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Ricoh CX4 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £229
inc VAT

A minor update over the CX3, but the lower price makes this a serious contender for the compact ultra-zoom crown.


1/2.3in 10.0-megapixel sensor, 10.7x zoom (28-300mm equivalent), 205g

Ricoh’s camera designers could never be accused of following the crowd, with just a small range of unusual cameras in stark contrast to most manufacturers’ prolific output of compact snappers. The CX4 is one of its more conventional models – its slim body and 10.7x zoom lens pitches it against around a dozen other compact ultra-zoom cameras, including the excellent Canon Ixus 1000 HS.

Ricoh CX4

There’s still plenty to distinguish it from its peers, though. The sleek, minimalist design, elegant, efficient controls and superb 3in, 921,000-pixel screen resemble a serious piece of photographer’s kit rather than a point-and-shoot camera. That impression is backed up by a continuous mode that flies along at a staggering 5fps – a speed normally reserved for upmarket SLRs.

It’s less easy to distinguish the CX4 from its predecessor, the CX3. Its corners are a little more rounded, but we question the logic behind losing the texture on the slim handgrip – the smoother design may look smarter but it isn’t as secure in the hand. Ricoh claims that the image-stabilisation system is improved. It’s hard to measure this definitively, but our tests suggested a small improvement when taking photos at the full zoom extension at shutter speeds from 1/60s to 1/15s.

Autofocus options now include subject tracking, which follows moving subjects while the shutter button is half pressed. There’s also a range of new scene modes including toy camera and soft focus, plus one that aligns and combines multiple exposures captured in quick succession to reduce noise. It worked well as long as the subject was static. The biggest change is the price. While the CX3 cost £300, the CX4 is much more competitive at £229, undercutting the Ixus 1000 HS by around £30.

Ricoh CX4

It’s disappointing that manual exposure controls remain absent. This camera is packed with advanced options that will appeal to photography enthusiasts, such as exposure and white balance bracketing, variable noise reduction and a customisable upper ISO limit for the Auto ISO mode. Most people who appreciate this level of control will also expect direct access to shutter speed and aperture, though.

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Basic Specifications

Rating ****
CCD effective megapixels 10.0 megapixels
CCD size 1/2.3in
Viewfinder none
Viewfinder magnification, coverage N/A
LCD screen size 3.0in
LCD screen resolution 920,000 pixels
Articulated screen No
Live view Yes
Optical zoom 10.7x
Zoom 35mm equivalent 28-300mm
Image stabilisation optical, sensor shift
Maximum image resolution 3,648×2,736
Maximum movie resolution 1280×720
Movie frame rate at max quality 30fps
File formats JPEG; AVI (M-JPEG)


Memory slot SDHC
Mermory supplied 86MB internal
Battery type Li-ion
Battery Life (tested) 330 shots
Connectivity USB, AV
HDMI output resolution N/A
Body material aluminium
Lens mount N/A
Focal length multiplier N/A
Kit lens model name N/A
Accessories USB and AV cables
Weight 205g
Size 59x102x29mm

Buying Information

Warranty one-year RTB
Price £229

Camera Controls

Exposure modes auto
Shutter speed auto
Aperture range f/3.5 (wide), f/5.6 (tele)
ISO range (at full resolution) 100 to 3200
Exposure compensation +/- 2EV
White balance auto, 5 presets, manual
Additional image controls none
Manual focus Yes
Closest macro focus 1cm
Auto-focus modes multi, spot, face detect, tracking
Metering modes multi, centre, spot, face detect
Flash auto, forced, suppressed, slow synchro, red-eye reduction
Drive modes single, continuous, self-timer, interval, AE bracket, WB bracket, colour bracket, focus bracket

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