to get heavy! According to dpreview, the FX8 is 4:3 as well.

Anyway, it's good to swap views and to see that photography, as ever, is an infinite melting pot :-)


10:21 pm - Sunday, October 23, 2005

#45 Marcus Bointon

> Actually I hope it doesn't! Li-Ion for me every time.
> I think of AA/AAA as a bit regressive, except for flashguns.

In theory, sure, but not in practice. Most manufacturers seem to capitalise on Li-Ion's higher charge density to get smaller batteries rather than longer life, but they are usually comparing with mediocre capacity NiMH rather than higher capacity ones. The upshot is that many cameras will not even handle a whole day's casual use - my main experience of this is the Canon S series - the S60 will usually only get about 30-40 pics on a fully charged Li-Ion, whereas my trusty CoolPix 950 will run for over 200 on a set of oldish 2Ah AAs. I've used an S60 underwater and it will barely last an hour with the LCD on a lot. If Li-Ions could offer double the performance of NiMHs, it might be worth the inconvenience. AAs
Top of my list at the mo is a Canon A610, but the R3 is a contender, I'm awaiting decent reviews of both.

9:07 am - Monday, October 24, 2005


We are getting off the track with the R3's AAA(?) capability. It is not
a matter of using AAA NiMH in place of a Li-Ion proprietary (which is
certainly an option, given the increasingly high capacities available in
NiMH batteries these days); rather, it is more a matter of utilizing the
R3's dual(?) Li-Ion/AAA capability. Here is a typical scenario.

An R3 comes standard with a DB-60 Li-Ion battery and BJ-6 charger.
You can also purchase a second DB-60 battery so you can have the
camera with you at all times, while the spare battery is in the charger
at all times. Whenever you go out, you would switch the batteries so
as to always start with a fully charged DB-60 in your camera.

The fully charged DB-60 will easily provide a days shooting; however,
there is always the exception to the rule. For example, you may have
inadvertently gone out without first switching the batteries, so you are
starting with a less than full DB-60. If the DB-60 becomes exhausted
while you are shooting, it would be nice to have a spare with you.

For such emergency situations, you would always carry a fresh set of
non-rechargable, AAA Alkalines batteries, in your camera case, wallet,
pocketbook, etc. Alkalines are known for having an exceptionally long
shelf life, while maintaining their full-rated capacity, and conservatively
would provide another 50 shots in an emergency.

ALL Ricoh cameras, for the past 3 years, have had this dual capability,
which is why I find it so difficult to believe that the R3 does not offer the
same ... or that Macintoshes will be using Intel processors. :)

8:12 pm - Monday, October 24, 2005

#47 John

You're right Gary. I suppose it all comes down to how you use things. For both my cameras (Olympus Mju 300 and Nikon D70) I have two Li-Ion batteries. The spares are always fully charged and in the bag, while the one in the camera is in a variable state of charge. If and when it dies, I have the spare Li-Ion ready to go.

For important events and/or when I know I'm going to be using a lot of juice (eg a wedding), I make sure both are fully charged before I go out. So I simply have no need for packs of expensive AA/AAA batteries :-) They win on shelf life, yes, but my cameras are used regularly so that's not an issue.

Anyway, my main sticking point regarding the R3 is waiting until someone's actually reviewed one and can report on image quality and any useability issues. The marketing spiel is fine but not sufficient on its own to make me hand over the readies!!

8:24 pm - Monday, October 24, 2005


Ricoh's dual battery type capability is definitely aimed at more casual,
less-prepared users than yourself. Also, very nice website.

BTW, according to DPReview, the better noise reduction of the FX9
more than compensates for its slightly smaller pixels compared to the
FX8. Couple that with its much higher resolution LCD, a big negative
for the FX8, its added 3:2 aspect ratio, plus a few more scene modes,
and I would think it would be a no brainer decision between the two.

8:59 pm - Monday, October 24, 2005

#49 Carsten Ranke

The first R3 review (TrustedReviews) says 8/10, not bad...

