Ricoh CX3 Review Image

Ricoh CX3 Review Image

Mac users, we’re pleased to announce Macphun’s all-in-one photo editor Luminar is now available for just $69£52

with special Valentine Day bonuses (two eBooks, Vivid Wonderland preset pack, & Creative Sky Overlay pack) included for free until February 19.

Use coupon code “PHOTOBLOG” to save another $10 on Luminar.

We rated Luminar as “Highly Recommended”. Visit the Luminar web site to try it for free.

Download Luminar & Try Free »

Introduction

The Ricoh CX3 is a brand new point-and-shoot compact camera featuring a 10.7x, 28-300mm zoom lens in a body less than 3cms thick. Successor to the 6-month old CX2 model, the Ricoh CX3 incorporates a 10 megapixel back-illuminated sensor and an enhanced noise reduction function which promises to improve image quality when shooting in low-light scenes. Other improvements from the CX2 model include the addition of 720p HD video recording, high and low luminance priority settings for the Dynamic Range mode, a Scene Auto shooting mode for beginners, and what every keen photographer has been waiting for, the new Pets scene mode. The Ricoh CX3’s key features otherwise remain the same as its predecessor, namely a 3 inch HVGA LCD screen with 920K dots, Smooth Imaging Engine IV image processing engine, CCD-shift vibration correction system to help avoid camera-shake, face recognition, 1cm macro mode, Dynamic Range mode which takes two photos at different exposures and combines them to create a single image with expanded dynamic range (up to 12 EV), and an electronic level to help ensure straight horizons. Multi-target Auto Focus takes seven consecutive images with different focal distances, allowing you to choose the image that you prefer, while the Multi-Pattern Auto White Balance mode detects different light sources in the scene and sets the correct white balance for each one. The CX3 is also exactly the same price as the CX2 was on launch, retailing for £299 in the UK.

Ease of Use

The design of the Ricoh CX3 is virtually identical to the previous CX2 model, so a lot of comments that we made about that camera will be repeated here. It weighs and measures exactly the same at 185g and 101.5mm (W) x 58.3mm (H) x 29.4mm respectively. This is a compact digital camera that easily fits in the palm of your hand, and you certainly won’t notice carrying it in a trouser/shirt pocket or a handbag. The CX3 is available in either silver/lilac, grey/pink or a more serious black – Ricoh provided the latter for our review. It retains the same rather understated, retro look of previous R-series cameras. As soon as you pick it up, the Ricoh CX3 feels as solidly made, refined and purposeful as its predecessors, with a textured plastic handgrip area on the front and the bottom of the lens mounting area is cut off in line with the bottom of the camera, which still looks rather strange.

The Ricoh CX3’s 10.7x zoom lens offers a 28-300mm focal range which places the CX3 in the now popular “travel zoom” category of cameras, although several rivals now offer 12x and even 15x lenses in a similarly sized body. When the lens is fully extended, the camera measures over 8cm in depth, but thankfully it retracts fully back into the body when it is turned off. The 28-300mm range is very versatile, covering everything from wide-angle landscapes to close-up action photos. The maximum apertures are respectable enough at f/3.5 at wide-angle and f/5.6 at telephoto. Helpfully the zoom mechanism becomes quicker as you progress through the range, a neat feature that really cuts down on waiting for the camera to do your bidding.

The Ricoh CX3 only has 10 external controls in total, leaving plenty of room for the large 3 inch LCD screen that dominates the back of the camera. The CX3’s screen has a commendably high resolution of 920K dots, and it certainly shows, being noticeably sharper and brighter than cameras with standard 230K dot screens. Both text and images really come alive on a breath-taking display that’s one of the best of any camera that we’ve ever reviewed.

There’s a DSLR-like mode dial on top of the CX3 which lets you select from the Camera, DR, Continuous, Scene, new S-Auto and Movie options, plus two settings called MY1 and MY2 which allow you to configure the CX3 for different uses and provide quick access to each configuration (the camera remembers the settings when it’s turned off). The S-Auto mode replaces the previous Easy shooting mode and is aimed firmly at beginners. Much like similar systems on rival cameras, when the CX3 is set to S-Auto it automatically identifies the type of scene being photographed and selects the appropriate scene mode (portrait, sports, night portrait, landscape, nightscape, macro mode), useful if you’re not sure which mode to pick yourself. Like most automatic systems, it’s not infallible, but does reliably pick one of the above scenes most of the time.

