Just after my daughter was born I bought the Ricoh Caplio R7 for my wife as she was on maternity leave and I wanted her to have something nice and easy to use so she could capture the changes over those first few months.
I did all the research on the cameras that fitted the budget I had in mind and originally decided against the Ricoh despite the good reviews as it was too expensive. A bit of hunting around and with the use of a discount code, I got a good price from Jessops so I ordered online and collected in store an hour later.
Opening the box I was instantly impressed with it. A lovely neat design with all the main controls laid out where they were easy to use. Once charged up it was time for a test run and my initial impressions of how the camera looked were boosted by how good the pictures looked. Even on the basic automatic settings it works well and produces good clear and accurate pictures in most conditions, with the extra modes for night, portrait, action etc it can cope with whatever you need it to capture.
The zoom was one of the big attractions of this camera with a larger optical zoom than most in this price bracket, it stood out as a clear winner over similar spec models that only had digital zooms which will lose clarity the more you zoom in. Controls for zooming are conveniently positioned on a small lever just in front of the shutter and the zoom is fast, quiet and accurate.
So far this camera was a real winner with us but after about 9 months we started to get problems with the video feature on the camera. Picture quality was still excellent and the auto focus still worked brilliantly when changing zoom level or when the subject was moving around. The problem was the loud sound of static that drowned out the audio it should have recorded.
We took it back to Jessops and after being told that it was down to us holding our finger over the microphone we switched the camera to video set it on the counter, pressed record and stepped back. After the assistant listened to the clip he arranged for it to be sent back to Ricoh for servicing. 4 weeks later it arrived back and again we tested it in store and again it was packaged up for return to the factory as the fault was still there. Another 4 weeks and a replacement microphone later another trip to Jessops to find the camera was still playing up ended up in a full refund.
To their credit, Jessops had offered to lend me a camera while it was sent away the second time so I was happy to buy a replacement (Fujifilm this time) from them as the Ricoh failings weren't down to them although I would have expected them to test the camera before calling me to say it was back from repair.
With the features on this camera along with the image quality, for the price it is a bargain. The problems we had mean I obviously can't give it full marks but it was such a good piece of kit when it did work and the memories it has captured for us means I can't be too harsh.
Excellent camera with a very acceptable price. I brought this for producing very detailed focused clinical images of patients and their teeth. The level of detail is very high and camera can focus automatically.
A good option on this camera is that you can specify your own settings and you can select these quickly with the "My" button. It also has a macro button for taking photos at close range. The zoom is very accurate and the flash has several options e.g. auto/soft etc. Overall the menus are very easy to negotiate.
Aesthetically the camera is very pleasing and well designed. The case comes in black, silver or orange. It has a large display screen on the back and a large zoom lense on the front.
On disadvantage is it has a specific battery for this model of camera so if you lose charge you can't borrow a charger for a different make/brand of camera.
The R7 has improved so much compared to my older R5. The relocation of the zoom lever back to the front (same as the R6) permits better holding/zooming with one hand. The unique ADJUST button which operates like a joystick works well. Startup is fast & you'll be ready to shoot within 2 seconds. Zooming from wide to tele is very fast. Focusing is fast & accurate but tend to lag in low light. I ordered 3 units for my company use, typically for close up job. Everyone loves them and they're amazed with the price (around USD445 with 3 years warranty). The Continuos-S mode is very useful for sports analysis where is take 16 shot in 2 seconds, framing it into one file You can view each frame in sequence. Playback and scrolling between the pictures are fast. The 2 "MY" presets allow you to save 2 different frequenly used settings. Very useful for those who frequently need to change settings.