Nine months on from its ‘noisy’ predecessor, the CX2, Ricoh’s CX3 turns its attention to noise reduction
Images have good dynamic range and the auto white balance produces natural tones, particularly in daylight conditions
Back-illuminated sensors should produce less noise. The CX3 scored well in our resolution charts reaching the 20 marker at ISO 80 and 14 at ISO 3200. Pictures I took of flowers on my kitchen table in low light using the noise-reduction system showed that the auto setting is generally reliable in handling noise and maintaining true colour. Any differences to the auto setting using manual settings were minimal.
When the 28-300mm (equivalent) lens is at its longest telephoto focal length, the vibration reduction negates camera shake, despite the wobbly appearance on screen. Handheld exposures in relatively low light were sharp for shutter speeds shorter than 1/60sec.
Without manual exposure modes, there is a greater emphasis on the performance of the auto shooting and scene auto modes. Using both these modes, my images have a good dynamic range and accurate metering, although I did find I missed not having aperture priority control.
There is the option of manual exposure compensation with values of ±2EV. Autobracketing is also possible over three images to ±0.5EV. Also, the auto white balance system produces natural tones, particularly in daylight conditions. However, I would not recommend the ‘vivid’ shooting mode, as it tends to produce oversaturated colours.
The DR (dynamic range) mode combines two exposures and the strength of the effect can be adjusted over five levels from very weak to strong, using the dynamic range expansion. The camera needs to be kept steady during the two exposures and image processing takes just under 2secs in this mode, which is faster than that of the CX2.