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)
Shutter

 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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#301 karen

Hi

I currently have a Canon S50 camera and wish to purchase a smaller size digital camera with a bigger LCD screen and a larger optical zoom to take on an overseas holiday. Continuous shoting mode is also a feature I require as my kids like to wakeboard and I need the continuous mode to capture the action shots. By the way the S50 is 3x optical.
I must also advise that even the S50 has manual controls I have never used them as I don't understand all the manual features and frankly I don't want to use them. I just want to use a camera on auto setting and to produce clear shots. Most of my pictures I take are in the daytime.

I've been following this review as I am torn between getting the ricoh R3 and the finepix E900. I was actually in the store to purchase the R3 but walked out as I was still not sure if I was making the correct purchase due to noise issues that I have read.
Would all the noise that is written about on the R3 be evident in a standard 6x4 shot which on occasion be enlarged and printed to 8x10.
I know the S50 is probably a good camera however as I said I would like a smaller camera with larger screen and bigger optical even a 4x I would be happy with. Willing to spendaround $800.00 australian dollars maximum and of course - available in Australia.

Any advise on what I should upgrade to would be exremely helpful.

5:59 am - Saturday, December 10, 2005

#302 Mark Foster

MarkT,

Now that Mark Goldstein's full size pics are out this may be a bit redundant but I would give the R3 7/10 for image quality. The images aren't as 'crisp' as my Dads Olympus C740 but I think the lines are sharper and they have better colour reproduction than my friends Optio S55 or my sister in laws Coolpix L1. Where they images really suffer straight out of the camera, as has been identified a few times, is noise. The noise is higher than the Optio or Coolpix and the C740 (wich has the larger CCD mentioned above) leaves it for dead.
One redeeming feature is that they clean up remarkably in post production with a noticeable loss of sharpness and I am happy with prints at ISO400 up to 6' x 8' without post production. Post production doesn't bother me beause of my low volume use.
Maybe Ricoh trade off noise for speed between shots knowing that you can reduce noise in post production. I would rather have my camera ready for the next shot rather than running a complex algorithim to reduce noise on a shot I might never use.

6:04 am - Saturday, December 10, 2005

#303 GARY POGODA

Karen, we all had our hopes up high this year with the introduction of
a number of ultra-compact and near-ultra-compact cameras having a
4x to 10x zoom, but they are all turning out to be very noisy, with just
one exception, the Fuji E900.

The E900 is a low noise camera which is about the same length and
height as your S50, but it is about 0.4" thinner (except for the battery
compartment where it's a little? thicker) which makes it a much more
pocketable camera. Unfortunately, it has full manual controls, which
you said are not needed. Also, its LCD is only 2.0" vs. the S50's 1.8".
But it does have an optical viewfinder like the S50, and it is 4x zoom.
You might even be able stretch that a little further by using a tiny bit
of digital zoom, since the CCD has plenty of megapixels to spare. It
also received an excellent review rating from Steve's Digicams, but I
would wait for at least one more review before buying.

http://www.steves-digicams.com/2005_reviews/e900.html

An obvious upgrade path for you would be the Canon S80, but again,
this is about the same length and height as the S50, and it is only 0.2"
thinner, only 3.6x zoom, and also has full manual controls. But it has
a 2.5" LCD. The S80 also received a Highly Recommended rating at
both DPReview and Steve's Digicams.

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canons80/
http://www.steves-digicams.com/2005_reviews/s80.html

The Nikon P1 and P2 are also 0.2" thinner than your S50 and have a
3.6x zoom and 2.5" LCD like the S80, but none of its manual controls,
and are 0.8" smaller in length than your S50. They also have a built-in
Wi-Fi, which may or may not be of interest to you. I have not yet seen
any P1 or P2 reviews, but they do have 1/1.8" CCDs, so in theory, they
should not be so noisy. Steve's Digicams has a First Look review of the
P1, but I would wait for at least one or two full reviews before buying.

http://www.steves-digicams.com/2005_reviews/p1.html

That's about all I can think of to fit your criteria. Hope that helps. :)

MarkF, I assume you meant "without" a noticeable loss in sharpness.

8:45 am - Saturday, December 10, 2005

#304 paul m

you all keep mentioning cleaning up noisy images EASILY. well i have trouble with that, i use photoshop and use the noise filter but the results are not that good.
please tell me if i am doing somthing wrong or is there a better noise reduction program out there. we are all told that photoshop is the best but i can't seem to make it work

9:24 am - Saturday, December 10, 2005

#305 nick in japan

Are you using CS2? If not, get the free download trial and we will go from there... Lottsa way to improve a picture, lottsa ideas, everyone has their differnt approaches to it, very ambigious. I like a combination of a few things...

10:19 am - Saturday, December 10, 2005

#306 MarkT

Gary - I wonder if you could go in to a little bit more detail on this noise thing ;-)
Well done m8.
Nick - but won't CS2 costs more than the camera ?

It was the release of the Nikon S4 with 10x optical zoom that started me off on this quest for a high zoom compact camera. A number of somewhat unencouraging reviews put me off that. However having now trawled innumerable camera sites, read countless reviews and logged dozens of camera specs I've come to the conclusion that searching for a high zoom compact with good image quality, OIS, large screen and fast reactions is like looking for the Holy Grail.
Perhaps I'll give the S4 a second look :roll:

11:01 am - Saturday, December 10, 2005

#307 GARY POGODA

For an excellent explanation of noise, see the following at DPReview:

Noise

Now check out how a low noise camera like the Fuji F10 should look.
Notice that the speckled noise appears in the solid color squares for
high ISOs only.

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/fujifilmf10zoom/page5.asp

Now check out how a high noise camera like the Panasonic LX1 looks.
Notice that the color speckled noise begins to appear in the solid gray
blocks even at ISO 80.

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/panasoniclx1/page12.asp

Amazingly, both cameras have approximately the same pixel size, but
Fuji uses a proprietary CCD technology that yields lower noise. Noise
reduction software can reduce this noise by blending speckles back to
their original solid color, but this blending will also wipe out some of the
image details that should not have been blended.

To see some real R3 noise, check out Mark's image #21. Notice how
the solid colored walls at the top of the picture are speckled with color,
as are the darker blocks of solid white. This is due to the fact that the
light hitting those pixels is not much stronger than the noise produced
by the pixels.

http://tinyurl.com/dhgp6

Also check out the purple fringing around the bright white rails at the
top left of Mark's image #16.

http://tinyurl.com/dra7k

The R3 noise shown in these pictures appears to be even worse than
the LX1 noise, but we cannot know for sure until we know at what ISO
settings the R3 images were shot.

Hope that answers your question. I'm sure it won't solve your dilemma :)

12:21 pm - Saturday, December 10, 2005

#308 nick in japan

Mark T...... CS2 is a free trial, you decide if it's what you need, you can use it for a LONG time........It is wonderful!
Have you looked at the Sony H1? A friend in Canada sent me some AWESOME pictures that he used with the tele adapter!

12:27 pm - Saturday, December 10, 2005

#309 MarkT

You know what Nick ? - I might abandon completely the idea of going for a pocketable high zoom camera.
Looking at the Sony H1 (and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ5) all my requirements are totally satisfied by those 2 cameras - apart from size. And the Sony H1 looks good too.
Maybe size is one option I've got to compromise on.
Yeah thanks Nick - you've just set my camera hunt right back to the beginning :)
How long can you use CS2 for ?

