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Cameras

Hands-on with the Ricoh R10: None more black

The Ricoh R10 is the new black, a camera so swathed in jet shades it would depress Batman. Still, the 7x zoom, wide angle lens and giant screen would cheer anyone up

Bow, mortals! Bow before the satanic majesty of the Ricoh R10, a camera as black as the depths of your soul. This 10-megapixel point-and-shoot is the Johnny Cash of cameras: the cam in black, if you will. The all-metal -- or should that be metaaalllll! -- frame is black, the accents are black, the rubberised grip is black. The lens barrel is black. Even the battery is black.

It boasts a 28mm wide-angle lens, equivalent to a 35mm film camera. That extends to a versatile 7.1x optical zoom, for getting a close-up of the band from the back of the stadium.

Features include CCD sensor-shifting image stabilisation, a 1cm macro function, face detection and backlight compensation. Video is bargain-basement 640x480 or 320x240-pixel resolution, at 30 or 15 frames per second.

Okay, you can also get the R10 in silver or brown, but let's face it, black is the new black. You don't see Darth Vader, ninjas or Chuck Norris prancing around in silver or brown, do you? Mainly because you don't see them at all -- unless they want you to. Walk the line with us by clicking 'Continue' to see more of this dark knight.

The back sports a large 76mm (3.0-inch) HVGA LCD monitor, with controls down the right-hand side. Functions are controlled by a flattened joystick, for the thumb of the right hand.

As well as ten scene modes, there are two customisable user modes on the mode wheel, which spins 360 degrees in both directions. It's a small thing, but it makes a difference.

The Ricoh R10 is back in black now for £180.