Ricoh Australia Caplio GX8
- Detailed macro mode, interesting picture quality settings
- Poor quality LCD, difficult software
Ricoh has come up with a groundbreaking compact camera that we're sure will have many of you reaching for your chequebooks. It's not pretty or fun, but it's excellent value. Bear in mind that you'll need a capacious SD card.
Price$ 799.00 (AUD)
The main reason you'll want to get your hands on the Caplio GX8 is the number of pixels it packs--8.2 megapixels for just $799!
However, while the GX8 does what it says on the packaging, the execution is pedestrian. It has a rough exterior and black plastic buttons, and onscreen navigation is a bit backward. Rather than specifying the megapixel level you want, you select, say, NC3244, which equates to the excellent uncompressed 3224 x 2448 TIFF image setting. This shouldn't be confused with the F3264 setting, which takes shots as a less impressive, compressed JPEG image.
The powerful macro mode locks in on a subject as little as a centimetre away, so you can capture really fine detail. However, the LCD screen is small (1.8"), dark and not that hot at previewing colours accurately.
The GX8 powers up in less than a second and the continuous shooting mode is very fast--up to 16 shots in two seconds. In regular shooting mode, Ricoh claims a shot delay of less than 1.7 seconds and a shutter delay of 0.1 seconds. We weren't convinced by the scene mode, which optimises shots according to the lighting conditions you've specified, but you can program in your own settings.
The GX8 comes with only 26MB of internal memory, and it supports expansion using SD or MMC flash memory. It has a hot shoe, with which you can attach an external flash to use instead of using the inbuilt one. It also supports AA batteries or a rechargeable lithium ion battery.
Unfortunately, the supplied software for transferring photos to a PC isn't incredibly easy to use.
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