11:05 pm - Tuesday, October 25, 2005

#50 John

Thanks Carsten, very useful. It looks ike the R3 falls down exactly where I feared it would - image quality and noise. I think I'd rather have a camera with fewer features which gives better results. The 28mm wide angle I was looking forward to is either ludicrously vignetted, or cropped by the anti-shake (so it's not 28mm any more!) Sorry Ricoh fans, but to cheer you up please note I had a Ricoh XR-7 SLR for 16 years and loved it :-)

9:48 am - Wednesday, October 26, 2005

#51 Imran

Just wanted to say thanks to everyone for the feedback regarding the R3 capability or lack of using AAA batterys. I liked the question regarding the Scenarios as to why you would want a camera to use AA/AAA batterys, its not a case of being ill prepared for you journey/shoot etc but its that inevitable question "what if"...Sods Law tells me that this is the type of situation where a UFO will be hovering right in front of you posing for a picture on your new shiny R3 and you cant even take a snap!!! Thats when the "what if" and "if only" come in!!! Thanks Everyone!!!!!!

12:19 pm - Wednesday, October 26, 2005

#52 Maggie Davies


Oh Dear, Not good news !!! I have just had my weekly chat with Nao Evason at Ricoh and yet again it seems more delays with the R3. She is now not able to say when the cameras will be in Germany, on route to the U.K. Only that Ricoh HOPE to have the cameras on sale mid November but she said this is not definite and at present none are available anywhere in the world !!!!

Just a thought, is all this a wind-up by Ricoh?? - have they tried to judge the response to their press release at the beginning of September and perhaps are only now starting to manufacture the camera from the "test" ones they sent out??

Nao also said she still has not had any news of any independent reviews but she will let me know when she has some information.



3:13 pm - Wednesday, October 26, 2005


With one exception, the review did not indicate any unexpected fatal
flaws, that exception being the lack of an AF assist lamp. What then
is that rectangular opening located adjacent to the flash? Also, does
anyone know what "TIFF (text only)" means?

6:42 pm - Wednesday, October 26, 2005

#54 Mark Goldstein

Just to let you all know that I should be receiving a review sample tomorrow, so post any questions that you want answered here (in addition to Gary's) :)

6:46 pm - Wednesday, October 26, 2005

#55 John

'With one exception, the review did not indicate any unexpected fatal flaws'

That vignetting at 28mm looks fatal enough to me: in my book it means that 28mm is unuseable.

'Also, does anyone know what “TIFF (text only)” means?'

Maybe you can only save as TIFF when the camerais in B/W mode, due to image size? If so another 'great feature' has bitten the dust also.

I have to say that the sample shots look pretty grim also. Maybe that's partly the photographer to blame but they certainly don't sell the camera.

I'm letting the R3 slide beneath the waves. The images remind me of a cheap Vivitar I tried some years ago and returned. 'Zooming in about half-way give a good balance between barrel distortion and wide coverage.'

Quite. :shut:

6:57 pm - Wednesday, October 26, 2005


Wow, Mark, this is like a dream come true. Thank you.

Besides the previously raised questions about the AAA batteries, AF
assist lamp, text only TIFF, and 1 GB maximum SD card, I would be
very interested to know just how effective the positioning of the flash
and lens at diagonally opposite ends of the camera body is towards
the elimination of red-eye.

What I would really want to see is a comparison with one or two other
small cameras on a shot that produces "significant" red-eye using the
other camera(s), even with their red-eye reduction flash mode. I know
you have had some difficulty producing red-eye with your test shots in
previous reviews, so here are two suggestions on how to enhance the
red-eye effect for this test.

1. Turn off all lights in the room, then let your eyes adjust to the dark
before snapping the picture.

2. Find a more glassy-eyed test subject than yourself. Either that, or
have a few beers prior to the test. Cheers. :)

8:05 pm - Wednesday, October 26, 2005

#57 John

Hi Gary,
Just putting my 'Laws of Physics' head on here...
Red eye is a function of three things:
1) Closeness of flash to lens (in this respect the R3 bodes well)
2) Distance to subject
3) Subject's pupil dilation

'Red eye reduction' is a con; it simply uses bright pre-flashes to make the subject's pupils contract. This should have some effect, but it means that effective shutter lag is about 2 seconds and any chance of surprise, or a natural-looking shot, is ruined.

Microsoft Picture Manager has a red-eye removal tool and this works quite well.