1:14 pm - Saturday, December 10, 2005

#310 karen

Thanks Mark for your reply to 303.

I'm now going to throw into the ring another camera I have come across in the endless reviews I've read tonight.

The Coolpix 7900 is also looking pretty good - with it's red eye reduction and D-lighting features. Even though it is a 3x optical I'm wondering if the extra 1x zoom that the E900 has it worth it over the Coolpix features mainly being the D-lighting which looked impressive to me in the sample before & after previews.

Does anybody have any opinions on the Coolpix 7900 versus the Finepix E900
thanks again in advance for any advice that may come my way.

1:15 pm - Saturday, December 10, 2005

#311 nick in japan

I'm not exactly sure, I think CS2 was offered for 30 days. The tele adapter for the H1 costs ALOT less than the FZ one, the FZ tele adapter is one awesome attachment, brace included. I almost bought the H1, but Sony didn't include an English menu in these Japanese versions, I struggled with that problem once with another item of theirs a few years ago, a printer, cd writer, it was a big headache.

1:49 pm - Saturday, December 10, 2005

#312 Mark Foster

Gary, (way back at 303)

I did mean without, this cursed keyboard.
On the noise reduction issue I use Corel Paint Shop Pro X with it's one step noise reduction. It suits my purposes which I again stress are not that stringent.

1:52 pm - Saturday, December 10, 2005

#313 nick in japan

Mark T.... If you are in the Albany, Schnectady area, I would like to speak with you directly.

1:53 pm - Saturday, December 10, 2005

#314 MarkT

Sorry Nick - Manchester, UK.

5:49 pm - Saturday, December 10, 2005

#315 GARY POGODA

I recently recommended the Nikon 7900 to a very close friend, so I'm
quite familiar with it. Nikon has the best in-camera image processing
firmware, with their red-eye fix and D-lighting features, thus making it
possible to print directly from a camera without the use of a computer,
something which is becoming increasingly popular. Towards that end,
in-camera red-eye fix is absolutely necessary, and D-lighting is also a
very useful feature.

Having said that, my recommendation of the 7900 came long before
the Fuji E900 was announced. I wish the 7900 had the larger zoom
range of the E900, which is both wider and longer. I also wish it had
the E900's superior noise performance, but the 7900 is no slouch in
that department with its 1/1.8" CCD.

The main difference between these two cameras is that the E900 is a
better camera for the more advanced user. It has full manual control,
whereas the 7900 is strictly point-and-shoot. It has a RAW mode and
lacks the in-camera image processing features of the 7900, assuming
instead that users will be comfortable with computer post-processing.
It also uses AA batteries, which is nice for casual and advanced users
alike.

On the negative side, the E900 lacks low-light AF assist, although it is
said to focus well, even in dim lighting. The E900 also uses xD cards
over the preferred SD cards of the 7900.

So would I still recommend the 7900 to my friend? Yes, because it is
better suited for the casual user, with its in-camera image processing
features. And, if you do not need 7 megapixels, the 5900 is every bit
as good, for considerably less.

For the more advanced user, I would definitely recommend the E900
because of its full manual control and its RAW mode. Its higher ISOs
and AA batteries are just added bonuses.

7:57 pm - Saturday, December 10, 2005

#316 Gio

As I search for info for R2/R3, I found this review

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/read_opinion_text.asp?prodkey=ricoh_caplior2&opinion=26330

which for me, i think it's kinda my solution, reduce to 3M, for some low light situation, if it make lots of difference it might be good, just an idea.

8:17 pm - Saturday, December 10, 2005

#317 GARY POGODA

If you shoot in 1 pixel mode (not a typo), you are guaranteed to have
NO noise. While this is an exaggerated comparison, the point is that
you are giving up detail at the expense of noise. At 3 megapixels, the
built-in noise reduction firmware can probably work more aggressively
because it does not have to be as careful about wiping out the details
of the image since there are less details to wipe out.

A better solution would be to shoot at 5 megapixels and use computer
software to reduce the noise, since such software is usually of a higher
quality than the built-in noise reduction.

If you are adverse to post-processing on the computer, then shooting
at 3 megapixels is a reasonable workaround, much like turning down
the treble on your stereo to reduce the hiss of a noisy amplifier.

9:37 pm - Saturday, December 10, 2005

#318 MarkT

If you use noise reduction software on your PC you will still have to sacrifice detail / sharpness in exchange for less noise.
I reckon that dropping down to 3 MP is a better compromise for most cases unless you are looking to produce A4 or larger sized prints. When viewed on most monitors 3 MP will look just fine (assuming you view your photos at "Fit to screen" rather than at "1:1". And 3 MP is good enough for up to 8x6 prints.

9:48 pm - Saturday, December 10, 2005

#319 Prognathous

MarkT, it's not really 3MP, it's 5MP resized by the camera (using god-know-what-algorithm) to 3MP. Rest assured that your PC can do better.

Prog.

9:58 pm - Saturday, December 10, 2005

#320 nick in japan

Mark T..Sorry "bout that, one of my Sons attends SUNY @ Albany, I'm Sure he would help you with CS2, if you wanted it. I can't talk about other options concerning noise, CS2 has kept me very happy, I'd go with Gary's recommendations. IMHO, I would stay away from 3mb cameras, once you start improving on a shot , you must have enough pixels to sharpen up, even when you are using layers, isolating the sky, for example, which may show the greatest noise.
Minimum , maybe, is near 5mb for most folks, the Pentax S6 is a bit more than that, almost 6, I , indeed wish that it's sensor was a 1/1.8, but it's a trade-off with all cameras.... Good luck, try your best for a hand's on, trial from your favorite dealer, even if it's just a few shots in the shop.
Semper Fi!

1:03 am - Sunday, December 11, 2005

#321 MarkT

Grrrrr ! This is so confusing.
The R2 owner in 316. quotes advice from Ricoh :- "Update ! 17/10/05 have contacted Ricoh to grizzle about noise issue , got quick reply advising to select resolution F2048 instead of the max F2560 for all shooting , i have to say that it makes a BIG improvement to the image issue to the point where the camera is quite usefull in its niche point and shoot market . "
In my naivety I presumed that, for example, 1 sensor cell/ pixel at 4MP became 4 cells/pixel at 1MP, ie. the cell size increased but resolution was reduced.
Any more of this and I'm going back to film photography :-S

1:38 am - Sunday, December 11, 2005

#322 karen

Gary, thanks for your replies to 303 & 315. It was exactly what I was looking for - being, someone with experience with the 2 cameras to lean me in one direction or the other. As I'm a casual user the 7900 is probably the camera for me, as the Canon S50 I currently have has full manual and raw mode and I have never used those at all. Thanks again

3:23 am - Sunday, December 11, 2005

#323 Karen

Gary, One more question - I promise. Do you have any thoughts on the Finepix F11 compared with the 2 cameras in 315 - 7900 coolpix & E900.
I'm being picky now as I like the 2.5" screen size of the F11. Do you know what the image quality is of the F11 and any other comments you may have on this camera would be appreciated.

