Ricoh Caplio GX88
Review Date: October 13th 2005
(out of 5 stars)
The Ricoh Caplio GX8 is a frustrating camera. It's one of the most usable, intuitive and well-designed digital cameras that I have ever reviewed. At the same time, however, the images that it produces are some of the worst that I have ever seen. Large amounts of chromatic aberrations are present in many varied situations, including those where you wouldn't expect to see it, and noise is very apparent at ISO 200 and faster. If only Ricoh could have improved the image quality, they would have had a winner on their hands, but sadly the introduction of that 8 megapixel sensor has just made the image quality worse than it was on the previous 5 megapixel GX camera (which wasn't great anyway).
The 28-85mm wide lens does make the Ricoh Caplio GX8 stand out from the crowd of digital cameras that only go as wide as 35mm, and the sheer speed of its operation means that the Caplio GX8 will never leave you waiting around. Control over aperture and shutter speed has been added by Ricoh, but unfortunately it doesn't allow as much control as many photographers will demand. I think this is something of a missed opportunity by Ricoh (again) - separate Aperture-priority, Shutter-priority and Manual modes would have really added to the camera's appeal.
Ultimately the Ricoh Caplio GX8 just goes to proves that increasing the number of megapixels without increasing the sensor size inevitably leads to poorer image quality. It may be a great camera on paper, but in reality the photographs that it produces simply let it down.
PhotographyBLOG is a member of the DIWA organisation. Our test results for the Ricoh Caplio GX88 have been submitted to DIWA for comparison with test results for different samples of the same camera model supplied by other DIWA member sites.