Previous versions of the CX made a name for themselves as solid, compact point-and-shoot cameras with just enough extra photographic oomph to attract the more serious travelling snapper – with a justification for the slighter higher than average price tag. The CX6 continues the progress, while offering the same basic features of the CX5. These are 10 megapixels, 10.7 x optical zoom (equivalent to 35 − 300mm on a 35mm film camera) fast auto-focus and 720p HD video recording. While still adding new features, to make the camera an attractive replacement. Especially as you’ll find it for pretty much the same price as the older model.
The speed at which auto focus kicks in has been halved to 0.1 second, making it effectively instant. There are new 5 frames per second fixed burst and 3 fps auto focus modes. You can zoom and focus while shooting video, and there’s a dedicated movie button that is much easier than picking the setting off the dial. Ricoh has also added dedicated controls on the camera’s top dial, for giving priority to the aperture or shutter speed – while leaving the camera to sort the other settings out for you. Also added is a zoom assist monitor, which displays a picture-in-picture thumbnail of what you’re shooting, helping to frame the subject more effectively. This is coupled with a large, 3” higher resolution 1.23 million dot LCD display that’s not only easy to see in daylight, but much brighter than the one on the old CX5.
The CX6 is on and ready to shoot in about one second. The tiny button/toggle control, used to navigate the plethora of menus is no friend to fat fingers, sadly. We love the simple rubber thumb grip that makes the camera easy to hold, and get off a shot with one hand. So long as you’re right handed. Watch out for the flash though, since we found this was overly easy to cover with your second finger.
Beginners will still enjoy the 13 scene modes that automatically pick the best settings for various common shooting situations, for example night portraits, landscape and fireworks. We particularly like the discreet mode which turns off the flash, disables sounds and the autofocus auxiliary light, making it suitable for use in art galleries, museums, at school plays and so on. Alongside scenes, there are various built-in effects such as soft focus, dynamic range (where two photos are taken and combined to form a single, HDR image) toy camera and a tilt-shift mode for producing phoney miniature shots. We’re less convinced by these, as software is usually more efficient at producing similar or better results. As before, the CX6 is available in all-black, silver or pink.
Contact: 01189 337000
- Speed of operation – from power on to shooting, in about one second.
- That tiny toggle button makes menus harder to navigate.
Thanks to its super-fast auto focus, a dedicated movie button and massive, bright hi-res LCD, the Ricoh CX6 offers an excellent balance for anyone who appreciates the convenience of point-and-shoot but wants more sophisticated results. The other new features include the aperture and shutter speed modes – placing the CX6 neatly in the space between a convention compact camera and a ‘proper’ DSLR. Next inclusion? RAW support and 1080p movie mode please.