3:50 am - Sunday, December 11, 2005

#324 Wolfie

I have written a review of my new Ricoh Caplio R3 with sample photos, hope you find it useful :

Blog review R3 : http://blog.twowolves.co.uk/2005/12/11/180/

Regards
Wolfie

2:08 pm - Sunday, December 11, 2005

#325 Gio

Dear Ppl, MarkT & Gary,

I knew it sound silly when u paid for 5MP camera and get just 3MP, but with the given size, quality gotta TAKE. I agree with doing NR on PC, sure better, coz it got lots more of CPU, if these camera can do RAW, it'll be better, oh! then the noisy LX-1 looks better.

As I contemplate on this, my friend ask "What did u expect from this Ultracompact?, It's not DSLR."
It make me come to my senses, the reason I wanna buy this camera in the first place isn't the quality, it's the portability and price are my concern, and I still have my 35mm and medium for my quality shots. So, if I'm lucky tomorrow i'll get either R2 or R3, pray for me to have the wisdom.

Rgds,
Gio.

5:14 pm - Sunday, December 11, 2005

#326 PETER PEARCE

If the r3 operation is as fast as they say do i need a basic Kingston 10x Secure Digital Card 512MB
or will i benifit from a Kingston 50x Elite Pro Hi-Speed Secure Digital Card - 512MB any advice would be much appreciated,

thank peter p

9:59 pm - Sunday, December 11, 2005

#327 GARY POGODA

Karen, since your main complaints about the S50 are its slightly large
body, slightly small LCD, and slightly short zoom, the F11 might be a
better choice than the E900, as it solves two of these three problems
in that it has a smaller body and a larger LCD than the S50, but it has
only a 3x zoom. The E900 solves just one of the three problems with
its 4x zoom, but comes very close to solving the other two, in that it is
slightly more pocketable, and has a slightly larger LCD, than the S50.

Either of these two cameras would be an excellent choice in terms of
build quality and image quality. For casual users, they both have the
necessary Auto mode and their manual controls do not get in the way.
Their biggest drawback for the casual user is their less than abundant
scene modes.

The 7900 has a plethora of scene modes (one of them being the very
cool Underwater scene mode for use in combination with the optional
underwater casing), but it really solves only one of the three problems
with your S50, that of body size. However, its most important feature
for casual users, particularly those that do not wish to use a computer
for post-processing of images, is its in-camera, automatic processing,
which includes Red-eye Removal, D-lighting, and Face Priority AF.

If you have no desire to use the computer for post-processing, I think
the 7900 would be your best choice. If you are not adverse to a little
post-processing, and extra zoom would be highly desirable, then the
E900 might be the better choice, but if 4x zoom is not as important as
a large LCD and small body, the F11 might be an even better choice.

In reference to the first line of this comment, all of your dislikes for the
S50 include the word "slight", so the best choice might be to wait until
Nikon's next round of ultra-compacts, which will surely have 2.5" LCDs,
and hopefully, will not drop any of their in-camera processing features. :)

2:08 am - Monday, December 12, 2005

#328 Mark Foster

Peter P

See posts 275 and 286. Using the Elite Pro didn't gain me anything in real world use. There appears to be anecdotal evidence that the Panasonic cards are a better match for Ricoh cameras.

12:08 pm - Monday, December 12, 2005

#329 peter uk

Gary,
Yes the Fuji E900 is high quality all round compared to the R3,panasonic DMC-LX1 etc and does easily fit shirt pocket although not as easily as the Samsung L155W which is similar to size of R2 and appears to have its lens!
I may consider the L155W as a compromise ,although for stills most likely not as good as the E-900 it does have, FOR THE ODD OCCASION, a more useful movie mode by utilizing MPEG-4 compression so you can get an hour or so of video on a modest 256MB card as opposed to only about 15 mins on the E-900 with a 1GB card at best settings.I dont know if the Sam L155W is any better than R3 or R2 picture wise and my question to you or anyone that may know is : does MPEG4 compression degrade the resulting video .The example video on Samsungs web site is rather grainy and I wonder why not many others Canon/Fuji etc use MPEG4???

6:06 pm - Monday, December 12, 2005

#330 peter uk

Re 329 and L55W,
Or mayb'e the graininess on the example is partly due to 2nd hand re-transmission over the internet even with 2mb broadband as I notice most videos are not that sharp when at full screen!!?? Nice BIG LCD sceen on L55W
anyway.NO PRO REVIEWS as usual!

7:29 pm - Monday, December 12, 2005

#331 GARY POGODA

Sorry, Peter, can't help you with the video compression differences.

As for the Samsung L55W, just like the R3 and HP R817, I expect its
5 megapixel, 1/2.5" CCD to be quite noisy.

Since there are no L55W reviews of which to speak, maybe Heidrun
and Ginny will be able to shed some light on its noise characteristics.

http://tinyurl.com/9gw8c

7:57 pm - Monday, December 12, 2005

#332 Gio

Dear ppl,

I tried on R3 and compare it to R2 and found out this.
Focud performance isn't that great, but if little patience & learning curve, it'll be fine.
IS can help with mid-light to almost low-light situation, may not as effective as OIS, but helps a little.

Image quality & Noise, i think this is the issue many ppl r waiting for, my comparision show that Image quality on LCD screen with playback zoom to 4x, that R3 image quality is better than R2, might be some part due to IS, but I think the image algorithm has been changed, the image quality is acceptable for the size.

If the price come down little bit I'll buy R3, but if the LX-1 price race up to it, I think LX-1 is the choice for me.

3:27 pm - Tuesday, December 13, 2005

#333 Mario

hi everyone. I have today held a nice black R3 and I can say it does not feel cheap. Unfortunately I didnt not get a chance to try it out. The brown case is ok but I dont know why some people drool over it.

Anyway, reason why I am writing:
I had totally forgotten about a nice alternative (only for those of you who arent overly concerned about price) the Sanyo Xacti C5 http://www.steves-digicams.com/2005_reviews/c5_samples.html
which is compact, 5x optical zoom, stabilised with good quality 5MP stills and good VGA movies. A near perfect hybrid.

I understand there is also a similar but 6MP C6 and there is a recently anounced HD high definition 10x optical not as compact version, but still fairly compact.

Something to think about..
cheers

3:56 pm - Tuesday, December 13, 2005

#334 Ginny

I went ahead and bought the L55W yesterday. The body is all metal, not plastic, like the R3 is supposed to be [??] looks very smart and feels good to hold and the battery cover is quite secure and not flimsy. My sister-in-law has the R2 [which she loves] but there has been talk that the slider bar on the front of the R2 does tend to unintentionally move and cause the camera to be inadvertently switched on. The L55W also has a chrome strip down the front but this is not functional, merely decorative - I think. Now, unfortunately, I have not had chance yet to try anything out at home, only had the in-store demonstration and I was impressed with the ability to record a short voice message with each snap, if you should so wish. Furthermore, the menu and controls are very intuitive. The one con up to now, is the fact that the Manual is so thick - 130 pages and is going to take some reading!!!!! I suppose another minus point could be that no case is included in the box but that does not bother me. As for noise etc etc - well I have to plead guilty to being an absolute Newbie so yes, Gary, I am sure Heidrun and I will continue to share thoughts on our cameras but it will be YOU who will, I hope be coming to the rescue when I start asking my "daft" questions. So as not to sound overtly stupid though, I must have a read of the manual first and then start playing around and trying to suss things out. It is a question of watch this space !!!! As has been said previously, no professional reviews of Samsung cameras, they do not send them out to journalists but it is pretty reassuring to know that they do come with a 2 year guarantee. I know one retailer does give an extended 3 year guarantee for cameras purchased through his company but he is the exception rather than the norm. First impression though, WOW, I really like this camera but the proof of the pudding will come later !!!!!
Cheers
Ginny

5:59 pm - Tuesday, December 13, 2005

#335 PETER PEARCE

All this derogatory talk about plastic in camera's I find most annoying , plastic's to day I think are one of the modern day wonder's of the world, just where would modern society be without them , they go into space ,air craft ,ship's ,& our most expensive car's & even the human body. Some of tham are far superior to the ""metal"" in certain application's . So can we be a little more sensible when refering to ""plastic "" when it is clearly not the same stuff that your drink's bottle's are made of . p.s.i have no connection with the industry what so ever .

