My first SLR was a Ricoh KR Super II fully manual camera. It was basically a redux of the Pentax K1000 with a couple of extra features. Whenever I see Ricoh in the news, I always think back to the fun and sometimes painful learning experiences that my Ricoh KR Super II gave me. I’ve still got that old K-mount SLR along with my 50mm manual focus (and manual aperture) lens. Yep, those were the days. It was so exciting to pick up my film 3 days after I dropped it off at the drug store and see what kind of photos that I had made that week. Autofocus? What’s that?
Ok, enough nostalgia already. The Ricoh R8 is a 10MP, 7.1x optical zoom point and shoot digital camera. The 7.1x zoom is the equivalent of a 28-200mm zoom on a 35mm format camera. Further specs, features and reviews are detailed below:
The Ricoh R8 looks and feels great, and is capable of taking some great photos. The camera has a sharp wide angle 7.1x optical zoom lens, and is almost ultra compact, similar in size to other ultra compact cameras such as the IXUS 90 IS. Ricoh appear to have moved this camera upmarket with a newly designed body, and improved hand grip and control dial.
The Ricoh R8 is an expensive camera, but it does offer a unique specification and very distinctive style. Build quality is superb, and the design of the body and control interface makes it a real pleasure to use.
All in all, depending on your photographic requirements, the R8 can be a very powerful tool that is well deserving of our ‘Recommended’ badge and if the Ricoh engineers manage to sort out some of the flaws described above we will be very much looking forward to the announcement and review of the R9.
Where to Buy
7.1x Optical Wide-Angle Zoom Compact Digital Camera with 10 Megapixel CCD and Enhanced Photography Functions
Tokyo, Japan – February 19, 2008 – Ricoh Co., Ltd. (president and CEO: Shiro Kondo) has developed and introduced the new R8 compact digital camera featuring a 7.1x optical wide-angle zoom lens (28-200 mm in 35 mm focal length), a high-resolution 10 megapixel CCD, and enhanced photography functions.
The new R8 combines a new 10 megapixel CCD with the popular Smooth Imaging EngineIII image processing engine of earlier models, to take high-definition photography to a higher level.
The R8 also offers various other enhanced capabilities for fun and easy photography, such as a large 2.7-inch, 460,000-pixel HVGA LCD and the same 1:1 aspect square format photography function that has proven extremely popular on Ricoh’s Caplio GX100 (launched April 2007) and GR DIGITALII (launched November 2007) models.
In addition to the specification improvements, the R8 has also undergone a complete redesign. This new model combines ease of use and technical specification in a body that is contemporary and stylish and has been designed based on the concept ” a tool you will want to use every day”.
In creating the R8 as a tool for taking photographs, great care has been given not only to styling and coloring but also to its operability, portability, comfort in hand, and its solid, high-quality feel.
Main features of the new R8
1. High-picture quality, low-noise photography is achieved with the high-resolution 10 megapixel CCD and the Smooth Imaging EngineIII image processing engine.
- An effective 10 megapixel CCD has been newly installed. Working together with the popular image processing engine Smooth Imaging Engine III, this new CCD makes possible high-quality images that have both high-resolution and low noise.
2. High-resolution 2.7-inch, 460,000-pixel HVGA LCD
- The new 2.7-inch, 460,000-pixel high-resolution LCD has a wide viewing angle and high contrast for distinct, easy viewing even outdoors. When thumbnail images are displayed, even the small 1/20 size images are clearly reproduced.
3. Based on the “a tool you will want to use every day” concept, the R8 has been given a totally new design emphasizing its beauty as a photographic tool.
- Styling that intensifies a simple, functional beauty and eliminates design frills. A rubber grip that fits well in the hand and is easy to hold, an easy-to-operate mode dial. The many features of the R8 combine to achieve both functional beauty and ease of use.
- In addition to its compact pocket size, the mounting of two strap eyelets has further increased portability.
- The R8’s solid, high-quality feel has been further enhanced by the top cover emphasizing a solid, metal feel; the lens barrel end and rings finished with metal spin processing, and the spin processed mode dial and release button.
4. Ricoh’s original double retracting lens system has made it possible to equip the R8 with a 7.1x wide-angle zoom lens for a body with both operability and portability.
- Measuring only 22.6 mm at the thinnest point, the body features a 7.1x fully retractable wide-angle zoom lens with a 28-200 mm range.
5. Expanded shooting functions for richly expressive photographs.
(1) Square format photography
The R8 has a shooting function for an image size aspect ratio of 1:1. This square format photography has proved very popular on Ricoh’s Caplio GX100 (launched April 2007) and GR DIGITALII (launched November 22, 2007) models. The resulting composition has quite a different feel from the standard rectangular vertical or horizontal format. This format can also be quite convenient for blog photographs.
(2) Expanded functionality for the ADJ. (Adjust) button
Already given enhanced usability in the Caplio R7 (launched September 2007), the ADJ. (Adjust) button has further evolved in the R8. Integrating the ADJ. (Adjust) button functions with those previously controlled by the cross-key has made menu operations even faster and simpler.
(3) Fix minimum aperture function provided
When the fix minimum aperture function is on, shooting is done at the smallest aperture, which gives a deep depth of field in the resulting photograph.
(4) AF/AE Target shift functions provided
Enhanced capabilities have been given to the AF target shift function which was previously only available for macro photography. While shooting, it is possible to shift the target for AF or AE or both without moving the camera.
(5) Zoom lever usability improved
With zoom lever operation it is possible to switch between two zoom speeds. This enables the full capabilities of the 28-200 mm 7.1x wide-angle zoom lens to be utilized.
6. Enhanced image editing functions enable images to be manipulated in the camera.
(1) Image brightness and contrast correction (level compensation)
Still image brightness and contrast can be corrected with either auto or manual modes, with the corrected image being recorded in the camera. With manual correction, the image is corrected by adjusting the histogram.
(2) Image color tone correction (white balance compensation)
By adjusting green, magenta, blue, and amber tones, still image color tone can be corrected, with the corrected image being recorded in the camera.
(3) Trimming of still images
Still images can be trimmed and the resulting image saved in a separate file. This is convenient when doing direct printing with PictBridge, etc.
7. Dual vibration correction functions, macro functions, and face recognition mode are provided.
- The R8 contains Ricoh’s original CCD-shift vibration correction function which compensates for camera shake when it is detected. This reduces the blurring that tends to occur in situations such as telephoto and macro photography.
- Ricoh’s popular and powerful macro functions are included, enabling shooting of objects as close as 1 cm with wide macro and as close as 25 cm with telemacro.
- Face recognition mode automatically identifies faces in a scene and optimizes focus, exposure, and white balance for the faces.