Ricoh Caplio RX
Review Date: May 19th 2004
The Caplio RX has a 3.24-megapixel CCD that includes a vastly improved image processor, making colours look sharper and cleaner even in large printed formats. It has a 3.6x optical plus 3.4x digital zoom that delivers a combination of 12.2x zoom (equivalent to a telephoto range of 28-340mm on a regular 35mm camera). The Caplio RX's 28mm-100mm optical wide zoom lens gives an angle of view of 75 degrees, compared with just 62 degrees in conventional 35mm digital cameras. The Caplio RX has added 64 and 100 to its ISO speeds for a total ISO light-sensitivity range of 64-800.
In one second or less the Caplio RX is able to turn on and snap a photo. The shutter response is the world’s fastest in its class at just 0.12 seconds (March 2004). This time is calculated from the time the user presses the shutter button, rather than the time when focus lock is achieved. It also has the world’s fastest start-up time of a mere 0.9 seconds, a 50% improvement from the Caplio G4wide’s 1.8sec start-up ability.
The Caplio RX comes equipped with six scene modes (portrait, sports, landscape, night scene, text and high-sensitivity) that are intended to help the photographer capture various shooting situations in their best light. In high-sensitivity mode, the screen automatically illuminates subjects to aid in framing the picture in dim lighting environments.
In tricky lighting situations, the convenient auto-bracket function allows you to take three individual shots at one time at three different exposure settings. White balance bracket, on the other hand, applies tones of red, normal white, and blue to three separate images.
The Caplio RX has various continuous modes. In M-continuous mode, with the shutter button held down the camera memorises the last 16 shots in one file for two seconds of footage. In S-continuous mode, it can take a series of 16 shots in one file for two seconds of footage with just one press of the shutter button.
The Caplio RX has the ability to capture objects of 18mm(H) x 24mm (W) at a distance of just 1cm. Keep the camera still at this distance and take advantage of its auto-focus target functionality that allows you to conveniently pan around the image in order to find the desired focus point. There is a built-in flash for shots as close as 9cm that highlights objects while protecting against any unwanted whiteout effects.
The Caplio RX allows you to take up to 400 shots between recharges when using the optional rechargeable lithium-ion battery, or you can take advantage of a nearby power source and use the optional AC adapter. The Caplio RX also has the ability to switch to two AA alkaline (included) or nickel metal hydride batteries and a synchro monitor mode that conserves energy by turning the monitor on automatically only when the shutter button is pressed to preview a shot or operate the zoom.
At just 29mm thick, the Caplio RX’s curved aluminium-alloy body is designed to fit perfectly in a shirt pocket and perfectly in the hand. The Ricoh trademark "Quick Review" function, positioned next to the bright 1.8 TFT LCD monitor, conveniently displays the most recent picture taken at a simple press of a button.
The Caplio RX captures up to 120 seconds of AVI video action clips in a video size of 320x240 or 160x120 and can add "voice memo" stamps of up to eight seconds to photos. Caplio RX can also be used as a multipurpose voice recorder.
The Caplio RX comes equipped with an 8MB internal memory chip and can use optional Secure Digital memory cards. The Caplio RX is also compatible with Multimedia Cards. Transferring files to a PC is extremely easy. Simply turn off the camera and link the Caplio RX up via a USB cable. The Ricoh Gate software installed on the computer will then instantly start transferring images to an automatically created folder at a rate of three megabytes per second.
The Caplio RX kit that I reviewed contained very little in the way of accessories. In addition to the camera, there is a USB cable for downloading photos to your PC/MAC, a CD containing the Caplio RX software, a Video cable, 2 Alkaline batteries and a User Guide. There is no memory card supplied, which is pretty annoying as you can only fit 5 images on the camera's built-in 8Mb memory at the highest quality setting.