9:38 pm - Tuesday, December 13, 2005

#336 Peter uk

Ginny and /or Heidrun,
What country and where did you get an ''in store demo'' of the Samsung L55W ?I can't find any store in uk that has one at the moment only internet stores!
The sample movie on samsungs web is a bit grainy and not so sharp maybe due to re-transmission over internet etc?
Please let us know if the movie quality is actually better than that sample when you have time to test it and also the pic quality on prints and tv.
Look forward to your help.

11:01 pm - Tuesday, December 13, 2005

#337 GARY POGODA

Congratulations, Ginny, on your purchase. FYI, the L55W is the last
high zoom ultra-compact left on my list of potential cameras.

Mario, when I hear about a new high zoom ultra-compact, I get excited,
but then when I see it has a 5 megapixel, 1/2.5" CCD (like the HD1EX),
my hopes quickly fade, as we have not yet seen one good review in this
category with respect to image sensor noise.

But there is always the exception to the rule. I am hoping the L55W will
be one. Maybe the HD1EX will also be one. Maybe the 6 megapixel C6
will be an improvement over the 5 megapixel C5, which did receive good
ratings from Steve's Digicams, but then again, while I enjoy reading their
reviews, rigorous image testing is not one of their strongest points, unlike
Mark's review of the C4. Even so, I am willing to keep an open mind.

http://www.steves-digicams.com/2005_reviews/c5.html

http://www.photographyblog.com/reviews_sanyo_xacti_vpc_c4.php

PeterP, I made that same point somewhere (?) on another thread and I
think MarkT was raising the same issue in comment #255 above. What
it comes down to is not a question of metal vs. plastic, but rather, one of
a cheap vs. quality feel. Indeed, sturdy plastic can have a higher quality
feel than flimsy metal.

11:46 pm - Tuesday, December 13, 2005

#338 MarkT

Well after the saga of conflicting reviews, delayed release dates, problems with supply, reports of faulty units being received - on top of the noise and A/F issues etc. etc. I've abandoned the idea of getting an R3.
Instead I'm getting a Sony DSC H1. It meets / exceeds all my requirements apart from its size. But I've completely given up on the idea of getting a compact camera with good optical zoom because of the problems of image quality and the limited number of models available.
I'll still be following this thread though for a while as the R3 seemed like such a great camera for me.
Best of luck to all of you who are still hoping to get your hands on an R3.

11:52 pm - Tuesday, December 13, 2005

#339 nick in japan

Congratulations Mark T ! Good shooting! Please tell us about your likes/dislikes!
Merry Christmas!
Semper Fi!

12:59 am - Wednesday, December 14, 2005

#340 will

Yes! I finally bought a R3 today from eBay.com with "C23-GIFTGUIDE" 10% off, it was total of like $335 with shipping! Stay tuned for a side by side comparison between my Canon S70 and Ricoh R3.
Stay tuned.

Will

http://planetnomads.com

1:24 am - Wednesday, December 14, 2005

#341 Kien

Ok guys my R3 arrived yesterday and i've had tie to play with it and have a pole inside. Firstly the body is NOT plastic, I repeat NOT
plastic if you open up the battery compartment and have a look inside the front and back are made up of some very light alloy possibly magnesium or aluminium alloy, it is so light which is why people think it is plastic, the battery cover unfortunately IS plastic and you have to be pretty careful with it i.e. don't change the battery while drunk!!. I've held a Canon 750D and a Sony t3 and they feel no better or worse "made" than the R3 but the canon was definately heavier in the hand.

Start-up time id fantastic, you will get a shock the first time you turn it on at how fast it starts up.

The Macro mode is fantastic and i'm having much fun with it, the autofocus is a bit noisy (sound wise) but that doesn't bother me at all as it focusses pretty quickly.

Pictures do have some noise in them, more so than say even a Pentax Optio S6, however the IS works wonders so that you can use a slower ISO than normal so it's a bit of a trade off.

Menu system is very quick and intuitive, I got a grip of most of the najor functions within 60 seconds of picking it up.

The screen is nice and bright, I was using it in Direct sunlight without a problem. (This is Australian summer sunlight mind you not some piddly english sunlight) ;)

Overall I'd give it 7.5-8 out of 10. It losing points for the battery compartment being tacky and for the picture noise overall however i'm very happy with it as a point and shoot camera. If you want super duper image quality go for a DSLR like a Canon 350D. But if you want a portable point and shoot with some cool features and small footprint the R3 is a good choice.

7:46 am - Wednesday, December 14, 2005

#342 Ngat

You just wasted all that time and money on a camera you're going to hate, because your photos are going to look like crap once you see them printed.

Go ahead and tell yourself it's a good choice - because you know you're just lying to yourself!

Too see so much noise in WHITE areas is completely incomprehensible and unforgiveable! I love to have that extra zoom length too in my pocket in a compact camera with retracting lens! But man the photos look like they went through a dust storm!
You can see the noise in everything, not just white areas, but in the variety of colors, as well as dark areas! You don't even have to blow it up that much to see it!

Send it back, man! Do us all a favor and send it back, with a written complaint about its awful picture quality - because if more people did that, then the manufacturer might realize something bad that they did!
So help us all and say that you don't actually like this camera at all!

8:21 am - Wednesday, December 14, 2005

#343 Prognathous

Ngat, you're letting the 100% crops confuse you about the real quality of the images. Try to actually print them and you'll see they're perfectly fine (well, at least the low ISO ones).

Footnote: When comparing 100% crops, a Sigma SD10 is clearly much higher quality than an Canon EOS-1Ds, but guess which camera produces better prints? The proof is in the pudding.

Prog.

8:44 am - Wednesday, December 14, 2005

#344 Mark Foster

I'm looking at two prints from the same shot on my R3.
The first is 6x8 with no post production. Noise is discernable (but not bothersome) when the shot is held six inches from my face.
I cropped the image by about 50% used Paint Shop Pro X noise reduction then had it printed at 8' x 10'and there in no noise at all even in dark areas at the edges. It has flesh tones and a bright red tshirt in it and no noise on them either. There is no noticeable reduction in detail either.
It's funny, when I look at pictures I look at the subject because it usually invokes good memories. That's why I took the shot. I tend not to hold the print up to my nose and look for imperfections but then I am an average consumer, not a photographer.
Kein, Keep your R3. I can't wait to get mine back.
Ngat, I guess the prints you have had made from your R3 look worse?

