Ricoh CX2 Announced

If you have been reading my review of the Ricoh CX1, you know that I really liked the camera and found it to be one of the most fun to use cameras I had. It also produced great results and had features aimed at photographers and not purely for marketing.
Today, Ricoh have announced the CX2. Read on to find out what the main differences are and my thoughts on it.

The CX1 still utilizes the same 9.29MP 1/2.3″ CMOS sensor from the CX1, this is good news indeed as the sensor performed very well in the CX1.

The main difference is the new zoom lens now covering a range from 28-300mm at f3.5-f5.6, this is up from 28-200mm at f3.3-f5.2 on the Cx1. This is a welcome addition and should make the camera even more versatile. Although the zoom range has increased, the lens is still almost as bright as before.
While the longer telephoto range is a good addition, I feel Ricoh should have also focused on improving the wideangle and maybe offer 24mm or even 21mm wideangle.

The continuous shooting has also been slightly increased and is not at 5fps where the Cx1 can record at 4fps.

Ricoh has also added some new and very interesting scene modes: ‘High Contrast B&W’ and ‘Minaturize’.

Unfortunately the poor video mode has not been improved and the camera still can’t shoot HD-video or does not have a high-speed video mode or zoom during recording. This is a bit disapointing as it means the CX2 is still lagging behind the competition.

Ricoh has also missed the opportunity to add full manual controls or a RAW mode in the CX2. This will make it difficult for the CX2 to go against some string competition from Panasonic, Samsung and now even Canon with the S90.

Ricoh cameras still have the best interface and some unique features aimed at photographers but with the competition offering HD-video, wider lenses, manual controls and even RAW it will be difficult for the CX2 to stand out from the crowd.
Especially the video mode is something that Ricoh needs to improve if they don’t want to lose sales. I had to recommend the Panasonic and Samsung cameras instead of the CX1 because they wanted to be able to shoot HD-video and unfortunately the CX2 does not address this.

Overall so far it looks like the CX2 is a solid evolution from the CX1.

Below is the press release and more pictures of the different colors.

Tokyo, Japan, August 20, 2009 Ricoh Co., Ltd. (president and CEO: Shiro Kondo) today announced the release of the CX2, a new digital camera featuring a high magnification 10.7x (28-300 mm) optical wide-angle zoom lens in a compact body only 29.4 mm thick. The CX2 is capable of 5 frame/second high-speed continuous shooting of still images with the maximum number of pixels.

The new CX2 inherits many popular features from its predecessor, the CX1 (introduced March 13, 2009), such as the high image quality and expanded dynamic range made possible by image processing engine Smooth Imaging Engine IV and a high-speed image processing CMOS sensor. At the same time, it enhances functions that expand photo possibilities in a number of areas, including (1) a 10.7x optical zoom lens that expands shooting capabilities from wide-angle through telephoto range, (2) high-speed continuous shooting (approx. 5 frames/sec. at maximum number of pixels) functions so you won’t miss the target scene, and (3) the easy-to-use AF functions Pre-AF and Continuous AF.

New scene modes such as “high-contrast B&W mode” and “miniaturize mode” have been added to stimulate shooting creativity, and various CX1 model functions have received enhancements, such as the addition of face recognition to easy shooting mode and the addition of an AUTO option for automatically defining the range expansion effect in dynamic range double shot mode.

With its expanded range of functions for the relaxed enjoyment of photography, the CX2 represents the further evolution of the compact digital camera as “A tool you will want to use every day.”

The CX2 will be available at SRP £299.99 inc

Features

With a 10.7x optical zoom lens (28-300 mm) in a compact body only 29.4 mm thick, the CX2 shoots freely all the way from wide-angle to telephoto.  

  • Ricoh’s original retracting lens system made it possible to fit the newly developed high magnification 10.7x optical wide-angle zoom lens in a 29.4 mm body that is both easy to carry and easy to operate.
  • With 28 mm wide-angle to 300 mm telephoto coverage, this high magnification zoom lens can handle a wide range of shooting situations, including powerful telephoto shots as well as wide-angle shooting of both expansive landscapes and interior scenes with limited distance between camera and subject.
  • The zoom function can be switched to high-speed zoom by continuing to turn the zoom lever.

More advanced high-speed continuous shooting* functions enable you to get the shot you want.

