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on 2 February 2012
Digital cameras have improved enormously since I had my Nikon 775 in 2001. I've used quite a few since then but I doubt that I'll need another one for a long time now, as this covers all the bases for me. The standard size compact sensor is a little limited when compared to a DSLR but much less so than I'd expected. The pictures certainly compare well with those from the Panasonic LX3 I used before this - there's no noticeable difference in quality in the jpegs. What I particularly like about the CX5 are the following:
1. Excellent build quality and simple, uncluttered design.
2. The facility to set the zoom in steps of 28,35,50,85, 105,135, 200 and 300mm equivalents - for someone who remembers those sizes well and who has had most of them in the last 40-odd years as separate prime lenses, this is a treat!
3. Wonderful rear monitor - you'd be happy to watch the evening news on it.
4. Good range of scene modes and the useful scene auto mode, plus automatic HDR, which solves the problem with most digital compacts of loss of detail in shadows.
5. Quick access to white balance and 2-second self-timer [much better than a cable release most of the time!] via the little joystick.
6. The 'electronic spirit level' - don't know how I ever managed without it!
It tends to underexpose a bit in low light unless you use a longer exposure so a pocket tripod is a good idea. Good, natural colour on the standard setting [I also upped the default sharpness a point]. It doesn't do RAW but the jpegs are great so that isn't a miss.
This is probably the perfect travel camera. If I ever go back to the semi-pro market I'll have to get another DSLR but if you want a camera which will do everything reliably and automatically, goes in your trouser pocket and which has a brilliant zoom range, look no further. People have said that it doesn't have the best movie facility but I agree with the guy who said somewhere else on this site that if you want to do movies, get a movie camera.
One last thing - it fits beautifully in a Crumpler CC55 pouch.
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on 29 December 2011
I'd previously owned the Ricoh CX1 which I purchased after much deliberation and research. Sadly I lost it whilst in New York and so when I came back to London I decided there was only one suitable replacement, the updated model the Ricoh CX5.

Ricoh haven't made major changes in the specification of the CX range since the inital CX1 but each time something new is added or tweaked a little to give a slowly evolved camera that is pretty much everything you need while travelling.

For a start, there's a great Wide - Long range lens equivalent to a 28-300mm lens on a 35mm camera. This ranges from a F3.5 at the wide end to F5.6 at the Telephoto end. Macro is from as close as 1cm at wide and 28cm for telephoto. On top of the optical zoom there is a digital zoom which incorporates clever technology in the resolution of the picture to give an effective 600mm or upto 2,880mm when using the optical, super-resolution zoom and digital zoom.

Continuous shooting is available from 5 fps up to an astonishing 12o frames a second at a reduced resolution.

You can also do clever stuff like change the aspect ratio of your images - 4:3, 1:1 or 16:9, depending on where you plan to view / use them.

There are loads of other features to keep even the most confident and experienced photographer happy, from Colour, white balance and focus bracketing to special effects like miniature, black and white grain, etc

Several modes are also provided to cover things like portraits, landscapes, nightscapes, night portraits and sports.

All in all, a great verstatile compact camera that is constantly in my pocket wherever I go, never to miss that important shot again!
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on 8 July 2013
The camera does exactly what I want without going to a full blooded DSLR. I use it mostly for identification photographs of moths found in a moth trap (not publication pictures). It has seriously good anti vibration mechanism, and although I use the 2 sec delay and have the camera mounted on a holder, I can hold by hand if there are difficulties and I have not had to redo a picture because of movement. The only problem is a function of its convenience - there is not much room for the fingers when positioning the camera. The increased definition of the display in CX 6 would not be of benefit to me.
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on 27 March 2014
Well designed and built with a good sensor. Slightly enhanced colour without flash which makes pics in poor light and dull days better than they actually are. All round a great little snapper for the money.
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on 4 November 2013
having spent money on many mid-high range compacts I decided to set my sights a little higher and try out a mirrorless/dslr camera. well .. the bottom line is that I have found the photo quality of a good csc/dslr to be so very very very much superior. so superior that they put (for me) the 'compact' camera to shame...aside that is from the 'much lauded' sony high end RX compact camera and similarly sized/priced compact offerings.
I then decided that I should have (to hand) a mid range compact camera. something that was 'by definition' more pocketable. on the face of it..the ricoh cx5 is not a budget camera.
I did (admittedly) pay a budget price but its rrp and the sales talk put forward by ricoh suggests that is of a high quality. along with many other £150-£200 offerings bought from amongst the ranks of all the camera brands I had bought/tried and sold on a cx3 before. at the time I felt it was ok but I was 'itching' for something more.
well.. I am now the proud and contented owner of sony nex and pentax k series cameras..both of which (quite simply) blow the ricoh cx5 out of the water. I find the ricoh to (by comparison) be crudely inferior and the comparison to be akin to andorra vs. spain (in footballing terms).
ultimately .. my advice to anyone thinking of buying this mid range (or similar) compact is to spend a little (or a lot) more and get yourself one of the many high quality csc cameras. you won't achieve (aside from being able to afford/buy the sony rx compact or something similar from another brand) out and out portability married to high quality photos from a csc..but the end product is (I firmly believe) so very much more 'giving' and fully justifies the extra money paid out.
the hit and miss results of the budget/mid range compact put it firmly (I believe) in a throw away category of consumer goods .. and they should all (I increasingly believe) be loaded onto a ship and dumped far out to sea.
so .. whether it's the cx5 or a similarly priced mid range compact your are looking to buy .. you should take the declared 'great in low light' claims to be false and misleading .. and thereafter up your budget .. do a little homework and invest your money into something far more giving...
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