Ricoh Caplio R5 7.2Mp compact digital camera

7.1x optical zoom in a compact format

Review Unlike some of the digital camera brands gracing shop shelves, Ricoh can claim a long and surprisingly prestigious photographic heritage, including development of the world's first mass-produced twin-lens reflex, the RicohFlex III, which launched back in 1950 with a class-leading price and a good quality lens spoilt by soft corners...

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Despite some well built and dependable cameras with genuinely decent optics, Ricoh's low prices and, later, its willingness to replace traditional dials and switches with push-button electronics kept it from gaining the respect it perhaps deserved.

The Caplio R5 is a compact, mid-range point-and shoot model with a sizeable 7.1x optical zoom lens, equivalent to a 28-200mm lens in 35mm terms, and a 7.2 megapixel CCD image sensor. With only a fully auto setting or a selection of scene-based shooting modes it's aimed unashamedly at the novice or those who simply don't want to have to think too hard about their pictures.

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Measuring in at 9.6 x 5.5 x 2.6cm, the R5 is unexpectedly compact yet still manages to swallow the entire bulk of the lens, which when the camera is powered off retracts into the body in its entirety.

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