11:13 am - Wednesday, December 14, 2005

#345 Alex B

Hi

I went to the store and i looked at the R3. But they didn't want to load the battery, so i only have had in the hand, so no pictures... :(

I was really surprised with the size! Small and light. The lenscoverage seemed very fragile to me. When you put your finger on it, it alreay moves, plies

I finally have decided to buy the Canon S80 (manual shutter, aperture...)instead of R3. Not really comparable.
I was looking for a compact wide camera. But the pictures of the R3 are too noisy for me. I have to use crops, so details have to be of good quality. That is why the R3 fell off. Also that Ricoh delivers indirectly in Belgium, it gives lots of problems when afterservice is needed.

If it wasn't for picture quality i would have bought it right away. Very nice features, macro, speed, compact...

When you don't need crops, this camera is for you!
(at the end you have to decide what you are looking for:
- what features do you need
- what quality is necessary
- what is your budget
You have to give in (perfect camera doesn't exist!) on some fields (i have lifted my budget, i looked on longterm)

Greetz
Alex

PS. When do you think will Mark's review be online?

1:01 pm - Wednesday, December 14, 2005

#346 Kien

Like I said if I want super duper picture quality I will use my DSLR (350D) if I want to be able to go to a party and take pictures without lugging around a massive camera bag I will use the R3. I don't print most of my pictures anyway I just burn them on CD and occassionally flick through them on a slideshow.

3:24 pm - Wednesday, December 14, 2005

#347 Andreas T

Kien is right!

And thats for me the question:
What ist the performance in such a situation:
going to a party and take pictures.

With and without flash.
My feeling testing the r3 in a shop was:
The focus time is bad in such situation.

At the moment, thats why i am waiting for some l55w tests as an alternativ

3:36 pm - Wednesday, December 14, 2005

#348 Ginny

Hi Peter,

I purchased my L55W from Kamera Direct, 6/8 Cotham Street, St Helens, Merseyside - Tel No. 01744 453111 which is the retail outlet of http://www.bestcameras.co.uk. They seemed to have a good supply in stock and spare batteries if you should decide to get an extra one. Good firm to deal with, absolutely no hard sell and very willing to give a thorough in-store demonstration and have the patience to deal with all my queries. I have just telephoned them and they do still have this model available.

Cheers

Ginny

4:45 pm - Wednesday, December 14, 2005

#349 Peter uk

Ginny,
Thanks ,however i'm in surrey so bit too far!!
Please let us know about video quality and pics re. No.336 as soon as youve managed to check.Best regards.

6:42 pm - Wednesday, December 14, 2005

#350 Ngat

OK everyone can we take this discussion over to the new "Review" blog please, where it would be more relevant now that the camera has been released and also because some of you also own the camera now?

And it would also help me from having to scroll all the way down this one!

thanks

6:46 pm - Wednesday, December 14, 2005

#351 GARY POGODA

One point regarding prior discussion as to whether it would be better
to use the R3's 3 megapixel setting versus computer noise reduction
software, the R3's downsampling to 3 megapixels will be applied prior
to the application of its JPEG (lossy) compression, whereas any noise
reduction software would be applied only after such compression.

This will definitely make a difference. Whether the difference is one of
significance would depend on just how good the R3's downsampling is
versus how good the computer noise reduction software is.

Kien, thanks for clearing up the point about the R3's casing NOT being
plastic (for the most part).

Alex, I think the S80 is an excellent choice. FYI, the Fuji E900 is about
the same size as the S80, has slightly more zoom, has lower noise and
higher ISOs, plus it uses AA batteries.

Mark T, why an H1. It is so far removed from the R3. What about the
Fuji E900. It is much closer to being an ultra-compact than the H1, and
has much better noise performance. Granted the H1 has 12x zoom vs.
the E900's 4x zoom, but with 9 megapixels resolution, I would be willing
to bet you could use 2x digital zoom (8x total zoom), and still get better
image quality than with the H1. Besides, the H1 is another one of those
5 megapixel, 1/2.5" CCD cameras, and I don't trust any of them (despite
its Highly Recommended rating from DPReview). :)

10:49 pm - Wednesday, December 14, 2005

#352 MarkT

Gary - I really wanted a compact camera with high optical zoom, I.S., big screen, fast responses and some manual controls.
EVF, good battery life and video output were other factors - and all for less than £300.
The Sony H1 satisfies all of my criteria except for size and all it reviews report very good image quality.
The 4x zoom on the E900 is not enough for me and I'd rather lug around a bigger camera than spend ages sitting in front of my PC waiting for huge 9MP files to be downloaded and manipulated.

11:47 pm - Wednesday, December 14, 2005

#353 Mike

I just found out that Ricoh has recently announced the new firmware update version 1.27 for R3, which will improve macro and AF. Hopefully this update will improve the focus and noise.

4:48 pm - Thursday, December 15, 2005

#354 MarkT

Well the review is out . . . . . and it really just confirms what we all knew all the time but were hoping would be different.
http://www.photographyblog.com/reviews_ricoh_caplio_r3.php
Yep - great spec and lots of top features in a nice compact camera - but the pictures are terrible.

5:05 pm - Thursday, December 15, 2005

#355 Mike

Does the review based on the original firmware or after updating it to ver 1.24? and with the newer version 1.27, depending on the result, the review need to be revised. I, myself, haven't update to the new version yet, but will do it tonight.

6:20 pm - Thursday, December 15, 2005

#356 GARY POGODA

Mark T, for me, the highest priority was the ultra-compact size, and
then, getting the best features available in that size, with high zoom
being at the top of the list, and low noise being a close second.

BTW, did you read the PhotographyBLOG review of the H1. Noise is
its main drawback in terms of image quality, according to Mark.

http://www.photographyblog.com/reviews_sony_cybershot_dsc_h1_6.php

Although, the DPReview noise charts do not look all that bad.

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sonydsch1/page5.asp

Maybe I'm just paranoid about 5 megapixel, 1/2.5" CCD cameras. :)

9:49 pm - Thursday, December 15, 2005

#357 Mark Foster

Just an update for those who care (probably Australian Customers). My replacement R3 arrived today just 8 days (6 working days) after I returned my original one. That's a minor miracle for where I live. Suffice to say I am happy with the after sales service thus far.

12:06 pm - Friday, December 16, 2005

#358 GARY POGODA

Mark, something is VERY wrong here. I never posted comment #358
above. It is not my style. Could you please look into this? Thanks.

11:13 am - Saturday, December 17, 2005

#359 nick in japan

Gary, That "style" of comment was recently used in the LX-1 comments by your idol! I knew I had seen it recently!

12:09 pm - Saturday, December 17, 2005

#360 GARY POGODA

Nick, the one thing about him that you have to respect is that he was
never afraid to sign his own name. This does not sound like his work.

12:21 pm - Saturday, December 17, 2005

#361 paul

i have been reading this forum since it was a short list of just a few comments.now that the review is out about the r3 i think that we can all assume that the r3 is no good.
i have decided that picture quality and ccd size go together like bread and butter.
i therefore have decided to buy the smallest camera with a 2/3" ccd which is the lecia digilux 2 as seen here ... http://dpreview.com/news/0312/03120101leicadigilux2.asp

yea i can hear you all out there saying it is not a small camera and i know that but i think its the smallest camera with a 2/3" ccd out there at the moment.

a good ccd site is this one

http://www.dpreview.com/learn/?/Glossary/Camera_System/Sensor_Sizes_01.htm


i think that by following the rule that ccd size matters then i have think that what ever camera i end up buying will be the bees knees

paul

7:01 pm - Saturday, December 17, 2005

#362 GARY POGODA

For a camera announced in 2003, the Digilux 2 was definitely ahead
of its time, with a 5 megapixel, 2/3" CCD, and fast 3.2x optical zoom,
not to mention the 2.5 inch, high resolution CCD, high resolution EVF,
USB 2.0, USB DirectPrint, 64 MB SD card, and full manual controls.

