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Steve's Digicams

Ricoh RDC-7



First Look Posted 7/20/00
updated 8/14/00
  

Click on the RDC-7 for a 360-degree QTVR tour
Click on the camera for 360-degree QTVR tour


Ricoh's latest entry into the digicam world is called an "Image Capturing Device" and the 3.3-megapixel RDC-7 is surely that. Besides capturing high-resolution digital still images it also creates movie clips with sound, capture text documents or records sound alone. The styling of the RDC-7 reminded me of Ricoh's hugely successful RDC-2 digicam that I owned about two years ago. It even has the same type of "flip up and rotate around" 2-inch color LCD monitor that can be used as a realtime viewfinder.



Ricoh RDC-7

Still pictures can be captured in 2048 x 1536, 1024 x 768 or 640 x 480 in one of three JPEG quality levels or uncompressed TIFF format. For the ultimate picture the RDC-7 can be put into Pro mode to generate a 3072 x 2304 sized image via in-camera interpolation. In addition to these modes the Pro-L and Pro-H modes use sophisticated pixel shifting technology to create a more detailed image using two exposures. (The Pro-L and Pro-H modes can only be used on still subjects with the camera mounted on a tripod.)

Motion JPEG movie clips in 320 x 240 resolution can also be recorded with sound. Other advanced features include high contrast Text capture, a Time Lapse mode, hybrid autofocus using both external passive and CCD autofocusing systems, auto exposure bracketing, 128-zone auto white balance and a fast f2.6 3x (35-105mm) optical zoom with macro focusing as close as 1cm.



Ricoh RDC-7

With the monitor folded down the RDC-7 fits right in your pocket and the total weight is only 9.5 ounces. It has a mechanical shutter with a range of one second to 1/1000 second and two shutter release buttons (one on top and one on the front) so the camera can be used easily in either orientation. The builtin flash has redeye reduction and slow synchro modes and its output can be automatic or manually adjusted.



Ricoh RDC-7

The most-used camera controls have dedicated buttons and are placed on top of the camera. You can change picture size or quality, flash modes, enable the selftimer or switch between internal memory or SmartMedia card.



Ricoh RDC-7

Nothing on the bottom except for the tripod mount.



Ricoh RDC-7

With the color LCD flipped up you have access to the advanced camera controls. Using menus on the color LCD you can change the exposure compensation, white balance, the LCD brightness, the amount of data overlayed on the LCD screen or enable macro mode. See the next page of this review for the menu screens.

Located behind the Mode Dial is the zoom lens control. It can be operated from the top or bottom of the camera.



Ricoh RDC-7

Closeup view of the top-mounted monochrome data LCD display. It shows the most accessed camera settings so you don't have to use the color LCD to change them.



Ricoh RDC-7

The Mode Dial has the On/Off power button in the center. Mode Dial positions are (clockwise) Playback, Record, Sound Record, Text Record, Continuous Record, Movie and SETup.

The optical viewfinder has a diopter adjustment knob underneath and two LED indicators, green for focus, red for flash. These LEDs also blink to indicate image processing is taking place.



Ricoh RDC-7

Located beneath the color LCD is the SmartMedia card slot. The RDC-7 has 8MB of internal memory and accepts 3.3v SmartMedia cards up to 64MB. Pictures stored in internal memory can be copied to the SmartMedia card.



Ricoh RDC-7

On the side are the I/O ports. Left to right we have the DC IN port for the AC power adapter. In the center is the A/V port for the Video and Audio output. The elongated connector handles both USB and serial data I/O.



Ricoh RDC-7

The RDC-7 uses a 3.7v 1100mAH (DB-20) lithium rechargeable battery.  It is identical to the Toshiba PDR-BT1 (PDR-M70) and Kodak KLIC-3000 (DC4800) batteries.



Ricoh RDC-7

This is the Ricoh BJ-1 two-stage rapid recharger. It can bring the DB-20 battery up to 90% charge in 60 minutes, a full charge requires another 40 minutes. The charging stages are indicated by the unit's LED which is red during the 60 minute charge, green during the 40 minute charge and finally goes out once the battery is fully charged.

Ricoh also includes an AC adapter in the RDC-7 package.



Ricoh RDC-7

For size comparison here's the RDC-7 and the Nikon Coolpix 990.






Continue on to
Page Two









RDC-7 Specifications

 CCD 1/1.8-in. high-density CCD; total number of pixels: 3.34 million
 Image size 2,048 x 1,536 pixels
XGA-size (1,024 x 768)
VGA-size (640 x 480)
Pro (3072 x 2304)
 Lens 3x Zoom; f = 7.3-21mm (equivalent to 35-105mm) F2.6-3.4 with macro; 10 elements; all glass
 Autofocus Hybrid AF (Passive AF+TTL, CCD AF) / Macro TTL+CCD AF
 Shooting distance 24cm (9.4 in.) to infinity
1cm (0.4 in.) to 24cm (9.4 in.) in Macro mode
 Optical viewfinder Real-image zoom viewfinder
magnification: 0.4~1.1x
frame coverage: approx. 85%
diopter adjustment: -2~+1 DP
 LCD monitor 2-in., 200,000-dot, low-temp. polysilicon TFT LCD
brightness adjustment
frame coverage: approx. 97% (through/freeze image)
 Auto OFF mode 30 sec.; can be set manually (1/5/30 min.)
 Image Storage uncompressed TIFF or compressed JPEG
 Media SmartMedia 3.3v up to 64MB
 Shooting modes Still, Still with Sound, Sound, Text, Motion with Sound, Continuous, Pro Mode, Time Lapse
 Capture modes 1) Single
2) Continuous
3) Movie
4) Text
 Exposure metering TTL CCD
 Shutter Mechanical and charge-coupled electronic shutter
1 to 1/1,000 sec.
 ISO Sensitivity 200, 400 or Auto
 White balance 1) 128-zone Auto White Balance with TTL control
4-mode Manual (Daylight, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Overcast)
 Self-timer 10 sec. duration
 Flash control Flash modes:
1) Auto Flash
2) Flash Cancel
3) Anytime Flash
4) Slow Sync
5) Red-Eye Reduction
 Interface USB interface; Serial interface (Windows: 115kbps, Macintosh: 230kbps)
 Video output NTSC or PAL (selectable)
 I/O terminal Power input
Video output
Digital output terminal (USB/Serial)
 Bundled Software ArcSoft Digital Camera Suite: PhotoStudio 2000 SE, PhotoMontage, PhotoPrinter, PanoramaMaker, VideoImpression, PhotoFantasy. Ricoh Serial TWAIN and USB drivers
 Power requirements Lithium rechargeable battery (included); AC adapter (optional)
 Battery life Approx. 1.5 hrs. when using LCD monitor
 Dimensions
(W x D x H)
Approx. 5.3 x 2.9 x 1.1 in. (135.4 x 74.0 x 26.6 mm)
 Weight
(without battery)
Approx. 270g (9.5 oz.)




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