Digital Cameras: Ricoh CX5 Digital Compact Camera

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Ricoh-CX5 black front openIntroduction:

We reviewed the Ricoh CX3 camera around about a year ago, and although we missed the CX4 which was released about six months later, we managed to get our hands on the Ricoh CX5 for review. Since the last review things haven't radically changed, except that the overall size has been slightly reduced and that hybrid auto focus has been implemented, continue reading for more information.

Specifications:

 

Sensor
• 1/2.3" Type CM
• 10.00 million effective pixels
• 10.60 total pixels

Image sizes
• 3648 x 2736
• 3648 x 2432
• 2736 x 2736
• 3648 x 2048
• 2592 x 1944
• 2048 x 1536
• 1728 x 1296 (Multi-Picture only)
• 1280 x 960
• 640 x 480

Movie clips
• 1280 x 720
• 640 x 480
• 320 x 240

Text
• 3648 x 2736
• 2048 x 1536

File formats
• JPEG (Exif v2.3)
• CIPA DC-007-2009 Multi-Picture Format
• AVI (Open DML Motion JPEG Format compliant)
• WAVE (Sound Files)

Lens
• 28 - 300mm (35mm equiv) With Step Zoom set: 28mm, 35mm, 50mm, 85mm, 105mm, 135mm, 200mm, and 300mm
• f = 4.9-52.5mm
• 10.7x optical zoom
• F3.5-5.6
• Lens Construction: 10 elements in 7 groups (aspheric lens: 4 elements and 5 surfaces)

Digital zoom up to 4.8x

Focus Contrast AF method with AF auxiliary light
• Multi
• Spot
• Face-priority
• Multi

Contrast AF method
• Subject-tracking AF
• Multi-target AF

Fixed focus method
• Manual Focus
• Snap

Focus distance Closest focus distance 1 cm

Metering
• Multi (256 segments)
• Centre Weighted Light Metering
• Spot

ISO sensitivity
• Auto
• ISO 80
• ISO 100
• ISO 200
• ISO 400
• ISO 800
• ISO 1600
• ISO 3200

Exposure compensation +/- 2EV in 1/3 stop increments

Auto Bracketing +/- 5EV

Shutter speed • 8 sec-1/1200 sec

• Movie : 1/30 - 1/2000 sec.

Shooting modes
• Auto
• Movie
• Scene auto
• Scene
• My Settings
• Continuous mode
• Creative shooting modes

Scene modes
• Portrait
• Discreet
• Night. Portrait
• Night Landscape
• Multi-shot
• Sports
• Landscape
• Zoom Macro
• Pets
• Skew Correct
• High Sensitivity
• Text
• Fireworks
• Cooking
• Golf Swing Continuous Mode

Ricoh-CX5 black back closeCreative shooting modes
• Dynamic Range
• Double Shot
• Miniaturize
• High Contrast B&W
• Soft Focus
• Cross Process
• Toy Camera

White balance
• Auto
• Multi-Pattern
• Outdoors
• Cloudy
• Incandescent
• Incandescent 2
• Fluorescent
• Manual
• White Balance Bracket

Self timer
• 2 or 10sec
• Custom

Continuous shooting
• Approx 5 fps

Flash
• Auto, Red-eye-Reduction, Flash On, Slow Synchro, Flash Off
• Range : Approx. 20 cm - 4.0 m (Wide), approx. 28 cm -3.0m (Telephoto)
• Flash Compensation (+/-2.0EV (1/3EV Steps)

LCD monitor
• 3.0" TFT
• 920,000 pixels

Connectivity
• USB Hi-Speed
• Micro HDMI
• AV out (PAL / NTSC switchable)

Storage
• Internal memory 40MB
• SD, SDHC

Power Rechargeable Battery DB-100

Weight (no batt) 176 g

Dimensions 102 x 58 x 29 mm

Review:

For a full description of the camera inlcuding our opinions on image quality etc, make sure to take a look at our previous review of the CX3 here as the actual guts of the camera are essentially the same.

Ricoh-CX5 black top closeThe Ricoh CX5 feels somewhat smaller than the CX3, and also weighs a little less making it easier to carry around with you.  The presentation of the buttons has been changed to make them blend in somewhat with the actual chassis (a matt black on the unit we reviewed) as opposed to the CX3 where the buttons mainly stood out in chrome.  The chassis itself, however, has retained the strong metal construction which gives the compact camera a really solid feel.  Otherwise the external face of the camera is the same, with a similar sized LCD, the same button controls etc.

As with the CX3 the CX5 sports 10.7X optical zoom with a super resolution enhanced 4.7X digital zoom that helps improve images taken under digital zoom. Various image modes are available in two preset 'My setting modes', 'creative shooting mode', 'scene auto mode' and manual 'scene mode', 'continuous mode', 'video mode' and an 'auto shooting mode'.  Throughout autofocus is fast (and faster than the Ricoh CX3) with the new hybrid AF function reducing time between images.  Despite this, there is still no 'RAW' capture mode and no way of manually controlling settings.

Image quality is excellent even with macro mode shooting, video recording provides a resonable output as would be expected from a compact camera. The menu system is easy and intuitive to use for both selecting shooting options and image processing.  The battery can provide up to 280 shots in one sitting which should be more than enough for the average user.

Price:

£210 (at the time of writing)

Verdict:

4/5 - The price of the Ricoh CX5 prices it alongside many of the top end compacts (Panasonic Lumix TZ20 etc.) which give comparable image and video quality. Ultimately in this price bracket the choice is most likely going to come down to personal brand choice for the minimal differences between these forerunners, and in our opinion the Ricoh CX5 offers good value for money as regards both build quality and features.