We're not sure why Ricoh has gone straight from the to the R10, but we're still glad to see the latest incarnation of this classy compact line. The 10-megapixel R10 is available now for £180.
The all-metal frame boasts satisfyingly sturdy build quality. The R10 comes in silver, brown or black -- and when we say black we mean all black. Even the partly-hidden lens barrel is black.
It's such a chunky camera that it's very easy to hold. The right-hand side sports a rubberised grip with a small ridge for your thumb. This is not the slimmest camera in the world, but we feel that's a plus -- stylistically the R10 has a retro feel, lending it a serious photographic air.
The back sports a large 76mm (3-inch) LCD screen. Buttons line the right-hand side, giving access to playback, menus, Fn, delete and display. The Fn button can be set to access features like an exposure or focus lock, or activating bracketing functions. You can also assign functions such as white balance and exposure compensation to the mini-joystick that navigates menus. We like the joystick, but it's the sort of feature we recommend trying before you buy.
As well as ten scene modes, there are two customisable user modes on the mode wheel, which happily spins 360 degrees in both directions.
The larger-than-most size is balanced by a longer-than-average 7.1x optical zoom. A 28mm wide-angle lens, equivalent to a 35mm film camera, makes the R10 extremely versatile. The wide-angle lens adds to your panoramic landscapes, while the long zoom gives you freedom when shooting portraits or far-away action.
The long zoom is complemented with CCD sensor-shifting image stabilisation. Other features include a 1cm macro function, face detection and backlight compensation. Face detection is a selectable scene mode rather than being on all the time, so it isn't as useful as on other cameras. We had fun with the onscreen spirit level, which is useful and addictive to play with between shots.