Ricoh CX3 Ricoh CX3
Front Rear

The Dynamic Range double shot mode is one of the Ricoh CX3’s star attractions, taking advantage of the CMOS sensor to record images with much greater dynamic range than most compacts. When the Ricoh CX3 is in DR mode it takes two images with different exposures, and then records a single image that combines the properly exposed parts of each one. There are four DR strengths – Very Weak, Weak, Medium and Strong – plus an Auto setting if you’re unsure which is the best setting. You can also choose to take a DR and Normal image at the same time (both are saved to the memory card), useful for quickly comparing the effect. New to the CX3 is the option to select a Priority Range for each DR strength, with Off, Highlights and Shadows your choices – this allows the more advanced user to tip the balance in favour of the shadow or highlight areas.

In practice the Dynamic Range mode works really well, resulting in images that have noticeably more dynamic range that those shot in the Normal mode, and far surpassing most other compact cameras. If you want to shoot images that retain detail in both the highlight and shadow areas, then the Ricoh CX3 is a great choice. You can see the results of using the the different modes for yourself on the Image Quality page, with a side-by side comparison of the Normal and four different DR modes. There is one main drawback though; the DR images have noticeably less saturated colours than the Normal version, which more accurately matches the scene.

The CX3 is the very first Ricoh camera to offer HD video recording, a long overdue feature that most competitors have offered for a while now. There are three movie sizes available – 1280×720, 640×480 and 320×240 pixels – all at 30 frames per second. and all saved in the AVI file format, which unfortunately does result in some rather large file sizes. Sound recording is mono only, and there are no advanced features like Windcut or Pause / Restart as seen on other cameras, so Ricoh still have some work to do in this area.

There are three scene modes of particular interest. High-contrast B&W shoots images with higher contrast and more grain than the normal B&W mode, while the Miniaturize mode shoots scenes with the top and bottom areas of the image blurred. The Discreet mode turns off the flash, AF Assist lamp and all operational sounds, very convenient when shooting in museums or anywhere that you don’t want to draw attention to yourself. The new Pets mode turns off the flash, AF auxiliary light and sounds to avoid startling your loved one, although it can only detect and focus on cat’s faces (canine owners need to look elsewhere).

Multi-target Auto Focusing is another intriguing feature, although it doesn’t quite live up to expectations. The CX3 takes 7 consecutive images at different focal distances and allows you to choose the best one. It’s quite useful for macro work when it’s tricky to judge the exact focus point, although the combination of the CX3’s high-res screen and manual focus mode already makes this much easier than on most other compact cameras. You can potentially also use the Multi-target Auto Focusing mode to shoot the 7 images, then combine them together in Photoshop or a similar application to create a single image with wider focus than a single image allows. In practice, however, the CX3 tends to always focus on a particular part of the scene and doesn’t differentiate enough between the 7 shots to really make this technique effective.

Multi-pattern auto white balance is useful for scenes with mixed lighting – daylight and flash, or fluorescent and daylight, for example. Instead of just taking an average reading from the whole scene, which inevitably gets the white balance wrong for the secondary light source, the CX3 breaks the image down into small areas and analyzes and sets the white balance for each one. In practice it produces a subtle but noticeable effect that is particularly useful for capturing more natural portraits when using flash.

Ricoh CX3 Ricoh CX3
Front Front

By default the Adjust four-way joystick on the rear of the CX3 allows you to quickly adjust 5 different settings that are commonly used. Press it to alter Exposure Compensation, White Balance, ISO Speed, Quality and the AF/AE Target Selection mode. Even better, the Adj. menu is customisable – you can choose what the first four settings do, allowing you to control exactly what you want quick access to. The Adjust button also doubles up as the OK button to select options and it sets the Macro and Flash options by pressing left and right – there’s another button underneath to access the Main menu system. Ricoh have also included a customisable Function (Fn) button, which can be optionally used to control one of 7 settings – AE Lock is a good choice. In theory it all sounds like a convoluted recipe for disaster, but in practice it works well, allowing quick access to most of the major functions of the camera without having to scroll through the menu system.

The Ricoh CX3 is a point and shoot camera with no advanced exposure controls. Having said that, the CX3 does have a few notable tricks up its sleeve. The AF/AE Target Selection mode allows you to shift the target for both auto focus and automatic exposure without having to move the camera, useful for tripod-mounted macro subjects, but also available in any shooting mode. The [F1:1] Picture Size records your photos in square format (at 7 megapixels), similar to some medium format cameras, offering a new perspective on the world. The Fix Minimum Aperture function forces the camera to shoot at the smallest aperture available, which gives a greater depth of field in the resulting photograph.

The electronic leveler is an innovative feature borrowed from the GR Digital III and GX200 models. This helps to ensure level shots, both in landscape and portrait mode. You can view the horizontal indicator on the LCD monitor to ensure that shots are aligned horizontally. If you can’t see the LCD screen in very bright sunlight, then the camera can also be set to make a sound to indicate a level horizon. It doesn’t sound like a big deal in theory, but in practice it really helps to make the horizons in all your wide-angle shots perfectly level. Another very welcome feature is the ability to set the flash intensity, which can be adjusted in 1/3 EV steps across the -2.0EV to +2.0EV range, which gives you precise control over the flash output.

