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Ricoh Caplio GX - The digital GR1, Epic... ?


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One second to focus in poor light, is that without the focus-helping flash?


It seems we have a few speed issues: Focusing in poor light, charging flash and writing to the SD card. Writing is solved in my book; buy a fast card. If focusing is fast with the focusing-flash, it is fine with me, but is it?


How is focusing in very poor light? According to a review of G4wide (a very detailed review, but written in norwegian so most of you can't read it), it is very good at finding focus in poor light, outperforming Canon A80 by several times. In "High sensitivity" mode it can focus in 2 lux, with no AF assist! Canon A80 and Casio QV-R41 need 7 lux in wide, much more in tele. 7 lux is considered very good! So G4wide is a winner there by a wide margin. Is GX, too? (I assume that focusing in that poor light takes time.)


Personally, I have more or less decided to buy a GX, as sson as I can find a way to handle order and payment. I need a small and fast camera to complement my big and slow 750. I would appriciate the fast flash charging that my old Kodak DC280 has, though.

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  • 3 weeks later...
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Hi Folks,

since I had some doubles in my lens line (Ricoh Gr1V and Contax G2 +28) I

sold the GR1V and bought the GX for some casual not-so-important shots.

My emotions are mixed (I do miss the GR1V) and I have encountered a

strange problem; I cannot open TIFF files in Photoshop (7 and/or CS/8 ). I

work on Mac OS X. All I get when I try to open it is: "Cannot complete your

request because it is not the right kind of document". In PS 7 under Mac OS 9 I

get; cannot open because it is a non supported color space...


What to do? In preview mode (not Photoshop) I can see the picture as a

thumbnail but it won't open...


This is a major gripe as I was hoping to be able to work in TIFF mode most of

the time to make the most out of the images.


Anyone? Please?

/ Henke

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I am sure that I have seen the TIFF problem mentioned before, somewhere, and that there was a solution, but I can't find it. So don't give up. Maybe some other program can convert the file? I would try GraphicsConverter to begin with. (My G5 came with GC installed, so maybe your Mac did too.)
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You're right, they don't open. I read somewhere about the data that's missing for PS though I forget what it was - looks like an odd oversight to me.


However, easy solution. With something or other, (Epson scanner maybe) I installed ArcSoft PhotoStudio 2000. Open the GX tiff files in that, save them as tiff, and then open them in PhotoShop 7. Extra time, but no problem.

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Thanks Ingemar and Sandeha,

I just got reply (swift one too) from Ricoh support; one can open it with Apple

Quicktime and then copy and paste it into another editing software i.e.

Photoshop. Haven't tried yet so I'll take their word for it and shoot some pics

and see if it works.



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You don't need additional software to open tiff files. The GX is supplied with a CD containing the program DU-10x. Use it to open tiff files, save them to your HD. Then you can open them in Photoshop or any other software that supports tiff
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A guy pointed out on the net that Ricoh have a firmware update on their Japanese site. I tried it and it works.




Download the GX-105.exe and double klik on it to unzip. Then open the library it creates (Caplio GX update). Run FirmUpdate.exe and follow the instructions, they are in English.


You can check your firmware version by setting the camera in "Setup" mode, then pres and hold the tele-zoom button and the Down button while you switch the camera on. If CPU2 is 1.0 then you need to upgrade.

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I haven't done any testing, and notice no difference so far. But the upgrade is supposed to, quote:


"1. The stability at the time of SD card writing was improved.


2. The stability of AF was improved"



Since I am using a high speed card, I have not noticed any difference to write times.


Re: auotfocus. I assume they are talking about low light conditions. I haven't tried it yet. But why not install it. It is easy and free

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  • 3 weeks later...

Maybe beside the point, but Ricoh announced two new models yesterday, the R1 and the RZ1. They replace the RX, have 4 Mp and are even smaller (25 mm!). The R1 is a long-zoom model (4.8x) while RZ1 is flatter and thereby even more pocketable.


I suppose the successor to GX will arrive some time during the autumn. I really hope there will be one (or several). The concept is great, but I believe they can improve it a little bit more, with better movie resolution and better image quality.

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I just spent a month in Europe taking pictures with my new GX, with mostly good results. Some blues came out electric, while other colors aren't as vibrant as I'd hoped. But the camera response is pretty great, and I love the 28mm. Periodically the camera will behave erratically, and I'll have to turn it off and on to get it back. But it always comes back, so it's not much of an issue for me.


One note on ruggedness: I put the camera on a shaky tripod on the top of a rather tall van, on a windy day. (I never said I was smart.) It blew off, with the lens open, and slid down the front of the van, 9 feet or so, to the dirt ground. And it still works! Impressive lack of common sense on my part, and durability on the camera's.


Don't know about the wide converter. I'd be more interested in a tele converter.


Lots of photos, if anyone is interested, here:





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  • 2 weeks later...

The GX is sometimes a bit sensitive with blues, and I think that that contributes to the purple fringe issue. But what I've found is that using the 'cloudy' white balance eliminates pretty much any fringing, keeps the blues from going crazy, and generally warms up the pictures. With that discovering the GX is batting 100 most of the time. Also custom white balance works pretty well. Aside from the occasional OOT blues, the colors are no more vibrant than they actually are to my eye, and to me that's a good thing. I think overall the gx color is realistic.


wide converter: I'd like to get it but would also like to hear a bit more about how it works first. Anyone?

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Dean G---


I bought the gx in HK in June. The guy showed me the wide

converter. I believe it screws on to that tube between the hood

and tube. It is extremely tiny compared to other digi converters.

It is a .7 so it would become a 21-60mm.


You would have to get the hood/battery set if you want to use the

converters. Are you in HK now? I like to get one but then I

would have to buy the hood, converter and plus international

shipping. Probably close to 150 usd.

