New: RICOH Caplio G3
Ricoh presents an elegant zoom digital camera with 3.24 megapixels and the fastest release reaction in the world.
With its sensationally short release reaction time of 0.14 seconds, the Caplio G3 sets new standards. Not only is it the fastest camera in its category* but it also surpasses even traditional miniature cameras.
* As from 1 February 2003 for all auto focus digital cameras. The time lag was measured from the time the shutter button was pressed until exposure begin in the auto focus function without using focus storage.
Building on the success of the revolutionary Caplio RR30, which had already broken a record in autumn 2002 with a release time lag of 0.22 seconds, the Caplio G3 has once again improved the possibilities of action photography. The rounded-off shape of the camera which fits perfectly into the photographer’s hand is also a factor enabling fast and reliable reaction to photographic opportunities.
A further special feature of the Caplio G3 is the flexibility of the power supply. There is a choice between an additionally obtainable Lithium-Ion battery which enables hundreds of photos to be taken with one recharge and two normal alkaline-manganese batteries or NiMH rechargeable batteries in round cell size. A power pack can also be connected.
For high-resolution photos in various recording situations there is a CCD image sensor with 3.24 megapixels effective resolution, the high-quality lens with the 3x optical zoom range, an additional 3.4x digital zoom and the unique macro-setting up to a distance of 1 cm.
For recording and analysis of fast movements, the Caplio G3 offers, among other things, the M-serial function with an exposure interval of 0.13 sec. The last sixteen pictures shot before releasing the shutter button are automatically combined to form a total picture.
Moving pictures with sound can also be recorded and this at up to 120 seconds in AVI format.
The high-sensitivity function of the Caplio G3 simplifies the selection of trimmed areas and image shaping when dealing with dark motifs by strongly brightening the monitor image. It is also advantageous that the files of the images shot can be transferred quickly and simply via cable to a computer with a USB interface using the computer software supplied with the camera.
"Everyone at Ricoh is proud of the Caplio G3". This digital camera is incredibly fast, feels perfect in the hand, offers an enormous variety of functions and is still easy to operate!" says Katsunori Nakata, General Manager of the Marketing department of Ricoh Personal Multimedia Products Company. "The camera is very well suited not only to private use but also in the professional field and it is a important enrichment of the camera market. We believe that the Caplio G3 will give decisive impulses with regard to the future shape of digital cameras."
Important characteristics and data
Die shortest release time lag in the world with an auto focus digital camera
Thanks to the extra short release time lag of just 0.14 seconds, real action shots are possible with the Caplio G3 – in contrast to many other current digital cameras with noticeably slower release reaction times. The Caplio G3 attains its speed by means of the hybrid auto focus system which combines the advantages of external sensors with precision measurement through the lens. Starting with an impressively short 1/2000 sec. and reaching eight seconds of long-time exposure, the camera offers a suitable shutter time interval for each photographic situation.
Comfortable and reliable power supply
It is possible to take up to 3500 photos* with one recharge if the optional Lithium-Ion battery is used in the Caplio G3. An additional special feature is the choice of energy source between Lithium-Ion battery, two alkaline-manganese batteries or two nickel-metal hybrid rechargeable batteries (round cell size). If photographs are often taken close to the power supply connection, the power pack which is obtainable as an accessory, may be an additional useful alternative.
* A maximum of 3500 photographs in low-current mode (flash off, without zoom, LCD off, with VGA); up to 350 photos under normal use (with 50% flash and zoom use, LCD on, 30 sec. between the shots and a preview of all photos).
Macro photos from a distance of up to 1 cm
With the exceptional close-up range of up to 1 cm, macro photography using the Caplio G3 becomes an exciting experience. Whether blossoms, a diamond ring or miniature products – the smallest details that are scarcely visible even to the naked eye, appear as an enlarged image. Going beyond the zoom area, the integrated flash can be used within the close-up range of 1 cm to 16 cm.
Multi-shot serial images
With the M and S serial image functions, the camera takes 16 photos at intervals of 0.13 sec. and stores these images put together as one picture. With the M-function, this is done with the 16 photos taken prior to the release of the shutter button. This is especially useful if the exact chronological order of a movement is not previously known. With the S-function, the images are displayed immediately after the shutter has been pressed. When being played back, the photos can be individually enlarged – scrolling the 16 photos quickly forwards or backwards gives the impression of animation. Procedures involving motion such as teeing-off in golf are just some of the activities that can be excellently analysed using these functions.
With the standard serial image function normal photos are created at intervals of o.3 sec. if the shutter is pressed.
Brightened monitor display
When taking photographs in conditions of low illumination, the Caplio G3 with its high-sensitivity function, has developed a further advantage over many other digital cameras. The brightening of the monitor picture greatly simplifies the selection of the picture detail.
Simple file transfer
After installing the "Ricoh Gate La" software on a Windows or Macintosh computer, the switched-off Caplio G3 only has to be connected with a USB cable. The computer immediately begins to load the files at a fast maximum speed of three megabytes per second. Users of Mac OS X can import the images using iPhoto, with Windows XP the "Windows Image Acquisition" software can be used.
Purposeful functions for exposure metering
The Caplio G3 determines the brightness of a picture at 256 points in order to find the optimal exposure setting. There is also a choice between centre-weighted and selective metering (spot). In tricky situations automatic series exposures can be made.
Compatible with SD memory cards
The Caplio G3 is equipped with 8 MB internal memory and also has a slot for Secure Digital Memory Cards. These especially compact memory cards retain their information without an energy supply and allow fast and simple downloading of image files. The camera also accepts multimedia cards.
Synchronised monitor connection
This function enables energy to be saved. The monitor remains switched off until the shutter button or a zoom button for the image preview (monitor live image) has been pressed. After the photograph has been taken, the monitor remains switched on for several seconds for image control.
Quick view by pressing a button
With many digital cameras, a change to the playback function must take place in order to check a photo immediately after it has been taken. With the Caplio G3 Quick View function, however, the last photo can be viewed with any photographic function by pressing a button.
Six different motif functions
The Caplio G3 offers six motif functions: portrait, sport, scenery, night scenes, text and high sensitivity. These motif programs ensure optimal results in any photographic situation.
Video and sound recordings possible
One of the more extensive features of the Caplio G3 is the recording of film scenes up to 120 seconds long with sound in AVI format. After all, moving images are sometimes more informative than photos. Sound can still be recorded as with a dictating machine and photos already taken can be complemented by spoken commentaries of 8 seconds.
Serial automatic for exposure and colour balance
In difficult exposure situations – for example with strong contrasts – automatic serial exposures from three slightly differently exposed images taken in direct succession – can help to create an ideal photo. A similar function can be used for colour balance whereby images are created with "normal", slightly warmer and colder colour rendition respectively.
The design concept of the Caplio G3
The architect and industrial designer Masayuki Kurokawa developed the surface shape of the Caplio G3 in cooperation with Ricoh designers. The unique form of this camera was a result of exact observation of how items such as pencils, drinking vessels, round stones or traditional cameras were held in the hand. This resulted in the rounded-off form of the camera which therefore fits very comfortably into the hand.
Available from the middle of March 2003
Non-binding price recommendation: 349 Euro