Ricoh Caplio R4

February 23, 2006 | Mark Goldstein | Digital Compact Cameras, PMA Show 2006 | 25 Comments | |

Ricoh Caplio R4PMA 2006: The Ricoh Caplio R4 is announced today. 6 megapixels, 7x zoom lens, 2.5 inch LCD screen, Vibration Correction function. The Ricoh R4 will be available from March for £249.99.

Ricoh UK Press Release

London –UK February 23rd 2006. – Ricoh has announced the release of the new Caplio R4 compact digital camera featuring a 7.1x optical wide zoom, (28–200 mm in 35 mm camera format), the largest in the compact class* and vibration correction function. With a smaller body, the new Ricoh R4, has a 7.1x (28—200 mm) wide-angle, high-powered zoom lens, the biggest in its class. Building on the highly successful R3, the new Ricoh R4 boasts 6 megapixels, longer battery life and a high resolution LCD. The R4 will be available in both Black and Silver.

Main Features of the Caplio R4

New 6.04 million square pixel CCD.
- Often used icons can be enlarged for greater visibility.
- The brightness of the LCD can be increased to maximum with a single touch and visibility can be adjusted to suit well-lighted areas.
- The CCD is effective up to 6.04 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.

The long-life rechargeable battery, a standard accessory, lets you shoot approx. 330 pictures.
- Thanks to the power-saving features of the internal circuit, it is possible to capture up to 330 separate images under CIPA standards using the standard accessory rechargeable battery even while using the large LCD display. (310 pictures for the Caplio R3).

New improved 2.5-inch large-scale LCD, with 150,000-pixel resolution.
- The Caplio R4 has an easy-to-see 2.5-inch large-scale LCD monitor with improved resolution (150,000 pixels compared to 110,000 for the Caplio R3).
- 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.
- Often used icons can be enlarged for greater visibility.
- The brightness of the LCD can be increased to maximum with a single touch and visibility can be adjusted to suit well-lighted areas.

7.1x wide zoom lens, largest in its class, in a lightweight 135g, 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 highly versatile Caplio R4 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 a CCD shift method.
- Whenever it detects excessive camera motion, the vibration correction system, based on a newly developed 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 R4 shows its effectiveness best in high-powered telephoto, macro, or indoor shots without using flash. Once again the vibration correction system allows for sharp images that would not be possible otherwise.

The macro function, a Ricoh specialty, has been further strengthened.
- The camera’s macro mode, can take a macro shot of an object from just 1 cm away.
- The 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.

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. 0.09 seconds 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 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.

A 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 R4 will be available from March RRP £ 249.99 inc

Caplio R4 Major Specifications

CCD Effective 6.04 million square pixels (6.04 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)

?2816 x 2112?2784 x 1856?2048 x 1536?1280 x 960?640 x 480

2816 x 2112?2048 x 1536

320 x 240?160 x 120
Picture Mode*1
F(Fine)/N (Normal)
ISO Sensitivity AUTO/64,100,200,400,800
? 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)/ Centre 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?2816 x 2112 (F: 13,N: 22), 2784 x 1856 (F: 14) 2048 x 1536 (F: 18,N36), 1280 x 960 (F: 33,N63), 640x480(N: 277)
Storage Capacity
(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??2816 x 2112 F: approx. 1.83MB N: approx. 1.06MB, 2784 x 1856 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 ? 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.

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.

* 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.

Ricoh Caplio R4

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I would hardly call 2.5" @ 150K pixels, a "high-resolution" LCD, and the
extra 20 pictures of battery capacity is not even worth mentioning. Just
what we needed though, another megapixel. Thanks for listening, Ricoh.

1:37 pm - Thursday, February 23, 2006

#2 Paul

This one sounds interesting Gary. I'e saw that you weren't that impressed with the R3, what do you think of this one?

How is Ricoh's reputation for image quality, any problems?

Looking at the specs I may have to add this to my list of FX01 and F30 to consider.

untill I saw this I was going to buy an FX01 on monday, now I may have to delay again.

I like the 28mm to 200mm lens and ISO800, this is at the full 6Mp I hope. Can anyone confirm that?

LOW res LCD for sure, but probably good enough for me.

Any thing you can tell me about Ricoh Digital cameras ie, good points, bad points I would appreciate.

I only have about 40mb download left for the month so I'm trying to make it last or I would search through all the websites myself.

2:25 pm - Thursday, February 23, 2006

#3 rui

That’s it?
After all we expected?
It seems like R3 is about to be discontinued to favour R4, IMHO… The R30 will be the low end Caplio and then R4, watt’s the advantage of keeping R3 in line? There’s no point to buy a 100€ plus similar camera… by the first impressions the improvements aren’t that much to justified the difference and the waiting, unless… is there any news about some new Sony sensor, or firmware improvements?
I just feel sorry to have wasted time waiting, R3 is good enough for me.

