- Created on 16 August 2010
Following in the footsteps of the CX1 and CX2 compact cameras from Ricoh, the Ricoh CX3 boasts more improvements over the CX2 camera with 720p HD video recording, and also a 10.6 megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor which is designed to improve low light performance, dynamic range and colour depth.
The build of the camera is excellent with a strong black metal casing and whilst not tiny (101.5 x 58.3 x 29.4mm) only weighs 206g with the battery and card installed. The camera is nice and easy to hold with a rubber handgrip on the front and a rubber thumbpiece at the rear for good grip. Menu navigation is easy due to it's intuitive design allowing easy selection and manipulation using the scroll wheel and thumbpad button and the size of the three-inch 920k monitor makes options easy to read. Whilst taking photos there is a handy little level indicator that makers sure all your shots are true.
As with the majority of cameras there are a number of scene modes, including a skew correction mode that makes taking photos of documents simple with the software compensating for the angle of the shot and a pets mode that turns off the flash, AF auxiliary light, and operation sounds to avoid startling your pet as well as the Dynamic Range Double Shot mode that takes two shots at different exposures and combines them to attempt to give something approaching a native-eye impression.
The 1280 x 720 HD video recording does an excellent job, recording 30fps with relatively good mono audio reproduction and a 2.8x digital zoom is available to use (the optical zoom is unavailable during video shooting as with other similar compact cameras).
In both single shot and continuous mode the camera shot to shot times are fast, meaning that you shouldn't miss your photo. The autofocus relies on a nine point analysis of the image and this makes the autofocus very fast and accurate (even in low light conditions aided by the autofocus assist lamp) and the flash is powerful enough to light up even the darkest room. Image quality from the Ricoh CX3 is excellent and certainly on a par with other similarly priced compacts (such as the Panasonic Lumix TZ7) providing good colour reproduction, with accurate white balance and exposure as would be expected using the autofocus. As with other similar compacts the image quality is excellent at lower ISOs (up to 400) with a steady loss of detail upwards of 800 ISO.
If you want a bullet proof compact with excellent features and image quality the Ricoh CX3 is certainly one to consider and is certainly reasonably priced at ~£260 (at the time of writing).
Amazon: Ricoh CX3 Digital Camera