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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Too enthralled with the camera case, and "usable below ISO 800"
makes me wonder just how thoroughly they reviewed the camera.

Still, it is encouraging. :)

10:13 pm - Friday, November 11, 2005


10:14 pm - Friday, November 11, 2005



Thanks for posting, review sounds promising. The site seems to be decent, I read a few of their other reviews for comparison, and they seem to focus on a user perspective, rather than a pixel peeping perspective, regardless, sounds like the camera fared well. As an aside, I really hope it does come with that leather holster they spoke of, I apprciate a decent case.

Something I found interesting regarding serial numbers:

Trusted Reviews SN#34100051 (Reviewed October 25)
Good Gear Guide SN#35100024 (Reviewed November 10)

Both numbers seem to be near the start of a series, but I'm assuming different series. The 341... vs 351... indicates to me that there were signifigant changes made, and Trusted Reviews somehow had an early model, this second review a newer version. Maybe thats why Ricoh pushed back their release date, they were sorting out internal issues..... Could be a crazy conspiracy theory but serial numbers usually tell a pretty accurate picture of the production situation.


10:25 pm - Friday, November 11, 2005

#104 Heidrun

now there are samples from yesterday and today to be found at this mentioned other blog.
have a look!

9:08 am - Saturday, November 12, 2005

#105 Prognathous

Mark, once you get the R3, could you repeat the Sharpness setting evaluation you did with the GX8 review? This is one area where Ricoh keeps changing the default - the R1 is better with Sharpness set to Sharp, the GX8 is better with Sharpness set to Soft. I wonder if the R3 will finally get it right...



4:20 pm - Saturday, November 12, 2005


Peter, good catch on the serial numbers. I hope that it does indicate
a new series with significant improvements.

Heidrun, if you're involved in that R3 discussion at DPReview, maybe
you could ask Terry to try fitting some AAA batteries into the camera,
and also confirm the double flash method of AF assist.

8:54 pm - Saturday, November 12, 2005

#107 MarkT

Its NOT going to work with AAA batteries. Look at the shots of the battery compartment cover. If it would take AAAs it would have metal contacts on the cover to connect the battery terminals together.

6:48 pm - Sunday, November 13, 2005

#108 Carsten Ranke

Heidrun, thanks for the link ! Especially the second page is intereresting, the ISO 400 looks usable, not overprocessed.

And a small review rates ****;2136212588;pid;1018;pt;1

If it only had an optical viewfinder, could be just perfect for my needs...

7:05 pm - Sunday, November 13, 2005

#109 Carsten Ranke

A Japanese review, translated with more ISO comparisons:
Japanese Translation

7:27 pm - Sunday, November 13, 2005

#110 MarkT

Looked at the Japanese review (struggled a bit with the english !) but downloaded some of the photos for comparison with my own camera.
Sorry to say but - very disappointed.
Not particularly sharp images.
Not always in focus.
Too many artifacts and too much noise on many pictures.
Don't think you can put all of this down to the photographer.
Looks like its still got the flaws of the R2.

1:30 am - Monday, November 14, 2005


MarkT, I see metal contacts on the GX8 and R2 covers; however, on
the R3, and this may be stretch, from the dimensions of the opening,
it appears that the AAA batteries might be inserted sideways into the
battery compartment, which would eliminate the need for contacts on
the cover. Check it out and see if you agree.

Narrow battery compartment opening on GX8 and R2:

Elongated battery compartment opening on R3:

3:35 am - Tuesday, November 15, 2005

#112 MarkT

Mmmm . . Gary - worth a thought.
Looking at the photo of the R3 the hinge of the battery compartment extends in as far as the "Disp" button.
I've taken the image of the R3 and added scaled lines to show the width of the camera and a AAA battery . . .
I'm afraid it will not fit sideways.

PS - how do you insert a web hyperlink?

7:42 pm - Tuesday, November 15, 2005

#113 Greg

yaaaay the R3 is available at my local store in Melbourne... gonna go check it out tonight after work. Price tag: $599. bit steep, considering R2 is now around $470, but ahh well hopefully its worth it.

Think i'll hold back to read a review or 2 before taking the plunge though... any more reviews out there yet?? Mark, have you received a new unit for review yet?

5:38 am - Wednesday, November 16, 2005

#114 Mark Goldstein

I'm afraid not Greg - apparently several of the UK review units were damaged in transit (including mine) so they're now a little scarce...

12:18 pm - Wednesday, November 16, 2005

#115 Greg

bugger. ahh well, i looked at one at the store today. it's a nice little camera, easy to use, feels nice.

But the sales person seemed to think the quality wasn't so good... 'around the same as an equivalent 2megapixel 3x zoom camera'. It seemed a good point about the big zoom being the first on market, and ricoh's targeting a less demanding market with this model, photo quality wise. what does everyone else think about this?

He showed me another camera, the Panasonic LX1, which i really like. more manual settings, widescreen photos, great lens, a little bigger but quality wise on another level. bit more expensive but.

thanks for all the info guys. I'm interested to hear people's experience with the R3 soon.


1:16 pm - Wednesday, November 16, 2005

#116 Greg

I just read the info about Panasonic LX1 above.. all pretty spot on i'd say. i still like the manual options - that'd be a great way to learn photography with, at not much more.

What cameras do you guys who have researched this and other cameras consider to be the best buys in the same or slightly higher price range?

1:34 pm - Wednesday, November 16, 2005

#117 Wolfi

"What Camera" in the UK has a new issue on the stands today which includes a group test of the latest sub £250 compact digitals and the R3 came top with pretty positive comments. I would rate their thoughts higher than a salesperson (who is often thinking about their margin and not your pocket). I have also been considering the LX1 but at nearly double the price and reviews slating the noise levels it doesn't seem such good value.

2:49 pm - Wednesday, November 16, 2005

#118 MarkT

I'm looking for a pocketable camera, 5 meg+ with better optical zoom and a quicker response time.
I've checked out a few Panasonic and Olympus models with good zooms but either they don't meet my spec or they have certain drawbacks.
Greg - The Nikon S4 looked promising but the lack of image stabilisation and user controls is a minus.
I've put together an Excel spreadsheet with details of some of the cameras I've been looking at . .
The hyperlinks on the model names won't work but the links to reviews should be OK.

