Ricoh Caplio GX
Review Date: July 19th 2004
(out of 5 stars)
The Ricoh Caplio GX builds on the strengths of the Ricoh Caplio RX, G4 and G4wide models, resulting in a camera that is exceptionally easy to use and which instantly feels "right". The 28-85mm wide lens makes it 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 GX will never leave you waiting around. The major thing from a features and handling point of view that was lacking in the previous Caplio RX, namely full 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 - separate Aperture-priority, Shutter-priority and Manual modes would have really added to the camera's appeal.
The second and most disappointing aspect of the Capilo GX is once again image-quality, which has proved to be a thorn in the side of all the Ricoh models that I have reviewed. Whilst the camera is a joy to operate, the actual images themselves are only just about adequate, being very similar to those from the Caplio RX. Large amounts of chromatic aberrations are present in high-contrast situations, the colours are a little on the dull side and noise is very apparent at ISO 400 and faster. If only Ricoh could have improved the image quality, they would have had a winner on their hands, but sadly I can't quite recommend the Caplio GX because of this major stumbling block. Ricoh have improved the handling of their Caplio series by adding aperture/manual control - next time they need to concentrate on what the camera is actually recording.