The Ricoh CX3 features an anti-shake system called Camera Shake Correction – turn it on in the Main menu and the Ricoh CX3 automatically compensates for camera shake, which is a slight blurring of the image that typically occurs at slow shutter speeds. You don’t notice that the camera is actually doing anything different when anti-shake is turned on, just that you can use slower shutter speeds than normal and still take sharp photos. Ricoh seem to have realised the importance of this system, as it is turned on by default, and thankfully leaving the anti-shake system on didn’t negatively affect the battery-life, with the camera managing over 275 shots before the battery needed to be recharged (comparable to the CX1).

The face recognition feature offered by the Ricoh CX3 recognises a maximum of 8 faces and locks focus quite quickly. Ricoh have chosen to make it a specific scene mode, rather than a general setting that applies to whichever shooting mode is currently selected, which rather limits its usefulness. The Pre-AF and Continuous AF functions are more useful, helping you to quickly and accurately focus on the subject. As its name suggests, Pre-AF sets the focus before you’ve even half-pressed the shutter button, while Continuous AF automatically adjusts the focus to match the subject movement, making the CX3 well suited to action photography.

Ricoh CX3 Ricoh CX3
Memory Card Slot Battery Compartment

The main menu system on the Ricoh CX3 is straight-forward to use and is accessed by pressing the Menu button on the rear of the camera. There are two main menus, Shooting and Setup. Quite a lot of the camera’s main options, such as image size, sharpness, metering mode and continuous mode, are accessed here. Despite offering 10 onscreen choices at once, the sharp display ensures that the various options and icons are clear and legible. If you have never used a digital camera before, or you’re upgrading from a more basic model, reading the comprehensive and easy-to-follow manual before you start is a must. Thankfully Ricoh have chosen to supply it in printed format, rather than as a PDF on a CD, so you can also carry it with you.

Ricoh have a long history of creating responsive cameras, and the CX3 certainly extends that tradition. The start-up time from turning the Ricoh CX3 on to being ready to take a photo is quick at around 1 second, and it only takes just over 1.5 seconds to zoom from the widest focal length to the longest, impressive given the focal range. Focusing is very quick in good light and the camera happily achieves focus most of the time indoors or in low-light situations, even at the tele-photo end of the lens. It takes about 0.5 second to store a JPEG image, allowing you to keep shooting as they are being recorded onto the memory card – there is no LCD blackout between each image. In the default Continuous mode the camera takes 5 frames per second at the highest JPEG image quality, which is excellent for this class of camera. In addition M-Continuous Plus (9M) takes 15 images at 5ps and M-Continuous Plus (2M) takes 30 images in one second, and you can also shoot at 30 frames/sec at 2 megapixels and an ultra-fast 120 frames/sec for 1 second or 60 frames/sec for 2 seconds at 640×480 pixels. In all these modes, the consecutively shot images are recorded as a single MPO file (a file format with multiple still images in a single file).

Once you have captured a photo, the Ricoh CX3 has an above average range of options when it comes to playing, reviewing and managing your images. You can instantly scroll through the images that you have taken, view thumbnails (81 onscreen at once!), zoom in and out up to 16x magnification, view slideshows with audio, set the print order, delete, trim, rotate, protect and resize an image. There’s a Recover File option which will rescue deleted images, just so long as you don’t turn the camera off first. Level Compensation allows you to correct the contrast and tone of an image after it has been taken, and White Balance Compensation the white balance. The Skew Correction function alters any photo that was taken at an angle so it appears as if it were taken directly in front of you.

You can “flag” an image, which essentially allows you to choose up to three files and then immediately display them by pressing the Fn button during playback, and images are automatically rotated during playback to fit the current orientation of the camera. The Display button toggles detailed settings information about each picture on and off, such as the ISO rating and aperture / shutter speed, and there is a small histogram available during both shooting and playback. The White Saturation display mode during image playback indicates over-exposed highlights by flashing those areas on and off. When taking a photo, pressing the Display button toggles between the detailed information, the histogram and gridlines to aid composition.

Ricoh CX3 Review Image

Ricoh CX3 Review Image

Mac users, we’re pleased to announce Macphun’s all-in-one photo editor Luminar is now available for just $69£52

with special Valentine Day bonuses (two eBooks, Vivid Wonderland preset pack, & Creative Sky Overlay pack) included for free until February 19.

Use coupon code “PHOTOBLOG” to save another $10 on Luminar.

We rated Luminar as “Highly Recommended”. Visit the Luminar web site to try it for free.

