By Martin Vedris

SYDNEY: Tasco Sales, sole Australian distributors of Ricoh digital cameras, has just announced the RICOH R10 digital still camera (DSC) with 7.1x optical wide-angle zoom lens (28-200 mm in 35 mm film equivalent focal length), for RRP $499.

Due for a September release, the new RICOH R10 is the successor model to the R8 (launched 7 March, 2008), which featured a 7.1x optical wide-angle zoom lens and a 10 megapixel CCD.

The R10 features a 3-inch and 460,000-dot HVGA monitor and an electronic level.

The electronic level allows the user to keep the camera level when shooting landscapes, buildings and other scenes where tilting of the subject can affect the image composition and quality. A visual level indicator on the LCD display helps the user level the image. There is also an option of using an alarm that continually beeps when the camera is level.

For viewing images in the on the LCD screen, an acceleration sensor automatically rotates the images to horizontal or vertical as the user rotates the camera.

Also, a step zoom function, allows users to change the optical zoom magnification in seven fixed steps (28 mm, 35 mm, 50 mm, 85 mm, 105 mm, 135 mm, and 200 mm equivalent).