As with its predecessor, the Ricoh CX5 may be a little shortcoming in its handling, but thankfully it delivers some pretty decent results. Colours are bright and punchy without looking unrealistic, and in auto scene mode, the camera does a good job of recognising what's in front of it.
Creative filters are always a welcome addition to any compact camera, and those on offer here are the same as in the Ricoh CX4: Dynamic Range Double Shot, Miniaturize, High Contrast B&W, Soft Focus, Cross Process and Toy Camera. All are well worth a play and work reasonably well. Miniaturize mode does a decent job of recreating a tilt and shift lens and will work well when photographing from a high vantage point.
Sensitivity can be altered from ISO 100 through to ISO 3200. Low-light performance is very good on the camera, with images remaining virtually noise free from ISO 400 and below, beginning to creep in at 800-1600 and even coping relatively well at 3200. For a compact at this price range it's an impressive performance.
In our tests, chromatic aberration was kept to a minimum, with virtually no examples of purple fringing in photos - a great bonus for travel and holiday photographers who want to take photos of architecture, landscapes, buildings and so on.
In fully Auto scene mode, white balance proved to be spot on most of the time, with the odd exception – this is always worth keeping an eye on when shooting with a camera that is incapable of shooting raw images.