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I bought this camera model a few years ago, mainly due to the 7.1x optical zoom. At the time there were hardly any point and shoot cameras at this price range (I paid about £200) with over about 3x optical zoom, so the Caplio really stood out. It was the only one of these that was still as small as a conventional model, ie it didn't have a bulge at the back to accommodate the zoom.
The zoom lived up to its promise, so it is a great camera for getting photos of architectural detail. This has been very useful on holidays to India and Morocco, where there was plenty of ornate detail.
The Caplio was also billed as having a very good Macro setting, and, although this wasn't something I'd originally given much thought to, I've since taken many lovely photos of plants and flowers with this feature.
Other features are fairly standard: different settings for indoors, cloudy day, etc, etc. Very easy to use. Like most cameras of this price level, taking photos at night is hit and miss. I've found that by using a tripod and the timer setting that I could get very good pictures out of it, however.
Quality-wise, I have found the pictures seemed slightly less sharp than other brand cameras belonging to friends and family. I haven't been too bothered by this, though, as the difference is slight and the added zoom more than makes up for it.
The camera is robust, as I found after dropping it hard on a stone quay. It survived that with only the slightest dent, and has gone on to work perfectly well in the years since.
The Caplio R4 came in silver and black originally, but more colours appeared and mine is 'Mystic Blue', which is a nice, fairly original dark blue colour. This also makes the camera a bit different to all the others out there.
Overall? I love the wide lens and the zoom and macro features, and am pleased to have bought a Ricoh. However, other manufacturers are finally making cameras with greater zoom, and I'd look into those as well when buying my next camera.
The new Caplio R4 is a compact digital camera featuring a 7.1x optical wide zoom, the largest in the compact class, and vibration correction function. With a smaller body, the new Caplio R4, has a 7.1x (28 - 200 mm) wide-angle, high-powered zoom lens, the biggest in its class. Building on the highly successful R3, the new R4 boasts 6 megapixels, longer battery life and a high resolution LCD.