Ricoh Cameras: More Megapixels For Your Money


Ricoh has launched four new digital still cameras today, the Caplio 500SE, Caplio R5, Caplio RR660 and the Vivitar ViviCam X-60, each offering between six to ten megapixel resolution for as low as $299.

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Topping the range is the 8.1 megapixel Caplio 500SE ($1399) featuring Bluetooth connectivity and an EDR interface. These allow you to connect a Bluetooth GPS receiver to the camera to attach location data to the photo.

“Now a ranger in a national park will be able to identify exactly where a rare species of flower was growing, or a rock climber can detect his final destination in unknown territory. They simply take a photo with the new Caplio 500SE and the software embeds the location data onto the image. When downloaded to their computer back at base it will show them the exact location on a map,” said Ricoh’s Stewart Pickersgill.

Ricoh’s Ernie Clarke also suggested another professional use of this GPS connectivity, is for real estate agents to note the location of a house or for doctors to store patient information along with any medical images.

The 500SE also has Ricoh’s trademark adventure-proof features including a dust resistance grading of JIS 6, water resistance in depths of up to one metre and shock resistant to falls of up to one metre. A 3x (28-85 mm) optical zoom, anti-blur mode, one cm macro mode and 2.5 inch LCD monitor / viewfinder complete the package.

The seven megapixel Caplio R5 ($599) is an update to the R4 offering a 2.5 inch LCD screen and 7.1 (28 – 200mm) wide-angle zoom lens. Ricoh’s

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Ernie Clarke said the new version also offers ultra high sensitivity and low noise (up ISO 1600) due to the Smooth Imaging Engine II image processor. Photographs viewed at the launch, which were shot at ISO 1600 and ISO 800, were indeed surprisingly clear.  The Vibration Correction image stabilizer also helps to avoid blurry zoomed photos.

This camera also features an AVI movie function which allows you to record at VGA 640 x 480 at 30 frames per second until memory is full, a one cm macro function, a claimed shutter response speed of 0.09 seconds and continuous shooting mode of 2.8 frames per second. Ricoh also claims the camera will over 380 without recharging.

But if you’re after even higher resolution, the Ricoh/Vivitar ViviCam X-60 ($599) offers 10.1 megapixels, 2.8 inch LCD and 6x optical zoom. Additional features include an anti-shaking function, 32 MB of internal memory, SD card slot and PictBridge.

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Ricoh’s Norman Koslowski believes that the ViviCam X-60 will be a popular choice for consumers looking to buy a high specification and feature rich digital camera without breaking the bank.

“The ViviCam-X60 is one of the most competitively priced and feature-packed digital cameras in the 10 megapixel category. We believe that with the value for money many consumers will definitely consider it over other premium priced brands that offer less features.”

On the entry-level side of things, Ricoh’s new RR660 offers 6.16 megapixel resolution, 2.4 inch LCD monitor, 3 x optical zoom in a package weighing approximately 130g for $299. Not bad!

Ricoh says users can take pictures of subjects as close as 5cm with this camera, as well as use the six camera modes which include Auto, Program, Portrait, Landscape, Sports, Night and Movie, depending on what they wish to photograph or record.

The RR660 contains 16MB of internal memory, an SD card slot and accepts regular AA batteries until the camera can be recharged. It is PictBridge enabled and has a bonus PC web cam.

Professional photographer, Marcus Bell is also impressed with the new Ricoh range saying “If I thought about using a compact camera for professional shoots, other photographers would laugh at me. But after using the Ricoh GR, in particular, I found it offers the advantage of being inconspicuous compared to a big SLR – so people don’t notice when I’m taking a photo, making the result look a lot more natural. The GR also offers SLR type features such as being able to use both the front and back dial simultaneously. You can even shoot RAW files.”


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