6:40 pm - Thursday, February 23, 2006

#4 rui

Oops, sorry to have mentioned “Sony sensor”… I remember to have read something about a new sensor but I can’t find it anymore to check the right brand…
So, there’s any news about sensor improvements, or is it the same as in R3?

6:53 pm - Thursday, February 23, 2006


Paul, it is difficult for me to give an unbiased opinion of the R4 since
I was one of several on this site that expressed great enthusiasm for
the R3, over a period of several months, while waiting for its reviews
to come out, after which, I was very disappointed for one reason, its
excessive image noise. With another megapixel added to that same
size sensor, I am not optimistic about the R4's noise, unless Ricoh's
in-camera noise reduction has miraculously and suddenly improved.
However, if you don't mind doing noise reduction in post-processing
on the computer, the R4 is a tempting camera.

Obviously, Rui is not very optimistic either.

For information on the R3's noise problem, you can check out these
PhotographyBLOG links.

Mark's Image Quality section from his R3 review:

The comments on Mark's review of the R3:

The sample photos for Mark's R3 review:

The comments on Mark's sample photos for his R3 review:

6:54 pm - Thursday, February 23, 2006

#6 Paul

Thanks Gary,

I have checked out 4 of the images including the boxes.

I used noise ninja and Photoshop unsharp mask on the boxes and it came out quite acceptable.
The stairs only had noise in the shadows and that cleaned up with Noise Ninja.
A river scene shot only needed the sky cleaned up and funniest of all, the highest ISO shot I downloaded at ISO 200 showed no noise that I could see.

It would help a lot if the ISO speeds were listed under the thumbnails, as it is just pot luck what you get.

I have shots from the Canon S80 which show as much noise as the boxes but at ISO 200, the ISO 400 shot from the S80 is terrible.

This is where the Fuji F11 is unbeatable, and hopefully the F30 is as good or better.

I need a new camera for my holidays in acouple of weeks, so as the F30 is 2 or 3 months away I think I will go ahead and get the FX01, it is already advertised on my local camera shops website, it worries me a little though, as the FX9 is supposed to be quite noisey at ISO 200 and above. The higest ISO shot I have found from the FX9 is only ISO125.
Many reviewers don't seem to post the high ISO shots from the cameras they test which is a little frustrating as that is the critical thing too know.

I guess I am just too damn fussy. :)

10:35 pm - Thursday, February 23, 2006


You might want to check the sample photos from Mark's LZ5 review.
I think (based on size and total megapixels) it's the same CCD that's
used in the FX01.

11:13 pm - Thursday, February 23, 2006

#8 athiel

Has the R4 a AF light?
It seems that the R3 has problems focusing at low light situations.

11:58 am - Friday, February 24, 2006


Just like the R3, the R4 uses a brief pre-flash (similar to the red-eye
reduction pre-flash) for its AF assist light.

1:29 pm - Friday, February 24, 2006

#10 rui

I can’t find Ricoh cameras in a local store in Portugal, I have to order from an European web dealer. I ordered R2, but after 4 weeks without an answer I realised that they didn’t have a single supplier for this brand. Not assuming this fact when I asked, I cancelled the order.
From the beggining of February I’ve been checking R3 in another European web dealer, in stock. The price varied between 358€ and 333€. Today it’s marked 322€ (249€ in a store in Milan), but the silver model is suddenly “unavailable”… is there a coincidence? Well, they still have the black model, but I don’t know for how long… :-S
I’m travelling next week to Germany, so I won’t order it right now because they’d probably deliver it while I’m out. Let us see what happens in the beginning of March, but it seems that I’ll have to face the possible acquisition of this new model.:coolsmirk:
According to the press release the R3 LCD resolution lost 4000 pixels, R4 lost 3000, which looks very strange to me. But I don’t know if this number of pixels makes any difference.
About the AF light, yes there is a mention in the specifications, and Gary already explained it. I read some reviews and comments about it and some people didn’t manage to figure how it worked, but it seems to me that they preferred to talk about it instead of checking the camera’s instructions, like in so many other things…
Problems focusing at low light situations? I have them too, without a camera, I mean. Most of the cameras and people have the same problem, all we can see is light. ;-)

1:51 pm - Friday, February 24, 2006

#11 Paul

Thanks Gary, I downloaded 5 of the pics and they look pretty good. A bit soft in the corners maybe, but not too bad.
Noise is low, but they are all ISO 80. I wish the ISO, shutter and aperture data was written below the thumbnails. There is only one shot with fairly bright colours, but it looks quite vivid. No portraits or group shots, which is my main use, never mind.

In the review Mark said that ISO 200 was quite noisy and 400 bad noise, it's amazing Panasonic keep producing these cameras with such abysmal medium and high ISO performance.

