Ricoh’s new CX1 digital camera

Ricoh’s new CX1 digital camera captures everything from wide landscapes to close-up scenes, and features the double-retracting 7.1x optical wide-angle zoom lens (28-200mm) which won preceding Ricoh cameras many fans throughout the world. With continuous shooting speeds of up to 120 frames per second and a response time rivalling that of SLR cameras, catching that magical action shot at the weekend footy is also simple.

The CX1 represents a significant step forward for digital compacts as it’s the first Ricoh camera to utilise a high-speed CMOS sensor. Usually reserved for digital SLR cameras, the 9 megapixel CMOS sensor utilised in the CX1 delivers better image quality and faster operational speeds than previously possible with a traditional CCD sensor. It also enables the CX1 to offer a raft of technologically advanced new features.

One of those is the innovative dynamic range double shot mode which enhances the camera’s ability to process different light intensities. Using this mode, the CX1 takes two images with different exposures almost simultaneously then combines the best exposed parts of each image into a final recorded version. When taking photos on bright sunny days, selecting this mode will ensure the subject and the background are perfectly exposed – no whiteout in light areas and no loss of detail in dark areas. Likewise when photographing dark scenes, the CX1 will faithfully reproduce the image with the same vividness seen by the eye.

Another new feature which addresses difficult light conditions is the CX1’s multi-pattern auto white balance function. Particularly useful when using the flash to take people photos or in outdoor situations that combine sun and shade, this function enables the camera to set a white balance for each light source to deliver a more natural outcome.

Returning to the CX1 are the ever-popular macro photography functions that allow the user to shoot as close as 1cm to the subject for the wide angle and 25cm for the telephoto. However for increased ease of use, Ricoh has introduced a multi-target auto-focus function which automatically detects multiple focus points and shoots these consecutively, making it simple to capture high detail scenes such as flowers or food, where there is a narrow range for sharp focus.

While ample manual settings enable the more advanced user to exercise their creativity, the CX1 can be clicked into easy mode for the beginner, weekend shooter or party paparazzi. In this mode, the anti-shake system is enabled and the camera automatically recognises faces in portraits and group shots to ensure photos are focussed and exposed as accurately as possible. The CX1 also features an electronic level indicator which comes in handy when lining up sunrise on the ocean horizon.

When it comes time to play, review and manage the captured images, the CX1 offers a number of options. Users can instantly scroll through the images taken, view thumbnails, zoom in or out up to 16x magnification, view slideshows with audio and set the print order. Using the clever flag function, favourite or useful image files such as a train timetable or map, can be flagged for access at the touch of a button.

In addition to delete, trim, rotate and resize, the CX1’s other powerful editing functions include level compensation to correct the white balance and skew correction to alter any photo that was taken at an angle.

Capping off this feature-packed, take-anywhere camera is a tough exterior that is robust enough for the rugged holiday yet stylish enough for the social circuit. Images come alive on the 3-inch 920,000-dot VGA picture display which is protected from soiling and scratching by two hard coats. A further anti-reflection coat ensures greater visibility even outdoors in bright sunshine.

Price and availability

Available in stores now, the Ricoh CX1 comes in three colours – black, silver and champagne rose, for an RRP of $599.