The Ricoh company’s GXR removable lens series now has a latest addition to the stable – the P10, with a 28-300 lens. It is a 10 mega pixel camera with a 10.7 X zoom capability. This 10-10 combination requires a GXR unit to function, and can be interchanged with an A12 or S10 unit as well.
The P10 could seem considerably expensive at 500 Pounds, given the fact that it is not a stand alone and complete unit on its own. The price was an issue with the predecessor models and price is still an issue with the P10. In fact the price is twice that of the Ricoh CX3, and the CX3 has the exact same specifications! On the other hand if you already have a GXR body and sensor, it may make sense for you to look at the P10. The P10 alone would cost you 300 Pounds, which is still a good fifty pounds more than the CX3. We must mention here that the price factor alone does not by any means define the quality of a camera, but you cannot argue with the fact that it plays a huge role when you are selecting a new buy. So, Im afraid we cannot give the P10 too many brownie points where value for money is concerned.
The S10 sensor and the P10 both have a similar MP rating, but the actual size of the P10’s sensor is marginally smaller. The burst mode on the camera is impressive to say the least, having a capability of 5 frames per second in the RAW mode, and 120 FPS in VGA quality. Unfortunately the AF cannot cope with this fast speed. We liked the fact that you can get complete manual controls with the top dial alone, and the custom settings are pretty impressive as well. The fact that the menu settings remain on the LCD for a while AFTER you have altered a setting is annoying as it disturbs the view. The P10 offers HD movie recording at 720p resolution and and also a shift based vibration reduction feature. The predecessors of the P10 needed improvement with AF and this is hugely improved in this current version, and is good to use. It also has a hot shoe option, and a bayonet mount for interchangeable lenses.
3. Image Quality
The P10 produces excellent images, with good color and depth. Auto Exposure can tend to underexpose the images a little. Like the CX3, the P10’s macro mode can help produce some pretty stunning images. For low light conditions, the P10 allows custom pixel smoothening effects. Without fine tuning the smoothening settings the image quality drops rapidly after the ISO 800 mark.
The P10 is vastly improved over its predecessor models. It produces good quality images. AF can be sticky at the top end of the zoom. At 500 Pounds, we would question the success of the P10.