However, a pocketable camera it is not. The thing about its low noise
is not only a 2/3" CCD, but a low (by today's standards) 5 megapixel
resolution. That combination makes for some large pixels. If you are
looking for a pocketable camera with low noise, a 5 megapixel, 1/1.8"
CCD is still a very good combination, although there are not many of
those around, unless you go back to last years models.

If you want a pocketable, high resolution camera with low noise, there
is only one choice, namely Fuji. They use a different CCD technology
which allows for more pixels with lower noise at a specified CCD size.
Some perfect examples are the 6 megapixel, 1/1.7" CCD F10 and F11,
and the 9 megapixel, 1/1.6" CCD E900, which also has a 4x wide angle
zoom and uses AA batteries.

And keep in mind that 1/1.6" is really 2/3.2", which is only a hair smaller
than the 2/3" CCD of the Digilux 2 (which BTW weighs over 700 grams).

Just some food for thought. :)

8:14 pm - Saturday, December 17, 2005

#363 MarkT

Gary - just bought latest copy of What Camera magazine - they review 8 big zoom cameras including the Sony H1, which incidentally comes out as their top choice.
Anyway all 8 of these cameras were 1/2.5" CCD cameras with 5MP or greater resolution.
I think this 1/2.5" CCD thing can't be all that bad.

9:41 pm - Saturday, December 17, 2005

#364 GARY POGODA

That certainly sounds encouraging. And to be honest, the only really
bad ones I have seen are the 5 megapixel, 1/2.5" CCDs in high zoom
ultra-compacts.

10:10 pm - Saturday, December 17, 2005

#365 will

Another firmware has been released on 12/15/05.

I will soon own one to see if it makes any difference, it says it makes macro and vibration better.

http://www.ricoh.com/r_dc/download/firmware/r3/win.html


will

12:41 am - Sunday, December 18, 2005

#366 AA

BEWARE OF SONY PRODUCTS MADE IN CHINA!

http://www.shanghaidaily.com/art/2005/12/17/228932/Sony_recalls_6_camera_models_that_fail_tests.htm

2:01 am - Sunday, December 18, 2005

#367 PETER PEARCE

If your wish is to carry a house brick around in your pocket & have more than enough money then don't buy an R3 get the Digilux 2 it's snip the only £1200 , but a pocket size p&s it ain't.Please can we compare like with like . Happy R3 snapper .

10:07 pm - Monday, December 19, 2005

#368 will

As promised, I finally got my Ricoh R3 and did a little test shooting for you guys who are still not convinced it's a good camera.

See full review at: http://greeneternity.planetnomads.com/r3

Summary:
This is my unprofessional test and comparison of Ricoh R3 28mm-200mm 5 Megapixel and my Canon S70 28mm-100mm 7 Megapixel.

In summary, I am really impressed with Ricoh R3 despite many people's complaint that above ISO 100 there is significant amount of noise. This is true, but I find that generally I can custom set the setting at ISO 64, with Image Stablization on, Flash Off, and can produce very quick and sharp images. It is also easier to use than my Canon S60/70 also with additional features, such as the image stablization, available manual focus, skew correction and text correction (see photos), voice record photos (not tested). Best of all, it's smaller, lighter, not cheap looking, and 200mm zoom! Sure you suffer some noise, but you won't miss any exciting moments with this small pocket size camera. What I don't like is the flimsy battery case opener, somewhat scary noisy zoom lens (may scare the monkies away) and lack of an optical view finder. Other than that, it's the perfect camera for my nomadic backpacking trips.

In the review, R3 photos were taken using its finest setting at 5 MP, allowing >450 photos on a 1Gb Toshiba SD card. S70 photos were taken on comparable setting of L fine at 7 MP, allowing >500 photos.

My wife and I are headed for Brasil in 1 week, and Ricoh is a perfect companion to our Canon S70, just in case the scuba diving housing fails to protet the S70. I have a feeling I'll be using my Ricoh R3 more than my Canon S70. I am very happy with my purchase, got it on eBay for around $360.

Let me a comment at the review site. Thanks

11:05 pm - Wednesday, December 21, 2005

#369 Prognathous

Will, your review is very interesting, but being Flash-based makes it a torture to navigate. Any plan to post it using HTML?

Prog.

3:14 am - Thursday, December 22, 2005

#370 Squire

I'm one of the many waiting to see what Gary buys for his wife. I started watching this blog because the R3 sounded perfect. Now I'm inclined to the Samsung L55W or the Sanyo C6 because of the ability to intersperse short video clips with stills - especially when the primary subjects are grandkids and vacations. The Samsung has the edge because of the wide angle and 16:9 format option. Sooo, am waiting for reviews on the L55W.

6:28 pm - Friday, December 23, 2005

#371 will

Prog,
Sorry, I didn't have much time to do a full html review, maybe when I get back from Brasil.... jaja.... by then everyone will have a Ricoh R3....


will

3:26 am - Sunday, December 25, 2005

#372 Dave

Hi, have owned the R3 for a couple of weeks now and used it extensively. Compact and real value for money camera. Camera is cheap, considering that it comes with wide angle, 7x zoom and image stabilisation. Only downside to the camera is the slightly noisy pictures. However, can be kept to a minimum by fixing the ISO at 100 or below. Been using it to take photos for my blog. See for yourself the picture quality at http://kooshlog.blogspot.com

5:09 pm - Monday, December 26, 2005

#373 Mario

Dave, you've taken some nice photos with your R3. Thanks for sharing.

I'm inclined to agree with Squire.

I just wish these morons would include stabilisation for still shots (particularly for low light situations) and not just in video mode.
They must be waiting for us to purchase all their old junk, then they will announce a model with still shot stabilisation .. but then probably reduce video resolution or reduce the frame rate. Idiots.

And what's going on with cmos ?

5:47 pm - Monday, December 26, 2005

#374 Prognathous

Mario, it's the other way around. This system works *only* with stills, not video. From the R3 manual:

"The camera shake correction function is not available for Multi-Shot shooting and movie shooting."

Prog.

6:02 pm - Monday, December 26, 2005

#375 Mario

Prog, I know I wasnt being clear, but I was referring to the Sanyo C6 and Samsung L55W.
As for the R3, apart from the noise, the low-res movie mode is another reason why I'm even more hesitant on getting it. And if you say there is no stabilisation in R3 movies.. well, even worse.

The C6 would appear to be a nice all-round pocket still/video camera. The L55W appears to be a nice option too, especially with the cool widescreen. Both have movie stabilisation but not for still shots.
As I've said before, stabilisation is most useful in low light. Its not a big deal in daylight because I've taken sharp handheld pics at full 10x optical on my Olympus C700 (old 2MP, no stabilise) so 5x is less to worry about.