The only real answer is to get the flash away from the camera, but that's DSLR-land.

8:21 pm - Wednesday, October 26, 2005


John, I am surprised that you have not read my previous 20+ posts
regarding in-camera red-eye removal, scattered around the various
threads of this website.

Just kidding. Here is a brief summary.

My wife prints directly from the camera. The major problem with her
current camera, the Casio QV-R51, is that it is very prone to red-eye,
even using the red-eye reduction flash. For her upcoming birthday, I
am looking for an ultra-compact, with greater than 3x zoom, and with
in-camera red-eye removal.

While the R3 does not have in-camera red-eye removal, its 7.1x zoom
in an ultra-compact is extremely attractive, but not if it is as susceptible
to red-eye as her Casio. I was therefore hoping that the positioning of
the flash as far away from the lens as possible would help to eliminate
the problem.

I can think of no other reason why Ricoh would put it there. Certainly
not to prevent anyone's fingers from accidentally blocking it. :)

Regarding the R3's 28mm vignetting being an "unexpected" fatal flaw,
it would appear your expectations were a bit higher than mine. :)

9:15 pm - Wednesday, October 26, 2005

#59 Heidrun

Hello all,
I would like to buy a CaplioR3 as well and found it interesting to read all your comments. Thanks for those.
Unfortunately your friend at Ricoh's is right, not any camery available here in Germany at the moment.
This site seems for me to end the discussion about the AAs or AAAs, look at "feature3" and it does not look like the shape of "normal akkus" to me.
I'll come here every day to see what's going on and looking forward to Mark's review.

5:32 pm - Friday, October 28, 2005


That proves the R3 uses a DB-60, but still leaves open the possibility
that two AAAs can be used in its place.

FYI, the GX8 and R2 do illustrate loading AA batteries in place of their
DB-43 and DB-50 batteries, respectively. Shame the GR Digital does
not similarly show how AAAs are used in place of its DB-60, the same
DB-60 used in the R3.

8:20 pm - Friday, October 28, 2005

#61 Monty

The funny thing is that I looked at the TrustedReviews review and it relieved me a bunch. Why? I made my own conclusions about the image quality. I mean look, TrustedReviews gave a 9 to the Pentax s5n and its noise and noise reduction was much worse. They gave an 8 to the Fuji F10, which has amazingly low noise and better resolution than most 7MP cameras.

Now for the wide angle vignetting w/o stabilization, so what? A bit of cropping and you have a nice panorama. I looked at the 200mm shot and the "28mm" shot with image stabilization, and determined the zoom manually by finding the size of the crop. It turns out that there was a 6.3x zoom, and the wide angle focal length is actually 31.5mm (35mm equiv) instead of 28mm. Big deal.

The noise, while there, is far far better than the Caplio R1V. Seeing that, I had a sigh of relief. Let's face it, there's only one other camera in the same class as this one in terms of zoom, IS, and size, and that is the Lumix LZ2. But the LZ2 has a horrible CCD, far worse than that of the FZ5 (which I own). Just look at how much noise you have in the shadows and midtones even at ISO 80:
ISO200 is horrible on the LZ2.

To me, this is pretty much a dream camera. High optical zoom, very compact, with noise comparable to Casio/Pentax/Konica 5MP cameras. If it had VGA/30fps recording, that's be icing on the cake.

If only it was available in the US. :(

3:31 am - Saturday, October 29, 2005

#62 John

I looked at the images in the review and frankly thought they were appalling. Furthermore I don't trust a marketing department that 'misquotes' something as basic as wide-angle by 12.5% (28mm>31.5mm). I also don't want to have to sit there cropping all my wide angle shots to lose the black corners. Black corners for heavens sake, that's cheap fish-eye adaptor land!! I think they quoted an unachievable zoom range because that's what punters look at. Then I start wondering what else they've misquoted... The TIFF claim looks shaky too ('text only'). Add to that the fact that they don't even know when they're going to launch it, or even what kind kind of batteries it takes...

And why didn't they put 'RICOH' on the front? It's not that shameful is it?

10:14 am - Saturday, October 29, 2005


It comes down to what compromises you will accept to get a 28mm,
7.1x optical zoom lens in a 1" thick camera. From the comments, it
appears Monty and I might be willing to accept more compromises
than John.

