Ricoh Caplio R7: A brief history

Not only do we like this compact camera, but its company has a fascinating background.

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
Expertise Films, TV, Movies, Television, Technology
Richard Trenholm
2 min read
Crave UK

Ricoh may not be the best-known name in the camera business, and you won't find the Caplio R7 in Argos. But we've been excited about the R7 since first hearing about it, and now we've got our hands on one we think it may be worth you tracking down. We also decided to put on our investigative journalism hat (the one we wear when browsing Wikipedia--it has "PRESS" written on it) and find out more about the Japanese company.

Ricoh was founded in 1936. It's now best known for making photocopiers. Fact!

The R7 is a 8.15-megapixel compact, with CCD-shift image stabilization in a slim metal body. What's really amazing about the compact size of the camera is there's a 7.1x optical zoom lens in there. As a result, when you switch it on and off you get a satisfying robot noise as the double retracting lens spins up and extends little further than the average 3x zoom lens on other compacts.

Ricoh has lent its name, and cash, to the 9,500-seat Ricoh Coliseum indoor arena in Toronto, Canada, and the Ricoh Black Rams, a Japanese rugby union team. Honest!

Even better, the R7's lens is equivalent to 28-200mm on a 35mm film camera. That's rather good, as it means you can fit more in than the typical 35mm. Macro mode also lets you get as close as 1cm, and you get face detection too.

The Ricoh Arena, home to Coventry City FC, is a 32,609-seater football stadium, and also includes a bar named after Canadian rocker (and talented photographer) Bryan Adams. Crazy but true!

Unusually, some of the R7's functions are controlled by a mini-joystick as well as the standard clickpad. This makes altering settings such as exposure compensation or white balance much more intuitive. Once pictures have been taken, you can also adjust brightness and color-tone in-camera and save the results.

The R7 comes in black, silver or orange flavors, and will set you back around 230 pounds (about $464). And we rather like it. Fact!

(Source: Crave UK)