6/ Colour accuracy
Already been slammed in an early ‘net review somewhere, but… the Sony-manufactured sensor is excellent - coming from Fuji and several other compacts, and still owning Nikon D3/24-70, Panasonic LX3, Fuji F30/F11, I've always been fussy about colour rendition. The sensor that Ricoh have chosen for the CX1 really is superb, and gives adjustable (in-camera) realistic colour in my view. I often use DxO Labs FilmPack software for any images where I'd like to replicate film output and colour shifts - but the starting point has to be right in the first place, and with the CX1, it is.
Black & White is definitely film-like in its portrayal, and a touch more contrast gets it right – although there’s no adjustment for this in-camera.
Sepia processing is very much like my preferred ‘Sepia Terra’ setting in DxO … ie it doesn’t need any further alteration for colour at all, and is perfectly balanced without the often OTT yellow/orange colouring that can make images look totally overdone.
7/ 1:1 format
I love to use different formats, rather than just the std 3:2 ...my LX3 is almost permanently switched to 16:9, and I can see the CX1 getting plenty of use in 1:1 format, as it does suit certain compositions really well. Most medium-format photographers will know how useful that can be (as well as a hindrance in some cases, for them) ...CX1 gives you the choice.
8/ DR Double-Shot – does it work ?
Yes, but with the caveat that, because the CX1 takes two consecutive shots, the subject needs to be still, or movement blur could result. So, fine for still-life, architectural and some landscape shots, not great for people photography.
However, an important consideration is that for that HDR look (if that’s what you’re seeking), you’d prefer to have the flexibility of pp on your computer, rather than in-camera, surely ? This is post-processing that I believe may be worth spending a little time on, should the mood take you.
My own preference is for a more natural-looking result, and the really good news is that the Ricoh CX1’s Sony CMOS sensor, in combination with that great lens, means that the capture quality is superb, there’s plenty of latitude in the jpeg files, so you can lighten shadow areas where needed to a fair degree …on a single image. To maintain my sanity, this is far preferable to me than an in-camera solution, and although it could be a useful feature, it’s not the reason I bought the CX1.
For stunning DR, I have a D3 (but certainly don’t always want to carry it !)
9/ Do images need much post-processing ?
No, very little is the short answer. OK, there’s no RAW facility on the CX1, but life’s too short in my opinion to spend ages processing a ton of RAW files (I don’t bother on the RAW-enabled LX3, either, and only very occasionally on the Nikon D3). The reality is that out-of-camera shots look great – especially after a few mods to the colour imaging in the ‘Custom Settings’ menu, in terms of contrast, sharpness and colour depth … or you can go with choices from :
• Custom settings
• Black & White
There is the facility to capture an image in colour, Black&White and Sepia, very much as on the Panasonic LX3. However, I think the CX1 version of this ‘Multi-film mode’ is far preferable, as it’s one image processed in three different ways, rather than three individual, consecutive shots that the LX3 captures in the equivalent mode. There’s a couple of seconds required for processing and saving of these three images when used in multi-mode.
All the best,