With its breakneck performance, fantastic screen and big zoom, this is almost a superb camera, but lens sharpness lets it down.
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.
|CCD effective megapixels||9.0 megapixels|
|Viewfinder magnification, coverage||N/A|
|LCD screen size||3.0in|
|LCD screen resolution||920,000 pixels|
|Zoom 35mm equivalent||28-300mm|
|Image stabilisation||optical, sensor shift|
|Maximum image resolution||3,456×2,592|
|Maximum movie resolution||640×480|
|Movie frame rate at max quality||30fps|
|File formats||JPEG; AVI (M-JPEG)|
|Mermory supplied||88MB internal|
|Battery Life (tested)||290 shots|
|HDMI output resolution||N/A|
|Focal length multiplier||N/A|
|Kit lens model name||N/A|
|Accessories||USB and AV cables|
|Warranty||one year RTB|
|ISO range (at full resolution)||80 to 1600|
|Exposure compensation||+/-2 EV|
|White balance||auto, 6 presets, manual|
|Additional image controls||none|
|Closest macro focus||1cm|
|Auto-focus modes||multi, centre, spot|
|Metering modes||multi, centre, spot|
|Flash||auto, forced, suppressed, slow synchro, red-eye reduction|
|Drive modes||single, continuous, self-timer, AE bracket, WB bracket, colour bracket, focus bracket, interval|