One thing you have to admit, you will not find any better camera with
those criteria. :)

6:57 pm - Saturday, October 29, 2005

#64 simon chopping

Well it's nice to see that someone no's what the #### there talking about cose over here in australia i cant get info on anything. I am somwhat retarded and yet still seem to know more than most of the people here selling the stuff. Iso who and ccd no cc and cola for me thanks. I am riding a push bike around the world and need a camera. Alkaline batteries a must as not sure how oftern i can recharge decent quality pics cos i dont want to have to go again and as large a focal range as possible in a small camera.These are my priorities. Is the r2 the go or not.the r3 whilst you guys are still wieghting for it i dont think i should eithen hope to see it here before i leave at christmas. Any info much appreciated thanks simon

5:28 am - Tuesday, November 1, 2005


Interesting dilemma. Sounds like the R3 would be the ideal camera
for your situation, assuming it uses AAA Alkalines, which I agree is a
must have feature for you. It would be a shame to have to go back
to the R2, which does not have the R3's Vibration Reduction feature,
and has only a 4.8x zoom (which is still not too shabby).

Another camera you might want to look into is the Nikon Coolpix S4
which has a 10x zoom. It's a little bigger than the R3, but is still very
compact. It does not have any image stabilization, but does take AA

Mark's review of the R3 should be coming out soon, so hopefully the
batteries question will be put to rest once and for all. If you have any
other questions about the R3, be sure to post them so he can answer
them in his review.

My list of 348 questions will be posted shortly. :)

6:58 pm - Tuesday, November 1, 2005

#66 Carl-Johan

Hello everyone!
I really wonder what possibilities the R3 might have when it comes to the focus. According to the review done by TrustedReviews "It has difficulty locking on to a subject in anything other than good light, and since it lacks an AF illuminator this is something of a handicap.".
Futhermore, according to the Feature Table in the same review it also lacks a manual focus. Now to what makes me a little confused. When I looked at the focus specification in Major Specifications for the R3 at
I found this:

"Autofocus, Manual Focus, Fixed Focus (Snap), ?(includes AF auxiliary light)"
So, does the R3 have Manual Focus and AF illuminator, or does it not? Does anybody of you know?

1:18 pm - Wednesday, November 2, 2005

#67 Mark Goldstein

The good news is that the R3 review unit has finally arrived.

The bad news is that the R3 review unit is faulty :-(

Ricoh are sending another one asap, but I'm afraid my review is now on hold.

2:02 pm - Wednesday, November 2, 2005

#68 Mark Goldstein

In the meantime, to answer some of your questions...

The R3 uses a lithium-ion battery, not AA's or AAA's.

Contrary to what TrustedReviews say, it does have manual focus, plus Multi AF, Spot AF, Infinity and a Snap option for short distances.

The R3 does not offer an AF illuminator.

2:11 pm - Wednesday, November 2, 2005


Not good news. So what then is the rectangular opening adjacent to
the flash? And how is it the GR Digital, which uses exactly the same
Li-Ion battery as the R3, can substitute AAAs, while the R3 cannot?

7:24 pm - Wednesday, November 2, 2005


Focus Autofocus, Manual Focus, Fixed Focus (Snap), ?(includes AF auxiliary light)
This extract is from Ricoh's own spec & it clearly states (AF auxiliary light) have ordered one but am very confused with all the previous on this blog.

11:04 pm - Wednesday, November 2, 2005


Here is the thing. On the one hand, we have the Ricoh spec, which
mentions the R3's "AF auxiliary light". We also have pictures of the
R3 which appear to show the AF auxiliary light adjacent to the flash.

On the other hand we have a review of the R3 from TrustedReviews
which specifically points out the lack of an AF auxiliary light. We also
have the statement of Mark Goldstein, PhotographyBLOG editor and
one of the few people on this earth who has held an (albeit defective)
R3 in his hands, saying that the R3 has no AF illuminator.

You have every right to be confused. :)

8:13 am - Thursday, November 3, 2005

#72 Monty

John (#62), what exactly is so "appalling" about the images?

