If there is one camera that truly possessed a funky design, then the Ricoh RDC-7 is it. The camera is flat, in much the same vein as the late seventies style cameras, or what you might expect in a funky seventies Cold War spy flick.
If there is one camera that truly possessed a funky design, then the Ricoh RDC-7 is it. The camera is flat, in much the same vein as the late seventies style cameras, or what you might expect in a funky seventies Cold War spy flick. It also possesses a slight curve to the lines and a darkish chrome finish coupled with black trimmings. To hold, the Ricoh has no obvious grip or handle to accommodate your fingers like most of the other cameras, though its flat body offers plenty of surface area to gain a solid grasp for sturdy shots. On the left side of the RDC-7 the LCD display is folded down, and flips open vertically in a manner not unlike a mini notebook. The LCD can rotate around to cover a full 270 degrees, offering the user some interesting alternative ways to
frame a shot.
Hidden underneath the display is a number of clearly marked buttons with which to set up your shot to the desired settings. Combined with the scroll wheel placed at the back next to the optical viewfinder - which operates recording modes such as stills, movies, and even audio - the control interface can be a little non-intuitive and complex. For instance, when looking for quality settings, you are faced with the menu option: No compression - Off making for a curious and a little confusing double negative for the default setting. Once familiarised though, the menu serves its purpose well.
Unfortunately the RDC-7 experienced some quality issues when it came to the test image outcomes. In the same way that the Kodak excelled in colour and brightness, the RDC-7 also showed quality in those aspects of the test image. Contrast, however, suffered from odd compression artefacts that outlined many of the flowers in the test image, which is visibly quite noticeable when lined up against any of the other camera images in the Labs. As a result of these artefacts, the detail of the final outcome was compromised which led to the mediocre result overall.
This Review appeared in the June, 2001 issue of PC & Tech Authority Magazine