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Ricoh CX2 review

Ben Pitt
21 Jan 2010
Ricoh CX2
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
274
inc VAT

With its breakneck performance, fantastic screen and big zoom, this is almost a superb camera, but lens sharpness lets it down.

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Specifications

1/2.3in 9.0-megapixel sensor, 10.7x zoom (28-300mm equivalent), 185g

Just six months after Ricoh launched its excellent CX1, its successor is already here. The CX1’s most impressive specifications are further improved, with a zoom range up from 7.1x to 10.7x and continuous shooting now at a staggering 5fps.

Unlike the souped-up continuous modes on some other compact cameras, this one runs at the full resolution and is limited only by the speed of the SDHC card – with a Sandisk Extreme III card it slowed to 3.5fps after 28 shots.

The 3in, 920,000-pixel screen is unchanged from the CX1. This screen is far sharper than the 230,000- and 460,000-pixel screens in rival cameras and is a delight to use, particularly when adjusting the focus manually.

It’s disappointing that manual exposure remains absent, though. There are various advanced functions such as bracketing for exposure, white balance and focus, but it’s hard to imagine anyone who will want these features but not require manual exposure controls. Another frustration is that the Auto ISO mode refused to venture beyond ISO 200, and even Auto-Hi was limited to ISO 400. Users will need to adjust the ISO speed manually to avoid excessively slow shutter speeds in low light.

The CX2 uses the same sensor as the CX1, so while noise levels remain excellent for this type of camera, it can’t match the front-runner, Fujifilm’s F70EXR. Meanwhile, the new 10.7x zoom lens failed to match the CX1’s 7.1x zoom lens for sharpness. The difference was slight at most focal lengths but quite significant at the telephoto end. The autofocus sometimes failed to lock onto subjects at full zoom, too.

With its extended zoom range, Ricoh is clearly pitching the CX2 in competition with compact big-zoom cameras such as Panasonic’s TZ range and Fujifilm’s F70EXR. However, it fails to deliver on these terms. The CX1 was a better camera and fortunately it’s still available, now costing around £200.

Basic Specifications

Rating***
CCD effective megapixels9.0 megapixels
CCD size1/2.3in
Viewfindernone
Viewfinder magnification, coverageN/A
LCD screen size3.0in
LCD screen resolution920,000 pixels
Articulated screenNo
Live viewYes
Optical zoom10.7x
Zoom 35mm equivalent28-300mm
Image stabilisationoptical, sensor shift
Maximum image resolution3,456x2,592
Maximum movie resolution640x480
Movie frame rate at max quality30fps
File formatsJPEG; AVI (M-JPEG)

Physical

Memory slotSDHC
Mermory supplied88MB internal
Battery typeLi-ion
Battery Life (tested)290 shots
ConnectivityUSB, AV
HDMI output resolutionN/A
Body materialaluminium
Lens mountN/A
Focal length multiplierN/A
Kit lens model nameN/A
AccessoriesUSB and AV cables
Weight185g
Size58x102x29mm

Buying Information

Warrantyone year RTB
Price£274
Supplierhttp://www.cliftoncameras.co.uk
Detailswww.ricoh.co.uk

Camera Controls

Exposure modesauto
Shutter speedauto
Aperture rangeauto
ISO range (at full resolution)80 to 1600
Exposure compensation+/-2 EV
White balanceauto, 6 presets, manual
Additional image controlsnone
Manual focusYes
Closest macro focus1cm
Auto-focus modesmulti, centre, spot
Metering modesmulti, centre, spot
Flashauto, forced, suppressed, slow synchro, red-eye reduction
Drive modessingle, continuous, self-timer, AE bracket, WB bracket, colour bracket, focus bracket, interval