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Ricoh GX200 Digital Camera Review

ricoh091008.jpgDigital Camera Review by: Katrina Putker


The delightful thing about Ricoh’s GX200 is its advanced simplicity. It presents itself as a humble little compact camera without unnecessary bells and whistles and yet it performs very well for a camera of its size and within its price range.

In fact, the GX200’s timeless yet unassuming appearance may well lead the uneducated to believe this boxy, classic black unit couldn’t possibly be equipped with a high resolution 12 megapixel CCD, a brilliant 2.7 inch, 460,000 pixel LCD and the ability to shoot in both RAW (DNG) and/or JPEG formats and yet, that is the reality.

With an RRP if $799, the GX200 is best suited for those who are wanting to take more control over image capture and quality but aren’t quite ready to take on the bulk and financial commitment of a DSLR.

By opting for a unit that rests somewhere in between an entry level point-and-shoot and an entry level DSLR, the consumer will find they get the overall ease-of-use of the former and the increased image quality offered by the latter.

The GX200 hosts a fixed 24-72mm, F2.5-F4.4 lens that Ricoh describe as a ‘super-wide zoom’ boasting good resolution and contrast and an optional wide-angle conversion lens (DW-6) and/or telephoto conversion lens (TC-1) are also available as optional extras.

As a novelty and for an extra $100, a detachable electronic viewfinder (EVF) can also be purchased as an optional accessory to attach to the GX200 (via its hot shoe mount) and while offering a ninety-degree easy tilt action and 100% frame coverage, its true functionality remains somewhat of a mystery when the GX200 already hosts a 2.7 inch LCD screen that displays both the current composition and recorded images perfectly well.

The single benefit that springs to mind is the ability to review images without ambient light having any affect on image quality in which case the EVF acts in the same way that a monitor hood would on a computer monitor.

Having said that, the EVF image is not especially sharp and as a result of being small, requires some fairly severe squinting with the inactive eye that may prove uncomfortable given more than a few moments of continuous viewing.

Despite that, the EVF is a novelty that some users will enjoy and in any case, the dedicated VF/LCD button allows for instant switching between the EVF and the LCD so using either as desired and swapping between the two is possible in an instant.

The GX200 also cleverly detects whether it’s being held in a vertical or horizontal position and automatically rotates either the current image (in playback mode) or the electronic level (in shooting mode) accordingly.

This is especially handy when reviewing images shot in portrait format that appear smaller when holding the GX200 horizontally but will fill the frame for enhanced reviewing when held vertically.

The 3x optical zoom offered isn’t particularly generous compared with some compacts on the market currently offering up to 10x optical zoom.

The zoom toggle is well located however at the natural thumb rest position and while full zoom takes approximately two seconds to achieve, focusing at this position tends to takes a little longer and sometimes, while rare, the GX200 fails to lock focus at all.

The inclusion of an electronic level and live (optional) histogram is certainly welcomed with both features proving useful on a regular basis.

The level, while discreet on the display, is difficult to ignore during composition thereby forcefully helping users discipline themselves into squaring shots up before firing the shutter and thus eliminating any corrections otherwise required in post-production.

For those who know how to ‘read’ a histogram, its presence will help achieve better global exposure (where in contrasty conditions local highlights may still blow out with the GX200 and shadows hold little to no detail) while those unfamiliar with how a histogram works are likely to quickly learn with regular use.

An eight-option mode dial is present on the top of the GX200’s body and offers: auto, program, aperture priority, scene, and three customisable ‘my modes’ that allow for numerous desired settings to be stored and recalled as required.

Scene mode also offers eight individual options including nightscape, skew correct, text, zoom macro, portrait, sports, and landscape as well as movie mode with sound.

While the GX200 is certainly capable of producing some fantastic results, it is a camera that users will have to invest their time in before this is the case across the board.medal-gold-r.jpg

Being a small unit capable of so much, some initial patience is required for navigating through the menu system and learning just what the GX200 is capable of and in what shooting situations the different functions and settings will provide the best results.

And be assured that the investment of time and patience will undoubtedly pay off. This camera is certainly a solid performer with the right user behind it.

It appears to be the case that smaller, more manually controlled and capable compacts favouring 35mm and rangefinder stylings are becoming more and more popular across the market and although Ricoh may not initially be a brand that springs to mind when camera shopping, if the GX200 is anything to go by, there is certainly no reason why it shouldn’t be.


Appearance rating 4 stars
Functionality rating 4 stars
Image quality
4 stars
Lens quality
4 stars
View finder / LCD screen 4 stars
Value for money 4 stars
RRP (AUD) $999
Effective Pixels 12.1 Million mega pixels
Image Sizes 8 Sizes
Lens - zoom wide [mm] 24mm (35mm equivalent )
Lens -zoom tele [mm] 72mm (35mm equivalent )
Lens - Optical Zoom Yes, 3x
Resolution Settings From 640 x 480 to 4000 × 3000
Shooting Modes Auto Shooting Mode/Program Shift Mode/Aperture Priority Mode/Manual Exposure Mode/Scene Mode (Movie/Portrait/Sports/Landscape/ Nightscape/Zoom Macro/Skew Correct Mode/Text Mode)/My Settings Mode
Face Detection No
Manual Focus Yes
Auto Focus Yes
Focus Range [cm] 1cm - infinity
Aperture Range F2.5 (Wide) to F4.4 (telephoto)
Aperture Priority Yes
Macro Yes
Macro Range [cm] 1cm
Shutter Speeds Auto, 180, 120, 60, 30, 15, 8, 4, 2, 1~1/2000 seconds
Shutter Priority No
ISO AUTO/AUTO-HI/ISO64/100/200/400/800/1600
LCD Monitor 2.7" Transparent Amorphous Silicon TFT LCD, approx. 460,000 dots
Viewfinder Yes, External ferro-electric polarization-type liquid crystal Equivalent to approx. 201,000 dots
Flash Auto (during low light and when subject is backlit)/Red-eye Flash/Flash On/Flash Synchro/Manual Flash (Full, 1/1.4, 1/2, 1/2.8, 1/4, 1/5.6, 1/8, 1/11, 1/16, 1/22, 1/32)/Flash Off
Hot Shoe Yes
White balance Auto/Outdoors/Cloudy/Incandescent Lamp/Fluorescent Lamp/Manual Settings/Detail, White balance bracket function
Self Timer Yes, 10sec. and 2sec
Movie Options Yes. Limited only by memory card size.
Video Out Yes
Storage Type SD memory card
Storage Included [Mb] 54MB Internal Memory
Image / Audio Formats JPEG, RAWand AVI
Connectivity USB 2.0 High-speed
Power Source AC adapter
Battery Options DB60 / AAA alkaline battery
Dimensions 111.6mm (W) ×58.0mm (H) ×25.0mm (D)
Weight Approx 208g (excluding battery, SD memory card, strap)


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