Download Luminar & Try Free »

Image Quality

All of the sample images in this Review were taken using the 10 megapixel Fine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 3.5Mb.

The Ricoh CX3 produced images of excellent quality during the review period. The Ricoh CX3’s main drawback in terms of image quality is noise, with ISO 400 showing some noise and blurring of detail. The noise and loss of fine detail get progressively worse as you go from ISO 400 to ISO 1600, with the fastest 3200 setting not really worth using. The MAX noise reduction mode does noticeably reduce the noise levels at each ISO setting, but at the expense of further reducing detail in the image.

The Dynamic Range mode works really well, resulting in images that have noticeably more dynamic range that those shot in the Normal mode. If you want to shoot images that retain detail in both the highlight and shadow areas, then the Ricoh CX3 is a great choice. There is one main drawback though; the DR images have noticeably less saturated colours than the Normal version, which more accurately matches the scene.

The Ricoh CX3 handled chromatic aberrations well with limited purple fringing effects appearing only in high contrast situations. The 10 megapixel images were just a little soft straight out of the camera at the default sharpen setting of Normal and either require some further sharpening in an application like Adobe Photoshop, or you should set the in-camera sharpening to Sharp. The night photograph was OK, with the maximum shutter speed of 8 seconds allowing you to capture just enough light for most situations.

Macro performance is a stand-out highlight, allowing you to focus as close as 1cm away from the subject, although there is a lot of lens distortion and shadowing at such a close distance. Anti-shake works very well when hand-holding the camera in low-light conditions or when using the telephoto end of the zoom range. The built-in flash worked well indoors, with no red-eye and good overall exposure.

Noise

There are 7 ISO settings available on the Ricoh CX3. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting, with noise reduction set to Off and the strongest setting of MAX.

Noise Reduction Off Noise Reduction MAX

ISO 80 (100% Crop)

ISO 80 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

Focal Range

The Ricoh CX3’s 10.7x zoom lens offers a very versatile focal range, as illustrated by these examples:

28mm

300mm

Dynamic Range

When the Ricoh CX3 is in DR mode (Dynamic Range double shot) it takes two images with different exposures, and then records a single image that combines the properly exposed parts of each one. You can also choose to take a DR and Normal image at the same time (both are saved to the memory card). Here is an example which was shot with Normal and then the four DR modes (Very Weak, Weak, Medium and Strong).

Normal

Dynamic Range – Very Weak

   

Dynamic Range – Weak

Dynamic Range – Medium

   

Dynamic Range – Strong

 
 

Sharpening

Here are two 100% crops which have been Saved as Web – Quality 50 in Photoshop. The right-hand image has had some sharpening applied in Photoshop. The out-of-the camera images are a little soft at the default sharpening setting of Normal. You can change the in-camera sharpening level to one of the preset levels (Sharp, Normal or Soft) if you don’t like the default look.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

   

File Quality

The Ricoh CX3 has 2 different image quality settings available, with Fine being the highest quality option. Here are some 100% crops which show the quality of the various options, with the file size shown in brackets.

9M Fine (3.19Mb) (100% Crop)

9M Normal (1.84Mb) (100% Crop)

Chromatic Aberrations

The Ricoh CX3 handled chromatic aberrations well during the review, with limited purple fringing present around the edges of objects in certain high-contrast situations, as shown in the examples below.

Example 1 (100% Crop)

Example 2 (100% Crop)

Macro

The Ricoh CX3 offers a Macro setting that allows you to focus on a subject that is just 1cm away from the camera when the lens is set to wide-angle. The first image shows how close you can get to the subject (in this case a compact flash card). The second image is a 100% crop.

Macro Shot

100% Crop

Flash

The flash settings on the Ricoh CX3 are Auto flash, Red-eye Flash, Flash On, Flash Synchro and Flash Off. These shots of a white coloured wall were taken at a distance of 1.5m.

Suppressed Flash – Wide Angle (28mm)

Forced Flash – Wide Angle (28mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64
   

Suppressed Flash – Telephoto (300mm)

Forced Flash – Telephoto (300mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

And here are some portrait shots. As you can see, neither the Flash On or the Red-eye Flash settings caused any red-eye.

Forced Flash

Forced Flash (100% Crop)
   

Red-eye Reduction Auto

Red-eye Reduction Auto (100% Crop)

Night

The Ricoh CX3’s maximum shutter speed is 8 seconds via the Time Exposure main menu option, which is fairly good news if you’re seriously interested in night photography. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 8 seconds at ISO 80. I’ve included a 100% crop of the image to show what the quality is like.

