Compact digital camera gets faster with Ricoh CX5
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Compact digital camera gets faster with Ricoh CX5

By Daniel East

How is it possible to take a compact digital camera that for most people is already perfect and improve upon its stellar features? It seemed as if this line had reached its pinnacle with the CX4 (, but in true Ricoh style, they weren’t about to let "good enough" suffice.

The new CX5 (US$329) is quite remarkable and there really are some new features, but it all comes down to one word: speed. The CX5 is, by far, their fastest and most impressive incarnation of this body type to date. The new hybrid autofocus is impressive in nearly any situation.

From macro to magnified, the mechanism is smooth and extremely quick, allowing the capture of your subject as your eye sees it -- when it sees it -- and it’s rated at just over 0.2 seconds for either wide-angle or telephoto shooting. Ricoh’s new Super-resolution technology subtly enhances the edges with an increase in the micro-contrast; images have fewer visual artifacts with improved details but the overall image quality is slightly reduced at maximum magnification (which is now equivalent to a 600mm telephoto).

In the fun department, CX5 adds new shooting modes. The Cooking mode is fantastic and allows the user to make tonal corrections for the image. Another great, and fast for this category, addition is the new Golf Swing Continuous mode that shoots approximately 12 frames per second for two seconds to, well, check your golf swing.

There is more, but the bottom line is that each update to the CX family trumps its ever-so-slightly older siblings. In my reviews of each CX model, Ricoh’s brilliant zoom capabilities surprised even me, and clearly, this continues to make the brand stand out in an already very crowded retail space for this category. Recommending any model in this line is easy since they all stand up well by offering great digital images.

Rating: 10 out of 10

(This review is brought to you courtesy of "Layers Magazine": .)

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