Steve's Digicams


Ricoh RDC-5300

User Review

Ricoh RDC-5300

The Ricoh RDC-5300 is a 2.3 megapixel camera with an image resolution of 1792 x 1200, 896 x 600 or 640 x 480 (digital zoom mode only). It is an upgraded RDC-5000 with a F3.2 3X optical zoom lens covering the 35mm equivalent range of 38-114mm. Common with all Ricoh cameras is excellent macro capability, the RDC-5300 can focus down to 1.6-inches in wideangle with the Super-Macro mode enabled.

Other improvements include a fast USB port and auto-bracketing (camera takes 3 shots; normal exposure and one each at EV -0.5 and +0.5 settings). To facilitate the bracketing option and the continuous record mode there is an internal RAM buffer. The RDC-5300 is unique in that it doesn't come with a memory card, there's 8MB of internal memory in the camera. You can use (optional) SmartMedia cards to supplement the camera's builtin memory and pictures stored in the internal memory can be easily copied to the removeable cards.

Physically the RDC-5300 is not a "small" camera, it measures 5.17 x 2.71 x 2.13 inches (WxHxD) and weighs about a pound with the batteries. The body is a 50/50 metal and plastic design, that combined with the self-protecting lens and LCD should make the camera quite rugged and highly durable.

Jump to the RDC-5300 specifications

Ricoh RDC-5300

For preview and review there is a 1.8-inch TFT active color LCD display that has a realtime refresh rate in normal lighting and automatically "gains up" in lower light conditions. With the LCD to the left of the optical viewfinder means that right-eyed people will leave nose prints on the display, I'm left-eyed so it worked out great for me :-)

The control buttons on the back are large and well marked as to their respective functions. The camera can be powered On/Off by the large, sliding switch or you can set it so that when the Display button is held down for two seconds it also becomes the On/Off switch.

The zoom lens rocker switch is well placed and easily operated with your thumb without taking you eye off of the viefinder.

Ricoh RDC-5300 To save on battery power there's also an optical viewfinder that is coupled to the zoom lens. It has a green LED to indicate an autofocus lock and a red LED to indicate flash ready or charging.

Ricoh RDC-5300

The bottom is perfectly flat for a sturdy mount on tripods but the tripod screw threads are plastic. The LCD brightness control dial is recessed to avoid changing it accidentally. New on the RDC-5300 is the larger hand grip on the front of the body.

Ricoh RDC-5300

All of the external camera controls for Recording are located across the top of the RDC-5300's narrow body. Other features require accessing the menu system (see the next page).

Ricoh RDC-5300

The data LCD on the top, control buttons from left to right are:

  • CARD/IN: Select either the Smartmedia card or Internal memory
  • Flash mode: Auto, Redeye, Slow-syncro or Off
  • Selftimer: On or Off
  • PIC: Picture size and quality
    • 1800 Fine
    • 1800 Normal
    • 1800 Economy
    • 900 Fine
    • 900 Normal
    • 900 Economy
The Mode Dial is clearly marked with the usual icons indicating (clockwise) Connect to PC, Delete, Play, Record and Setup.

Ricoh RDC-5300 Ricoh RDC-5300

Both the LCD display and zoom lens have protective covers that automatically open and close whenever the camera is powered on or off. This is a great feature -- other camera makers would do well to follow Ricoh's lead in this type of design.

Ricoh RDC-5300

The 5v DC input jack is where you plug in the supplied AC adapter to power the camera during data downloads or whenever you're close to a wall socket. It also means that you can use an external power supply like the ProPower Pack if desired.

The RDC-5300 is unique in its Video In/Out feature although I haven't really figured out what I would use the Video In for yet. The Video output signal is user selectable between NTSC and PAL.

The USB and Serial port share a common digital I/O connector.

The SmartMedia access door is open showing the card in its "popped out" state which is more than ample to grasp with your fingers. There's an ejector button above the card.

Ricoh RDC-5300

Here's something that you don't see on very many digital cameras, a real PC sync connector for external flash units. According to the manual the external flash is triggered in ANY recording mode. Exposure control must be handled by the flash so be ready to "experiment" to get it right.

Ricoh RDC-5300

Power is supplied by four AA-size batteries and it is highly recommended that you use the NiMH rechargable type. Ricoh does include the AC adapter in the basic camera package.

Continue on to
Page Two
Menus & Playback

Ricoh RDC-5300 Specifications

Recording Format JPEG(Exif ver.2.1) DPOF

Video Signal Method NTSC/PAL switchable

Recording Medium Internal 8 MB/SmartMedia
(compatible with 2/4/8/16/32 MB, 3.3V)

CCD 2,300,000 square pixel CCD

Resolution 1,792 x 1,200/896 x 600

Recording Capacity
w/on-board 8 MB
1,792 x 1,200 F:Approx.9/N:Approx.19/E:Approx.32
896 x 600 F:Approx.29/N:Approx.55/E:Approx.99

Lens F3.2-3.8

Zoom Range 38 - 114mm (35mm equivalent) Optical 3x zoom

Shutter Mechanical shutter 1-1/500 sec.

Lens Cover Automatically open with power switch slide

Shooting Range 4cm - infinity(wide)/40cm - infinity(Tele)

ISO Sensitivity ISO 100

Optical Viewfinder Real-image

Monitor Display 1.8" TFT LCD (110,000 pixels)

Built-in Flash AUTO/ON/SLOW SYNCHRO/OFF/Red-eye reduction

Focus AF/MF/2.5m Fixed focus/infinity

Exposure Mode TTL*CCD AF

Exposure Adjustment AUTO/ Manual exposure compensation, +/- 2.0 EV in 1/2 EV steps


Self-timer Approx. 10 sec. Delay

Interval Shooting Time lapse from 30 sec. Intervals up to 3 hours

PC Interface RS232C, AUX, USB


Battery AA Alkaline x 4(NiCd/NiMH/Lithium possible)

Battery Life Recording:Approx.60min./Playback:90min.
(AA Alkaline, LCD ON )

Dimensions ( Wx HxD ) 131.1 x 68.8 x 54 mm (5.2 x 2.7 x 2.1 in.)

Weight Approx.350 g (12 oz)

Temperature 0° - 40°

(Specifications are subject to change without prior notice.)

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