8:10 pm - Wednesday, November 16, 2005


The LX1 has noise problems of its own, which is inexcusable since it
has the same pixel size as a 6 megapixel 1/1.8" CCD. With the R3's
noise, at least there is a good reason for it (i.e., Ricoh needed to use
a smaller 1/2.5" CCD in order to squeeze 7.1x zoom into 1" body).

If you want anything more than 3x zoom in an ultra-compact, you will
have to pay the price of a smaller CCD with more noise. However, if
you can live with 3x zoom, there are a number of ultra-compacts with
1/1.8" CCDs that offer much better noise performance. The Fuji F10
or F11 have about the best noise performance. The Canon S80 has
a 28mm, 3.5x zoom lens, but because it squeezes 8 megapixels onto
a 1/1.8" CCD, it's not much better than 5 megapixels on a 1/2.5" CCD.
It is also about the same price as the LX1.

Greg, if should you get to the R3 store again, maybe you could verify
MarkT's analysis of the AAA battery situation. :)

8:29 pm - Wednesday, November 16, 2005

#120 Arno

Hmmm, Dimage image quality "very good"??? Maybe you should check DPReview...

Oh, and take a look at the Sony H1 and Panasonic FZ5. I think those two are best buys in their class

8:41 pm - Wednesday, November 16, 2005

#121 Mo Bjornestad

Arno - what is your analysis for the FZ30 which seems to be in the same class as the H1 and FZ5?

9:28 pm - Wednesday, November 16, 2005

#122 p.marshall

i have a ricoh r1v and there is only ont thing i want to know. is the r3 going to have less noise than my r1v, because if its worse then i am going to buy the panasonic lx1

9:51 pm - Wednesday, November 16, 2005

#123 Arno

Mo, in The Netherlands the FZ30 is priced at 600 euro, as the FZ5 costs 350 and de H1 400 euro. At that price you are close to a dSLR (like Nikon D50 or Canon 350D), but when you're shopping in that price class, the biggest Lumix seems to be a very good camera with much detail and superb color.

The FZ30 is DIWA award-winner, but I'm not sure about the noise they mention in those reviews (dpreview, dcrecourse etc.)

10:14 pm - Wednesday, November 16, 2005


Unless Ricoh did something stupid, the R3's noise shouldn't be any
worse than the R1V. And while it may not be much better, it should
be less of a problem due to the R3's "Vibration Correction Function"
which will enable shooting at lower ISOs than with the R1V, all other
things being equal.

Why are we even talking about the FZ30, H1, FZ5, etc.? The R3 is
interesting only because of its 7.1x zoom in an ultra-compact size.

Not that I have a problem with this discussion. I was just wondering
if I was missing something ... which has been known to happen. :)

10:39 pm - Wednesday, November 16, 2005

#125 Arno

Gary, maybe you're right. It's because I was also interested in the R3 (for its zoom and size), but meanwile I realized that I want more zoom and more features. For shoot-and-go I'll buy a 3.2MP mobile phone next year :coolhmm:

Back to R3 now...

11:07 pm - Wednesday, November 16, 2005

#126 Andrew

Hi guys.

I wrote that Ricoh review someone posted up top. The camera is definitely was definitely high class, leaps ahead of the R2.

We do focus on the user more than the hardcore photographer. We're a consumer review site. Gotta focus on the whole package.

Interesting to your opinions on it anyway.


11:08 pm - Wednesday, November 16, 2005

#127 Greg

Thanks for the comments and heads-up guys... I guess, after talking to the sales person yesterday, that i started to realise that i really do want more creative freedom in my photography than just point-and-shoot... thats why the LX1 is great - its not much bigger (well too big to fit in a pocket, but small enough to fit in a belt pouch), and offers all sorts of manual settings for experimentation etc.

Sure the noise is a problem wtih the LX1, but as some reviews pointed out, that's easily fixed by either using a post-processing package to remove noise, or shooting in raw form and using computer software to do the processing (bigger SD card required for this though).

In the end it comes down to what you want from your camera... something to just point and click and take decent shots, or something with which you can learn and grow... i have always wanted to learn manual photography (shutter speeds, apertures, etc) but was restricted by the expense of developing 35mm shots, and the inability to see effects of settings immediately... with a manual digital, experimentation yeilds results on screen right away - what better way to learn?

i'll try to drop into the store today to verify the AAA battery situation on the R3 (for you Gary), while at the same time having another look at the LX1.

Oh, and thansk for the spreadsheet Mark ... that's some serious organisation! Nice work ;)

11:34 pm - Wednesday, November 16, 2005


Greg, maybe you could take a pair of pliers with you when you go? :)

Andrew (oops), sorry about the thoroughness criticism but I do think
your site has been far too lenient on Ricoh in past reviews.

Which possibly explains why you received a "working" R3 for review,
and Mark's was faulty. :)

12:18 am - Thursday, November 17, 2005

#129 nick in japan

Comment on #127.. I have tansitioned from shooting in Av, to P, and now to Manual with the LX-1, why? No need to ensure your speed is good enough in Av, due to IS, so I went to P, which left something missing, that something was the great Manual set-up with this camera, an EV scale that shows your changes to the Speed or Aperture display as you make them, a real time 2 1/2" image showing you what you are getting, with a histogram and grid if you need them. I'll be shooting alot more in Manual now, alot more rewarding!

5:52 am - Thursday, November 17, 2005

#130 Greg

Thanks Nick... took a while to figure out what all the abbreviations stand for (still not sure what Av is?), but yeah thats what i'm hoping to achieve - a better understanding of manual settings and their effects... and what better way to learn.

Its great to hear somebody else has achieved exactly what i hope to using that camera. now to decide between LX1 and Canon S80. hehehehe the saga continues.