Night Shot

Night Shot (100% Crop)

Anti Shake

The Ricoh CX3 has an anti-shake mechanism, which allows you to take sharp photos at slower shutter speeds than other digital cameras. To test this, I took 2 handheld shots of the same subject with the same settings. The first shot was taken with anti shake turned off, the second with it turned on. Here are some 100% crops of the images to show the results. As you can see, with anti shake turned on, the images are much sharper than with anti shake turned off. This feature really does seem to make a difference and could mean capturing a successful, sharp shot or missing the opportunity altogether.

Shutter Speed / Focal Length

Anti Shake Off (100% Crop)

Anti Shake On (100% Crop)

1/11th / 28mm
1/7th / 300mm

Ricoh CX3 Review Image

Ricoh CX3 Review Image

Mac users, we’re pleased to announce Macphun’s all-in-one photo editor Luminar is now available for just $69£52

with special Valentine Day bonuses (two eBooks, Vivid Wonderland preset pack, & Creative Sky Overlay pack) included for free until February 19.

Use coupon code “PHOTOBLOG” to save another $10 on Luminar.

We rated Luminar as “Highly Recommended”. Visit the Luminar web site to try it for free.

Download Luminar & Try Free »

Sample Images

This is a selection of sample images from the Ricoh CX3 camera, which were all taken using the 10 megapixel Fine JPEG setting. The thumbnails below link to the full-sized versions, which have not been altered in any way.

Sample Movie

This is a sample movie at the quality setting of 1280×720 at 30 frames per second. Please note that this 15 second movie is 63Mb in size.

Ricoh CX3 Review Image

Ricoh CX3 Review Image

Mac users, we’re pleased to announce Macphun’s all-in-one photo editor Luminar is now available for just $69£52

with special Valentine Day bonuses (two eBooks, Vivid Wonderland preset pack, & Creative Sky Overlay pack) included for free until February 19.

Use coupon code “PHOTOBLOG” to save another $10 on Luminar.

We rated Luminar as “Highly Recommended”. Visit the Luminar web site to try it for free.

Download Luminar & Try Free »

Product Images

Ricoh CX3

Front of the Camera

 
Ricoh CX3

Front of the Camera / Lens Extended

 
Ricoh CX3

Isometric View

 
Ricoh CX3

Isometric View

 
Ricoh CX3

Rear of the Camera

 
Ricoh CX3

Rear of the Camera / Image Displayed

 
Ricoh CX3

Rear of the Camera / Turned On

 
Ricoh CX3

Rear of the Camera / Main Menu

 
Ricoh CX3

Rear of the Camera / Adjust Menu

 

Ricoh CX3

Top of the Camera

 
Ricoh CX3

Bottom of the Camera

 
Ricoh CX3

Side of the Camera

 
Ricoh CX3

Side of the Camera

 
Ricoh CX3

Front of the Camera

 
Ricoh CX3

Front of the Camera

 
Ricoh CX3

Memory Card Slot

 
Ricoh CX3

Battery Compartment

Ricoh CX3 Review Image

Ricoh CX3 Review Image

Mac users, we’re pleased to announce Macphun’s all-in-one photo editor Luminar is now available for just $69£52

with special Valentine Day bonuses (two eBooks, Vivid Wonderland preset pack, & Creative Sky Overlay pack) included for free until February 19.

Use coupon code “PHOTOBLOG” to save another $10 on Luminar.

We rated Luminar as “Highly Recommended”. Visit the Luminar web site to try it for free.

Download Luminar & Try Free »