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Last Sunday I went to NYC for the anti-Bush march and took along my Canon S50. (For the curious, results are viewable in my gallery starting at <a href="http://www.quinbus.net/gallery/04_August?&page=5">this page</a>.) As always it gave good service, but I'd never before used it in such a lively situation, and went almost crazy when what I thought were great shots turned out to be pictures of my feet, or the sky, or whatever else the cam was pointing at when, a few seconds after I'd pressed the shutter release, it actually released the shutter. Image quality was excellent when there was an image, but... Anyway, I swore a mighty oath to find something with less shutter lag.


Which led me to the Caplio GX. Since I was one of the original GR1 users (bought mine in early '98) and was astonished by the GR1's clever design, good build and wizard lens, I decided to give the GX a try. Bought a gray-market import on eBay from some folks in Virginia and got it today (second-day delivery, not bad).


Naturally I spent the evening doing side-by-side comparisons with the S50. As I expected from reviews, the GX is easier to use, has less shutter lag, and doesn't come close to the S50 in image quality. I tried various combinations of aperture, compression, sharpening, etc, but there's no way around that conclusion. Will append the best results of each series to show what I mean.


The GX is more fun to use than the S50 also something I expected from reviews. I'll give it a few weeks' workout and see whether I can put up with the picture quality. BTW, I noticed that its best JPEG setting compresses images at 2.8 bits per pixel, while the S50 uses 5 bits. But that's not the problem, because the GX's TIFF mode (unusable anyway thanks to long write times) doesn't improve the pictures.


So it's not a digital GR1, alas. But cute as a bug's ear and pleasant to hold and use. And of course it has 28mm equiv., but then so does the new Canon S70. (However, the S70's shutter lag is reportedly no better than the S50's.)


I think there'd be a market for a cam this size, with this many pixels on board, a nicer optical finder, minimal shutter lag, a big internal buffer, and, of course, decent image quality. The GX is close to the mark, and if they tweaked it to get rid of the idiot modes and the flash, and bought a better imaging chip (or better software to drive the one they have), and charged another hundred dollars, and exported the result to North America, they might be the only entry in a niche market big enough to be worth the effort.<div>009M5g-19454784.thumb.jpg.2b5e419003c76dbacdd6f53e8e95dfae.jpg</div>

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I'd guess the Canon S50 has better out of camera image quality than the GX. But don't give up on the GX, I've found it easily capable of great quality, but it takes some getting used to. First of all forget about anything 'auto', the GX is a fairly poor excuse for a P&S. What settings did you use?


Auto white balance is kind of a crap shoot, I've been either using custom white balance or one of the specific presets, most often I use the 'cloudy' setting. The dreaded purple fringing is gone with cloudy, as far as I've been able to tell.


Next, the GX is pretty fond of blowing highlights, my auto exp comp settings are a little more radical than most, but try -1.3 to -1.7 and then bring the levels up in PS. Better yet use the manual exposure mode. Go to aperture priority, choose an aperture, and then press the up arrow and adjust the shutter speed while watching the live histogram. I've gotten very fast at this, and the design of the GX allows me to do it all with one hand.. pretty amazing. Keep the histogram to the left but make sure the exposure "needle scale" is white (indicating a reasonable range) and that the needle is between left and middle of the scale. Even though the histogram might not be touching the right side, on my camera at least, if it's anywhere near the right there'll be blown highlights, so keep the histogram squeezed between the left and 3/4 of the way across.


Those are some of the things I do and I've never gotten anything as crappy looking as your refrigerator magnets. On the contrary I've printed some rather stunning 12X16 prints, one of which was accepted for exhibit at the state fair this year. The shot I picked was from about 10 'takes' half of which were done with my 10D, and I chose one of the GX pictures to use.


You can see from my prior posts that I'm somewhat of a raving nut about the GX, but honestly, live with the camera for a while and the other compact digicams are so much of a drag it will make you question just how much you even care about "image quality". A point I've made before that you alluded to is that getting the picture at the moment you intended is maybe the biggest component of "image quality", and in that department the GX wins hands down.


Work with it, you'll find out it's more of a digital GR-1 than you think.


have fun.

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  • 10 months later...

I don't know if some people are still reading/monitoring this thread, but I wanted to share that I am feeling almost the same excitement as I did one year ago about the GX... <i>(and nope: I didn't buy it. Yep: I now have a DSLR - 300D - and I am still using my Mju-II/Epic from time to time :)</i>


<p>This time, it is about the new <a href=http://www.digit.no/wip4/detail.epl?id=58593>Panasonic LX1</a>. (specs <a href=http://www.dpreview.com/news/0507/05072003panasonic_lx1.asp>here</a>)<br>

Why? Because... "28-112mm" f/2.8-4.9 AND 16/9 CCD (great for those Panoramic landscapes), Stabilization, Pocketable + I expect the rest to be up to: ISO, responsiveness, design, controls, etc... <i>(I just would have preferred a moveable LCD... especially for that 600 euros price)</i></p>


Anyway: for those who were interested in the GX, the LX1 may be of some interest.<p>





PS: it was a great thread, here :)<div>00CzAk-24826084.jpg.b822e15cb4e7ddd5fa5d6071fe8ee9b1.jpg</div>

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Hi Olivier - funny thread too, at times. I'm still happy with my GX but I never use it for anything really serious, it's just a handy P&S with good extras. Mostly I'm using Hasselblad (thanks be to the digital revolution and the pros who sold off their MF gear) and 4"x5". Of course, now I'm wondering how long the GX will last - It has no resale value worth talking about, but I'm hoping it will still be a viable machine for record shots in another five years.
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  • 6 months later...

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