Just using a word doesn't make it so. I looked on TrustedReviews and couldn't find any camera with a 5MP 1/2.5" CCD that had less noise at ISO400. Yes, the ISO800 image is next to useless, but who cares? Very few competitors offer it anyway.

The only exception was the Sony DSC-W15 where the scene composition was useless for seeing noise reduction, a trait which obliterated the image quality of the DSC-W1 (upon which the W15 is based). That's the other tradeoff - noise reduction. Many of the Pentax cameras showed this too, smearing out all subtle detail and low contrast edges for a false impression of less noise.

Cross referencing with other review sites, even the much larger KM, Canon, Panasonic, and Sony ultrazooms have comparable noise and lost detail to noise reduction.

If you want a compact superzoom, you'll never see a sensor bigger than 1/2.5", so comparisons to cameras with other sensors are pointless. Either live with the noise, or change your requirements.

As for cropping the ultra wide shots, I don't know why you're being so critical. At least the option is there. If you want a camera only for the wide angle zoom to save you the splitting headache of a task that is cropping (LOL), there are plenty of options out there: (there are plenty more as well)

If you want a compact camera with a high optical zoom, though, you have TWO options out of the hundreds of cameras on the market: This, or the Panasonic DMC-LZ1/DMC-LZ2, which are shockingly crap even at low ISO (especially given how great other panasonics are), and is 32% thicker.

Kudos to Ricoh for expanding our options. Another 3x zoom P&S, even if it was good as Canon, would be next to useless.

6:12 pm - Thursday, November 3, 2005


OTOH, lack of an AF illuminator, if true, would be unforgivable.

7:35 pm - Thursday, November 3, 2005


What is so appalling about the images, of the thousand's of images we see in photo mag's and the like ,just how many do you think have not been through a photo editing suite of some kind or another , 5% or less i would think , it seem's par for the course to enhance them in some way or other , if being able to do this was not so important photo suite's £10 each instead of £70 +

10:02 pm - Thursday, November 3, 2005

#75 Hessian

I am still want this camera after reading many of the negaitve comments here. That wide angled zoom, with stabiliser, is just too hard to pass up on.

But why oh why is the interface only using slow USB1.1?

5:41 am - Friday, November 4, 2005

#76 Tommy

I've read in a forum at dpreview that the noise problem of some
Ricoh digital (think it war R2) was much reduced when stepping
down one step from the maximum resolution. Noisy pictures does
seem to get somewhat better if I scale them down a bit, and it
also appears reasonable that the camera is in a better still
position for this operation since it can access the raw data
from the CCD.

I'm not at all interested in printing my photos, only view them
on screen, so I don't need high resolution. Even if R3 shows to
be noisy in the highest resolution but can produce fine pictures
at 2048x1563 it would be a very attractive camera to me with its
reasonable price and all. I'll just pretend it's a 3 Mpix

So I humbly ask if the noise level of R3 lowres pictures could
get a brief evaluation in the review?

2:41 pm - Friday, November 4, 2005

#77 Wolfie

1) AF light or not? Wish we could resolve that one.

2) Shame about the horrible vignette. How on earth did they go into production with that still an issue?

3) Noise level seems to be the same as the competition. Pushing pixels on a small CCD will always do this.

4) Get a move on Ricoh, I want to get my hands on one.

Conclusion : Remember this camera is very reasonably priced to the competition. Panasonic LX1 is nearly twice as much and bulkier. So good value I think.

6:33 pm - Friday, November 4, 2005


Without AF assist illumination, I'm unconvinced it's such a good value.

As for lower resolution having less noise, that would be interesting to
test; however, I suspect it would be using one noise to make another
(possibly more annoying) noise, similar to turning on the TV to drown
out the noise in the next room.

7:20 pm - Friday, November 4, 2005

#79 p marshall

i have been following all the comments that you all have been making for the forth coming r3, because i want to replace my ricoh r1v.
my camera before that was the rdc7 and that camera had the best pics of all my cameras so far, i wonder why ricoh can't improve on that camera?.

about the assist lamp, if the r3 doesn't have one, then maybe the r3 might be programed to fire the flash twice in low light situations, the first flash being used to find distance,focus, etc. is that a possibility ???

