Ricoh CX1 brings HDR to point-and-shoots

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Ricoh announced today a new addition to their lineup of compact point-and-shoots, the CX1.

Ricoh CX1

Sporting a 9.3 megapixel CMOS sensor, the CX1 packs a couple of interesting features in an otherwise bland-looking camera.

High Dynamic Range shooting
The CX1 offers a High Dynamic Range, or HDR, shooting mode. Typically, camera sensors struggle to properly expose shots that contain both very bright and dark areas. The CX1’s HDR mode is designed to tackle difficult lighting situations by combining two images captured in high-speed succession. Ultimately, one image is created with both bright and dark aspects of the photo exposed accurately.

Ricoh CX1

The goal is to create a photographic image that is closer to what the naked eye sees. It’s an uncommon in-camera feature for sure, and especially for a point-and-shoot.

Faster processing, faster shooting
In addition to the snappier CMOS sensor, the CX1 features a new image processor called Smooth Imagine Engine IV. While the name doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, Ricoh hopes to create a faster camera with this technology. Indeed, the CX1 boasts a high-speed continous shooting mode of 120 fps at 640×480 resolution. It will also offer continuous shooting at slower speeds, all the way down to 4 fps.

With a 28-200mm (35mm equivalent) 7.1x optical zoom lens, this little camera will feature a fairly flexibile zoom range. Multi-target auto focus and a 3.0 inch LCD round out the spec highlights.

Pricing and availability
The CX1 will be released mid-March in the UK for £299 – about $430 US. No word, though, on when the CX1 might be coming to the US, or through what retail channels.

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