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Ricoh GXR P10 review
|DATE REVIEWED: 16th Aug 2010||Add Camera To Comparison Chart|
|Camera Type||Compact||Shutter Speeds||30 - 1/2000 sec|
|RRP||£250||ISO Range||100 - 3200|
|Megapixels||10||Focal Length||28 - 300mm|
|Weight||161g||Aperture||f3.5 - 5.6|
|Dimensions||114 x 70 x 44mm (WxHxD)||Focus Distance||30cm - inf|
|LCD Size||3 inches||Zoom (Opt)||10x|
|Zoom (Dig)||4x||Storage||SD / SDHC|
|Max Resolution||3648 x 2736||Battery Type||Li-Ion|
The purpose of the GXR model is to use the correct interchangeable lens and sensor unit to match the lighting conditions and subject matter. Preliminary reviews concluded that while the GXR system is a novel idea, in practice the expensive price tag has not been meet with as much enthusiasm. So how is the new P10 different from initial reactions and reviews to the S10 and A12 and how does Ricoh plan to move this model forward in the market?
For starters Ricoh has greatly reduced the retail price and there is a considerable difference compared to when it first announced late last year. The GXR Body by itself is now £300 instead of £420 through selected dealers and the P10 with GXR body is significantly less than the S10 (£359) and A12 (£599) priced at £250. Ricoh have also combined a package deal for the P10 and GXR body, which retails just under £500 that, for many, makes it a more affordable camera to the market. For a compact camera to have retail value of £500 is still expensive however the Ricoh P10 is not just a compact camera, but part of a system to invest in.
There are additional accessories that can be purchased with the GXR system however these are again are expensive, as the GF1 flash Flashgun retails at £240 and the electronic viewfinder VF2 at £220. The GXR body supports a small built in flash unit so only those wanting an advanced lighting set up will be thinking about the GF1. On the other hand the VF2 viewfinder did come in handy in a variety of shooting scenarios and will appeal to a wider variety of consumers whether professional or not. For those preferring to compose images through this traditional method the VF2 for an electronic viewfinder performed to an excellent standard projecting a clear digital image to the eye.
Ricoh compact cameras generally perform consistently to high standards when it comes to image quality and the P10’s results for the most part matched these levels. There were a couple of issues with metering and colour balance on the auto mode, as the P10 has a tendency to lean heavily on the cyan side of the scales and images appeared to underexpose. Image information had also been lost on some occasions around the highlights and even in the RAW format they proved hard to rescue. On manual controls the P10 was easier to control and metering was not such an issue as the histogram and other settings such as the exposure compensation performed to excellent standards. The camera supports a high dynamic range mode that for landscape shooting was very useful however it does not work on fast moving subject matter, which is a tad irritating.
When it comes to aspects like body build quality and camera design at £500 any consumer purchasing a compact camera will only be looking for the best. Luckily this is exactly what the Ricoh GXR delivers and the GXR has been built like a tank in a retro and cool design that reminisces the traditional film camera body. When out and about it feels solid in the hands and even though it is not the lightest of compacts cameras quality wise Ricoh have not compromised on this aspect. Reassuringly the GXR feels as if it will stand the test of time.
For anyone interested in purchasing the GXR system it is important to protect the units once they are disengaged from the body. This could be seen as a weak flaw in the design as it will be an expensive to fix the connections points if they become damaged. Upon purchase Ricoh provides protective covers for the sensor strips and it is definitely worth practising reattaching these covers as soon as it has been detached.
Unlike the S10 and A12 the P10 is supposedly a faster and more versatile unit. The P10 is capable of shooting at 5fps in RAW format mode plus up to 120 frames/second at the resolution of 640 x 480 using the ultra-high-speed Hi setting. It also accompanies a 10x optical zoom, which gives it an alternative selling point to the S10 and A12. The S10 only supports a 3x optical zoom and the A12 has a fixed prime lens at 50mm.
There are a lot of positive aspects regarding the Ricoh P10 however there is one major fault when using this unit. The P10 auto focus is painfully slow and in a majority of shooting scenarios did not function at a reasonable speed plus the zoom control was also sluggish to respond. This is not an isolated issue with the GXR system at the S10 reacted in exactly the same manner. The focus gets especially bad at full zoom and at times the P10 would not even lock onto the subject matter. The P10 also produces a loud sound when focusing so if you want to be inconspicuous then it is very hard to be with this model.
The layout of the GXR is almost perfect to use however the zoom control is awkward to source in a hurry and when operating the top dial a button needs to be engaged before it will move. This is a good feature for the GXR when in transit so the settings don't get knocked out of place however it was fiddly to use. Every other function is clearly labelled although the font on the LCD screen menu options is rather small and for people with bad vision this could be problematic. The menu options are relatively simple to work out although professional photographers would have benefited from some short cut buttons for the ISO and WB that appear to be lacking.
It is excellent to find lots of top features on the P10 like 10x optical zoom however it is frustrating when the camera does not perform at the level it should be. If Ricoh could sort this problem then the GXR system would become much more user friendly and the expensive price tag justifiable. In the present state it is Ricoh may struggle to find a target audience for the P10, as professionals will feel frustrated by the speed of the focus and handling and the expensive price means amateurs will dismiss it.
Ricoh has taken a step forward with the P10 and GXR system however the speed of the auto focus needs to be enhanced to make it a serious contender in the market. This is an innovative product although presently it is still going through teething problems and even with a substantial reduction in retail value it does not live up to it’s fullest potential that others models from the manufacturer has shown previously. It will be interesting to see where they develop this system and there is still hope for the GXR.
The P10 is a substantially built product and accommodates an innovative design and if the auto focus is sorted then Ricoh will have a winner on their hands.
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|The P10 is a substantially built product and accommodates an innovative design and if the auto focus is sorted then Ricoh will have a winner on their hands.|
Claire started studying photography over six years ago where she was intrigued by the act of image making. Claire has a great passion for traditional photographic methods however shes found the change to the digital medium to be a fascinating advancement.
|Total Camera Reviews||142|
|Average Camera Rating||2.3|
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