Ricoh CX1 Review

March 23, 2009 | Mark Goldstein | |

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#1 titus


thank you for the review. I will still wait for the new gx or grd cameras. But i think ricoh has done a good job. Hopefully they will sell more as the big brothers will do. But ...

Anyway, lets shot pictures. Thats photography.

Good luck to you.


11:02 pm - Monday, March 23, 2009

#2 YY

Ricoh should give up making silly cameras that shoot crappy photos and stay with making copiers.

8:15 am - Tuesday, March 24, 2009

#3 Jim

Great To see that Ricoh is making a camera with very good image quality and has made important progress in increasing dynamic range. The increased DR is a big big step that other camera manufacturers need to do as it is one of the biggest weaknesses in small sensored cameras. Kudos to Ricoh!

1:48 pm - Tuesday, March 24, 2009

#4 Florian

@Jim this is exactly my opinion!

2:19 pm - Tuesday, March 24, 2009

#5 Jim

YY is totally wrong.
Years ago Ricoh made one of the best small film cameras out there..the Ricoh GR1..with a superb lens that compared very well to the Nikon Ti28/Ti35 and the Contax T2!
Ricoh can maker great cameras and has.

2:39 pm - Tuesday, March 24, 2009

#6 Chris

I was expecting a lot from this camera. I love the 7x zoom, the anti-shake, the clever exposure and focus modes, the macro ability and the whole look and feel of the CX1 but its real claim to fame is the dynamic range enhancement function and here I feel Ricoh haven’t quite succeeded if your samples are anything to go by. Yes the dynamic range is clearly enhanced but this comes with some severe problems. In strong mode, the chromatic aberations on shadow areas that are next to bright areas are alarming. Blue has turned into green and even yellow. Also there seems to be a lot of what looks like solarization or fogging. This looks to be in the portions of the picture where light and dark exposures have been blended together. Some of the brickwork looks like someone has slapped face powder on it. All detail has been eliminated. More alarming though is the bush growing in the tub. Here sections of the plant, whole leaves and twigs, have been replaced with a flat buff colour which looks like it belongs on the wall above the plant. It no longer looks real. This problem is evident even in the weak mode. The DR feature is a great idea and kudos to Ricoh for having a go but this doesn’t look ready for prime time to me. Guess I’ll have to look at the Fuji F200EXR after all but I’m not happy. I really wanted the Ricoh to be good :-(

2:50 pm - Tuesday, March 24, 2009

#7 rob

Image quality improvement is evident and it still has more potential. Kudos to Ricoh for the initiative and a bold step in the right direction! These ideas are what we all always waited for, even though the first attempt still seems far from being fully functional and useful.

Hopefully, if/when they add the RAW file format and improve Dynamic Range algorithm, this will be my camera of choice to take with me everywhere I go (so that I don’t feel guilty not having my dSLR gear with me at all times).

11:15 pm - Tuesday, March 24, 2009

#8 YY

“Years ago Ricoh made one of the best small film cameras out there..the Ricoh GR”

Er no, Jim, I’m not TOTALLY wrong -


Oh really.

Well you’re not talking about 2009/ DIGITAL CAMERA, are you?  Precisely my point. Ricoh can, and should, stop trying to compete with rinky-dink digicams that nobody really wants. And in this economy, I am giving them good advice that there is no longer a need for them to make cameras when there are plenty of other excellent cameras companies out there doing it.

7:06 pm - Wednesday, March 25, 2009

#9 rob

That’s right, YY,

Ever since the Bible has been written, there is no need for anybody to try and write new books… Especially, in this economy!  :D

9:45 pm - Wednesday, March 25, 2009

#10 stefan

Thanks for the review Mark.

witch one do you like best the CX1 or the F200EXR?

I’m currently the happy owner of a GDR I, and I’m thinking of buying one of the above or a DP2

Thanks Stefan

5:09 pm - Thursday, March 26, 2009

#11 Erik Pearson

I’m a happy grd1 and 2 user—I’d suggest waiting for either the grd3 or, if you want zoom again, the gx300. I think both are expected in the next few months (according to those who believe Ricoh is very disciplined about release schedules), and it is expected that they will inherit some of the new CX1 features, but with the GRD/GX raw goodness, manual controls, hotshoe, etc.

