Ricoh unveils its HZ15 compact camera, which promises great shooting versatility thanks to a wide-angle lens with a 15x optical zoom

Ricoh Imaging Company says the new HZ15’s powerful optical 15x zoom lens will cover focal lengths from 24mm wide-angle to 360mm super-telephoto.

This is an impressive range and should make the HZ15 a versatile shooting companion for a wide variety of situations.

The HZ15 will even offer limited macro capabilities, with a minimum focal distance of 3cm from the subject.

Image: The Ricoh HZ15’s 15x optical zoom lens at full extension

Its telephoto capabilities are augmented by CCD-shift-type Shake Reduction (SR) mechanism, which Ricoh says will deliver sharp, blur-free images even when under shake-prone shooting conditions.

Image: The HZ15’s SR capabilities should help its performance in low light

The HZ15 captures images with 16 effective megapixels of resolution, and the 3-inch LCD monitor with approximately 230,000 dots allows the user to easily review his or her results.

HD-quality video capture is possible on the HZ15, at a size of 1280×720 pixels. The camera’s sophisticated SR mechanisms also transfer to video mode, with Movie SR specifically designed to reduce camera shake during movie recording.

Image: The 3-inch rear LCD screen on the Ricoh HZ15

The HZ15 also comes with 20 Scene modes to optimise settings for a particular scene or subject. It features an in-body recharging system and is compatible with EYe-Fi wireless LAN SD memory cards.

Ricoh have been behind some impressive products recently, including the recent Ricoh GR which we awarded 93%. Matt Golowczynski’s main criticism of the GR was its lacklustre video quality, and this looks to have been corrected for the HZ15.

The Ricoh HZ15 will be available at the end of September 2013. Its retail price is still to be confirmed.