Ricoh Caplio GX100 Review

Review Date: June 20th 2007
Author: Mark Goldstein

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Page 1
Introduction / Ease of Use
Page 2
Image Quality
Page 3
Sample Images
Page 4
Design
Page 5
Specifications
Page 6
Conclusion

Conclusion


Ratings (out of 5)
Design
5
Features
5
Ease-of-Use
5
Image Quality
4.5
Value for Money
4

The Ricoh Caplio GX100 is an excellent attempt to satisfy the needs of what is quickly becoming something of a niche market - a pocketable compact camera with advanced options for the thinking photographer. At a time when most manufacturers are deliberately curtailing their high-end compacts in some way - both Nikon and Canon don't provide a RAW mode in the P-5000 and G7 respectively, for example - Ricoh have moved in the opposite direction by making the GX100 as full-featured as possible. The other main specification improvement that I can think of would be a larger, APS-C sized sensor, and it will certainly be interesting to see how Sigma's soon to be released DP1 will fare with its Foveon sensor. For now, the Ricoh GX100 leaps into pole position as a great alternative or backup to a DSLR camera. With a wealth of shooting options, great scope for personal customisation, effective optical image stabilisation system, and the clever employment of Adobe's DNG RAW format, the GX100 should satisfy the needs of most photographers.

There are a few downsides to consider, principally the level of noise at ISO 400 and faster, and depending on how deep your pockets are, the price. Ricoh have always chosen the route of "less reduction, more noise", maintaining image detail but displaying more artifacts at slower ISO speeds than some of their competitors. Consequently images are noisy both onscreen and in prints at ISO 400 and faster. In all other respects the image quality is very good, with very little sign of chromatic aberrations, good overall exposure if you dial in some negative exposure compensation, a fantastic 1cm macro mode, powerful built-in flash and up to 3 minute long exposure times. With a current UK price tag of 349 for the camera only, and 399 for the VF-1 kit, the GX100 is more expensive than some 6 megapixel entry level DSLRs with kit lens, never-mind the 10 megapixel compact competition, so you'll need to be pretty keen on the GX100's unique features for it to make any kind of financial sense. The GX100 is also not the most compact of cameras when the VF-1 electronic viewfinder or 19mm wide-angle conversion lens are fitted, but these are at least optional accessories that you can remove as and when required.

So overall, if you can live with the noisy ISO 400 setting and high price, the Ricoh GX100 is one of the best compact cameras yet for the discerning shutterbug. A real joy to use, quick to respond and offering a veritable treasure trove of advanced features, the GX100 definitely comes highly recommended.

Page 1
Introduction / Ease of Use
Page 2
Image Quality
Page 3
Sample Images
Page 4
Design
Page 5
Specifications
Page 6
Conclusion

DIWAPhotographyBLOG is a member of the DIWA organisation. Our test results for the Ricoh Caplio GX100 have been submitted to DIWA for comparison with test results for different samples of the same camera model supplied by other DIWA member sites.