Ricoh announces HZ15 Europe-only compact superzoom

Ricoh has announced the Ricoh HZ15, a 15x compact superzoom that will only be sold in Europe. Though it isn’t sold under the Pentax name, it bears a striking resemblance to Optio compacts of recent years. It features a 16 megapixel CCD sensor, 24-360mm equivalent zoom lens, 720p HD video and sensor-shift ‘SR’ shake reduction (terminology definitely borrowed from Pentax cameras). Though not a remarkable compact superzoom, it provides some idea of Ricoh’s intentions for the brand going forward and what role Pentax plays in it.

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Press Release:


A high-magnification digital compact camera, featuring an optical 15X zoom lens with 24mm wide-angle coverage, designed for the easy capture of an extensive range of subjects and scenes

RICOH IMAGING COMPANY LTD. is pleased to announce the launch of the RICOH HZ15 digital compact camera, featuring a compact, lightweight, easy-to-carry body; a high-magnification optical 15-times zoom lens; and a large 3.0-inch LCD monitor.

This new model has a host of outstanding features, including an optical 15-times zoom lens with 24mm ultra-wide-angle coverage, high-resolution image capture with 16 effective megapixels, a large, easy-to-view 3.0-inch LCD monitor, and a sophisticated SR (Shake Reduction) mechanism. In addition, meticulous attention has been paid to every design detail, from the high-grade, glossy black coating to the easy-to-hold grip, enhancing the HZ15’s functional operation and stylish appearance.

Major Features

  1. Optical 15-times zoom lens with 24mm wide-angle coverage
    Within its compact, lightweight body, the HZ15 features a powerful optical 15-times zoom lens covering focal lengths from 24mm wide-angle to 360mm super-telephoto (in the 35mm format). Thanks to this extra-wide zoom range, the HZ15 can capture beautiful images in a wide range of subjects and scenes — from spectacular landscapes to fast-action sports events. It even offers macro photography at a minimum focusing distance of just three centimetres from the subject.

  2. State-of-the-art shake reduction mechanism
    The HZ15 comes equipped with an innovative CCD-shift-type SR (Shake Reduction) mechanism to deliver sharp, blur-free images even under camera-shake-prone shooting conditions, such as when photographing in the telephoto range, in the dark with only incidental light, or for sunset scenes.

  3. Exceptional image quality
    With 16 effective megapixels, the HZ15 captures well-defined, high-quality images with extra-fine resolution. It also records beautiful HD-quality movie clips (at 1280 x 720 pixels).

  4. Stylish, easy-to-hold body design
    Every design detail of the HZ15, including the finish and texture of the camera body, has been optimised for comfort, quality and operability. These include a glossy black coating on the body, an easy-to-hold grip, and functionally laid-out control buttons and switches.

  5. Large 3.0-inch LCD monitor
    The HZ15 features a 3.0-inch LCD monitor with approximately 230,000 dots. This large monitor provides a clear view of images and menus, so the photographer can quickly and efficiently check the captured images and menu settings.

  6. 20 Scene modes for easy capture of specific subjects and scenes
    The HZ15 provides 20 distinctive Scene modes to automatically optimise all shooting settings for a given scene or subject. With a simple choice of the icon corresponding to the desired Scene mode, this handy feature allows the user to take beautiful images with minimal effort.

  7. High-resolution, HD-quality movie recording with push-button start
    The HZ15 captures beautiful, HD-quality movie clips (1280 x 720 pixels, 16:9 proportions, approx. 30 frames per second).* Thanks to an independent movie recording button on the camera’s top panel, the user can instantly switch to the movie recording mode from any other shooting mode. The user can also take advantage of the sophisticated Movie SR (Shake Reduction) mode to minimise annoying camera shake during movie recording.
    * When the HZ15’s AV output terminal is used, movie clips are output as normal image-size data. If the user wishes to play back movie clips at HD resolution (1280 x 720 pixels), the data must be transferred to a personal computer for playback.

  8. Other features
    ・In-body recharging system, for simple, mobile-phone-style battery recharging
    ・Compatibility with Eye-Fi wireless LAN SD memory cards
    ・Image viewing, editing and filing software included: MediaImpression 3.6.1 LE (Windows version compatible with Windows 8) and MediaImpression 2.2 LE (Macintosh version compatible with Mac OS X 10.8)

    ♦Design and Specifications are subject to change without notice.

