Ricoh Caplio GX100 Digital Camera

Ricoh Caplio GX100 Digital Camera

Ricoh Company, Ltd. is one of the largest copier manufacturers in the world. But the company is not only known for office equipments but the company was founded in 1936 also as a maker of cameras. Then it was film SLRs, today they produce a complete line of digital compact cameras dedicated for beginners to high end models intended for serious hobbyists. 

Ricoh cameras are probably among the cameras today that are often underrated. Most people who are out in the market today for digital compacts find brands like Nikon, Canon, and Sony as more appealing. However, you should know that Ricoh is a pretty good company and they produce quite a number of digital cameras that can compete with the top rollers in the industry.

The Ricoh Caplio GX100, for example, was announced as successor to the GX8 and it actually belongs to the high end digital compact market. Among its direct competitors are Panasonic FX100 with 12Mp, 3x optical zoom and Leica lens, and the D-Lux 3 of Leica which has 10Mp and a 4x optical zoom. Admittedly, Ricoh can’t really compete with the D-Lux3. Owning a Leica is pretty damn different, the prestige alone and the ego that comes with it can kill you.

Anyways, the GX100 can stand on its own due to a few, interesting, and innovative features. This Ricoh is a 10Mp compact, with a 3x zoom lens, and a range equivalent to 24-72mm on a 35mm camera. You get it now, don’t you? The GX100 has a range equivalent to a 24-75mm on a 35mm camera. The magic number is "24". As far as I know, this is the only digital compact that has that wide a range. Most are equipped with 35 or 36mm at the short end. Believe me, the 24mm makes a lot of difference when you’re out shooting interiors or landscapes. Plus, the resolution is sharp at the corners at the 24mm equivalent too.

It has a fast F2.5 maximum aperture at wide end, low distortion, high quality construction and excellent battery life. The camera has a 1cm macro feature along with other features of a digital SLR.

The GX100 also holds the distinction of the very first digital compact to offer an optional removable electronic viewfinder. The viewfinder slips into the flash hot shoe and tilts upwards through 90 degrees. Weird but true. However, despite the innovations and the uniqueness Ricoh has exhibited on the GX100, it pains me to say that it has a couple of let downs, some of which was within their capacity to eliminate or reduced.

The camera is ugly. Forgive me for saying that but the body’s design is, and I’m being kind here, unusually deformed. Also, it is quite unfortunate that noise is an issue at all sensitivity settings over ISO 80 and ISO 400. The LCD screen although measures 2.5 does not provide sufficient brightness to be viewed in bright light.

The slip-on viewfinder despite being unique is actually not that great. The camera focuses very slow in macro mode, at the long end of the zoom, as well as in low light. The GX100 is a little expensive compared to the competition. The Panasonic FX100 costs £289 while the Leica D-Lux 3 sells at £490. The GX100 has a retail price of u back £349.

The GX100 is not the best digital compact and Ricoh still won’t be able to compete with the top producers in the market with this one. This is a camera where you need to work on a bit to get the optimal results. But still, the GX100 do offer a pretty unique 24mm view for a digital compact which can give a little creative edge.

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