"To be honest, the only problem I have with this camera is the fact that not enough people are selling it!" say the editors at Steves-Digicams.com. The Ricoh CX1 uses new technology to boost image quality -- Dynamic Range Double-Shot mode, in which the 9-megapixel sensor shoots two back-to-back images per shutter push. Each photo is recorded at a different exposure; then the CX1 combines them to create an image with a dynamic range that "far surpasses most other compact cameras," says Mark Goldstein of PhotographyBlog.com. Critics are unanimous about the CX1's stunning image quality. Testers at Britain's Which? magazine find excellent yet subtle color reproduction, as well as superbly contrasted shadows and highlights. However, Goldstein notes two glitches in Ricoh's Dynamic Range (DR) system. First, the consecutive shots can be slightly misaligned, creating soft, out-of-focus images. Second, the DR mode impacts color. "The CX1 may preserve more visible details, but it seems to do so at the expense of color accuracy, with images having a slightly washed-out look when directly compared to shots taken in the Normal shooting mode," he says.
The CX1 has a fully retractable 7.1x zoom lens with a focal range of 28 mm to 200 mm that comes equipped with sensor-shift stabilization. Zoom controls mounted around the shutter release offer "effortless zooming," and the camera has "blazing fast" performance in tests at Steves-Digicams.com. Other goodies include a stunning 3-inch LCD with a 920,000-pixel resolution, an electronic leveling meter for straight horizon shots, a smooth imaging engine, VGA video, multi-target autofocus and 88 MB of internal memory. The sleek, stylish camera comes in silver, black and champagne pink.
Camera experts at PhotographyBlog.com, PopPhoto.com and Steves-Digicams.com offer the most in-depth reviews of the Ricoh CX1, while testers at Which? magazine and Imaging-Resource.com conduct thorough comparative testing with less detailed write-ups. User reviews for the Ricoh CX1 are sparse, though a few postings at specialty retailer Adorama.com help to confirm expert findings.
Goldstein is impressed by Ricoh's new low-light shooting technology. The Dynamic Range Double-Shot mode delivers excellent dynamic range and better noise reduction, but it can produce slightly blurred images and less-saturated colors. While the Ricoh CX1 doesn't offer much manual functionality, he nevertheless says it "makes a great pocket camera for the keen photographer."
Review: Ricoh CX1 Review, Mark Goldstein, March 23, 2009
"It's not much larger than an ultrathin, but the CX1 accommodates a near-superzoom focal-length range of 28-200 mm," says photo expert Dan Richards in his brief review. Richards and his fellow testers are impressed by the gorgeous 920,000-dot LCD screen -- "one of the best monitors we've seen on a compact" -- along with the new Dynamic Range technology and electronic leveling system.
Review: American Photo Editor's Choice 2009: Compacts, Dan Richards, July 10, 2009
The nearly flawless CX1 is "a pleasure to use," with image quality that surpasses market rivals, "blazing fast" shooting times, a stellar 920,000-pixel LCD and new Dynamic Range Double Shot feature.
Review: Ricoh CX1 Review, Editors of Steves-Digicams.com, April 13, 2009
4. Which? magazine
The "truly outstanding" Ricoh CX1 earns a Best Buy designation from testers at Britain's Which? magazine. Shutter delay, ease of use and image quality score highly in tests. Editors add that the CX1 has excellent low-light performance with superb shadow and highlight contrast.
Review: Digital Cameras, Editors of Which?
Only a few owners post comments about their experience with the Ricoh CX1 compact digital camera. Although they are unanimous about the camera's ease of use, nice feature package and stellar LCD display, for one owner, the CX1 doesn't do well in low-light conditions, and image quality at high ISO settings is merely acceptable.
Review: Ricoh CX1 Digital Point & Shoot Camera, Contributors to Adorama.com