8:36 am - Saturday, November 5, 2005


That's it !!! Upon investigation, I see that is how the AF auxiliary light
works on the R1V and R2. So now the question remains, why did the
R3 have difficulty focusing in low light situations, as was documented
by TrustedReviews in their review of the R3?

On your R1V, is there anything special you have to do to enable this
double flash focus assist? Does it work well?

9:13 pm - Saturday, November 5, 2005

#81 p marshall

hi gary

right gary here we go Test No 1

i have just taken a photo in my living room with the light on and the flash flashed once.

Test 2

i switched light off in living room and have taken another photo in the dark and without altering the camera mode the flash flashed .................... wait for it ......................TWICE

so there we have it the r3 doesn't need a assist lamp

hopefully the r3's programers will do a better job of programming up the camera so it will see better in the dark and take better pics in low light.

i will be replacing my r1v with the r3 hoping that the pics taken in low light situations are not so grainy

sometimes my r1v will take smashig pics in the dark and other times it seems to make a right pigs ear of it. and the flash doesn't have much range before the pics get dark and grainy, about 8 feet seems to be the max distance.

10:05 pm - Saturday, November 5, 2005


Okay, now that we know what to look for, it is just a matter of waiting
for Mark's review to see how the R3 performs.

10:38 pm - Saturday, November 5, 2005

#83 Arno

On the mean time, from The Netherlands also waiting for more info about this R3 (300 euro)...

The new, highly recommended and much more expensive Canon PowerShot S80 (500 euro), has also problems at the wide end:

"particularly with softness at the corners and vignetting, in which corners appear darker than the rest of the frame. This happens even when the aperture is stopped down to f/8, which usually minimizes or eliminates the problem. We also noticed some barrel distortion at the wide end. All these problems may be a result of the lens reaching the relatively wide 28mm length in a compact enclosure."

3:17 am - Sunday, November 6, 2005


And with 200mm telephoto, its 28mm vignetting is easier to forgive. :)

8:18 pm - Sunday, November 6, 2005

#85 Mo Bjornestad

Any news about when the R3 will be available? Good place to buy one to be shipped to the USA?

7:05 am - Wednesday, November 9, 2005

#86 Murray

Ricoh have put four samples up at:
What do we think of them?

9:08 pm - Wednesday, November 9, 2005


HOT OFF THE PRESS COULD THIS BE WHAT WE HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR Ricoh, announced sale day of the hand blurring revision mechanism equipped compact digital camera " Caplio R3 ", was decided on the 11th.

At the beginning it was made October 26th sale, but " because the number of incoming orders is many above planning, the number of productions becomes insufficient, " sale was postponed.


11:08 pm - Wednesday, November 9, 2005


HAVE A LOOK AT THIS SITE "ricoh japan" .../2005/11/07/2634.html&prev;=/languageProduct summary

Caplio R3
Desired retail price: Open price
Sale day: November of 2005 11th
To product merit

11:21 pm - Wednesday, November 9, 2005


sorry , link doe's not seem to work but info is correct

11:33 pm - Wednesday, November 9, 2005


11:45 pm - Wednesday, November 9, 2005

#91 Mo Bjornestad

HELP - can anyone share their experience with buying for shipment to the USA? I dearly want this camera for my engagement party on the 26th of November - Thanks, Mo

9:18 am - Thursday, November 10, 2005

#92 Mark Goldstein

I'm afraid my R3 review is currently on hold, as I still haven't received a replacement camera from Ricoh :(

3:03 pm - Thursday, November 10, 2005

#93 Mo Bjornestad

Gary, Thanks for the update - someone mentioned Ricoh is gearing up a greater production capacity due the the level of interest in R3, but why would that keep them from providing you with a camera for review?

4:20 pm - Thursday, November 10, 2005

#94 Wolfie

Regarding Ricoh's sample photos. They seem pretty good quality to me for a compact, all at ISO 100 so we can't really judge the higher ISO noise that others have spoken of. Is that chromatic aberration around the ball-boy's legs though?

What does a release date of the 11th mean to us in the UK exactly? When will it be available at suppliers here?

4:43 pm - Thursday, November 10, 2005

#95 Greg

Regarding release dates, my local store (in Melbourne, Australia) have confirmed they will be received a shipment from ricoh next week. Apparently Ricoh had a certain number 'flown over', so it'll be a small batch available next week.. not sure when full stocks will be arriving.

