I have a tilt shift lens for my Canon dslr - the effect that the miniature mode is more like that given by a Lensbaby (which I also have).
Both types are quite difficult to use as well as being expensive. Adjusting captured images in software is also a bit fiddly. Consequently if the CX2 can give this with no trouble at all then it is very worth while.
The eye does't blur out an image in exactly the same way as this effect does but the mind does focus on part of an image and very quickly. This is how a human brain seems to work. In a conventional image fully in focus the eye will scan it and find the points of interest and then the brain will focus on them. In the case of images where the photographer's mind has already determined the point of interest the image reflects this and blurs the rest of the image to suit. Consequently another person viewing the image can focus straight on the subject without the momentary strain of finding it. Strange as this might seem it gives a pleasing feeling. Therefore this feature is likely to be popular although purists might disagree. If used unwisely the results would not be good.
The tilt shift lens is hard to use because the camera light metering doesn't work properly once the shift is applied and gets increasingly stressed the further the shift is applied. However patience works well and it is best not to be in a hurry. The Canon tilt is one way only but can be changed by Canon (and I am not into the procedure shown on the web by someone who has done it - smile) therefore the the tilt is not as versatile as it might be. I believe the latest model shift can be rotated by the user - but I have the 'original'.
The idea of tilt shift is to keep everything in focus this is why I wonder why 'miniature mode' has been likened to tilt/shift. The lens is an architectural one and can keep sweeping panoramas in better focus at smaller stops by by using the tilt feature. However it is possible to reverse its use to throw parts of the image out of focus - this is more the use of a by-product than its intended use and in the case of the original Canon models can only be done up-down or left-right depending upon the factory setting. Shift of course is designed to fix parallax and does not give a blurrring effect.
The lensbaby is a very basic lens based on a bendy tube but now more sophisticated in its later incarnation - I would recommend that users check out the lensbaby site which will give some idea of what Ricoh's miniature mode can do - if you own a dslr then I suggest that you buy a lensbaby just for the heck of it - the dollar is quite low at the moment and therefore the lensbabies are almost affordable (smile).http://www.lensbaby.com/gallery-photo.php
The lensbaby is not connected to the camera other that through the basic mount lugs - therefore everything is manual and you even need to drop 'washers' into the front mount to vary stops. Just like the old days. It does have the distinct advantage of being able to show what f-stops are - the lens mount inserts are clearly marked with the 'stop' number and laid out on the table can be used to explain f-stpops to a neophyte.
The lensbaby is also not that easy to use well but the results are worth it - as you might be able to see. Perhaps it was the rise of the lensbaby company that convinced Canon to make their own very expensive tilt/shift a bit more usable?
If you can get the same effect at the twist of a dial, and reliably as well ... the CX2 is a wonder. When is Ricoh going to send me one to test?
Again we must realise that the original idea of tilt/shift was to de-blur not to selective blur (although that can be done) the Lensbaby cannot de-blur but does a great job with selective focus.
Therefore Ricoh is probably more correct to call it 'miniature mode' rather than 'tilt/shift' although 'selective focus' might be even better.