Ricoh's Caplio R2 is a truly sophisticated-looking camera. In terms of function, it is a fairly standard point-and-shoot model, but the design and the feel of the camera are way ahead of the competition.
- Wonderful overall design, great battery life, cheap
- Poor image quality, mediocre feature set
An incredible looking camera with enough battery power to go all day. For its price it is a reasonable alternative, but if taking brilliant pictures is the primary concern buyers may want to look elsewhere.
Price$ 499.00 (AUD)
The R2 is one of the most sturdy and well-constructed cameras we've ever held. It seems like it could take quite a few beatings and come out none the worse for wear. The only exception to this is the lens cover, which feels a little flimsy.
It is a pity that Ricoh hasn't complemented this great design with a slightly more feature-packed menu system. This is a basic point-and-shoot model. It offers white balance, ISO and exposure presets, but gives no real manual functions. There are also six scene modes, which is pretty poor in comparison to the 15 or 20 offered by competing models.
One thing we liked was that all these features were easily and quickly accessible with the face buttons, rather than having to navigate through the menu (although they are there too), which makes changing things on the fly a breeze.
The Caplio's shutter was almost instantaneous, and image write-time was decent at about two seconds.
Unfortunately, the pictures our R2 produced were less than impressive. At first we were amazed by the colour reproduction coming from a mere five megapixel model. Colour is definitely the strongest element of the Ricoh's photos, with deep reds and great shifting between yellows and greens.
Sharpness was average, with a little blurring but nothing too serious. But as we scrolled down the pictures we discovered that the bottom quarter of all of our images suffered from a serious drop in quality. The corners appeared particularly dark, and there was a definite blurring on in lower parts of the image. This blurring was present in all four corners to some extent, but was much more evident down the bottom of the shot.
The R2 operates off a rechargeable lithium ion battery, and despite our best attempts, we could not run the battery down on this camera. We took more than 800 consecutive photos, and the battery indicator did not move from full. In a market where the average is 300 to 500 shots, this is an absolutely massive result.
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