  • With the enhanced continuous shooting mode, it is possible to do high-speed continuous shooting at approximately 5 frames/second for still images with the maximum number of pixels.
    Continuous shooting speed will vary depending on shooting conditions, card type, card condition, etc.
  • For the M-continuous plus shooting function, which saves consecutive images shot before the finger is removed from the shutter release button, a mode has been added that makes it possible to shoot at the maximum number of pixels. To fit the scene being photographed, you can select from two modes: M-Continuous Plus (9M) for 15 images (5 frames/sec.) taken in as little as three seconds and M-Continuous Plus (2M) for 30 images (30 frames/sec.) taken in about one second.
    M-Continuous Plus (9M) image size is fixed at N3456 (9M).
    M-Continuous Plus (2M) image size is fixed at N1728 (2M).
    The consecutively shot images are recorded as a single MP file (a file format with multiple still images in a single file).
  • With ultra-high-speed continuous shooting, the CX2 shoots 120 images (120 frames/sec.) during an interval of about one second after the shutter release button is pushed, or 120 images (60 frames/sec.) during an interval of about two seconds.
    Image size is fixed at N640 (VGA).
    The consecutively shot images are recorded as a single MP file (a file format with multiple still images in a single file).

High image quality from Smooth Imaging Engine IV and a high-resolution CMOS sensor.

  • The CX2 has the image processing engine Smooth Imaging Engine IV and a high-speed image processing CMOS sensor. Together they can shoot high-quality images with high resolution and low noise.
  • Residing on a customized circuit of the image processing engine, the pixel output interpolation algorithm reduces whiteout in high-contrast situations, thereby recreating beauty as seen.
  • Dynamic range double shot mode makes it possible to record images with an almost naked-eye impression; it has a new AUTO option where the camera automatically defines the optimal exposure difference. Now it is even easier to enjoy the benefits of dynamic range expansion of up to 12EV.
  • Multi-pattern auto white balance makes it possible to recreate natural as-seen colours even in people-photography scenes that were difficult to shoot with past auto white balance functions, such as scenes with both shadow and sunlight and scenes mixing flash and natural light (or fluorescent light, etc.).

New modes to stimulate creative photography.

  • As the name implies, “high-contrast B&W mode” shoots images with higher contrast than normal black & white mode. This makes it possible to record images with a grainy feel such as that created by using ultra-high-sensitivity film in a film camera or by push processing film at the development stage.
  • The new “miniaturize mode” shoots scenes with the top and bottom areas of the image blurred. This makes it possible to shoot actual scenes but record images that recreate the impression given when photographing miniatures.
  • The new “manner mode” enables you to turn off the flash, the AF auxiliary light, and operation sounds without changing the camera settings. This is convenient when shooting in museums and other public buildings.

Easy shooting mode which can be enjoyed by a simple operation now has a function for automatic face recognition.

  • When faces are detected during shooting, the CX2 shoots the image with the focus, exposure, and white balance optimized for the faces. Compared to the previous model, there have been increases in recognition speed and number of faces detectable. A maximum of eight subject faces can now be detected.
  • When shooting subjects up close, the camera automatically switches to macro mode so macro photography can now be enjoyed without the inconvenience of having to switch modes.

Pre-AF and Continuous AF functions quickly and accurately focus on the subject.

  • With Pre-AF, the camera automatically adjusts the focus even when the shutter release button is not half-pressed. Quick shooting is possible since the focus is adjusted in response to subject movement.
  • With Continuous AF, if subject movement is detected while the shutter release button is half-pressed, the camera automatically adjusts the focus to match the subject movement.

High-definition 3.0-inch 920,000-dot VGA LCD monitor.

  • The large, high-resolution LCD monitor has a wide viewing angle and high contrast. The screen has a fluorine coat to prevent soiling, a hard coat to prevent scratches, and an anti-reflection coat to give excellent visibility even outdoors in bright sunshine.
  • With sRGB comparison of 100% for colour reproduction range, the monitor vividly reproduces image colours.

A wide range of functions inspired by the “A tool you will want to use every day” concept.

  • With the macro photography functions you can get as close to the subject as 1 cm for wide-angle** and 28 cm for telephoto.
  • A comfortable and easy-to-hold grip shape.
  • Electronic level utilizing an acceleration sensor.
  • Image sensor shift blur reduction function to reduce hand-motion blurring.
  • Three grid guides useful for framing images while shooting.
  • Image flag function to enable the quick display of specific images from among those in the camera. The maximum number of flags has been increased from 3 to 20.


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4 responses to “Ricoh CX2 Announced

  1. I think the CX2 is not a really new camera between CX1 …. just little better

  2. I agree, the CX2 follows Ricoh’s tradition of only minor upgrades before something really new comes out.

  3. nah.. i think hd movie not that important for a camera..
    in fact, most of the hd movies, their frame/sec are low..
    another good thing about CX is multi target focusing.. 7 different focuses pictures. Great features..

    For manual settings, go for GDRII or GDRIII, as it stated in the main site. This is a normal compact camera, not pro cameras ^^

  4. SonG, I agree with you that movie mode is not overly important for some but most people are interested in a decent movie mode and the CX1 simply lags behind the competition.
    The multi target AF is excellent and one of the best features I have seen in digital cameras so far, I wish the GRD III would have this feature.

    Manual settings are easy to implement and would give one more freedom. It is not needed but would give the CX an advantage over the competition.

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