Pricing, to the best of my knowledge, will be around AU$599.

I'm keen to check it out, see how it looks/ feels. I love the idea of the large zoom, large screen, etc. Not so sure about low light focusing - that's definitely something i'll test in the store.

and USB1.1... not worried about this.. after all you can get card readers for under $50 these days, so why even bother with USB??

Are there any other reviews out there, besides the TrustyReviews one??

Thanks for all the info guys... this site has been very informative.

12:44 am - Friday, November 11, 2005

#96 Greg

Just looked at the sample photos at the official Ricoh site:

Not sure about you guys, but to me they all seemed quite grainy (except the macro one which is much better)... what do the rest of you think?

12:53 am - Friday, November 11, 2005


Personally, I don't even look at samples on the camera sites. I like to
wait for the reviews. So far, TrustedReviews is the only one I know of.
Should be more coming very soon.

I was hoping Mark's review would be out by now, because he already
has reviewed several Ricoh cameras, and because he now knows all
the specific questions we would like answered. Shame that his review
camera was defective.

On the bright side, that just gives me more time to complete my list of
R3 questions, which now exceeds 400. :)

7:45 pm - Friday, November 11, 2005

#98 Heidrun

lol, Gary.

9:01 pm - Friday, November 11, 2005



Simply put, the Ricoh Caplio R3 is one of the best Ricoh model's we've looked at recent months. One thing we love about the Ricoh R series is the sophistication and class it brings, right down to the smallest details. The R3 for example, arrived in a high quality black cloth camera bag, and the camera itself was cased in a brown leather holster.

This sophistication continues with the camera design. The jet black metal casing is grafted around a slightly misshapen body which kinks on the right hand side to give a distinctive look and feel. The R3 sits nicely in the hand and remains comfortable even after strenuous photography sessions. The buttons are in a largely standard layout with a few traditional Ricoh alterations. Our favourite is the adjust button, which brings up a quick way to manipulate white balance, exposure and ISO settings, rather than navigating through the menu. There are also the standard flash and macro mode commands, as well as a handy "view last shot" button. We didn't like the mode switch however, which replaces the function wheel to jump between video, voice and photo recording. It felt flimsy and was the only cheap feeling part of the camera.

As a basic point and shoot, the R3 is equipped with a standard array of functions including exposure, white balance and ISO presets. The eight preset shooting modes is pitiful in comparison to the 15 or 20 present on some rival models, but there is an image stabilisation function which we always like to see; after all, nobody's hands are one hundred percent steady.

The difference is noticeable in the pictures, which we think are a big improvement over the earlier R2. Ricoh's previous model suffered from blurring towards the bottom of the photographs, which has been all but eradicated on the R3. Colour saturation was good, without being brilliant (there was no over saturation, which is the most common colour problem) and the only complaint we could venture is that the pictures could be a little sharper in high light settings, but in general the pictures were quite impressive. There was some noticeable noise with ISO at 800, but that is to be expected and the lower settings were more than usable.

If speed is your thing, you will be pleased to hear Ricoh have really outdone themselves with this model. The R3 offers lightning quick responses across the board. Start-up is a mere second, just long enough for the zoom lens to extend and shutter lag is unnoticeable. Image write time comes in at just below two seconds. But what we really loved about this model is the autofocus. It is one of the fastest we've ever encountered. Normally it can take more than a second from the time you half depress the shutter button till when the lens actually focuses, but on the R3 it is barely 30 milliseconds. Combined with the wonderful speed of the other key functions and you've got one of the quickest cameras on the market.

The R3 performed well in our battery tests, managing to take 550 shots before it powered down, which is above average for a standard compact model. It is clearly not made for shooting video however, taking poor 320X240 recordings at 15 or 30 fps.

- Andrew Kliem

9:50 pm - Friday, November 11, 2005


Review Date: Thursday, 10th of November, 2005
What's Hot: Lovely design, competitive photos, lightning quickWhat's Not: Poor features, some minor design issues

The Final Word: Sophistication thy name is Ricoh. A wonderful looking camera that takes some great snaps and will satisfy most buyers.

9:55 pm - Friday, November 11, 2005