Ricoh unveils CX5 with hybrid AF, continues tradition of subtle improvements

The folks at Ricoh have dependable predictability down pat, and the CX5's specs are, for the most part, nothing new. We've talked up the CX line of compact superzooms since the release of the CX1 almost two years ago, and we've watched the company fine-tune the already impressive camera with each new edition. Every incarnation of the CX series is just a tad better than the last: you might recall the CX4 didn't make any big changes, either. The CX5 offers few marked signs of improvement (at least on paper) over its predecessor, but it does sport a hybrid AF that combines a distance sensor with contrast detection to bring focus rates down to two-tenths of a second: twice as fast as the CX4. Other than that -- you guessed it -- the CX5 sports the same specs as its predecessor (unless you count the addition of a "continuous golf swing" mode). So, if you're looking for a big step up from your CX4, you might want to wait for the next generation. Then again, we can't guarantee Ricoh will break with tradition.

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Offering High-speed Focus with a Hybrid AF System
Compact digital camera with 10.7× optical zoom (28-300 mm)
Introducing the new CX5

RICOH COMPANY, LTD. (helmed by president and CEO Shiro Kondo) will be releasing its newly developed CX5 digital camera model with its wide-angle, high magnification 10.7× optical zoom (28–300 mm) lens, which has a higher autofocus speed due to the use of Ricoh's new hybrid AF system.

With the new CX5 model, AF focusing times are decreased to as low as 0.2 sec. for both wide-angle 28 mm and telephoto 300 mm, up to half as short compared to the CX4, using Ricoh's unique new hybrid AF system. This ensures that you reliably capture the image you were waiting for, never to miss another good shot again.

Using super-resolution technology, the CX5 also allows (1) recording of images with improved resolution using the "Super-resolution" setting and (2) telephoto shooting at up to 600 mm equivalent with minimal degradation in image quality using "Super-resolution Zoom."

Furthermore, in addition to the new Cooking, Fireworks, and Continuous Golf Swing scene modes, the CX5 has improved features that make shooting photographs even more fun through the use of super-resolution zoom during Zoom Macro mode shooting and other functions. The CX5 is an even more enhanced compact digital camera that was designed based on the concept of it being "a tool that you will find yourself wanting to use every day."

Available in three colors: Black, Silver, and Pink.

Main Features of the New CX5 Model
1. High-speed autofocus using the unique hybrid AF system developed by Ricoh
* Equipped with Ricoh's unique new hybrid AF system in combination with a passive AF sensor that continuously measures the distance between the camera and subject using an area sensor together with Contrast AF (a system in which the imaging elements search for the peak location for contrast on the subject and focus on that location).
* Enables AF focusing times to be shortened to as low as 0.2 sec. for both wide-angle 28 mm and telephoto 300 mm, up to half as short compared to the CX4 model. Ensures that you capture the image you were waiting for over the entire zoom range so that you never miss another good shot again.

2. Improved image resolution through use of super-resolution technology
* Enables amazing photographs with high resolution to be produced using the CX5's new super-resolution technology, which 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.

3. Super-resolution zoom equivalent to up to 600 mm in addition to the 10.7× 28–300 mm optical zoom
* Allows a wide-angle, high-magnification 10.7× optical zoom lens to fit into a compact body with a thickness of 29.4 mm using Ricoh's unique retracting lens system.
* Equipped with super-resolution zoom that enables magnification of up to 2.0×. Enables telephoto shooting at up to 600 mm equivalent with minimal degradation in image quality.
* Enables even greater magnification of the subject from super-resolution zoom with use of digital zoom. Allows photographs to be taken with ultra-telephoto zoom at up to 2880 mm.

4. High-quality photography that widens the range of image expression
* Offering reduced loss of detail in highlights using an output pixel interpolation algorithm residing in dedicated logic circuits in the Smooth Imaging Engine IV imaging engine to allow high-contrast scenes to be reproduced more faithfully, exactly as they appear to the naked eye.
* Reduces noise without affecting resolution, tone characteristics, or color using a noise reduction algorithm to process the image signal as it is output from the CMOS image sensor. Enables sophisticated variance-estimation type noise reduction processing in which the sensor image data's noise variance is analyzed and the optimum processing is done for each region when the noise reduction level is set to MAX.
* Equipped with a back-illuminated 10.00 million-pixel CMOS sensor. Ensures that beautiful images can be captured even in dark scenes.

5. 14 different types of Scene Modes providing easy access to whole suites of photographic techniques specifically adapted to the subject
* Comes with a new Cooking mode that is perfect for shooting photographs of food. The new Cooking mode setting enables the brightness and color tone of the scene to be adjusted while the subject is checked.
* Includes a new Fireworks mode that works great for taking shots of fireworks as they flash across the sky.
* Comes with a new Golf Swing Continuous mode that displays grid lines during shooting and playback. Perfect to use for checking your golf swing.
* Enables super-resolution zoom to be used in Zoom Macro mode, which optimizes the zoom position automatically to allow the subject to be shot even larger than with normal macro shooting. Allows the subject to be shot even larger without any degradation of image quality as with normal zoom.

6. Creative shooting modes that allow you to enjoy shooting creative images
* Comes with six different types including Soft Focus, Cross Process, Toy Camera, and Miniaturize that can be selected to fit the subject and type of scene. Allows you to enjoy shooting images with a variety of effects.

7. High-definition 3.0-inch, 920,000-dot LCD monitor
* Equipped with a large, high-definition LCD monitor that has a wide viewing angle and high contrast. With a fluorine coat to prevent soiling, a hard coat to prevent scratches, and an anti-reflection (AR) coat designed to protect the screen against dirt and damage and guarantee excellent visibility even outdoors in direct sunlight.
* Reproduces image colors vividly with sRGB comparison of 100% for the color reproduction range.

8. A wide variety of functions based on the concept of the CX5 being "a tool that you will find yourself wanting to use every day"
* Equipped with new HDMI terminals. Allows high-definition (HD) movies with a frame size of 1280×720 pixels to be viewed on an HD TV using an HDMI cable (sold separately).
* Comes equipped with macro shooting functions that allow you to get as close to the subject as 1 cm for wide-angle (*) and 28 cm for telephoto. (*) Equivalent to 31 mm for 35-mm film equivalents.
* Enables high-speed continuous shooting at speeds of up to approx. 5 frames/sec.
* Equipped with Scene Auto Mode, which automatically switches to the optimal shooting settings for the scene when the camera is merely pointed at a scene.
* Comes with Subject-tracking AF, which continuously tracks and focuses on the subject automatically.
* The CX5 is compatible with Eye-Fi cards (X2 Series), SD memory cards with built-in wireless LAN functionality, which enables captured images to be transferred wirelessly to a computer or online image sharing service automatically. An icon will appear while an Eye-Fi card is being used to display the communications status.