Ricoh Australia R50
Adequate for the asking price
- Small and lightweight, novice-friendly scene functions, manual focus options
- Noise noticeable even at low ISO settings, lethargic playback menu, images lacked vibrancy
The Ricoh R50 is an average compact camera that provides a fair-to-middling performance across the board. While image quality could be better, it offers an assortment of useful modes and features to make the beginner's life easier.
Price$ 299.00 (AUD)
The artist formally known as ‘Caplio’ is back with a new entry-level compact camera. Simply titled the R50, this latest addition to the Ricoh range packs plenty of consumer-friendly features into a highly portable package (standouts include a 1/2.3in 10-megapixel CCD sensor, a 5x optical zoom, 15 scene functions and a manual focusing mode). At $299, it provides passable image quality for the asking price, although even at low ISO settings noise was more prevalent than we’re used to. While it should satisfy those in need of an affordable point-and-shoot camera, we can’t help but feel there are better options on the market. It’s also a bit drab looking to boot.
The R50 is the latest entry-level compact to offer 10-megapixel images. While this number is beloved by marketers and shoppers alike, it doesn’t necessarily guarantee great results — especially if it isn't paired with a decent sized sensor. In the R50’s case, we found our photos were adequate at best, and that was when shooting in optimum conditions. Like most prospective R50 users, we began shooting at the default setting straight out of the box, and were less than enthused by the results. While fairly sharp, our test shots suffered from some speckling and colours appeared washed out and muted. If you’re the type of photographer who prefers an injection of rich vibrancy, the R50 might be a little too neutral for your tastes.
The R50 offers ISO settings from 50 to 3200, with results taking a turn towards ugly at 400. Typically, a compact camera’s output should remain uncompromised at ISO 400, so the R50 is slightly under par in this respect. Image noise and loss of detail were both unpleasantly high when we magnified photos that were taken at this setting. This was further exacerbated by dim lighting, with the inbuilt flash failing to eradicate noise from the frame (this problem can be partially attributed to the R50’s maximum wide aperture of f/3.5).
For most people, the two most important selling points for a compact camera — apart from the ability to take great photos — are style and portability. While the R50 excels in the latter category (it measures just 93x56.3x23.4mm), its appearance could be considered too plain for some. With its traditional silver finish and basic oblong design, it lacks the visual pizzazz of some of its trendier rivals, such as the Nikon CoolPix S550 or FujiFilm FinePix Z100fd. Subsequently, pulling it out of your purse or jacket is unlikely to occasion much comment from friends or family. If you prefer your gadgets to instil delight and envy in those who see them, we’d advise looking for something swankier.
It’s not all bad though. Casual users should be particularly impressed with the inclusion of 15 separate scene functions. From the sports function (for fast moving images) to the cosmetic function (for flattering skin tones), the range of modes on offer will allow novices to get the kind of result they desire with minimal know-how. Another interesting feature of the Ricoh R50 is its manual focus mode. This is achieved by making incremental adjustments with the camera’s macro button. To be honest, we’re not sure whether many users will take advantage of this function, but it remains a nice feature to have at your disposal. It should prove especially handy on those rare occasions when the autofocus has trouble ‘locking’ on to an intended subject.
We found the R50’s menu interface took some getting used to. For one thing, it lacks the comforting familiarity of a function wheel, which is sure to throw some users off. This means you will need to wade through multiple menu screens to select certain shooting options, which can be irritating in the long run. Adding to the pain is the lethargic playback menu. Swapping between images can take up to two seconds, while moving back to camera mode takes even longer. Consequently, you could end up looking at the flashing ‘Processing’ message more than your actual photos. On the plus side, the 2.3 inch LCD display does a good job of displaying information and images (this is just as well, as the R50 lacks an optical viewfinder).
Join the PC World newsletter!
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Lexar® Portable SSD
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Huawei Mate 9
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Acer Swift 7
Google Daydream VR headset
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Surface Pro 4
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
HP Pavilion x360 13”
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- 2 ZTE Axon 7 review: Is ZTE dumping old stock on Australia?
- 3 Oppo R9s smartphone full review
- 4 Huawei Nova Plus smartphone review
- 5 Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: Phones just got smarter
Latest News Articles
- Boom: SanDisk just dropped the world's largest SD card
- Camera app makers tap into RAW power with iOS, and look forward to dual lenses
- Google Camera 3.2 lets you snap pictures while recording video
- CES 2016: Top 10 trends
- Sony α7S II aimed film-makers and low light photographers
PCW Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- Time to ditch Foxtel and the iQ3: How to replace Foxtel packages with cheaper alternatives
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- CCDevops Consultant - 12 month contractVIC
- FTSupport Analyst / Production Support - InformaticaNSW
- FTPrincipal Architect - Infrastructure | Major BankVIC
- TPBusiness AnalystACT
- CCTelecommunication Operations SpecialistTAS
- FTSenior Software Engineer - JavaQLD
- CCSAP Consultant - SAP Native HANA to DesignWA
- FTJunior Software Engineer - Adelaide Based (PV, NV2 or NV1 required)VIC
- TPBusiness Process Analyst (Newcaslte Based)NSW
- TPTest AnalystQLD
- FTBusiness AnalystNSW
- TPOrganisational Change Manager | Enterprise Information SharingQLD
- TPScrum MasterVIC
- CCSolution Architect - Financial applicationsVIC
- FTSenior Business AnalystNSW
- CCFinance Analyst/ Project SpecialistVIC
- FTData AnalystQLD
- TPDatabase Integration SpecialistVIC
- FT.Net DeveloperVIC
- CCFront End DeveloperNSW
- FTSenior Business Project ManagerNSW
- TPIT Project CoordinatorVIC
- FTProject / Implementation Coordinator (Junior-Mid Level) Sunshine Coast LocationQLD
- CCSenior Project Coordinator - Banking/Financial ServicesNSW
- FTOnline Solutions AnalystNSW