6:02 am - Thursday, November 17, 2005

#131 nick in japan

AV= Aperture Priority, selection allows you to set the Aperture of the camera to remain constant. Automatically the Speed will compensate to achieve proper exposure. Selection assures that the highest speed will be achieved if the aperture selected is the widest, biggest opening the lens is capable of. Shooting alot of portrait work I wanted a wide open aperture to blur the background and actually, with some lenses, create a soft look at the same time Canon 85 1.2 was a good one for that. Some photographers prefer Av priority, some like to control the speed by setting the camera to Tv, or, Time Value, the sign for Speed Priority vs, Aperture Priority, works the same way but with speed a constant. Alot of cameras allow a "Safety Shift" ("SS"") to ensure that if you exceed the limits of the camera/lens, the aperture will actually change to a smaller setting when the limit is reached ensuring a proper picture. Whatever camera you decide on, try and use the manual mode, you will enjoy your results more, I think, IMHO, Good shooting!

6:33 am - Thursday, November 17, 2005

#132 Greg

Ahhh of course.. I know what Aperture and Shutter Priority are, just didn't know the abbreviations Av and Tv.

Do you find using Av and setting the aperture to maximum in low light improves photo quality, or do the auto settings do a pretty good job of optimising settings in low light?
(Low light is one of my concerns with this LX1, as it seems the lower ISOs are almost unusable due to Noise).

6:44 am - Thursday, November 17, 2005

#133 nick in japan

Probably the Auto settings are going to give you satisfaction, unless you want a blurry background, or a specific speed to handle motion in a certain way. Program is my choice of modes,along with Manual. I dont use anything but ASA 80! I have seen some nice close-up portraits done in 100, but grain is real! I deal with it in Photoshop if it is noticeable. IS gives you about 3 full stops of latitude in shooting, that means really that being able to hold the camera at 3 stops of ASA over non IS use, which means that set at 80 ASA, you are mathematically have the same abilities as ASA 640. This is my first IS camera and, well, I think so much of it, that I bought another for my wife for Christmas. The 16x9 aspect, image impression and IS make using this camera a real joy. Of course photography is so subjective, that what I like, isn't necessisarily what you like, but I haven't had so many a "WOW" since the first time I started doing medium Format. over 35mm. I shoot 20-30 pictures per day, giving me the afternoon to work in photoshop, I'm near my 2000th shot, still lovin it! Try and get a trial use from your dealer...IMHO

7:32 am - Thursday, November 17, 2005

#134 Andrew

Haha, lenient? The Ricoh 400G is still the worst product I have ever seen. It barely scraped a 2 on our ratings, I had it pegged at a 1.5 originally, but it had a few redeeming features that meant despite how much I disliked it, it didn't deserve to be that low.

I submerged it in water briefly to test the underwater capabilities, and it was still leaking water onto my desk 6 hours later!


11:03 pm - Thursday, November 17, 2005


I was thinking of the more recent and relevant GX8 review (which I
realize was not yours).

11:18 pm - Thursday, November 17, 2005

#136 Greg

So i checked out the LX1 and Canon S80 last night again... and i must say i'm torn between these 2 models.. i am leaning towards the LX1 because of the panorama, and size (smaller/ lighter), and it just feels nicer. but the canon probably takes better pics, and the menu is outstanding.

and the AAA situation on the Caplio R3 is a no go.. it only takes Lithium. Sorry guys.

11:42 pm - Thursday, November 17, 2005

#137 Greg

Thanks for the info Nick... its great to hear somebody's positive experiences. I'm pretty sure i'm gonna get the LX1.. maybe even later today. :)

question: how long does the LX1 battery have to be charged before its first use?

11:44 pm - Thursday, November 17, 2005

#138 nick in japan

Sorry Greg, I dont remember, it probably was an hour or more, to stabilize, I just got back fom shooting 40 with it and it it has been about 1/2 hour, should be about done. I strongly recommend a spare battery so you never have to fret about it, IMHO. Good luck with whatever you decide on, as I mentioned here and many times in the LX-1 blog, I really enjoy this camera, something positive to look foward to every day! Good shooting! Oh! lastly, learning how to use this camera will take patience, alot of the controls were new to me, patience is a virtue!

2:11 am - Friday, November 18, 2005

#139 Mark Foster

I picked up my R3 this afternoon. It is my first digital camera so I am not really in a position to make too many comparisons.

I bought it to take pictures of my kids and other family snaps. I have no intention of doing anything arty or creative. I figured the speed and zoom would help me catch those priceless moments that last a second. Post production lasts forever.

I will attempt to answer some of the questions raised to the best of my limited knowledge.

The manual is printed and on PDF so if someone tells me how to upload it, I will try althoug it is 19.8 mb.

1. The LCD screen seems fine. It is bright and detailed enough to frame the few pictures I have taken of the kids so far. There is also a mode for low light situations that makes the subject easier to see but the screen goes very jerky. A bit like the low light mode on my Panasonic DV Handicam.

2. Forget the stylish bend aiding grip (unless you are five years old). I don't have big hands by any stretch of the imagination but I feel like Edward Scissorhands it is so small. Probalby just adjusting from my 14 year old 35mm 'compact'. They don't call them ultra compact for nothing.

3. I can confirm it won't use AAA batteries. While on that subject the combined batttery/SD card cover is a bit flimsy. Perhpas flimsy is not the right word but it doesn't 'feel' as good as the rest of the camera. When I open it I worry about the amount of pressure I am applying being scared I will break it.(And Apple are thinking about using Intel processors by the way)

4. As this is my first digital it is hard for me to comment on image quality. I can say the image quailty is not as good as my Dads Olympus C740 but is on a par with my friends Pentax Optio S55. There is more noise than the Olympus and it just doesn't seem as sharp. Having said that using the one step noise reduction in Corel Photo Shop X seems to make a real difference. So far I have mostly taken snaps of my kids so I wont be uploading them. If someone wants a photo of a particular subject I will try to oblige.

5. There is a red eye reduction mode for the flash. I can't find a refence for an in camera fix and one of my early snaps had red eye. Red eye reduction was NOT turned on.

