Last week I got (quite unexpectedly) CX2 sample from Ricoh. I did not even ask for it, partially because I was not sure I will be able to review it (my CX1 test is not finished yet
) and also because I found the number of changes between CX1 and CX2 relative small. But since it arrived (BIG Thank to Ricoh!) I will review the major changes and new features against CX1. This post will be continuously updated when I will have something new.
The first thing I noticed (aside the PINK top plate
), that new plastic grip
made the camera much easier to hold. I really dislike the CX1 "slippery" metal grip. New CX2 plastic grip with small protrusions is much better to hold. But I personally think the rubber grip from R10 is still better. Maybe not as nice looking and possibly easy to fall apart, but it's even less slippery than current CX2 grip.
The camera start is a tiny bit slower
, probably because of longer lens. CX2 preview mode is considerably faster.
While CX1 picture-to-picture switch takes some (noticeable) time, the response of the same operation is instant in case of CX2.
What I really like on CX2 is it's new introduced Miniature mode
(more details here
It looks like a marketing or gimmick feature (which it actually is), but it's one of the most useful and fun to use "gimmick" features I even tried! It's not something I would expect to see and use with GRD. But it's perfect example of "fun to use" and addictive feature, that perfectly matches the CX toolset and customer orientation.
Since we are in gimmick/marketing features, I want to mention one more "fun" feature;) As you may or may not know, CX/R range is equipped with Face Detection mode
(since R6). But I always considered this feature rather "marketing" than actually useful photographic feature. Not to mention it almost never worked in Ricoh cameras. You can imagine my surprise when I tried CX2 Face detection mode (just to see if it's still so hopeless and erratic as it was in previous models) and realizing it actually (almost always) works!
To my great surprise, CX2 face detection works and actually catches/tracks the faces (CX2 can recognize up to 9 individual faces, while R6-CX1 was able to detect only 4 of them)! Probably thanks to this huge improvement of the Face Detection algorithm, Face detection is now enabled also in Easy mode (previously, it was only available via Face Scene mode).
No matter how much "gimmick" this feature may sound, the improvement of face detection algorithm could be potentially very useful for future implementation of Focus tracking. There is already implemented Continuous focus mode and Face detection partially tracks the camera/face movements. So it's only a "step" from implementation of focus tracking.
There is just one problem with Face Detection scene mode in CX2 (CX1). It sometime makes the camera unresponsive or crash with hopelessly extended lens. I also found that CX1 crashes/freezes much more frequently than CX2 (or in other words, the problem is much easier to reproduce with CX1, probably due to less optimized FD code). I already reported this problem to Ricoh. So let's hope they will able to reproduce it and fix the cause of this issue soon.
Stay tuned for more details...