For me point & shoot cameras are tools for capturing family moments, days out, candid references for memories that I’d otherwise forget. The Ricoh R10 is my weapon of choice and followed plenty of research and drooling over more expensive, superior options.
GR1, ah too expensive. GR10, better financially and with some of the key features of the GR1 but seems very difficult to find. Leading me to the R1, a budget version with some quirks. But after waiting for a good example at a good price, I had no luck.
So, the R10, the bottom of the pile for Ricoh point & shoots in this series – the one without Snap focus. But, it became my gladly received camera, just through process of elimination in the end.
The Ricoh R10 was first a camera that was made in collaboration with Elle magazine back in 1999 and was named as such as the ‘Ricoh Elle’. Depending on what you read, either they sold very well or they didn’t and there were plenty left over prompting Ricoh to re-release it themselves as the R10 in 2002. It was supposedly one of the last film cameras Ricoh released.
The R10 comes armed with a slightly unusual 30mm (rather than 28mm or 35mm) f/3.5 aperture lens, a max shutter speed of 1/750 and DX speeds up to ISO 3200. All dressed within its extremely lightweight plastic shell.
As mentioned, the Ricoh R10 doesn’t have the hailed Snap Focus feature which I enjoy in my digital GRII. It doesn’t even have the workaround of setting a manual focus distance. As you might expect being the budget camera you’ve no manual controls to speak of either. The Ricoh R10 does have settings for locking focus for landscapes though, and an interesting nightscape feature which i’ve yet to use. Otherwise you’ve a couple ways of controlling the flash and a quirky feature of adding certain phrases imprinted on the photos.
Happily, it has inherited the method of winding the entire film out when loaded and therefore safely stores each exposed shot into the canister. Whilst I’ve never opened the back of any loaded camera it’s good to know I can make this mistake without pain with the Ricoh R10.
So, what makes it any better than the hundreds of other point and shoots available, amongst the huge number of point & shoots that have gained popularity for their great lenses…? Well, for the £40 spent I think the Ricoh R10 has just yet to be noticed.
What better test of a new camera than to walk around aimlessly and take photos? Around Brighton, Portra 400 was a great choice to pick up the great array of colours on show and I was very pleased once I had the scans back to see how the little Ricoh R10 performed.
The sharpness of its 30mm F3.5 aperture lens I think is very impressive. The colours reproduced are bright and colourful.
The autofocus has yet to fail me through a total of now four rolls.
The size of the Ricoh R10 (118mm x 62mm x 28.5mm) means it can slide into my jeans pocket without any issue. Which is great as I have at least two pockets and now two Ricoh’s that can populate them.
I’ve also snuck out 37 frames quite regularly, so it’s saving me money! More than enough of a reason to have the light seals replaced…
Do I still drool for a GR1? Of course, but surprisingly, I think the Ricoh R10 will keep me entertained for longer than I expected. Plus the LCD works.
I’ll be keeping hold of the lil Ricoh R10, so you’ll likely be able to see more snaps from this camera on my instagram ljb_street
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