Specifications

Items Specifications
No. of Effective Pixels (Camera) Approximately 10.00 million pixels
Image Sensor 1/2.3-inch CMOS (total pixels: approx. 10.60 million pixels)
Lens Focal length f=4.9-52.5mm (Equivalent to 28-300 mm for 35 mm film cameras. With Step Zoom set, focal lengths can be fixed at eight steps: 28 mm, 35 mm, 50 mm, 85 mm, 105 mm, 135 mm, 200 mm, and 300 mm)
F-aperture F3.5 (Wide) – F5.6 (Telephoto)
Shooting
Distance
Normal shooting: Approx. 30 cm – infinity (Wide), approx. 1.5 m – infinity (Telephoto) (from the front of the lens)
Macro: Approx. 1 cm – infinity (Wide), approx. 28 cm – infinity (Telephoto), approx. 1 cm – infinity (Zoom Macro) (from the front of the lens)
Lens Construction 10 elements in 7 groups (aspheric lens: 4 elements and 5 surfaces)
Zoom Magnification Optical: 10.7x zoom (equivalent to 28-300 mm focal length for 35 mm cameras)
Digital: 4.8x up to 51.4x (equivalent to 1440 mm) when used with optical zoom
Auto Resize: 5.7x*1 up to 61.0x*1 (equivalent to 1710 mm) when used with optical zoom
Focus Mode Multi AF (contrast AF method) / Spot AF (contrast AF method) / Face-Priority AF / Continuous AF / Multi-target AF / MF / Snap / ∞ (with AF Auxiliary Light)
Motion Blur Reduction Image sensor shift method image stabilizer
Shutter Speed*2 Still image 8, 4, 2, 1 – 1/2000 sec.
Movie 1/30 – 1/2000 sec.
Continuous Shooting Continuous shooting speed*3 approx.5 frames/sec. (10M 4:3F shooting time; shooting speed after 12 pictures is approx. 3 frames/sec.)
Continuous shooting capacity 999 pictures
Exposure Control Exposure
Metering Mode
Multi Light Metering (256 segments) / Center-weighted Light Metering / Spot Metering
Exposure Mode Program AE
Exposure
Compensation
Manual Exposure Compensation +/-2.0EV (1/3EV Steps), Auto Bracket Function (-0.5EV, ±0, +0.5EV)
ISO Sensitivity (Standard Output Sensitivity) AUTO, ISO80 / ISO100 / ISO200 / ISO400 / ISO800 / ISO1600 / ISO3200
White Balance Mode Auto / Multi-pattern Auto / Outdoors / Cloudy / Incandescent Lamp / Incandescent Lamp 2 / Fluorescent Lamp / Manual Settings, White balance bracket function
Flash Flash Mode Auto flash (fires automatically in low-light conditions and when the subject is backlit) / Red-eye Flash / Flash On / Flash Synchro. / Flash Off
Built-in flash range Approx. 20 cm – 4.0 m (Wide), approx. 28 cm – 4.0 m (Telephoto) (ISO Auto/ISO Auto Maximum 1600, from the front of the lens)
Flash compensation +/-2.0EV (1/3EV Steps)
Monitor 3.0-inch Transparent LCD (approx. 920,000 dots)
Shooting Mode Auto shooting mode / Scene auto mode / Dynamic range double shot mode / Continuous mode / Scene mode (Portrait / Sports / Pets / Night. Port. / Nightscape / Miniaturize / Landscape / High Sens / High Contrast B&W / Discreet Mode / Zoom Macro / Text Mode / Skew Correct Mode) / My settings mode / Movie mode
Picture Quality Mode*4 F (Fine) / N (Normal)
No. of Pixels Recorded Still image/multi-picture 3648 x 2736, 3648 x 2432, 2736 x 2736, 3648 x 2048, 2592 x 1944, 2048 x 1536, 1728 x 1296 (multi-picture only), 1280 x 960, 640 x 480
Movie 1280 x 720, 640 x 480, 320 x 240
Text 3648 x 2736, 2048 x 1536
Recording Media SD memory card
SDHC memory card (up to 32 GB), Internal memory (approx. 88 MB)
Recording File Format Still Image JPEG(Exif ver.2.21)*5
Multi-picture CIPA DC-007-2009 Multi-Picture Format
Movie AVI (Open DML Motion JPEG Format compliant)
Compression method JPEG Baseline method compliant
Other Major Shooting Functions Continuous, Self-Timer (operation time: approx. 10 sec. / approx. 2 sec. / custom self-timer), Interval Timer (Shooting interval: 5 sec. – 1 hour (5 sec. steps), Color Bracket function, Focus Bracket function, AE/AF Target Shift, Histogram, Grid Guide, Electronic Level
Other Major Playback Functions Grid View, Enlarged Display (maximum 16x), Resize, Level Compensation, White Balance Compensation, Trim, Flag, Slideshow, DPOF Setting
Interface USB 2.0 (High-Speed USB) Mini-B, Mass storage compatible*6/ AV Out 1.0Vp-p (75Ω)
Video Signal Format NTSC, PAL switchable
Power Supply Rechargeable Battery: DB-100 x1
Battery Consumption*7 Based on CIPA Standard: Using the DB-100, approx. 310 pictures (when LCD Dim is on)*8
External Dimensions 101.5 mm (W) x 58.3 mm (H) x 29.4 mm (D) (according to CIPA guidelines)
Weight Approx. 206 g (including the supplied battery and SD memory card)
Approx. 185 g (body only)
Operating Temperature Range 0°C – 40°C
*1 VGA image size
*2 Shutter speed upper and lower limits vary depending on Shooting Mode and Flash Mode.
*3 Values measured under Ricoh measurement conditions using a Panasonic PRO HIGH SPEED 8GB SDHC memory card. The continuous shooting speed and number of pictures will vary depending on the shooting conditions, the type of recording media used, the condition of the recording media, etc.
*4 The picture quality modes which can be set vary depending on the image size.
*5 Compatible with DCF and DPOF. DCF is the abbreviation of the JEITA standard “Design rule for Camera File system.” (Full compatibility with other devices is not guaranteed.)
*6 Mass storage driver is compatible with Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Mac OS9.0-9.2.2, and Mac OSX10.1.2-10.6.1
*7 Shooting capacity was measured using CIPA-standard parameters. This is only an estimate, and performance may vary according to usage conditions.
*8 When LCD Auto Dim is off: approx. 290 pictures

Ricoh CX3 Review Image

Ricoh CX3 Review Image

Mac users, we’re pleased to announce Macphun’s all-in-one photo editor Luminar is now available for just $69£52

with special Valentine Day bonuses (two eBooks, Vivid Wonderland preset pack, & Creative Sky Overlay pack) included for free until February 19.

