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I love this camera. I had the Ricoh Caplio R2 for a few years - only 5MP but it was a great camera and served me well. I knew as soon as I saw the spec that this camera would be its replacement - apart from anything else I wanted compact camera with 28mm equivalent wide angle (if you find it difficult to get back far enough to fit all the people in your group shots then you need a 28mm wide lens too!) which immediately narrows the field. Anyway, so far the CX1 hasn't disappointed me at all... I'm not sure if it's quite so fast from 'on' to 'snap' as the R2 but it's certainly no slouch. And the LCD screen is so big and bright, even in very bright sunny conditions, it's very easy to use. I'm not much of a photographer, I spend most of my time in point-and-shoot mode, but I do like to take close-up pics of flowers and plants, so having a macro function that goes down to 1cm is a must-have feature for me, which this camera has (unusual for a compact I think). The DR mode is good for filling in dark spots in back-lit shots, so great for someone like me who isn't too good at composing a pic (and doesn't bother exposure bracketing and merging in photoshop later). I haven't found many downsides so far... the zoom is a little clunky, quite difficult to make small adjustments (a flick of the switch usually seems to jump further than I want so I find myself jumping in and out until I get the zoom level I want). I also had a problem about a month in where one side of the lens cover got stuck. I thought it would be a repair job for sure, but managed to free it with a pin and so far it hasn't stuck again. But the mechanism of the lens cover feels pretty fragile, so I've since shelled out for the official Ricoh case (not cheap) to make sure it's protected.
Some of the shots I've taken with this are as good as anything I can do with my much bigger 'serious' camera - the difference is that this is small enough to keep with me most of the time, so I'm getting images that just wouldn't have happened because I wouldn't have bothered taking a big camera with me.
There are cheaper cameras available and cameras with more features, but this does everything I want and seems to do it well.
While high dynamic range is only recently getting some attention in the gaming and display worlds for decades its been a tool of serious photographers wanting eye-popping exposures. Now Ricohs gone and offered it to the masses with its latest consumer digi cam the CX1 creating a dynamic range double shot mode that takes two images nearly simultaneously with different exposures then combines them automatically to present the best bits of both. It features a 9 megapixel CMOS sensor fronted by a 7.1x (28-200mm) lens and backed by a 3-inch LCD. VGA videos are a bit disappointing these days but 120 frames per second can be captured at that resolution which is good news for slow-mo junkies.