The Good Broad, 28-300mm equivalent focal range (10.7x optical zoom);. Solid build;. Very high resolution LCD for composition and review;. Fairly priced.
The Bad Noisy zoom operation and no zoom in movie mode;. Not much in the way of a handgrip;. Workmanlike design.
The Bottom Line It's not going to kick-start any trends, but the workmanlike Ricoh CX4 is another solid showing from Ricoh in every sense of the word. Its zoom capability and above-average screen resolution is what raises this camera above the pile.
In common with all of Ricoh's cameras, and indeed its recent predecessor, the 10-megapixel, back-illuminated, 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor-sporting CX4 is outwardly drab and boxy. The whimsical curves and arcs of premium Canon IXUS and Panasonic Lumix models are not for this camera. Even Ricoh admits it's "workmanlike," but don't let that put you off this £260 compact travel zoom.
The R&D budget for the CX4 has been spent on its lens and components -- yes, the bits that truly matter -- suggesting this is a camera for those who care more about photographic image than personal image. It's a tool for everyday snapping that's slightly more sophisticated than the average point-and-shoot. It will slide easily into and out of trouser pockets or handbags. Surprisingly, for the ever-so-serious Ricoh, the CX4 comes in frivolous pink along with standard black and silver. There's no raw shooting option, just fine or normal-compression JPEGs.
As well as looking like it was fashioned in a Russian tractor factory, it feels like it, too. The CX4 is reassuringly robust and solid at 205g with card and battery. The CX4, 24.4mm at its slimmest point, lacks much in the way of a definitive handgrip, save for a thin sliver down the front of the camera that you can dig your fingers into.
Canon, Pentax power forward to lure high-end camera buyers
Trying to coax consumers toward a world beyond smartphones, camera makers at the CP+ trade show reveal plans for dramatically better premium products.
Pentax seeks turnaround with tiny Q, giant 645 cameras
The teensy Q cameras flopped in the US, but they remain central to Pentax's effort to rebuild its business and brand. Also coming: a big price cut for the K-50 SLR -- and leaf-shutter lenses for the beefy 645Z.
The camera announcements of CP+ 2014
Japan's CP+ tradeshow has become the de facto hub around which manufacturers make their spring camera announcements. Here's a handy guide to our coverage.
Shooting forward: A look at a mature camera market
Digital photography is exploding, yet camera sales continue to slump. Here's a look at the current market and what should change.
Pentax to stop making compacts, focus on SLRs
In a move that stems from Ricoh's recent buy-out of the company, Pentax will stop producing compact cameras and instead focus on interchangeable lens models.
Pentax debuts adventure-ready, $850 dSLR
The K-30 has the promise of speed and great photos, plus it's dust-and-weather sealed and ready for sub-freezing temperatures.
Compact cameras for advanced shooters (roundup)
Are you ready to step up to a more sophisticated model or are you thinking about stepping down to something smaller than a dSLR? These are for you.
Samsung NX100 is latest lens-swapping snapper
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Sony NEX-3, NEX-5 and camcorder teaser: NEX marks the swap
Sony is blasting into the lens-swapping camera game with two new interchangeable lens snappers -- the NEX-3 and NEX-5 -- and a teaser for a lens-swapping camcorder system
Ricoh GXR gets P10 zoom plus GPS, projector, and underwater Wi-Fi
Ricoh is showing off a range of modules that turn the GXR modular camera into a printer, projector, and Scuba diving point-and-shoot
Ricoh CX3: Silently shoot your pets
Ricoh's updated its CX2 compact superzoom with, among other things, a 'pets mode' that kills the flash and noise so you don't disturb your furry friends' slumber
Samsung NX10: Hands-on with photography's ginger stepchild
At CES, we gave the NX10, Samsung's first mirrorless, interchangeable-lens camera, a quick spin. Click through to find out why we feel let down