Use coupon code “PHOTOBLOG” to save another $10 on Luminar.

We rated Luminar as “Highly Recommended”. Visit the Luminar web site to try it for free.

Download Luminar & Try Free »

Conclusion

As with its predecessor, there’s a certain sense of deja-vu about the CX3, coming so soon after the near-identical CX2 model. Current CX owners will feel somewhat aggrieved at Ricoh’s aggressive release strategy, but would-be purchasers of a fast, easy-to-use compact camera that delivers excellent images should definitely consider the Ricoh CX3.

The CX3’s new 10 megapixel back-illuminated sensor certainly sounds exotic and promises a lot, particularly in the area of low-light photography, but in reality it doesn’t offer too many noticeable improvements on the CX2. It offers the same noise-free settings of ISO-80-200, usable settings of 400-800, and useful in an emergency ISO 1600. The improved noise reduction system from the GR Digital III does significantly reduce the noise on its maximum setting, but with the side-effect of smoothing out fine detail – you’ll need to decide which is most important to you. Otherwise the CX3 images are as excellent as the CX2, with only slightly more noticeable chromatic aberration effects spoiling the move up to 10 megapixels.

High definition 720p video is a welcome addition to the CX3, bringing Ricoh up to speed with almost every other camera manufacturer worth their salt. Just like the new image sensor, though, it falls a little short of expectations, with the AVI format creating some large files sizes, and generally lacking the finesse of some rivals. We’d like to see stereo sound and an HDMI port, for example.

The Scene Auto mode is useful for beginners (Pets mode less so) and you have more control over the impressive Dynamic Range mode, but otherwise the CX3 is essentially the same as the CX2. There’s the same 10.7x zoom lens offering a versatile focal range of 28-300mm, although several rivals now offer 12x and even 15x zooms, and the fantastic high-res 3 inch screen is still present and correct. Indeed, it would be virtually impossible to tell the CX2 and CX3 apart if you were to hide their name badges.

The price also remains unchanged, with £299 still a lot to ask for what is essentially a point and shoot camera, albeit one offering a multitude of advanced features. We’d have loved to see the addition of semi- or even full-manual controls, which would truly have made the CX3 an interesting proposition, and again which the likes of Panasonic’s TZ series have now incorporated – maybe the CX4 will join that party. Just as with the CX2 though, the Ricoh CX3 remains a great pocket camera for the keen photographer and continues to be worthy of our coveted Highly Recommended award.

4.5 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4
Features 4.5
Ease-of-use 4.5
Image quality 4.5
Value for money 4

Ricoh CX3 Review Image

Ricoh CX3 Review Image

Mac users, we’re pleased to announce Macphun’s all-in-one photo editor Luminar is now available for just $69£52

with special Valentine Day bonuses (two eBooks, Vivid Wonderland preset pack, & Creative Sky Overlay pack) included for free until February 19.

Use coupon code “PHOTOBLOG” to save another $10 on Luminar.

We rated Luminar as “Highly Recommended”. Visit the Luminar web site to try it for free.

Download Luminar & Try Free »

Main Rivals

Listed below are some of the rivals of the Ricoh CX3.

Canon PowerShot S90

Canon PowerShot S90 Review thumbnail

The new Canon PowerShot S90 compact camera offers a lot of DSLR functionality in a pocketable format. Support for the RAW format, full range of manual shooting modes, and a fast f/2.0 lens should grab any keen photographer’s attention, especially as the Canon S90 can easily slip inside a shirt pocket. This seemingly winning combination of size and features doesn’t come cheap though – £449.00 / €519.00 / $429.99 is an awful lot to ask for what is after all still a camera with a tiny image sensor. Gavin Stoker sizes up the Canon PowerShot S90 in our latest expert review…

Canon PowerShot SX120 IS

Canon PowerShot SX120 IS Review thumbnail

The Canon PowerShot SX120 IS is one of the most affordable super-zoom cameras around. For less than £225 / $250, the Canon SX120 offers a 10x optical zoom lens, 10 megapixels, 3 inch LCD screen and fast DIGIC 4 processor. Curiously aimed at both the family market, with Easy and Smart Auto modes, and prosumers, with a full range of manual controls, is the Canon PowerShot SX120 IS a successful jack-of-all-trades or master-of-none? Mark Goldstein finds out…

