Ricoh CX5 camera
Ricoh CX5 camera review: A large compact camera with a 10.7x zoom lens and plenty of useful features
- 10.7x optical zoom, strong build quality, excellent macro capability, fun creative modes, supports EyeFi SD cards
- Tracking autofocus was a little too jumpy, auto white balance wasn't always accurate, noticeable noise above ISO 400
The Ricoh CX5 is a little bigger than a typical compact camera, but it packs a versatile 10.7x zoom lens that's also great for macros. We love the CX5's build quality and controls, and its 3in screen is super-sharp and bright. It can take clear and vibrant photos for the most part, but its picture quality does suffer from some noise issues. Nevertheless, we still think it's a great camera.
Price$ 499.00 (AUD)
There are not a lot of differences between the new Ricoh CX5 camera and the Ricoh CX4 that preceded it. Both cameras enjoy a 10-megapixel CMOS sensor and 10.7x optical zoom lens, and physically they don't look much different. The upgrades to the Ricoh CX5 are indeed subtle and include the addition of new scene modes as well as improvements to the focusing system and image sharpness at maximum zoom.
As with the Ricoh CX4, the CX5's image quality is very good, albeit a little noisy. It doesn't handle low-light scenes especially well; any time the ISO speed is pushed above 400, noise becomes even more prevalent in the dark or shaded areas of a picture. Noise issues aside, colours are captured vibrantly and images have plenty of detail — you'll definitely be able to print large photos without them turning out looking too feathered.
A feature called Super Resolution has been added to the CX5, and its job is to make images look a little sharper overall. It definitely does its intended job, and the results look good when you view the photos at a small size on your screen; when you scrutinise them at their full size, they look a little too 'etched'. While the Super Resolution feature works within the standard zoom range of the lens, its main aim is to allow you get more zoom out of the camera — up to 21x (and this is before digital zoom kicks in). The results of this extra zoom look very good when you view the photos at a small size, but at their full size they will look very muddy.
There isn't a manual mode on the CX5 (it's definitely not in competition with the Canon PowerShot S95, for example), so you will have to make do with its auto and scene modes, which will handle the shutter and aperture automatically. However, you can change the ISO speed (and also limit it so that the camera doesn't select a value that's too high and noisy) and you can also change the white balance and exposure compensation. We had to play with the white balance a lot during our tests, as the auto white balance sometimes didn't pick the best setting, especially for indoor shots.
Read reviews of the best mega-zoom cameras on the Australian market.
We love the 28-300mm zoom lens, which not only lets you get up close to the action from a distance thanks to its long reach, it also lets you get right up close to your subject (practically touching the lens to it) to capture great macros. The focusing of the Ricoh CX5 was fast, as promised, and we had no problems with it hitting our intended marks. Its powerful autofocus beam also made night time focusing very accurate. Unlike what we experienced with the CX4, focus tracking on the CX5 was a little too sensitive. The focus point often jumped from one object to a similar-looking object in a scene. Furthermore, it didn't work well with dark coloured objects in our tests; it favoured brightly coloured objects for tracking.
One of the cool things about the Ricoh CX5 is its creative modes, which include Miniature, Toy, Soft Focus and Black and White. These are fun to play with and they produce good results. You can also make use of the camera's scene modes, which now include the new modes: Cooking, Fireworks and Golf. Yes, Golf. The Golf scene mode allows you to display a vertical line on the screen, along with another adjustable diagonal line. The theory is that you can take a photo of your golf swing (it takes three photos in sequence) to see if your swing ends up resting on the very grid line you've set. None of us are golfers here at PC World, but we reckon it looks awfully hard to get the timing right with this feature. It would probably be better off as a video mode.
Speaking of video mode, the CX5 can record video up to 1280x720 in AVI format. You can't zoom very far in video mode, so it's not a very versatile feature, but it's good if you want to plonk the camera on a tripod to record a speech at a wedding, for example. Its microphones are sensitive and they pick up speech very clearly. However, they also pick up taps if you are holding the camera or moving it while it's recording.
With good build quality, well laid out (and sturdy-feeling) buttons and controls, as well as a capability to capture very good image quality, the CX5 continues our love affair with Ricoh cameras. It's not a perfect camera, and some of its features can be improved (such as the tracking focus), but we feel it's a great compact for anyone who wants a big zoom, excellent macro capability and reasonably clear and vibrant photo quality. It includes features that we miss on other compact cameras, such as the electronic level, and even though it's bigger than most other compacts on the market, we just love how solid and well-balanced it feels in our hands. The colour of our test model, however, is not something we're keen on.
Become a fan of PC World Australia on Facebook
Follow PC World Australia on Twitter: @PCWorldAu
Stay up to date with the latest news, reviews and features. Sign up to PC World’s newsletters
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Subaru XV 2017 review
- 2 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 3 Kogan Atlas UltraSlim Pro laptop: full, in-depth review
- 4 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 5 Kogan curved 4K UHD 55-inch LED LCD TV review
Latest News Articles
- Boom: SanDisk just dropped the world's largest SD card
- Camera app makers tap into RAW power with iOS, and look forward to dual lenses
- Google Camera 3.2 lets you snap pictures while recording video
- CES 2016: Top 10 trends
- Sony α7S II aimed film-makers and low light photographers
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Samsung Galaxy S8 phone: full, in-depth review
- Ryzen 5 vs Intel Core i5 CPU Australian review
- Mass Effect Andromeda review: One for the fans
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- CCSystems Engineer - WintelQLD
- CCSystems AdminNSW
- TPBusiness Intelligence DeveloperSA
- FTDigital ProducerNSW
- FTVDI EngineerACT
- CCSAP CRM Functional AnalystQLD
- CCOracle CCB DesignerVIC
- FTSalesforce Developer - UrgentNSW
- CCFull Stack Developers x4!QLD
- FTSenior Desktop Engineer - SCCM / AD / 2012 ServerNSW
- CCBusiness Project Manager - ApplicationsNSW
- CCTechnical Consultant - ITSM/HP Service ManagerACT
- CCProject AdministratorNSW
- FTDevelopment Team LeadQLD
- FTWintel EngineerNSW
- FTDigital Sales Account Manager - Global Ecommerce BrandNSW
- CCBusiness Analyst (Mid-level)VIC
- CCSAP CRM Functional AnalystVIC
- FTSAP ABAP Technical specialistACT
- FTWeb Developer | Parramatta | Initial 6 month contractNSW
- CCSoftware ManagerVIC
- FTService ManagerNSW
- FTTechnical ConsultantACT
- CCEnd User Services ArchitectNSW
- CCProject ManagerNSW