3:57 am - Tuesday, December 27, 2005

#376 Squire

The Samsung L55W may have a serious flaw, at least for me. According to the manual, now available for download at samsungcamera.com, "If you use a card reader to copy the images on the memory card to your PC, the images may be damaged....Please note that the manufacturer holds no responsibility for loss or damage of images on the memory card due to the use of a card reader." I prefer to use the card reader method because I don't want to have to install software for every computer where I may want to download images, e.g at a friends house. Does anyone know anything about this issue?

12:27 am - Monday, January 2, 2006

#377 MarkT

I would take Samsung's statement with a pinch of salt. Usually such statements are made by manufacturers just to cover themselves in case of all eventualities.
I would have thought that the interaction between cameras, memory cards and card readers would be more or less standard now throughout the industry.
However, to find out more why not contact Samsung direct.

8:59 pm - Monday, January 2, 2006

#378 deb

well - i took the R3 with me to Goa. My conclusion is - it aint very smart on auto but you can get some decent pics by learning how to set the camera manually - knocks out the spontaneous point and shoot aspect though. My biggest complaint is - the camera doesn't feel very robust - a sensitive soul, not useful for travelling. Three times now the lens cover has stuck and wouldn't close properly - very flimsy and fickle. battery life good and the zoom is great fun but reduces pic quality considerably. i intend to return to the shop re. the faulty lens cover as soon as. Despite good looks, neat leather case, clear screen (although not at night or in very bright sunlight) and fun zoom, I can't recommend it. sorry ricoh - just too many glitches.

11:01 am - Tuesday, January 3, 2006

#379 Paul

The R3 is my first digital camera (I am not a regular photographer).

I find that using the auto features gives variable results even when shots are taken directly one after another, so I take two or three pictures and pick the best after downloading to my pc (1gb SD card - so plenty of space).

I have taken some nice shots with manual settings but you need to understand the principles of iso (and exposure for night photos).

I do notice some 'noise' on some photos when enlarged :
It's all a question of trade off. I was after portability and optical zoom, and anti-shake rather than spectacularly perfect photos.

Shutter cover was sticky on opening and closing twice, but touching it lightly freed it up.
I find the build quality and styling good, and it has a practical layout - although it would be nice to be able to re-order the menu items.

Overall the camera is better than I expected.

Thumbs up.

12:14 pm - Monday, January 9, 2006

#380 dennis

I am new in digital camera. Wish to buy one of following cameras.

1. Panasonic DCM FX8 (USD349)
2. Ricoh Caplio R3(USD379)
3. Oplympus IR300 (USD289)

Pls advise which one I should choose by compare price vs. picture quality (or you can recommend others if you can).

I heard lot of negative comment on noise at high ISO for R3. What is that mean ?

How make the camera able to function without jam in cold/winter weather (I am staying in malaysia now) ?

thx.

dennis

6:22 pm - Tuesday, January 10, 2006

#381 Danielle

Hi! I have just bought the R3 this week as I am off on holiday and was attracted by the 7xzoom in a slimline body and the camera shake correction. It came bundled with a mini tripod which I hope will help the vibration too.
Already though I am having the sticky lens problem mentioned by Paul and Deb. If Deb could let us know what response she gets from the shop on this matter that would be great but I get the feeling this may become a common glitch with all of them! Ill let you know how I get on with it on safari!

1:04 pm - Wednesday, January 11, 2006

#382 Gio

Today DPreview annouce R30 http://www.dpreview.com/news/0601/06011001ricohr30.asp the different i see is 28-160mm lens, hope to get better lens quality ... not sure how slimmer the body. The improved Macro and perspective correction functions. Hope it improve the NOISE problem also.

2:18 pm - Wednesday, January 11, 2006

#383 Mark Goldstein

Errrm, PhotographyBLOG actually announced this camera yesterday :)

http://www.photographyblog.com/index.php/weblog/comments/ricoh_caplio_r30/

2:53 pm - Wednesday, January 11, 2006

#384 Mark Goldstein

Ricoh have just announced another firmware update for the R3:

http://www.photographyblog.com/index.php/weblog/comments/ricoh_caplio_r3_v128_firmware_update/

2:50 pm - Thursday, January 12, 2006

#385 Maggie

No surprise really that Ricoh have announced another new camera to the Caplio range - the R30 which reverts to a zoom size of 5. something or other, perhaps in essence, the R2 resurrected???? Still, the R3 was initially announced in June/July last year and took almost six months to be available here in the U.K. so what chance of the R30 getting into the shops before summer??

3:34 pm - Thursday, January 12, 2006

#386 deb

The shop were really helpful. However, the first suggestion was to send back to Ricoh. I queried the logic of this as it is an intermittant fault. They agreed to exchange the camera for a new R3. Maybe we should all log the glitch on the UK Ricoh website. (The shop said they had had another returned with a faulty flash). Danielle - another thing - it didn't always like the heat in India and had a few start up screen scrambles. Have a good safari.

6:47 pm - Saturday, January 14, 2006

#387 GARY POGODA

I'm posting this comment for several PhotographyBLOG threads, the
ones where I have spent considerable time over the past few months.

As you know, I've been searching for a camera for my wife's birthday
coming at the end of January. I was looking for an ultra-compact with
a high zoom and minimal red-eye. Some of the cameras I considered
were the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX1, the Samsung Digimax L55W, the
HP Photosmart R817, the Nikon Coolpix S4, and the Ricoh Caplio R3.

Unfortunately, all of these cameras were eliminated for one reason or
another, but mostly for their high image noise. It was only at CES that
a camera debuted which caught my eye, the Kodak EasyShare V570.

The V570 is a dual lens, dual CCD, ultra-compact. One lens is a fixed
23mm while the other is a 3x zoom (39 - 117mm), for a 5x total zoom
range. Both lenses are of the folded-optics variety. The V570 also has
two 1/2.5" 5 megapixel CCDs, which do not seem to be plagued by the
excessive noise of similar CCDs. Its in-camera red-eye removal is also
quite good.

If you are interested in reading more about the V570, or about its CCD
noise characteristics (as per a review of the V550 which uses the same
CCD), then check out the links in my comment #20 of the recent "Take
My Wife's Digital Camera" thread (written by yours truly).

http://www.photographyblog.com/index.php/weblog/comments/take_my_wifes_digital_camera/

The camera is not ordered yet, so any feedback you can offer would be
greatly appreciated. I would feel better if the camera had been reviewed
by our own Mark "The Noise Sleuth" Goldstein.

8:47 pm - Tuesday, January 17, 2006

#388 Will

Gary,
I googled Kodak V570, and initially I was really impressed by its wide angle. But after just seeing few actual pictures from http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/V570/V570A.HTM, you see that when picture taken on 23mm, there is so much distortion that most pictures are unusable (the 2 guys on the sides almost have an alien like appearance), therefore the conclusion is yes, you'll have a 23mm wide angle lens but the distortion is so great that most pictures need to be taken still with its 39mm.

Anyways, just got back from Brasil where I used my Ricoh R3 on dry land and my Canon S70 in wet conditions and underwater, and I was really impressed with my new Ricoh R3's camera ability to capture action photos, far away photos, dark setting photos and its battery life. Sometimes it took 3-4 shots to get the clearest image since I used manual settings of ISO 64 without flash all the time, but the results is worth it.

I'll be posting some photos from the trip from Brasil in few days, stay tuned.

