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.
Play mode Menu screen, page 1 of 2:
Play mode Menu screen, page 2 of 2:
The Multi Image (thumbnail) mode. Up to 6 pictures are displayed in thumbnail
format allowing you to quickly select one for full screen playback.
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.
This is the screen display during playback of a movie clip, the shutter release
button starts or stops the movie.
The Protect mode screen, here you can select one or more images to be protected
against accidental deletion.
During playback you can erase one or more images using the Erase menu.
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 ConclusionRicoh 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.
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 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."
For a second opinion of the RDC-7 see the links below to other independant RDC-7 reviews.
Imaging-Resource's RDC-7 Review
DC Resource's RDC-7 Review
megapixel.net's RDC-7 Review
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