One more round to Fuji's F11, F30. :)

I wish it wasn't still acouple of months away, as I need a new camera fairly soon.

5:11 pm - Friday, February 24, 2006


Have you looked into the Fuji V10, which I think is just now becoming
available? Like the F30, it is also designed for low-light situations and
even takes two photos at once, one with flash and one without.

It has only a 5th generation, 1/2.5" CCD, so its high ISO will not be as
usable as the F30, but it does have the advantage of a 3.0" LCD, that
is also a touch-screen. I am not sure if it has an AF assist lamp, which
would be unfortunate if it does not. But it does have 3.4x zoom.

It has no manual features, but it is extremely stylish and ultra-compact,
which I think your wife would just love. :)

6:42 pm - Friday, February 24, 2006

#13 Wolfie

I don't quite understand why they have bothered to release a new model which does little more than add a megapixel when the primary weakness' of the R3 (I have one) are (1) Noise and (2) Low light focus. Unless they have replaced the CCD the shortcomings will be even more apparent! Otherwise the R3 is a good camera for the price. More of my opinions here :

6:00 pm - Tuesday, February 28, 2006

#14 mtchairs

Does anyone know when the r4 will be appearing in the shops? Is a March release date still on the cards?

I've been looking for a compact camera with a large optical zoom. Is there anything else available with similar specs that can be recommended?

12:57 am - Sunday, March 12, 2006

#15 Alex B

I wanted to get the R3 this weekend, but now i am hesitating...

what is the advantage of the R4 against the R3 ?

- better LCD
- 1 Megapixel extra

That's it?
Are there any reviews available (i couldn't find any).


12:12 pm - Tuesday, March 14, 2006

#16 rui

Hi Alex!
I order R3 yesterday. The price is better, and now I’m searching info about R3 user's setup.
Sure R4 will be better, with a new sensor (??), but reviews will take a little time, and probably will stick to “noise” Ricoh’s reputation, no matter what…
So, R3 is good enough for me. I feel sorry to not have order it about two months ago.
Good luck to you!

12:33 pm - Tuesday, March 14, 2006

#17 hcm


i owned R2 . I did like it specially for wide angle but: the noise problem (which seems less then R3, with much more luminance noise). I heard that the ne Sony ccd should be more sensitive, so i hope that the noice could be even less.
here some pics:

pics seems little noisy too, but its is a differend kind of noise, fine one and easy to fix with neat image

I use now a f10, with all the pros, but i need a wide angle pocket camera, for my architecture study.


1:48 am - Thursday, March 16, 2006

#18 hcm

or here:

1:57 am - Thursday, March 16, 2006

#20 Alex B

Hi everyone

Rui thanks for the pictures.
Samples are sometimes noisy.

I am going to buy the R4, but shop in Germany called to say delivery was postponed for undefined time...

Aren't any other users with pics?


2:51 pm - Friday, March 31, 2006

#21 rui

Hi Alex!
You can find more samples from the same user in dpreview. I must say that this Ricoh cameras have to be adjusted, it’s possible to make better than in the first shot’s with the default cameras. Look for info about that in R3/R4 threads.
You’re welcome to see some of my R3 photos here, they’re unprocessed, so you will see them as they came out of the camera:

I’m quite satisfied with this camera and don’t regret for buying it instead of R4. It’s a matter of wants and need’s equation.

Good luck to you!

3:55 pm - Friday, March 31, 2006

#22 Alex B


I am suprised again by the pictures. And they are unprocessed???!

Then i would be double surprised.

What do you think that the real difference is between R3 and R4?


8:28 pm - Friday, March 31, 2006

#23 rui

Yep! Unprocessed, and the first ones, in the Tejo river, just out of the box, without even knowing what to do with my fingers on it... with the default settings of course.
... Oops, the macro photo with the fork was cropped. I have to go there and make that reference... sorry. :red:
Even without any experience with digital photography, and after all the talk about noise and bad image quality, it was quite a pleasant surprise to me too.
You can see one of them adjusted here (I hope this works):
As I understand, the monitor quality can make a big difference too, I see lots of details on the night photo of the elevator without any adjustment.
R3xR4? I can’t answer to your question. I can only compare the list of features. But play attention in the next days, here or in dpreview, because there’s a few guys who ordered R4. There will be more results soon.
Have fun!

9:51 pm - Friday, March 31, 2006

#24 Alex B


Has anybody already ordered the Ricoh R4?
Or has it already had delivered?

Is there any bagg or case included (to put the camera away)?

Alex B

3:05 pm - Tuesday, April 11, 2006

#25 rui

Hi Alex
You can check in dpreview, in “ricoh talk” fórum. There’s a lot of recent R4 user’s information.
The case doesn’t come included for every countries. But it seems better to buy a new one.


7:22 pm - Monday, April 17, 2006