Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Ricoh Caplio GX100

Is this my next lightweight adventure camera? I’ve been looking for a compact camera to replace my Pentax Optio 43WR and this is the most likely contender.

Ricoh has a long history producing its GR line of compact film cameras with high quality, wide-angle lenses. These rugged, compact and lightweight cameras were popular with outdoor enthusiasts like backpackers and climbers.

Why I like it:
Compact and lightweight (220g)
Wide (The only compact that zooms to 24mm)
Fast reaction/low shutter lag
Good battery life/supports AAA use
Raw file support
Meaningful control options (manual & aperture priority)
Image stabilization

What I don’t like about it:
No optical viewfinder
Noisy above ISO 200
Not weatherproof
Price
Slow to write raw files

DP Review has a thorough review on this camera here.

2 comments:

Esther said...

Hi, came to this post cos I'm researching the GX100. Did you get it in the end? And is it performing well for you?

Kenneth Koh said...

I did get it, but in the Sea & Sea version, the 1G. It's the same camera, but comes with an underwater housing (DX-1G). I've posted some articles on this:
http://adventurenomad.blogspot.com/2007/12/sea-sea-1g-adventure-camera.html
http://adventurenomad.blogspot.com/2008/01/compact-adventure-camera-final-words.html

I would have to say that I got it mainly because of the 24mm equiv. lens. Image quality is not superb. It has some issues with dynamic range and noise is evident above ISO 100. If you restrict yourself to ISO 100 and watch the highlights, his camera can perform.

The camera itself isn't bad, it has great ergonomics. I think that if you don't need such a wide angle lens or a zoom, the Sigma DP-1 may be a better choice in terms of better image quality. The Olympus 790SW looks fun too.

If I had to do it again, I'd still buy the Ricoh GX100. I like the flexibility of the zoom, which gives me focal length options if I have limited mobility, like while rock-climbing. And if you need the 24mm wide angle, well only the Ricoh GX100 has it...