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February 18, 2009

New Ricoh CX1 uses 9mp 1/2.3" CMOS sensor (updated II)

Ricoh has just announced a brand new digital camera, the Ricoh CX1, using a 9mp 1/2.3" CMOS sensor. Some details at (computer-translated). The CX1 starts the new CX-series, and of the current line-up, it more closely matches the R10 which also has a 28-200mm equivalent lens.

Main Ricoh CX1 features
+ 9mp 1/2.3" CMOS sensor
+ 28-200mm f3.3-5.2 lens (7X) with sensor-shift stabilization and 1cm macro
+ claimed dynamic range of 12EV (hello HDR fans?)
+ dynamic range double-shot mode (blend of two high-speed pictures at different exposures) with 4 settings
+ claims of up to +1 EV dynamic range boost using "output pixel interpolation"
+ New engine named "CXI Smooth Imaging Engine IV"
+ scene modes but no manual exposure???
+ no RAW :(
+ 4fps burst mode at 9mp (benefit of not having 12mp)
+ 30fps (30 images) or 15fps (30 images) with 2-megapixel images
+ 120fps (120 images) or 60fps (120 images) with VGA images
+ 3" LCD (920K), no OVF
+ SD/SDHC/etc
+ LiIon battery (270 CIPA)
+ three body color options: silver, black, pink-rose
+ initial monthly production output of 50,000 units
+ March 13 release in Japan
+ UK price of 300 pounds
+ US price is $380 and be pre-ordered at Adorama
+ US release date is estimated to be ...May 2009


Further Reading
The English announcements are coming in, so you can find out more in non-computer-translated form:
+ Ricoh in english with detailed specs
+ Computer-translated from Ricoh Japan
+ Let's Go Digital - pictures of three body colors
+ dpreview with detailed specs
+ Adorama

Reactions to the announcement
A nice discussion of the CX1 at the, and with the perspective of people who are using and loving Ricoh digital cameras.

One forum user in the opinionated but non-denominational "News forum" at dpreview says that Ricoh scored a touch-down. But what was the final score score ask the skeptics? :)

Another discussion has started up in the dpreview Ricoh forum as well.

Expect more discussion to come up in the forum that is dedicated to the R-series and CX-series models, especially when sample images and first impressions and reviews start getting posted...

...because the HDR feature (dynamic range), the CMOS sensor, and the megapixel-restraint (9mp vs 12mp) are generating some interest for the camera...

...however, Ricoh may be shooting itself on the foot by not only not offering RAW, but it looks like this camera does not even have PSAM. None of the specs we saw mention manual exposure or even shutter and aperture priority.

Tidbits on HDR feature at dpreview has posted a follow-up on the CX1, with dpreview asking Ricoh about their new HDR technology. dpreview also strongly hints that they will be reviewing the CX1. However, they did not ask Ricoh why they only gave this camera "dumb modes" and why "no RAW".

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