Ricoh CX3 review
Review Date : Wed, 31 Mar 2010
Author : Paul Nuttall
Ricoh's latest CX model features an improved sensor, but does that mean improved results?
|Pros:||LCD screen, Design, HD video addition|
|Cons:||No Raw capture, lack of manual control|
Ricoh certainly haven't hung around recently when it comes to updating their digital compact cameras. The first model in the CX series debuted towards the start of 2009, with the CX2 following a little more than six months after. This circa six-month launch regime continues with the latest addition, the new Ricoh CX3. One of the issues with launching a new model in a series with such regularity is that the manufacturer leaves itself open to criticism unless the range is sufficiently refreshed. Has Ricoh achieved it with its latest model, or is it much as the same as what went before?
When perusing the specification of the CX3, what instantly strikes you is that, indeed, much remains the same as before. However, one of the main changes comes in the important area of the camera's sensor. A new 10MP CMOS sensor features which, much like many other cameras on the market, is back-illuminated. This back-illumination offers the promise of increased shooting performance in low-light scenes - a feature that will be aided by the improved noise reduction utilising the algorithm seen on the GR Digital III.
Another area that sees an improvement is video capture - the Ricoh CX3 now joins the club of compact cameras offering full HD video capture, itself featuring in 1280 x 720 pixel resolution.
Outside of the new sensor and HD video addition, a lot of the specification remains the same. The CX3 offers the same 10.7x optical zoom, with a range of 28-300mm in 35mm equivalent terms. The eye-catching 3in, 920k-dot VGA LCD screen is also carried on, placing it amongst the highest-specified compact cameras in that department.
Ricoh, however, has overlooked some additions that may indeed have been welcomed. The CX3 still only offers capture in conventional JPEG format, with RAW files capture still absent. Also, while boasting its own incarnation of the fashionable ‘Smart Auto' capture mode, as well as a range of storable setting locations, the CX3 is still lacking the full manual mode one would expect from a camera with pretentions of a semi-serious shooter. In the place where one would normally expect there to be a manual mode on a camera of this level are a few interesting shooting modes.
The CX3 offers an HDR blending shooting mode, whereby two individual shots are captured at once and then combined to cover a complete exposure of the scene. It also offers several in-camera processing modes including a tilt-shift emulating ‘miniaturisation' mode.