Ricoh CX4 review: Ricoh CX4

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CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Excellent, bright and clear LCD screen. Good image quality. Fun creative filters. Minimal shutter lag.

The Bad Smooth front finish with no grip makes the camera slip easily from the hand. No HDMI out. Still no RAW option or manual controls. Video quality is fuzzy.

The Bottom Line Providing you don't need RAW capture or manual controls, the CX4 is a pretty decent camera — even if it is a letdown compared to other Ricoh models that have come before.

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The CX4 is the successor to the CX3 , a camera we praised for finally getting the Ricoh CX formula right. With a long zoom (10.7x) and plenty of shooting options, it was a camera that deserved to find many fans.

This iteration falters though, and with such small incremental updates it will have trouble competing with the big names in the compact zoom segment like Panasonic's TZ10 .

Design and features

As is the tradition with the CX series of cameras from Ricoh, which seem to be updated more frequently than any other camera line we can think of, the CX4 looks like it means business. There are no prizes here for spot the difference, as the CX template is well and truly fixed. Apart from the front panel, that is, which has gotten a bit of a makeover for the worse on the CX4. Rather than the chunky textured grip found on earlier cameras, this model does away with the bulge and the front is coated in the uniform metallic casing. This means it's slippery and falls out of the hand a lot easier than previous cameras. But it does look sleeker and more sophisticated, which we're assuming is a marketing move to make the CX series more appealing to point-and-shooters looking for a more advanced camera.

A handy wrist strap is provided in the box, but as a whole the CX4 just feels counterbalanced without that weight on the right side. At the back, buttons have been given a plastic rather than metal finish found on the earlier cameras. The screen remains identical; 3 inches at 920,000-dot resolution.

Also the same is the 10.7x optical zoom lens with a wide-angle of 28mm, with an unremarkable maximum aperture of f/3.5-5.6. Changes have been made to shooting modes and the image stabiliser. The mode dial now has a creative mode option, with selections for dynamic range (found also on the CX3), miniaturise, high contrast black-and-white, soft focus, cross process and toy camera filters. There's also a new option called night landscape multi-shot, which is designed for night photos without a tripod and combines four exposures to obtain a steady shot.

CX4 filters

A selection of the filters of the CX4. From top left: cross process, toy camera, soft focus and black-and-white. (Credit: CBSi)

Given the price and the capability of shooting HD video at 720p, we're surprised that there is no HDMI output available. Instead it's just regular USB or AV out.

Compared to other cameras like the Panasonic TZ10 , which feature manual controls and other add-ons like on-board GPS, the CX4 looks a little staid.

Compared to

Ricoh CX4 vs. Panasonic Lumix TZ10 vs. Canon PowerShot SX210
Ricoh CX4 Panasonic Lumix TZ10 Canon PowerShot SX210 IS
10 megapixels 12.1 megapixels 14.1 megapixels
3-inch 920,000-dot LCD 3-inch 460,000-dot LCD 3-inch 230,000-dot LCD
10.7x optical zoom 12x optical zoom 14x optical zoom
No GPS tagging GPS tagging No GPS tagging
No manual controls Manual controls Manual controls
HD video (720p, unknown frame rate) HD video (720p, 25fps) HD video (720p, 30fps)

Performance

General shooting metrics (in seconds)

  • Time to first shot
  • JPEG shot-to-shot time
  • Shutter lag
  • Ricoh CX42.92.10.2

 

Continuous shooting speed (longer bars indicate better performance)

  • Ricoh CX45

 

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Where to Buy

Ricoh CX4

Part Number: CNETRicoh CX4

Typical Price: $499.00

See manufacturer website for availability.