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Ricoh’s new CX5 has specs to impress

January 27, 2010: Ricoh has launched a new model in its well-reviewed CX digital compact series, the CX5.

The new camera features a faster autofocus system, newly-developed super-resolution technology, plus new scene modes.

The CX5 is two times faster than its predecessor. Many long zoom compacts struggle to find sharp focus quickly, but Ricoh has developed a hybrid AF system able to reach focussing speeds of just 0.2 seconds, maintaining this speed throughout the entire range of its 10.7x wide zoom lens (28-300mm).

Ricoh’s says its new ‘super-resolution technology’ automatically discerns a subject’s many outlines, textures and gradations, then processes the image based on the optimal settings for each. The level of super-resolution (SR) can be set to Off, Weak or Strong, allowing the photographer to control the image’s sharpness.

An added benefit of SR technology is better performance using digital zoom, with telephoto shooting extended to 600mm (21.4x optical zoom equivalent) with minimal impact on image quality, according to Ricoh. To achieve even higher magnification, combining the SR zoom with the camera’s 4.8x digital zoom extends the telephoto range to 2880mm equivalent.

New Food, Fireworks and Golf Swing scene modes round out the CX5’s other new features. The Golf Swing Continuous Mode takes up to 13 continuous motion shots, and displays both horizontal and vertical gridlines during shooting and playback to review and analyse a golf swing.

The CX5 is Ricoh’s first Eye-Fi compatible camera. Eye-Fi is an SD card built on WiFi connectivity which allows photos to be uploaded straight to a PC without cables (not yet widely available in Australia or New Zealand). When out and about, photos can also be uploaded and stored on the Eye-Fi server. From there, they can be automatically added to favourite social networking sites such as Facebook or Flickr.

The CX5 also features a new HDMI port, allowing images and 1280×720 pixel movies to be displayed on any HD television or computer monitor straight from the camera.

Other CX Series features:
– Back-illuminated 10 megapixel CMOS sensor;
– Image Stabilisation Technology;
– Multi-pattern Auto White Balance – breaks an image into 864 segregated areas and sets an individual white balance to suit the light source of each;
– Advanced Macro Mode – take photos as close as 1cm or at distances as close as 28cm when the camera is zoomed all the way in;
– Scene Auto Mode;
– Creative Shooting Modes – including miniaturise, soft focus, cross process, toy camera, high contrast black-and-white and dynamic range double shot;
– High Speed Continuous Shooting – high burst rate of 5 frames per second shooting at maximum pixel size;
– A high definition 920,000-dot, 3-inch LCD monitor featuring an anti-reflection coating for better visibility in bright sunlight.

The CX5 will arrive in stores from late February and comes in black, ‘spearmint’ and ‘rose’. RRP is $499.

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