Ricoh HZ15 Digital Camera
The Ricoh HZ15 digital camera measures 10.5x5.5cm these figures are width and height, the depth is interesting when off and the lens is retracted a single figure would normally suffice here at the right end its 3cm and at the left end little more than 2cm. With the lens fully zoomed it is 8cm.
This is a 16MP and 15x optical zoom offering. RICOH produce their own lenses and this offering is24-360mm.
It looks a simple offering because of the lack of buttons and indeed you can just turn it on and press the shutter to get reasonable images.
The face has the lens and towards the thicker side the 2x.5cm flash unit that can never be closer than 4cm to the lens. As with a lot of small cameras the images look a little over exposed when flash is used on the TFT but are fine when viewed on a PC.
The right side has the wrist strap anchor point and an AV out behind a rubber bung. The left side is clear while the base has a tripod screw and a door behind which is the solid battery and any SD card you may use. The top has the on/off button in the central area with the shutter release that has wide angle / telephoto control around its outside and beyond that by the right edge the instant video button.
This leaves the back that is dominated by the 6x4cm TFT display to its right from top to bottom a small pimpled rubberised thumb anchor point, the Mode button, then the ubiquitous five position joystick control then the Menu button and finally below that the Display button.
There are eight still image modes 16MP, 14MP, 12MP, 10MP, 5MP, 3MP, 2MP and VGA. Each has a description under the size of the image as an example 4x6inch image for 2MP. I have my doubts about 3MP being enough for a good quality A4 image and certainly 5MP will probably disappoint for an A3 image but go up one setting and the images should be fine. Each mode can be Best, Fine or Normal so a total of 24 modes.
There are twenty different Scene modes which is plenty and an example is shown below the selection just so the user understands it.
It also has a manual and a Panorama setting it cannot do Full HD in movie mode the best is 30FPS at 720p there are three other modes 15FPS at 720P, 30FPS at VGA and 30FPS at 320x240.
I have tried various settings and modes and most have been acceptable or good, not having Full HD for those who want to use the movie mode may be a disappointment.
This is an easy to use unit and could suit a novice, having to delve into the menu system for a number of adjustments can be a problem and I could find no way to avoid the flash firing automatically on first switch on unless you remembered to use the joystick to turn flash off manually.
The Ricoh HZ15 is available from the link below for £89.99 with free delivery.
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