Ricoh CX5

ricoh-cx5

A high quality digital camera

Even if the quality of the image is good, the new Ricoh CX5 seems to be incomplete. This digital camera was made for professionals, but it forgot its purpose somewhere on the way.

Expectations

Ricoh is one of the most respected producers in the photography world. This manufacturer offers different cameras, in almost all kinds of cases, with good performances. A few models are the GRD III (with its fixed focal length characteristic) and the GXR model (characterized by its modules and the powerful optical sensor). The latest series launched on the market is called CX. The CX5 model is also included in this family of digital cameras. At first view, this model is very different to its brothers. CX5 looks very similar to the Panasonic TZ series. It’s the first time when Ricoh accepted to put on the market a product with similar looks to a competitor. The question is: is this better than Panasonic merchandise ? Its specifications are good enough to transform it into a good purchase ? Let’s tale a loot at the review conclusion !

Reality

ricoh-cx5Apparently, this new model launched by Ricoh could be interpreted as a little bit spartan. The menu is simple and effective, without any bad elements. It is well organized and you can easily access all the settings. The case is designed with discretion in mind. But this camera will not be very attractive with its design, should you want to impress your friends with it.

Even the psychical navigation is very good, but using a joystick is difficult. It seems to lack the precision necessary for such a gadget. It’s relatively difficult to navigate through the menus. Another weak point is the wrong positioning of the flash. It is on the far right of the camera and is easy to cover with your finger when you take a picture. During night shots, this can be a real disadvantage and you must always be careful not to cover the flash.

Range finder technology

The relatively wrong positioning of the flash has a good reason. That happens because Ricoh decided to place the range finder in the middle of the case. This is used to improve the speed of the optical element when you take a photo. At first view, this is a good idea. Its competitors seems to be better in the speed area. For example, the Sony HX7v (already tested) is faster than the CX5. This camera has a good advantage, but it doesn’t lie in the speed. If you purchase one you will see that you will be able to set the focus to infinity and trigger the image instantly. This could be a good advantage in some situations.

Medium quality of the sensor

If you think about image quality, you must keep in mind some elements. For example: the optical, the sensor quality and the image processor which processes and stores the images on the memory card. The CX5 is very similar with its brothers at this chapter. The images taken are very similar to the oldest models. The image quality could be better, but it’s still affected by a strong anti-aliased. The colors are affected by brightness. In low light conditions, this camera is below average. You can still take good photos at ISO 400, but at ISO 800 the image becomes very bad and unpleasant to look at.

Without a competitor, this camera can be a good choice. But on the market of point and shoot cameras, there are present a lot of more powerful brands. Panasonic, Canon and Sony offer better performance. Their sensors are more affective and the image is processed better. In this way chromatic aberrations and digital noise can relatively be removed. However, this is not the case with the CX5.

Weak video mode

If you need a good camera to record movies at a medium quality, this gadget could be a good choice. You must know that the video mode of CX5 is not impressive, even if it offers 720p HD resolution videos. The image and the sound of the device are average and you will not be able to use the optical zoom in videos. Colors are not very accurate and the image seems to loss some details if you use the video mode.

Excellent display quality

Even though the other features are not so impressive, the display of the Ricoh CX5 is truly beautiful and pleasant to view. In fact, all the cameras produced by this brand are good if you are looking just at screen quality. Ricoh’s decision was to use a display with 921ooo pixels. This is a very inspired choice because the competition doesn’t have cameras with a display better than 460 000 pixels. The screen here is bright, clear and beautiful, even if you use it in a lot of bright light.

Not for experts

The new CX5 camera offers a lot of customization options, but these are just on paper. In fact, the menu is not able to offer the required features and settings necessary for an expert. The camera doesn’t include a manual mode and the possibility to capture images in RAW format. This is a disadvantage and a lot of photo experts will chose other models because of these problems. We just hope Ricoh will soon launch a firmware update to be able to offer these features for the same camera.

Review conclusion

After this test we are able to offer you our review’s conclusions. The CX5 is able to offer good quality pictures. The display is beautiful and impressive even from the very first use. Its real problem is the competition which offers a lot of features that the CX5 is not able to provide. The optical zoom, the full HD video format quality and the quality of images in low light conditions are better on competitors’ models.

Technical specifications

Resolution10 MP
Optical Zoom11x
Sensor TypeCMOS
FlashYes
FPS30
Battery TypeRicoh DB-100
Total Weight176g