Conclusion: I can honestly say that I very much enjoyed using the Ricoh R8 while working on this review but I'll also quote Johann Wolfgang von Goethe who once wrote: 'There is strong shadow where there is much light'. So, if you are thinking about purchasing an R8 I recommend you make an effort and read this entire review to make sure the camera matches your requirements and does not shade your photographic ventures with one of its shortcomings.
Pros: Very compact body for the zoom range, Good lens with a very versatile zoom range, Sharp and detailed results at low ISO (although some artifacts visible 'up close'), Effective macro mode, Good responsiveness and overall speed (although focus slows down a lot in low light), Superb user interface and menus - intuitive and customizable, Excellent high resolution screen, Good build quality and attractive design, AF/AE target very useful for macro work, In-camera levels an...
Cons: Very slow focus and focus hunting in low light, Face Detection unreliable and only available as a shooting mode, Ineffective image stabilization system, not available in movie mode, Zoom and focus pretty noisy, White balance under artificial light not brilliant, very unreliable at ISO 400 and higher, Heavy purple fringing on high contrast edges, The usual small sensor highlight clipping, Noise reduction smears very fine detail even at base ISO, Generally slightly over...
Excerpt: The Ricoh R8 ($399) is a stylish, midsize camera offering
a 10 Megapixel CCD, impressive 28 - 200 mm zoom lens, image stabilization,
and a super high resolution 2.7" LCD display. Other features include face
detection, "skew correction", a 1:1 aspect ratio, and a VGA movie mode. Like
other recent Ricoh cameras, the R8 has very
limited availability in the US, so you may have to work a little to find
Pros: Good photo quality for smaller-sized prints, Great 28 - 200 mm zoom range; minimum barrel distortion, Sensor-shift image stabilization, Stylish, well built metal body, Stunning, ultra high resolution LCD display, Some manual controls, Decent continuous shooting mode (for a 10MP camera), Customizable adjustment menu, spots on mode dial, Unique level and white balance compensation features in playback mode, USB 2.0 High Speed support
Cons: Overprocessed images with noise, noise reduction / sharpening artifacts; banding at higher ISOs, Redeye a problem, White balance struggles under unusual lighting conditions, Low light focusing could be better, Lens is slow at the wide-angle end, Weak flash, LCD nearly impossible to see in low light, No optical viewfinder, Image stabilizer not available in movie mode, Plastic tripod mount; can't swap memory cards while camera is on a tripod, Not much built-in memory, N...
Excerpt: Ricoh is marketing the compact camera as a lighter, more discreet alternative to the DSLR without limiting the user. Ricoh’s attempted to create this type of camera through its flagship Caplio series, but this time has done away with the Caplio moniker, simply calling it the R8.
Summary: If you want a small camera with a big lens and screen, the Ricoh R8 is worth considering, especially if you need up to 7x optical zoom from a compact camera. A much improved rear screen adds to this sturdily built camera.
Conclusion: I like the Ricoh R8. It is certainly worth considering alongside some of the more widely recognised brands such as Canon, Sony and Panasonic. Aside from some issues with colour the R8 takes a decent photo in most situations.
Summary: : The Ricoh R8 looks and feels great, and is capable of taking some great photos. The camera has a sharp wide angle 7.1x optical zoom lens, and is almost ultra compact, similar in size to other ultra compact cameras such as the IXUS 90 IS. Ricoh appear to have moved this camera upmarket with a newly designed body, and improved hand grip and control dial.
Pros: Good image quality, Great wide angle 7.1x optical zoom lens, CCD-shift image stabilisation helps with zoom and low light, Excellent high resolution 2.7" screen,, Excellent macro mode, Images are sharp straight from the camera, Square, 1:1 image format available, Comfortable, compact, solid body, Excellent styling - especially the two-tone version, Level and White Balance compensation in playback, Quick performance, Focus assist light
Cons: Black and White scene mode has limited options, High noise levels in all ISO settings, Poor flash position, Quite expensive
Conclusion: The Ricoh R8 successfully combines an impressive feature set with a user-friendly interface at an affordable price. The robust body, slick controls and wide range of customisable options means that – as far as we’re concerned – Ricoh has been successful in their mission to create a camera that you really will want to use every day.