Price (RRP): $599
Reviewer: Byer Gair
You can easily be misled by the dearth of controls on a digicam: too few and you rightly think it’s a simple point and shooter, useful only for family snapshots.
The Ricoh Caplio 6 is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. It’s slender in proportions, easy to pocket and comes in three colours: silver, black and red. There are few controls visible, but there’s a heap of powerful features just waiting for you! And they’re all hidden away in the LCD finder’s menu.
The R6 can capture a total of 7.24 million pixels on its CCD; the maximum image size is 3072 x 2304 pixels, large enough to make a 35 x 26 cm print or enough loose area to crop out unwanted detail. Movies can be shot with a resolution of 640 x 480 pixels at 30 fps.
The 7.1x optical zoom lens is stabilised with the help of a CCD-shift system that counteracts handshake. The zoom range is equivalent to 28-200mm in a 35 SLR film camera – quite a useful spread to use for family shots or to capture close ups in sports at a distance.
Now for the clever bits: the camera’s face recognition mode automatically recognises and identifies faces in a shot while differentiating faces from other objects. Once recognised, focus, exposure and white balance are automatically adjusted to suit, even if the face is not in centre of frame. With more than one person in the pictureÂ – anywhere up to 4Â – the system will maximise the group as a whole.
There’s an over-exposure detection system – White Saturation Highlight DisplayÂ – that finds any over-exposed areas of a picture and then illuminates these areas on the LCD viewing screen. At this point you can compensate exposure in-camera, therefore saving critical image detail.
Internet image fans will appreciate a mode that commands the camera to record two image sizesÂ – high and low – at the time of capture. This means you can send an image with a small file size across the Internet while also have the ability to make good quality prints.
A new flash mode, Auto Soft Flash, prevents wash out in shots taken at close range and macro mode. This is a common problem with flash used close up.
Like many cameras in its bracket the Ricoh R6 has scene presets that can ease the pain for less confident photographers. The presets can handle sports, portraits, night shots, plus more. There’s also a preset to straighten buildings with sloping sides. And there are modes to convert your shots into B&W and sepia.
The camera starts up quite quickly: you can be shooting your first shot within two seconds of turning on the power.
The R6’s lens has little distortion evident and that is only seen at the zoom’s wide angle setting in the form of some barrel distortion. In spite of this, the camera takes shots with good colour saturation, and of course they’re pin sharp.
At the price, a seven times zoom and seven million pixels of picture quality makes the R6 a good deal.
For stockists of Ricoh cameras, call 1300 363 741, or click here to fill in a form online and have Ricoh contact you.