7:22 pm - Thursday, March 26, 2009

#12 Kiko

well for me ricoh has totally rocked the market of digital cameras, so for the other brands, prepare for the RICOH invasion!!! HELL YEAH!!

3:20 am - Thursday, April 2, 2009

#13 taro

yep, better DR and RAW-format would make this camera soo much better…

2:26 pm - Tuesday, April 7, 2009

#14 ilikebutta

Just bought a CX1 for my wife, chosen with the aid of reviews on this website.

I love everything about the camera except for one really crucial point. The colour recognition is awful, not much better than my cameraphone. So disappointing. The colour is worse than my Nikon from 10 years ago. I’ve been thinking of taking it back and getting the FinePix 200EXR instead, which I’ve noticed has good accurate colours.

Reasons I bought it:
-Great looks. The rivals are so ugly.
-Very easy to use for a beginner (my wife) with a straight out of the box easy mode and the menu functions are simple and well laid out.
-Very fast response time and very fast zoom speed.
-Can shoot up to 120 shots in a second, of 60 over 2 seconds. Amazing toy.
-Dynamic range (DR) mode does work. But as the review says, colours are noticeably even worse than regular shots. So really you should only use it in black and white mode. DR is quite fun, easy to use and not many cameras have it yet (but again the finepix EXR is said to do it better).

I was wondering about getting a GR Digital II for myself, but now I’m not so sure.

2:35 pm - Tuesday, April 14, 2009

#15 Jimmy

If you dismiss the CX1, I’d strongly consider the Panasonic TZ7 with its HD video (you can zoom during video) and ...most importantly a very very impressive 25mm to 300mm zoom. 25mm as compared to 28 mm is a significant difference in wide angle coverage.

2:28 pm - Tuesday, May 12, 2009

#16 who is YY anyway?

whoever you are YY, you have made yourself look very silly.  not only are you rude, you provide absolutely no evidence for your claims.  you also exhibit a total lack of knowledge about current (or past) digital photography technologies or products (or film photography, for that matter).

the ricoh GRD was a great product and IMHO one that really gave ricoh a place on the current digicam map.  and they have continued to build on that platform in attempts to create better ones.

5:35 am - Saturday, May 16, 2009

#17 YY is a dumbass

YY, we all know you are a 13 year old in desperate search for attention. You don’t know shit about Ricoh’s history either.

Do us a favor- Stop posting please.

9:57 pm - Tuesday, June 9, 2009

#18 Pierre Lehu

This camera doesn’t seem to have an EVF. How problematic is that?

Also, you didn’t give the refresh rate when using the flash. It seems to be a fast enough camera using natural light, but what about indoors? How many seconds do you have to wait to take the next picture using a flash.

1:22 pm - Tuesday, June 23, 2009

#19 Mango

If you want to take good photos, instead of fiddling around with settings and looking for grain on a 30x magnified corner of pictures, then I highly recommend the CX1.

Here why I like it:

- Macro works
- Multi-focus (7 shots with different areas of focus) works for me when shooting flowers in macro…as long the camera and the flower stay still.
- My1 and My2 are time savers - I have it My1 macro w/ multi-focus shots and wide angle no flash ISO80 for night shots.
- Assignable Function key is set to auto-exposure lock
- One click access to exposure adjust and focal point cross hair - perfect in portrait mode with a shallow depth of focus
- 4fps is great if you have kids and for shooting panoramas (AEL helps)
- 120fps is great if you want slomo replays to practice sports.

With these I have a practical compromise between getting the shot in time and being creative.

3:17 pm - Sunday, July 5, 2009

#20 Mango


a few more things I like….

- that 920k dot screen is fantastic for reviewing to catch blurred photos on location.

- in manual focus mode you can show a zoomed window in the middle to fine tune the focal distance - works better than most DSLRs with lower res screens.

I keep a gorilla pod shoe on the camera at all times. The shoe works as a stand on its own when taking long exposures with the 2s timer.