    Pricing and availability:
    RRP: TBA

    Available from: end September 2013

Additional images

Ricoh HZ15 Ricoh HZ15
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I’m guessing the news here is the “Pentax design but Ricoh logo” part. Maybe the DSLR’s will go the same way? I just hope they sprinkle some of the GR magic over the next batch of cameras, come on Pencoh, get your behinds in gear please

Joe Ogiba

A 720p P&S with tiny sensor in the age of 1080p smartphones with larger sensors ? Next.

Look at the DPR banner ad at the top of this page:


Ricoh should make high performance cameras only, like GR. It would be great if they could squeeze some zoom in GR body, let’s say 24-50mm or
28-60mm, with constant f2.8…I am expecting great products from Ricoh in the future!


The only reason this will sell is when it’s much cheaper than e.g. a canon powershot 260sx which is a much better camera and already selling for less than €200. (full hd video gps, etc)


Yawn that is boring new release of camera. Next please!


Wifi capability could have made the camera more appealing. Battery is a LB-050-more of GE/JK imaging type of battery.


Personally, I’m still sticking to my 6 year old GX100. IMO Ricoh have yet to produce a model that would tempt me to replace it as my pocket DSLR replacement. 16mp on such a tiny sensor – what nonsense!


thats olympus-like ugly. Hard to believe the same company makes the GR .


Thanks God i never sold my Ricoh CX6,

this is a rebadged Pentax, probably a sketch that fell off the designers desk and a buss guy noticed it, hey, we did not bring anything new under Ricoh lately, lets use this, it sits between the Pentax Optio 10 and 18,

it has the Pentax button layout, and oh, Ricoh,

I hope you understand in Europ we no longer use stones to carve in, a 230 K dot LCD?? please, my CX6 uses a 1.2 mio.

You can buy an almost new CX6 at roughly 100 euro, so, this HZ-whatever, will it sell at , say 30 euro or more?

What a waste, i’m a Ricoh fan and really feel obused now, i still cannot sit…..


I think that you are quite right here about it is just a camera produced by Sanyo which in fact would have been a Pentax Optio. That was also my impression when i wrote about it in the Ricoh-section in the forum. As you, I also noticed the button-layout.
I’ll surely pass on this one and hang on to the good old Ricoh Caplio R3 which only have 28-200mm zoom but pretty fast focus and Low NR which preserves details nicely.
This Ricoh-wannabe HZ15 is a joke probably just so that Ricoh at least would have another camera on the shelves. One which Pentax could have kept in own their mostly disgraceful Optio-series..
But no no no. Them decided to try to pull Ricoh down into that slippery mud as well. I’m very disappointed over this announcement.
Btw. I finally found some CX6 full size sample images at the Japanese Dcwatch which showed what NR Off is up to and I was positively surprised about the result. I believe you are doing a wise choice to keep that camera – for sure better than the HZ15.


Why are compact sensors sooo small and pixel counts are doubling every 3 years? Lots of extra noise and image quality decline.

Leandros S

I’ve yet to see a thorough test comparing natively small vs. downsampled resolution, in either a contemporary or older camera… Then again, Nokia…


They’re small so that they can fit a 15x superzoom lens in a compact package. As for why they want to fit a 15x zoom, ask the consumers.

Andy Crowe

Pixel counts doubling every 3 years? Most 8MP superzooms I know were released in 2007, 6 years ago.


We will judge by using it! Wait & see!….;)


What a shameful way to waste talent and resources.


Such P&S camera is developed by 1 engineer for several weeks on PC.


another baby-sensor for the shelves of department stores destined to the ignorant masses… at least they limit it to one entry, and not a dozen like some companies


Spare me. I’m sure you know what a 24-360mm lens for a daddy sensor would look like.

Leandros S

@tkbslc: Fujifilm X-S1

PC Wheeler

Not a great place for the flash, either


Non-news, really.


Stinky, very stinky going forward


So, the lens is very similar (actually worse) than that in $100 GE Power Pro X500, “General Imaging Full-HD Digital Camera with 14.4MP, CMOS, 15X Optical Zoom” and similar junk.


Dear Ricoh,

you didn’t have to go to the trouble of designing that piece of sh*t just for our sake.



I can’t recall when I last saw a Ricoh in the wild in the US. It can’t have been this decade. It may not have been this century. