Ricoh PX review

A water, dust and shockproof compact camera with a high-res sensor

Ricoh PX
Rugged waterproof cameras don't have to look bulky and rough

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Ricoh px

Ricoh claims the PX is ready for action in approximately 1.4 seconds, and while this much is true it's not particularly class leading.

Things are slightly better with the focusing system, though: the multi-pattern option does well to identify key subjects and focus accordingly, and while the system isn't the fastest we've seen at this price point. it's snappy enough for most types of photography.

While the LCD screen suffers from the typical issues with visibility in bright light, and isn't quite as highly specified as some other digital camera displays, it redeems itself somewhat by having a wider viewing angle than expected.

The Ricoh PX shows no ill effects after being dropped from various heights up to its 1.5m limit, and seems more than happy to be used underwater too.

Ricoh px

Here, the menu system is still easy to read and images are displayed well, although, as may be expected, the screen's viewing angle isn't quite as great as it is out of the water. Underwater focusing speeds are good, though, and images typically show just a small drop in contrast.

After use, we couldn't spot any water droplets inside the battery compartment, and the camera's design meant that it could be easily and quickly dried too.

The camera does a decent job to expose correctly for most scenes. Instead of focusing on any main subject, the multi-pattern system attempts to compromise for the whole scene. This is good for predictability but not so great if you simply want print-ready results.

On the handful of occasions it does under or overexpose it's understandably because there are dominant highlight or shadow areas. With colour, the camera is reasonably faithful in its reproduction of tones and colours. Auto white balance is good most of the time, even if now and again it makes images appear a little too warm.

Ricoh px

Sadly, details at 100% are lacking, thanks to noise and the imapct of in-camera noise reduction, which mar images shot on even the lowest sensitivities. Colour is fine up until ISO 800, but past this noise reduction takes over and leaves images looking decidedly less lively.

These issues with noise are applicable to the camera's movie recording too, which means they also lack a little bite.

Sound quality is reasonable, though, and there's only a little ambient noise picked up by the Ricoh PX's microphone.

Some chromatic aberrations are also noticeable, but, overall, these are well controlled, and only really visible at 100%, while distortions from the lens are also present but pleasingly minimal.

Photos shot between the 5-10x Super Resolution range of the camera's zoom aren't quite as good as they are when taken with the camera's standard optical zoom, with a noticeable dip in contrast and detail.

This being said, for web use and at smaller print sizes, such flaws aren't anywhere near as noticeable as they are at 100%.