Casio EX-H10

Casio EX-H10 Review thumbnail

The Casio EX-H10 is the latest pretender to the travel-zoom digital camera throne. Offering a 10x, 24-240mm zoom lens, large 3 inch LCD, and 720p HD movies in a pocketable body, the EX H10 is clearly challenging the likes of the Panasonic TZ7 / TZ6, Canon SX200 IS and Sansung WB550. Mark Goldstein discovers if the Casio EX-H10 has what it takes in our World-exclusive review…

Fujifilm FinePix F70EXR

Fujifilm FinePix F70EXR Review thumbnail

The FinePix F70 is the latest camera to feature Fujifilm’s revolutionary EXR technology, which offers you the choice of images with high resolution, expanded dynamic range or less noise at high ISO speeds. The Fujifilm F70EXR also offers two new shooting modes, Pro Focus Mode and Pro Low-light, which use multi-frame technology to create photos with greater depth-of-field and reduced noise, plus a versatile 10x zoom lens in a small and stylish body. Priced at just $279.95 / £229.99, is this the perfect compact camera for beginners and more experienced photographers alike? Read our expert review of the Fujifilm FinePix F70EXR to find out…

Olympus mju 9000

Olympus mju 9000 Review thumbnail

The Olympus mju 9000 (also known as the Stylus 9000) is a new travel-zoom compact camera. Offering a 10x, 28-280mm lens in a pocketable camera, the mju 9000 also features a 12 megapixel sensor, 2.7 inch LCD screen, 1cm macro mode and 5fps shooting (at 3 megapixels). Priced at £310 / $349.99 and available in black and blue, the Olympus mju 9000 is certainly up against some tough competition, principally the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ7 and Canon PowerShot SX200 IS. We find out if the mju 9000 has what it takes to beat them…

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ7

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ7 Review thumbnail

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ7 is a brand new entry in the travel-zoom camera category. Sporting a 12x, 25-300mm lens with optical image stabilisation, 3 inch LCD screen, 720p HD movies and 10 megapixels, the Panasonic TZ7 promises to be the ultimate do-it-all pocket camera. Available in silver, black, brown, blue and red for £349 / $399, does the TZ7 succeed? Read our in-depth, real-world review complete with image samples, videos, test shots and more…

Ricoh CX2

Ricoh CX2 Review thumbnail

Just 6 months on from its already very capable predecessor, the Ricoh CX2 enters the competitive travel-zoom camera category with a new 10.7x, 28-300mm zoom lens. Other improvements include even faster 5fps burst shooting, new Pre-AF and Continuous AF focus modes, several extra scene settings, and improved face recognition. The Ricoh CX2 also features the same 3 inch HVGA LCD screen, 9 megapixel CMOS sensor, CCD-shift vibration correction system and fast operation as the CX1. Read our in-depth Ricoh CX2 review to find out if it’s a worthy update…

Samsung WB550

Samsung WB550 Review thumbnail

The new Samsung WB550 (also known as the Samsung HZ15W) is the first camera in the World to feature a 24mm ultra wide angle, 10x optical zoom lens. A direct competitor to the Panasonic TZ series of cameras, the 12 megapixel WB550 has some impressive features, including 720p HD movie mode, 3 inch LCD screen, manual shooting mode, and not forgetting that 24-240mm lens. Priced at $329.99 / £299, Gavin Stoker discovers if the Samsung WB550 / HZ15W really can depose the TZ king…

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H20

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H20 Review thumbnail

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H20 is one of the more affordable super-zoom cameras on the market, offering a 10x zoom lens, 10 megapixel sensor and 3 inch LCD screen. Attractively priced at $280 / £269, the compact Sony DSC-H20 features a full range of creative shooting modes for the advanced amateur, as well as the Intelligent Scene Recognition mode for beginners. There’s also the bonus of 720p HD movie recording for video enthusiasts. Read our expert review to find out if the Sony H20 deserves a place on your super-zoom hit-list.

Ricoh CX3 Review Image

Ricoh CX3 Review Image

Mac users, we’re pleased to announce Macphun’s all-in-one photo editor Luminar is now available for just $69£52

with special Valentine Day bonuses (two eBooks, Vivid Wonderland preset pack, & Creative Sky Overlay pack) included for free until February 19.

Use coupon code “PHOTOBLOG” to save another $10 on Luminar.

We rated Luminar as “Highly Recommended”. Visit the Luminar web site to try it for free.

Download Luminar & Try Free »

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.

SOURCE:http://www.photographyblog.com/reviews/ricoh_cx3_review