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“I have to say I was quite impressed initially with the...”

Written on: 01/10/2002 by "Click". (1 review written)

Good Points
The Caplio RR120 is an easy to use device, with a simple navigation of menus and an equally simple manual/auto/playback dial next to the shutter button. The LCD readout on the top of the camera is also easy to understand and gives plenty of useful informtion, such as number of exposures remaining, resolution mode, flash status, etc. Good picture quality for a 2MP camera.

Bad Points
Eats batteries, especially if the monitor is used (which is almost impossible to see clearly in anything but subdued light). Weak flash. The ISO rating mode does not work at all (Ricoh admit there is a firmware problem) and the legends rubbed off within two weeks of obtaining the camera. If the batteries die whilst shooting, the lens can remain exposed preventing the plastic lens cap being put back on. Battery change also means your preferred settings are lost, even the date and time may need re-inputting.

General Comments
I have to say I was quite impressed initially with the Ricoh Caplio RR120 digital camera, having a 2.1 MP resolution for such a low price (which is what prompted me to buy it). The menu system is logically laid out, making the camera easy to operate. In normal daylight, the image quality was very good, with well exposed and sharp results. However, indoor shots were far less impressive, with the flash barely being enough to illuminate more than a couple of metres. The exposure system was also easily fooled by white clothing or light backgrounds when using flash, causing underexposure. (there is a brief pre-flash to set the exposure and focus). This is when the ISO problem was discovered. The ISO 400 setting actually seems to make the CCD LESS sensitive, making shots muddy and grey, or even total failure to record an image. This was very annoying.

After about two weeks of owning the RR120, I noticed the "RICOH" and "Caplio RR120" legends on the front of the camera had started to rub off. I was sterting to get annoyed. So, here we have a camera retailing for around £200 (300 Euros) which looked like it was ten years old and worth two balloons and a goldfish.

I contacted Ricoh on several occasions to explain the problems and was not very impressed with the level of expertise from their team. After several E-mails outlining the ISO fault and the disappearing legends, I finally received a reply admitting there was a firmware fault and a fix was being worked on.

I decided not to wait, and took the offending article back for a refund. RICOH, you should not release cameras on to the public before faults like these are ironed out!

I now own an Olympus C-300 which is FAR better built, exposure with flash is superb, and it fits the hand better.

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