6. Haven't tried the movie mode. That is what my video camera is for.

7. I have taken a few snaps at 28mm and there is no vignetting (did I spell that right) and no real barrell distortion that this untrained eye can picked up.

8. I am not really sure what an AF assist lamp is or how it is suppossed to work but I took a photo under my desk. There are two LED's in the window next to the flash. The flashed several times, the camera seemed to refocus and then took the picture. Probably 1.5-2 secs for the whole process. The picture came out perfectly focussed.

9. Maximum storage is 1GB

10. The manual mentions how to manually focus but I haven't tried it. Seems a bit convoluted to get to. Wouldn't want to have to do it in a hurry.

11. I transferred some photos using USB tonight. Didin't take too long and given the battery/SD card cover will be my preferred option.

12. Have detected any chromatic aberrations yet but haven't really taken any high contrast shots either.

13. The little leather wallet is quite enthralling. Looks a bit like a mobile phone holder. Wouldn't offer much protection but probably better than carrying it in a pocket.

14. My serial number starts 171. Make of that what you will.

15. Changing sharpness to 'Sharp' (default is normal) does seem to make edges a bit sharper.

16. I took some full zoom unsupported shots. The camera showed where it was focussing and given the extreme range the focussing is OK.

Perhaps for the guru's this raises even more questions. If so let me know and I will try to answer them. When I have some more photos I can upload some if someone will host them.

From my point of view I thin this camera is great. I point it, I push the button and I get, what are for me, usable pictures. My wife can pick it up and use without being taught. Some might think the price is a bit high for this degree of use but when it is 24 months interest free you don't notice it.

12:22 pm - Friday, November 18, 2005

#140 Carsten Ranke

new (Japanese, translated) review with pics. Quite promising unto ISO 200 ! Now I have to decide if I can live without an optical viewfinder or not...

3:12 pm - Friday, November 18, 2005


Hello Mr Pearce ,
Oh Dear
I have just recieved this message from dealer in the U.K.NOT ANOTHER B____Y delay.

There is rather an unusual situation that has arisen with Ricoh . Ricoh are distributed through a company called Sangers . They have gone into administration and are waiting hopefully for a new buyer . We have been in contact with Ricoh direct and they are going to update us on Monday . I will get back to you then to let you know what is happenig

7:02 pm - Friday, November 18, 2005

#142 Steven Conroy

I have been following this forum while I await delivery of my R3. May I just post my thanks to Mark Foster for taking the time to do his report which I found very interesting. I would also like to ask if he lives in the UK and where he bought the camera.

5:58 pm - Saturday, November 19, 2005


I think we can now put the AAA-battery issue to rest. Much thanks to
Mark and Greg.

Did you try using pliers? How about a hammer? Maybe some soap? :)

7:07 pm - Saturday, November 19, 2005


I am not sure where you got those compression numbers from, and
without knowing which compression format and quality level you are
talking about, the numbers are meaningless. JPEG for example, has
several different quality levels which can be selected, each utilizing a
different number of bits/pixel.

The reason JPEG can utilize so few bits/pixel is because it assumes
that an image will have very gradual changes in color, and captures
only those color "differences" between adjacent pixels, which can be
represented with fewer bits than the actual pixel data.

With any "normal" picture, there will always be color changes that do
not fall within this constriction of gradual change, hence the infamous
JPEG artifacts. In general, the more bits/pixel, the fewer the artifacts,
but the larger the resulting file size.

JPEG does not work well on cartoon or text images, because those
images are typically constant areas of color, with larger differences
between adjacent areas. TIFF works much better with such images
because it utilizes a short hand notation for capturing those areas of
constant color, rather than having to capture the data of each pixel in
the constant color area.

All this, of course, is an oversimplification. :)

7:32 pm - Saturday, November 19, 2005


Sorry, wrong thread. Never mind. :)

7:38 pm - Saturday, November 19, 2005

#146 MarkT

:mad: Just spent last 10 minutes looking back over this thread to find what "I am not sure where you got those compression numbers from" related back to :blank: :)

9:17 pm - Saturday, November 19, 2005


The compression numbers were from the FZ30 thread, comment
#224, where I had originally intended to post my reply. Sorry for
the confusion.

This has happened to me before, and I have asked Mark to remove
the comment before anyone noticed the error; however, since this is
the weekend, I decided to cut him a break.

Besides, this happened to be one of my better comments anyway. :)

9:44 pm - Saturday, November 19, 2005

#148 Maggie


Will the Ricoh R3 ever become a reality here in the U.K.??? I know one man's meat is another man's bla de bla but someone has really thrown a spanner in the works by telling me that some of the Ricoh R3's have been found to have a faulty zoom mechanism !!!!!!! I am now wondering if when Mark said he had received a faulty model to review, if this was the reason that the full review could not take place ??? - can you let on about this Mark??? I just wonder if the " some models for review were damaged in transit" is in fact a damage limitation exercise by Ricoh??? I have been advised to leave the R3 well alone and to go for a Samsung, the A55W, but this seems to be another joke, when trying to suss one of these out. Although this model was announced in June this year, none are yet available here in the U.K. However, I do like the look of the Samsung L55W [which seems very similar to the A55W ] but am having difficulty in finding any reviews of this. I am told that the A55W is in fact a clone of the Rocoh R2 - so the mystery deepens. If I did decide to buy a Samsung it would mean foregoing the 7 ish zoom on th R3 but as I am only a point and shoot person and not likely to go tiger spotting in India, maybe, this would be O.K. I do like the fact that Samsung Cameras, same as Olympus to come with a 2-year Guarantee.

Decisons, Decisions !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Does anyone know of any reviews on the Samsung L55W please ??

11:15 pm - Saturday, November 19, 2005


It's not the A55W that's accused of being an R2 clone, it's the
L55W. In any case, it is NOT true. For an in-depth discussion
of that issue, see (my) comment #2 in the PhotographyBLOG
announcement of the L55W.

I am interested in the L55W, as well, but I have not yet seen
any reviews.

