Steve's Digicams

Ricoh RDC-7

Playback Options


Ricoh RDC-7

Typical play mode screen with the overlay information enabled. Upper left corner indicates the source (memory CARD or INTernal), upper right is the current picture number and the total number of pictures, the folder name, image size and quality. Lower right corner is the time and date stamp.

Ricoh RDC-7

Play mode Menu screen, page 1 of 2:

  • Multi Image - Enables the thumbnail mode (see below)
  • Zoom Playback - Enables magnified playback mode (see below)
  • Auto Playback - Set the interval for the automatic slideshow (1,3,5,10,30,60 secs)
  • Copy - Copy internal memory to memory card
  • Select Folder - Select the folder for playback

Ricoh RDC-7

Play mode Menu screen, page 2 of 2:

  • Rotation - Rotate image R90, L90 or 180 degrees
  • Protect - Protect images from deletion (see below)
  • DPOF - Digital Print Order Form (see below)

Ricoh RDC-7

The Multi Image (thumbnail) mode. Up to 6 pictures are displayed in thumbnail format allowing you to quickly select one for full screen playback.

Ricoh RDC-7

The Zoom Playback option will display the current picture at 1.3x, 1.6x or 3.2x magnification and allow you to scroll around inside of it using the up and down and left and right arrow keys.

Ricoh RDC-7

This is the screen display during playback of a movie clip, the shutter release button starts or stops the movie.

Ricoh RDC-7

The Protect mode screen, here you can select one or more images to be protected against accidental deletion.

Ricoh RDC-7

During playback you can erase one or more images using the Erase menu.

Ricoh RDC-7

Many of today's printers and printing services can use the information that you attach to your pictures on the memory card. You can specify the ones to print and how many prints to make of each picture selected.

Steve's Conclusion

Ricoh seems to be revisiting their "roots" with the RDC-7. It physically resembles the RDC-1, RDC-2x and RDC-300 cameras. Ricoh calls the RDC-7 an "image capture device" as it has the ability to record still images or moving images with or without sound or sound by itself. The unique looks and style of this camera will no doubt draw more than the occassional stare.

The RDC-7 is flat and wide like the old 126 Instamatic film cameras. The case is made out of highly durable metal and the build quality is excellent. The only finger grip surface is on the bottom around the tripod socket. With the LCD closed you hold the camera with your left hand, pinching the top and bottom of the case. This arrangement changes when you open the LCD however and I wasn't quite sure where to put my left thumb anymore. The zoom control can be actuated from the top or bottom but the rather small control knob is difficult to operate. The zoom cannot be operated while capturing movie clips.

The main shutter release button is flat and smooth and gives the user virtually no tactile feedback. It's difficult to "feel" when it is half-pressed which is necessary for pre-focusing. I often wondered if I had actuated the shutter and didn't really know until I saw the LEDs blinking as it was storing the image. The camera exhibits a rather lengthy and inconsistent shutter lag.

The camera performed well under controlled light conditions but mixed lighting often resulted in underexposed pictures. Using its own builtin flash also yielded exposure problems that ranged from over- to underexposure pictures taken well within its stated operating range. There are no options for spot or center-weighted metering. I wondered if the camera we were testing was bad so I requested and received a second unit, it also demonstrated the same exposure problems.

08/14/00:  It turns out that there is a "known" AE problem with certain RDC-7 cameras and Ricoh Japan has a firmware upgrade for it. Seems the camera does not expose properly when the LCD is closed - which is exactly what I was experiencing. The firmware update is at the ricoh web site.

The color LCD display has an adjustable backlight but lacks in overall contrast and is difficult to see when used outdoors. The red color used for the data overlays on the LCD (see top of this page) is very difficult to see on top of the displayed pictures. The menu colors are fine but navigating the menu system requires a lot of button pressing.

The RDC-7 comes with 8 megabytes of onboard memory that you can store images in. Optionally you can use SmartMedia cards and the images stored in the onboard memory can be copied to the card. I have slightly larger than average hands and found it next to impossible to extract the SmartMedia cards without using a pair of needle nose pliars. The card doesn't pop out when pushed and the access area itself is only large enough for very small fingers.

The RDC-7 offers 7-megapixel "Pro" modes for capturing high resolution still images.  To quote Ricoh:

    "There are three Pro Mode options-all based on Ricoh's innovative Image Enhancement Technology. Pro-L mode shifts the CCD by one pixel to take two shots that a Ricoh-developed algorithm composes into one image. This boosts resolution and definition by 20% without increasing image size.

    The default Pro Mode uses a Ricoh-developed interpolation algorithm that eliminates "jaggies" when the output resolution increases to 7 megapixels. The resulting image size is 3,072 x 2,304 pixels. Pro-H mode raises output resolution to a maximum 7 megapixels by simultaneously incorporating both the default Pro and Pro-L modes."

The time required for "in camera" processing of these Pro mode images ranges from 30 seconds to a minute and a half. Pro-L and Pro-H modes require the camera to be mounted on a tripod and work only with stationary subjects.

The supplied rechargeable battery is identical to the one used in some Toshiba, Fuji and Kodak cameras, it holds up well if the color LCD is used sparingly. This battery is proprietary so regular "off the shelf" type of batteries can not be used -- be sure to purchase a second battery. The RDC-7 is a very complete package and includes: camera, case, battery, charger, AC power supply, lens cap, USB cable, A/V cable, serial cables and software for both PC and Mac users.

For a second opinion of the RDC-7 see the links below to other independant RDC-7 reviews.

Continue on to
Sample Pictures

Imaging-Resource's RDC-7 Review

DC Resource's RDC-7 Review's RDC-7 Review

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