12:10 pm - Wednesday, January 18, 2006

#389 nick in japan

Gary, distortion appears normal to me, anytime you have a lens wider than normal, usually agreed to be between 35-60mm, there will be distortion. There are tricks to minimize it, tools too. I personally prefer 28mm for max in normal shooting, but this 23mm is really nice for alot of stuff. The dual sensor, with top-notch quality in the compact line-up is the advantage of this camera.
As I mentioned initally to you, this is a break-through camera in alot of respects and I am, now, personally thinking about getting one too, not only for my collection, but for use too!
I am very anxious to get your personalized report.
The trick with very wide lenses, as you know, is being horizontal, no yaw, and keep those faces back a bit more than usual!

12:33 pm - Wednesday, January 18, 2006

#390 GARY POGODA

You both have valid points. I will have to think about this some more.

Speaking of barrel distortion correction, the V570 is supposed to have
such a feature built-in, but it does not look like it was used in the group
photo shown in the review. At least I hope that is the case.

I have to get going now. Looking forward to seeing those Brazil pics.

1:19 pm - Wednesday, January 18, 2006

#391 nick in japan

Will made the point about shooting at 39mm, and it reminded me about the hype that prevails about the "X" factors,it really burns me up that camera and lens manufacturers tout the so-called wide numbers of, mostly nowadays, about 38mm (35mm equivilent)! In actuality, distortion in an image will become apparent below 35mm, and normal perspective will remain up to the high 50s, some say to 60mm. That tells me that when you get a camera with ranges within those sizes, you will get an image nearly the same as what you see with your eyes, and that isn't enough to keep us happy! Not alot of makers will produce wider than 38mm , or so, that is why when you can get a 28mm, or wider, you will be able to do those wide shots you dream about.
Those are the advantages of the LX-1, or the Kodak you are admiring! Put a price on that, and also IS, 16x9, and you see why I love the LX... The Kodak has superior sensor/s, and the extra-wide lens advantage, plus, with the increase in image quality, blow-ups will be alot easier with the Kodak vs the LX.
Sorry to ramble, had to get that out before I hit the rack!

2:39 pm - Wednesday, January 18, 2006

#392 nick in japan

Correction to #389... I meant to say "pitch" instead of "yaw", Gomenasai!

3:11 pm - Wednesday, January 18, 2006

#393 GARY POGODA

I would much rather have the LX1's 4x zoom starting at 28mm, than
the V570's 23mm + 3x zoom starting at 39mm. I just recently found
a couple of printers with red-eye reduction built-in. If I could find one
with noise reduction (and red-eye reduction) built-in, that would make
the LX1 a more plausible camera choice (for my wife).

9:39 pm - Wednesday, January 18, 2006

#394 MarkT

Gary - how long have you been searching for the ideal camera for your wife?
I don't think she's ever going to get that camera :)
You are going to have to compromise on something in you spec. list - the perfect camera hasn't been made yet.

12:37 am - Thursday, January 19, 2006

#395 nick in japan

Mark T... I think Gary is really not married and from his genious, has devised this senerio to keep alot of folks thinking about the compact camera world, thus maybe increasing interest which results in increased product sales.....Maybe!

12:55 am - Thursday, January 19, 2006

#396 GARY POGODA

Okay, Nick, that does it. I'm officially crossing you off our anniversary
party guest list.

Seriously though, there's a fine line between compromise and settling
for something you do not really want. If my wife's camera hadn't died
recently, there is no question in my mind that I would have passed on
purchasing a camera for her birthday, and would have waited until our
anniversary in June.

The V550 looked interesting, but it was not really what I was looking for.
Now that I have found out (thanks to NightHawk) about printers having
built-in automatic red-eye reduction, that eliminates the most restrictive
requirement from my camera spec list, and opens up a number of new
possibilities for consideration.

The fact that my wife would love one of those printers for her birthday,
makes it a little easier to justify waiting at least until after PMA to buy a
camera, and maybe even until our anniversary in June.

In the meantime, I can always borrow back the Canon PowerShot G3
we gave to my father, or I can take my good friend Nick up on his offer
to borrow his spare LX1. :)

1:26 am - Thursday, January 19, 2006

#397 nick in japan

The offer stands! But, I'm a bit worried about "automatic" red-eye removal! I cant visualize an automatic system to properly remove red spots without corrupting/ compromising the reds within the picture proper. I trust your research has given you the incentive to go down that road..
If you want to talk, on a personal level, download the free SKYPE program, and give me a free conversation. I talk on SKYPE everyday, around the world, free, it's , well, wonderful. Reach me at pkonisdbonus8205, I'm usually here nowadays due to the weather after taking wife and kids to school. Soon the plum blossoms will be out and I wont return till near noon.

2:33 am - Thursday, January 19, 2006

#398 GARY POGODA

Some automatic red-eye removal is better than others in terms of the
elimination of false red-eye detection, detection and then replacement
of the true red-eye pixels, and color matching of the replaced red-eye
pixels with the surrounding pixels; however, even the worst of these is
still preferable to the original red-eye.

From what I have read about the Kodak and HP in-camera algorithms
for red-eye removal, which presumably are the same algorithms used
in their printers, Kodak removes the red-eye more effectively than HP,
which makes me lean towards the Kodak printer, even though the HP
printer does 5" x 7" and 4" x 12" prints, in addition to 4" x 6", and also
has an adaptive lighting feature which brings out details in dark areas
of the image, a built-in 1.5 GB HD for picture storage, and an optional
rechargeable battery or 12 V car adapter power source.

However, the Kodak has a 3.5" LCD compared to 2.5" for the HP, and
it has an enhanced (vivid) color mode which I think will be more useful
than the HP adaptive lighting. The main advantage of the Kodak printer
is that it uses dye-transfer printing for higher longevity than HP's inkjet
printing.

Any thoughts?

6:39 am - Thursday, January 19, 2006

#399 nick in japan

Too many things to reply on here, I keep going back to the original "need" of an auto redeye reduction process as being paramount for your wife. This doesn't compute for me because, well, it means that you plan on going from camera to printer without a program to do tweaking. My confusion is that redeye is only one tweak that most pictures need to be suitable for printing...I sincerely believe that a program like Photoshop is JUST as important as the camera and the printer. I can help you/your wife with Photoshop, no problem. There are alot of particulars that cannot be discussed here, as, this is not a private blog. Please consider doing the SKYPE thing and talking with me, anytime. I am usually here from noon on, hit the rack around 2300 Japan time.
I cannot comment on printers other than I have been delighted with the dye-transfer of my Sony DPP EX-5. My old inkjet Lexmark has not been kind to me and we would be divorcing if it wasn't for the great scans it does! I will probably be getting a Canon scanner soon, THEN the Lexmark will take a trip to the Recycle Site on the Base!!

7:43 am - Thursday, January 19, 2006

#400 GARY POGODA

For 99.9% of her pictures, all she wants or needs is red-eye removal,
color enhancement, zoom, cropping, rotation, and 4" x 6" prints. The
remaining 0.1% may require additional tweaking and/or enlargement,
for which she has Photoshop on the Mac, plus the Epson Stylus Photo
R800 which produces gorgeous 8" x 10" prints. If she needs anything
larger, she'll have it printed professionally.

That is her modus operandi. A Kodak EasyShare Photo Printer 500 will
facilitate matters tremendously. I thank you for your generous offer of
help but I think we've got it covered ... although there still seems to be
one piece missing, but for the life of me, I cannot remember what it is. :)

10:13 am - Thursday, January 19, 2006