12:24 am - Sunday, November 20, 2005

#150 Mark Foster

For Steven Conroy, sorry but I live in Australia and bought the camera from my local Retravision store which a is nationwide electrical retailer.
Maggie, I have found the zoom useful for framing photos without moving my lazy backside.

4:45 am - Sunday, November 20, 2005

#151 Emma U

I've just taken a look at both R2 and R3 cameras here in Australia.
We will be travelling where its going to be cold - negative 10 degrees celsius so I'm considering the R2 as it has the option of more than one battery source. Does anyone know how much an additonal/spare battery for the R3 will cost? And if Ricoh has released spare batteries?

5:18 am - Sunday, November 20, 2005

#152 Heidrun

Hello all,
soo much to read (special thanks to mark f. - your first review is great), even something to learn about pixels and artefacts using jpeg (lol Gary :cheese: ) but:
Where are the photos?? cant wait to see INDOOR samples to judge about the flash..
though I learned from this blog that I'm only a p&s- person I love to watch every detailed described photo..

and STEVEN, I live in Germany and am in contact with Ricoh Europe per mail and they told me, newest delivery date should be: end of november/beginning of december....
wait and see..


8:37 am - Sunday, November 20, 2005

#153 Maggie

Thanks Mark F for the framing tip and to you Heidrun for your info on the revised delivery date. If there is a possibility of Germany not getting any until beginning of December, does not look good for anyone in the U.K wanting one in their Xmas Stocking. I don't know if this Ricoh delivery dates fiasco is the norm, have not been searching like this before but it may well be since Samsung announced the A55W last June and when I telephoned Samsung on Friday they said non were available yet in the U.K. - supposedly non were available!!!
Thanks Gary - you are always ready to help and this is appreciated. I have read your comments on the L55W - so strange that these are on sale and yet no sign of any English reviews. Going back to the R3 -it is possible that one did have a faulty zoom mechanism but this would not necessarily mean that this was an inherent fault in all R3's. I think I would still want an R3 but I do also like the L55W's "wide screen" so as per usual, choices, superior zoom against wider screen and two year guarantee !!! Just a normal camera riddle for prospective purchasers, which one to choose ????? I think though that if the Ricoh is delayed for much longer, I will go with the L55W. Would not be surprised if Ricoh don't shortly announce an R4 and this should of course be available in time for a surprise Easter Egg ????

Thanks again


11:30 am - Sunday, November 20, 2005

#154 Mark Foster

For Heidrun and anyone esle who is interested I have uploaded a small section here

They are obviously compressed but I don't know where to get full sized ones hosted. Most of the shots except the storeroom and the max zoom were taken at 2048 x 1533. I was experimenting with different resolutions and didn't turn it back up. Sorry about that.
Anyway folks go ahead and pick em to death and don't blame the camera for my lousy photography.

12:00 pm - Sunday, November 20, 2005

#155 flory

Someone at the other blog has written a review about caplio R3. The conclusion is actually very disappointing. Check it out at:

11:11 am - Monday, November 21, 2005

#156 Mark Goldstein

Latest update...I should hopefully be receiving an R3 for review later this week (fingers crossed!).

11:18 am - Monday, November 21, 2005

#157 Mark Foster

I have read the review on the other forum and I thought I would add this update. I have had some prints done on a digital lab at 6x4 with no post production (I was never one for getting 35mm stuff blown up either) and there is noise just discernable on an ISO400 shot, taken at dusk in shadow. I have also watched a slide show on my TV and once again there is no real issue with noise. I have noticed that some of my early back lit shots weren't as well focussed as they appeared on the LCD. I have switched to Spot AF and haven't had one out of focus yet. 7X zoom, fast, in a camera the size of a cigarette packet (remember those). Horses for course I guess.

11:08 am - Tuesday, November 22, 2005

#158 Heidrun

I did not want to wait any more so I bought a Samsung Digimay L55W yesterday. Not that much zoom, but as far as I can say til now it is a very nice little camera.
Wishing you guys luck with the Ricoh R3!

11:22 pm - Wednesday, November 23, 2005


Congratulations on the L55W. How do you like the w-i-d-e screen?

What image size (number of pixels by number of pixels) do you get
in 16:9 aspect ratio? Can you use 16:9 in movie mode? If so, what
image size?

11:47 pm - Wednesday, November 23, 2005


Thanks Flory, for finding that excellent R3 review. If a single review
can sink a camera, this one will do it. It is bad enough the R3 has a
terrible noise problem, but one thing I absolutely cannot tolerate is a
camera having a "cheap feel" to it. Add to that its ineffective IS, and
poor low-light focusing, and you have lost me (pending confirmation
from Mark's review, of course).

One thing I don't understand, why is this the second review claiming
the R3 has no AF assist? It says right in the User's Manual (which was
kindly supplied by the reviewer), "The flash fires twice to increase the
AE/AF (Auto Exposure/Auto Focus) accuracy."

My guess is that these reviews are talking about low-light focusing for
non-flash shots specifically, and that the R3's AF assist pre-flash works
only if the flash is ON, which make no sense to me, since the AF assist
pre-flash could fire regardless of whether a second flash is desired for
the shot.

Oh well, after that review, it really is a mute [sic] point. :)

2:20 am - Thursday, November 24, 2005

#161 flory

Dear Gary, you're welcome despite the bad news. Personally I still consider the R3, I'll await other reviews. To me, picture quality is very important, and I would love to make some beautiful macro's.

9:17 am - Thursday, November 24, 2005

#162 Hessian

Purchased the R3 yesterday in Singapore for S$580 including 256Mb card. Great little camera, small than expected. Very fast power up & shot times. Nice big 2.5" LCD. Took some good night shots using 4-8 sec timed exposures of the Singapore skyline. Love the very stylish brown leather carry case.

1:58 pm - Thursday, November 24, 2005

#163 Peter

Have you noticed that new firmware has been
published today. AF has been improved etc.

