Ricoh updates prime-lens compact

The GR Digital IV from Ricoh adds a hybrid autofocus system locks in 0.2 seconds, half that of its predecessor.


The GR line of compact cameras feature a fast 28mm/F1.9 lens and a 10 megapixel 1/1.7-inch CCD. Ricoh says  the newest model boasts a refined image engine and optical filter; sensor shift image stabilization that achieves a stabilization effect equivalent to a shutter speed increase of a maximum of 3.2 stops, the company claims; increased ISO sensitivity to 80 – 3,200; an electronic level that detects tilt; and Dynamic Range Compensation that shoots subjects in backlit or high-contrast scenes.

Another interesting feature: the Interval Composite mode replaces and combines the high-brightness pixel data in images of the night sky taken at fixed intervals. This makes it possible to shoot distinctive landscape pictures that show the trails of light left by the stars, Ricoh says.

Pricing was not announced.

More information is here.


Ricoh to buy Pentax brand from Hoya

Ricoh will pay approximately $124 million for the Pentax brand, which Hoya acquired in a merger in 2008.

Pentax announced the compact Q system camera last month.

Ricoh, which reportedly sold less than half a million cameras last year, will enter the interchangeable lens camera business, and grow Pentax’ surveillance business.

Ricoh notes its “long tradition as a camera manufacturer going back to its establishment in 1936. In 1995, Ricoh became one of the first companies to produce digital cameras.”

The goal of the acquisition, the company says, “is to establish a firmer presence in the consumer business, which has been a considerable challenge for Ricoh.”

However, Hoya will continue to use the Pentax brand name for endoscopes and other products.




Ricoh speeds up rough outdoors camera

“To capture all the action, the camera springs to life within just 1.4 seconds,” Ricoh says of its latest waterproof, shockproof and dust-resistant model, the PX.

The camera has a 16-megapixel sensor, 5x optical zoom lens, and 2.7-inch LCD; it will sell for about $250.

It can survive drops from five feet, is waterproof to ten feet deep, and resists dust, sand and dirt, the company says.




Ricoh combines focusing methods in hybrid design

A new camera’s hybrid AF system combines a passive autofocus sensor with contrast detection — for AF focusing times as fast as 0.2 seconds — twice as fast as the previous model, Ricoh claims.

The CX5 camera also boast “super-resolution technology” which Ricoh says “discerns outlines, details, and gradations in the image automatically and processes the image based on the optimal settings for each.” The level of super-resolution can be set to off, weak, or strong, and yields a zoom equivalent to up to 600mm, in addition to the 10.7× optical zoom, Ricoh says.

The camera has a 10-megapixel sensor, 3-inch LCD, and a zoom range equivalent to 28–300mm. It measures 4 by 2.3 by 1.2 inches. Pricing was not announced.

Ricoh Zooms New Module

Ricoh announced a third camera module for its GXR camera system, this one boasting long-zoom optics.

The GXR body holds only the LCD, flash, microphone and speaker, and other minor elements. It costs about $550.

A lens, sensor, and primary image processor are all sold separately in distinct modules. Previous the company announced 3x zoom and fixed 50mm modules.

The new P10 has the equivalent of a 28-300mm lens, and a 10 megapixel sensor.

More info is online.