Ricoh has revealed a much-improved new member of its CX Series compact superzooms. The CX6 has faster autofocus, has had new exposure control options added to the mode dial, includes a new brighter LCD screen and there's a first time outing for a dedicated movie record button. The new point-and-shoot also receives enhanced functionality for shooting movies, new telephoto assist technology, and additional creative shooting options.
By making some processing and hardware enhancements to the hybrid AF system first seen on its CX5, Ricoh has made it possible for the 10.7x (28 - 300mm equivalent) retracting zoom lens on the new CX6 to achieve focusing times as fast as 0.1 seconds from wide through to telephoto. The new model also retains the Super-resolution technology that gives images a higher resolution feel by automatically choosing optimum settings for outlines, details, and gradations - resulting in a claimed zoom equivalent of 600 mm.
Ricoh has also brought the low-light-friendly 10 megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor, ISO100 to ISO3200 sensitivity, and sensor shift image stabilization to the CX6, and has added aperture and shutter-speed priority exposure control to the mode dial for more creative freedom. The new compact benefits from up to 3 frames per second (fps) continuous shooting while also using autofocus or 5 fps without, and around 260 frames from the included rechargeable battery before it needs some juice.
On the rear is a 3-inch, 1.23 million dot, fluorine coated VGA LCD screen that's said to be 1.7 times brighter than the earlier model thanks to white pixels being added to the RGB setup for improved outdoor visibility. A new function automatically adjusts brightness levels based on how bright the subject is - which is said to minimize the loss of visibility that can occur due to changes in the shooting environment - and a new zoom assist monitor has been introduced to help with shot framing when telephoto shooting at 93 mm or higher.
In a series first, the CX6 gains a dedicated movie record button, there's also stereo audio recording to complement the 720p HD video capabilities (although playback through the camera is in mono) and new autofocus and zoom functionality in movie mode.
Rounding off the feature set is a new creativity mode called Bleach Bypass that mutes the colors and ups the contrast to give snapped images what Ricoh calls an austere elegance. The company is sticking to its no-SDXC media card guns, offering just SD/SDHC support, although there is support for Eye-Fi X2 cards. Interface options include USB 2.0 and HDMI.