2:29 pm - Thursday, November 24, 2005

#164 Steven Conroy

Bought a "What Camera" mag as mentioned by wolfi at 117 and they have marked up the R3 as good as or better than most compact cameras costing upto nearly £400. There isn't a great amount of detail in there but this adds further to all the contradictory reading we are seeing!!

4:38 pm - Thursday, November 24, 2005


A few more of those firmware updates and I may regain interest. Of
course, no firmware update will improve the R3's cheap feel.

Any comment on that, Hessian? MarkF? Mark?

6:52 pm - Thursday, November 24, 2005

#166 Mike

Hessian, Did you use Multi or Spot AF? Did anyone find out the solution of blurry focus on R3 yet? Instead of bad experiences, are there anyone with good experience with R3? Please share with us.

6:55 pm - Thursday, November 24, 2005

#167 Mike

Gary, My friend already had one. I must say that it does not feel cheap to me and I think it's pretty solid. If you are considering weight to consider a camera to feel cheap, then you maybe right because R3 is very light compare to other ultra compact DC. Other than that, I think it's awesome.

7:00 pm - Thursday, November 24, 2005

#168 MarkT

Well there may be mixed to poor reviews surrounding the R3's picture quality, I.S., autofocus and build quality, but . . . . . everyone seem really impressed by its little brown pouch 8-/
Seems like its the only good thing reported by everyone.

8:45 pm - Thursday, November 24, 2005

#169 MarkT

Just seen this via dcviews ....
Wonder if this sovlves anything?
Now we someone with an R3 which has had the firmware update to give us some comments.

8:51 pm - Thursday, November 24, 2005

#170 Heidrun

yeah, the huuuuge screen is fine.
the image size depends on the mode you choose.
in 16:9 there are
5 M (megapixel) 2944x1656
4 M 2688x1512
3 M 2304x1296
2 M 1792x1008
1 M 1280x 720
VGA 768x 432
yes you can have video in 16:9 as well:
640x360 or 384x216 or 256x144

sorry to be a little off topic now..

11:49 pm - Thursday, November 24, 2005

#171 Mark Foster

Except for the battery cover I don't think the camera feels cheap. Given it's small size I think it feels heavy/solid. I wouldn't carry it in a shirt pocket because I think it would be too heavy. I would probably carry it in a jacket pocket but since it comes with the fantastic all purpose durable worth its weight in gold brown leather case you don't have too.
On the focussing front I took my son to a Department Store Santa's Cave. The lighting was as you would expect for trying to simulate a cave. My son was on a merry go round. Despite the low light and the moving target every shot I took was in focus (Spot AF). This included at several diffent zooms. Maybe I was just close enough it didn't matter.
On the IS issue I took some shots from the car at full zoom. Both worked out. One was clear the other was a bit blurred but I could still read the rego of the car in front and a small roadside sign. The camera was bouncing around like crazy when I took them. I also took a photo of a car coming the other way (200 km\h combine closure - 28mm). The focus isn't spot on but again the camera was bouncing aroung a fair bit. Given the conditions the photo is, to me, acceptable. I have applied the firmware upgrade and reverted to Multi AF although I think it was meant to fix the Spot AF. I can't notice a difference.
Maybe I fluked a camera with closer tolerences, maybe my standards aren't that high, maybe I accept that with flexibility comes compromise. Anyway you look at it I am happy with this camera as a package. Somethings could be better but I'm keeping mine.

7:01 am - Friday, November 25, 2005

#172 Mike

Mark F, What is your R3's CPU2 version? The firmware was supposed to be for Ver.1.00 or lower. My friend's R3 was showing Ver.1.22, do you think he needs to update the firmware as well?

7:37 am - Friday, November 25, 2005

#173 David

Hi Hessian, where did you get your R3 from in Singapore? Would like to get one and $580 is a good deal. BTW, do they have it in Black?

7:50 am - Friday, November 25, 2005

#174 Mark Foster


Given my experience with firmware in other devices if it says only CPU2 1.00 I wouldn't do it.

8:42 am - Friday, November 25, 2005

#175 hessian

I agree that the R3 does NOT look cheap. It is very light which should not be confused with cheap. So far most of my shop have been landscape pics so I set the focus to infinity.

1:05 pm - Friday, November 25, 2005

#176 Kok kee

Hi Hessian, please give the shop name I am (in S'pore) interested to get the R3 too.

4:28 pm - Friday, November 25, 2005

#177 Mike

I agree that R3 doesn't look cheap. I am already getting one and should be arrived in couple days. BTW, It looks like that R3 is cheaper in S'Pore. S$580 with 256MB is a steal even if it's in silver color.

5:48 pm - Friday, November 25, 2005


Heidrun, how can that be? The maximum resolution in 4:3 mode is
2592 x 1944. We know the L55W CCD is not 16:9 (unlike the LX1),
so that means they have to crop the top and bottom of the L55W to
achieve 16:9. Your numbers (2944 x 1656) do indicate cropping at
the top and bottom, but also indicate additional pixels at the left and
right. That would mean that the CCD is really 2944 x 1944, which is
actually 3:2, but I didn't think the L55W had a 3:2 mode.

Anyway, if those numbers are correct, my interest in the L55W just
went up a notch. Shame it does not have OIS. I did notice that ISOs
go up to 800. Any experimentation yet with high ISOs?

7:54 pm - Friday, November 25, 2005

#179 Melanid

I have read your comments on the R3 with a great deal of interest as I need a versatile compact camera with a wide angle. The R3 arrived in my local store yesterday and I was able to handle it. I realised that I prefer a camera a little bigger and heavier than the R3, and an optical viewfinder is a must. I was able to compare it with the Canon S80 and S60, and I prefer the handling of these, so I've decided to go for the S70. Although it is a little more expensive than the R3, its zoom is smaller, and it does not have image stabilisation, it does have manual control. I feel I can hold it more stably than the R3, and as the zoom range is smaller image stabilistion may not be so important. There is also a 2x teleconvertor as an accessory, but I don't know what its image quality is like, but it may be just what I need for occasional use with a tripod. And there is a remote as an accessory too, something I found very useful with my old compact film camera. Anyway thanks for all your useful info.