3:24 pm - Sunday, July 5, 2009

#21 Dee

Thanks for the nice reviews. I plan to buy but still confused. Any one there to give me assistance on whether i should buy a ricoh cx1 or ricoh gx200? I’m not a pro but would like to learn tricks. ty

12:31 am - Monday, July 27, 2009

#22 Jimmy

The Fuji F70EXR is a very serious competitor for $100 less than the CX 1 and with a superior sensor than you can be sure will have a significantly better IQ than the CX1.
See both of the following:


1:53 am - Monday, July 27, 2009

#23 Ingemar

Interesting review! It is nice to see that Ricoh is still the exciting camera manufacurer that dares doing things different. I was a happy Ricoh user for quite some time, primarily for the RX, but the GX was somewhat worse and once I got into the R series, R1, R3, R4, it wasn’t as fun any more. The teriffic snappyness of the RX was gone. But maybe they have a new truly interesting line coming up now.

Of course, the problems with color that Chris is experiencing sound distressing.

9:55 pm - Thursday, August 13, 2009

#24 Jim

The CX1 is outclassed by some very serious competitors that have so many advantages over the CX1…from significantly superior IQ, superior DR, HD video, zooms that begin at a wider angle, lower prices, smaller/lighter bodies, better distribution and support. Basically the CX 1 was a camera produced a year too late and at too high a price for what it offers.

Look at the Fuji F70EXR, Sony DSC W1, Panasonic TZ7/TZ6, Panasonic ZR1 and you’ll find almost no reason to even consider the CX1 at $369.
For $200…you might think about it…

1:19 am - Friday, August 14, 2009

#25 ilax


is there any rival compact digital camera, which you can select the focus point manually like cx1 ?


11:28 am - Monday, September 7, 2009

#26 alatswan

I find it quite hard to understand how as soon as
ricoh improve the image quality radically the points
awarded for design and ease of use drop to 4.5from the 5 in both when the R10 was reviewed.If it is virtually identical to the R10 and adds significant
new features while retaining the same intuitive
interface it does make me wonder if a half point
had to go here and there to make sure the scores didnt come within a whisker of the LZ7.Perhaps if
the imminent cx2 is even better the same design look
will have to go down to 4.Oh by the way lumix list
in the UK £319 CX1 £299 guess which loses 0.5 for
being expensive.

9:18 pm - Monday, September 7, 2009

#27 James

I really like the look of this camera and want to buy it for a decent point and shoot.
My only issue is that I’ve been looking at the panasonic tz7 sample images on this site and comparing them with the ‘same’ shots on the ricoh - and the ricoh seems to look (drastically?) worse in every shot?

11:04 am - Sunday, September 27, 2009

#28 Jim

That is not surprising. Shouldn’t be drastic…but I would expect better from the TZ7…see the test of both cameras and read both conclusions yourself.

1:58 pm - Sunday, September 27, 2009

#29 James

I’m afraid your link doesn’t work.

9:52 pm - Sunday, September 27, 2009

#30 Julian

The “Introduction” page talks of movie modes “30 fps at 2 MP” and “super-fast 120 fps at 640x480” but this does not match the “specifications” page or the “conclusion” page which says “bog-standard 640x480 at 30 fps”.

12:28 pm - Thursday, February 25, 2010

#31 chris

This review is for people like me who in 2011 are looking for a bargain…. So is it one? Well, It is a well made little camera that in 2011 is available for under £100. 
Bad points: Low/poor light performance is awful, really unusable, if you want to take decent pictures on dull days look elsewhere. Also the Night setting is not too hot, overexposing everything.
Good points: Excellent Macro, really amazing in fact. Also 4 frames per second works well. Bracket settings are very handy.  DR gives reasonable results, but I keep forgetting to use it! Picture quality in good light is comparable to most 10 MP compacts I have used. Sometimes it can produce really excellent results, other times it’s a bit of a letdown.
Also, one little thing with mine, when the battery runs out, it just stops working! and the lens stays out! Fortunately I always have a spare.

9:01 pm - Sunday, June 26, 2011

#32 regolith

That is correct about the battery, it’s essential to have a spare and I’ve never noticed any warning before the battery gives out.
I’m looking to replace mine owing to water damage, checking out the competitors and it looks like my first choice will still be the CX1.

8:30 pm - Sunday, December 18, 2011

Entry Tags

compact, 7x zoom, 9 megapixel

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