9:16 pm - Friday, November 25, 2005


The S70 is a good choice. I assume you intend to use its RAW mode;
otherwise, the S80 has a few advantages like 2.5" (vs. 1.8") LCD, and
4.1" (vs. 4.4") body length. And despite the fact that the S80 crams an
extra megapixel onto the same size CCD as the S70, there is really no
difference in their noise levels (according to DPReview).

9:55 pm - Friday, November 25, 2005


Hi Gary there's a lot of talk about downloading firmware for the R3 never having done this before , just how difficult is this operation . If some body buy's this camera & does'nt have a computer doe's this mean they will never be able to upgrade their camera

11:00 pm - Friday, November 25, 2005

#182 David

For those in Singapore, I found that Alan Photo retails the Ricoh R3 for S$575 only! (At least that's what they quoted over the phone)

Comes with 256MB SD Card and available in Black. Going down to the store later today to get one.

11:23 pm - Friday, November 25, 2005

#183 MarkT

Peter - re firmware. Yes you DO need a computer. You need one to download the firmware software from the manufacturer's web site. Then you need to connect your camera to the computer and usually run the manufacturer's firmware program - done !
If you don't have computer you could always use a friends for a couple of minutes. But without a computer ..... you are missing out on a lot with a digital camera.

1:53 am - Saturday, November 26, 2005

#184 Mike

Is there anyone that has completed updating R3's firmware? If so, what's the version of CPU2 supposed to be after the update? Is the firmware only update the CPU2?

2:24 am - Saturday, November 26, 2005


MarkT ,thank's for the info , have comp so that bit is all right , never having done this kind of thing b/4 , if i got it wrong would i ruin the camera , also had a look at the ricoh download site & it say's you will also need winzip to do this .Another added expense on top of the price of the camera if you don't all ready have it .

6:40 pm - Saturday, November 26, 2005


One person says the R3 is too light, and another says it is too heavy.
One person says the R3 feels cheap, and another says that it has an
expensive look and feel to it. Very confusing.

Downloading and updating your camera's firmware is a very painless
experience. The only way you could ruin your camera is by plugging
it into, or unplugging it from, the USB port while the camera is ON.

8:17 pm - Saturday, November 26, 2005

#187 Maggie Davies

Gary, I agree,VERY confusing. I am not a serious photographer, only want a reliable point and shoot with just a little extra to the basic digi cameras. On the one hand, Ricoh to me is synonymous with a bad joke for the on-going pantomime which seems to get worse, not better. i.e., I should have an R3 to review THIS week, - Oh, really - NOT Mark's fault I know. Then, Ricoh are going to update us on Monday, as to what the situation is, YET again, ???????
What in heaven's name is the problem for Ricoh not being able to get review models out, such a stupid cock-up at their end. Again, I realise why some on-line dealers may get bad reviews. They take Ricoh's word for the launch date, take advance orders, obviously a bad joke on Ricoh's part and the on-line retailer gets the stick for not being able to fulfil orders.
I am possibly going to buy a Samsung L55W but before doing so, I am tempted to just hold an R3 and L55W and just get the feel of each but the current situation makes me think enough is enough. Just like Heidrun, I will say, L55w you are the one for me.
Gary, now I am really going to show my lack of knowledge [ !!! ] - on the Ricoh website, it mentions that the R3 can create photo CD's straight from the camera. Do you know if this is something that the L55w is capable of ???



9:15 pm - Saturday, November 26, 2005

#188 MarkT

Yep. Every review on this camera seems to conflict with every other review ..... apart for that little brown pouch which everyone likes.
Peter - like Gary says. Also letting the batteries run out while you are upgrading.
Maggie - I think that the R3 doesn't create photo CDs directly. It implies that you download your pics to your computer, organise them using the software provides and then burn the CD. You can do this with any camera, given the right software.

1:47 am - Sunday, November 27, 2005

#189 Gray

You stated that it was a shame that the
L55W did'nt have OIS. How much importance do you put on OIS compared to other features that a camera may have---after all, most small cameras don't have OIS.
Like Maggie I'm wanting a P/S camera and considered the R3 (not sure now), The L55W looks interesting and then there is the PANY Fx9 with OIS, (but small zoom). - What to buy?
Does anyone know if the L55 will also take AA Batteries?


4:44 am - Sunday, November 27, 2005

#190 paul

hi all
i was certainly going to buy a r3 but after all the reports so far i think that the panasonic(lecia) DMC-LX1K will be a much better camera than the r3 in all aspects exept price.... What do you guys think ???? has anyone had the oppertunity of trying out one and comparing it with the r3 yet.

8:27 am - Sunday, November 27, 2005

#191 Heidrun

@178 and @189
I'm not photograph-guru so I can only tell what the camera says. And so I took a pic of my cat in highest resolution and wide mode and on my computer it says 2944x1656 pixels. Samsung said on its German site
(could not find one in english, sorry- maybe you also like to look at "Technische Daten" on that site)
they improved something in their newer models from August 05 on concerning the wide mode.. On the other hand there is no ISO 800 any more. And, Gray, no you cannot use AAA batteries. But the akku lasts really long! Having bought the camera nearly a week ago I did not have to recharge yet!
Hope this could help a bit.

10:47 am - Sunday, November 27, 2005

#192 Mark Foster

Just thought I'd post to clear up a few things that have been questioned such as firmware upgrades and CD creation.
Re the firmware I upgraded my camera without reading the CPU2 fine print (fools rush in etc). Now when I try to check the CPU2 version I get an 'error history' screen instead. I have sent a request to Ricoh Support about this because I don't think it is related to the firmware patch.
The firmware download is a self extracting exe file so you don't need winzip or any other extraction tool. The onscreen instructions were easy for me to follow and it seemed to update without a hitch. I have done a bit of firmware and bios flashing (with some spectacular failures) and this was as easy as they come. If you are unfamiliar with the upgrade process remember the old rule, "If it aint broke, don't fix it." If you are not having problems that the upgrade claims to fix, don't do it until you need to or until you can find someone who is confident in what they are doing. Having done the upgrade I can't notice a difference and I changed to SpotAF early in my use of the camera. Maybe I already had the later CPU@ version.
On the CD burning issue the camera ships with the Ricoh Gate software and an program called "Image Mixer". You can set up your PC (at least with XP) so that everytime you plug the camera in it launches the gate software, copies your images to a folder then lauches the Image Mixer software. That program will let you make a slideshow CD using the VCD format that most if not all DVD players can read.
I used the camera last night at an outside party in low light conditions. I had to adjust the expoure settings a fw times to get the shot just right but focus wasn't a problem at different zooms. The max range was about 7 metres but I figured that is about average for shooting in that type of light for me.

12:11 pm - Sunday, November 27, 2005

#193 Peter S

Hi all I have been trying to pick S80,R3 or samsung L55w ,vga video a must so down to s80 or L55w unless Ricoh upgrade R3
Heidrun are you still happy with your l55w ?dammed if I could find a Photo reveiw except in Hungarian (cant read)
sorry to be off topic

1:22 pm - Sunday, November 27, 2005

#194 Mike

Can someone please tell me what's the CPU2 version after applying the firmware update? Thx

6:54 pm - Monday, November 28, 2005


I've been following all 4 cameras mentioned, the R3, LX1, S80, and
L55W. If you are into 16:9 format, which I wasn't until I saw images
from the LX1 and read about users' experiences, the LX1 is the only
camera with a 16:9 CCD, which means you get the full 8 megapixels
resolution of the camera in 16:9 mode. Other cameras offer 16:9 by
cropping, thereby reducing the resolution. After seeing the numbers
from Heidrun, it appears the L55W does crop a little from the top and
bottom, but unlike the other cameras, also adds pixels to the left and
right, thereby providing the camera's full 5 megapixels resolution for
both 4:3 and 16:9 modes. And unlike the LX1, the L55W also offers
a wide LCD for viewing in 16:9 mode, which makes a lot of sense.

Unfortunately, we've not seen any reviews for the L55W, so we have
no idea of how it will perform, and what kind of noise it has. It should
not be any worse than the R3, since both cram 5 megapixels onto a
1/2.5" CCD. The LX1 had the potential of better noise characteristics
than either the R3 or L55W since it crams 6 megapixels onto a 1/1.8"
CCD (in 4:3 mode), but somehow the LX1 is just as bad, and is really
only usable at ISO 80. In theory, the S80 should be even noisier than
the LX1 since it crams 8 megapixels onto a 1/1.8" CCD, but according
to DPReview, its noise is pretty low, probably due to its using a better
noise reduction algorithm than the LX1.

The R3 crams the most zoom (7.1x) into the smallest depth size (1")
but the L55W comes close with 4.8x in 1". The S80 is 3.6x zoom in
1.5", and the LX1 is 4x zoom in 2" (due to a non-fully-retracting lens
and an annoying external lens cap). Fortunately all 4 camera lenses
are 28mm at the wide end.

The S80 is the only one of the 4 with an optical viewfinder, but it and
the R3 have lower resolution LCDs, compared to the LX1 and L55W.
Both the R3 and LX1 have IS, and the L55W has a movie-mode-only
IS. Of the 4 cameras, the LX1 offers the best movie mode with 16:9
848 x 480 @ 30fps (shame that the L55W does not offer this as well),
the S80 and L55W offer the standard 4:3 640 x 480 @ 30fps, and the
R3 offers an inferior 4:3 320 x 240 @ 30fps.

Pending further review, the R3 is still at the top of my list for its highest
zoom, but if the L55W does significantly better in the noise department,
I'm there. I am also considering the S4, because of its 10x zoom, and
its in-camera red-eye fix, but I do not like the fact that it has no IS, and
that its lens only goes to 38mm at the wide end. If the LX1 didn't have
an external lens cap, it would be higher on my list, as would the S80 if
it had slightly more zoom, and if both were a little slimmer.

I should also mention, all these cameras offer vastly differing degrees
of manual control, but those capabilities, while interesting, were not of
primary concern, as long as there were plenty of scene modes.

Keep in mind, all of the above observations were made from a review
of the cameras' specs, and I have not yet personally tried any of these
cameras. Fortunately, my wife's birthday isn't until the end of January,
so I still have some time to vacillate. :)

7:19 pm - Monday, November 28, 2005


As for the importance of OIS, when cameras were only 3x zoom, and
had only 5 or less megapixels on a 1/1.8" CCD, OIS was really not all
that important since you could easily hold the camera steady in bright
light situations, and for low light situations, you could use higher ISOs.
At 3.6x zoom, and maybe even 4.8x zoom, you can probably still hold
the camera steady in bright light situations; however, for smaller CCD
cameras like the R3 and L55W, or higher megapixel cameras like the
LX1 and S80, OIS would be nice to have for low light situations, since
higher CCD noise for these cameras prohibits use of their higher ISOs.

7:23 pm - Monday, November 28, 2005


Mike, according to the announcement, the updated version is v1.24.

7:28 pm - Monday, November 28, 2005

#198 Heidrun

So - you may have a look at this amateur photos taken with Digimax L55W. PLEASE:
Don't judge the camera only by these photos because, well, I just point and shoot..
And don't search only for the noise, noise, noise...
OIS would be nice, I have problems in low light and Makro mode. But did not try higher ISO manual yet.. lol.
Here you go.
(don't really feel off topic any more, but nevertheless excuse me bout that!)

9:57 pm - Monday, November 28, 2005

#199 John Watson

When I went to a camera shop today wanting to look at an R3, they told me they were no longer selling Ricoh cameras because the company has just gone into receivership. Does anyone know if this is true?

12:57 am - Tuesday, November 29, 2005

#200 David

Interesting thing I've noticed, most of the cameras with Image Stabilisation have gyro sensors for detecting vertical and lateral movement of the camera. Wonder if they also detect (and hence compensate) for Pitch and Yaw of the camera. This can also cause blurry photos especially at larger zooms.

8:07 am - Tuesday, November 29, 2005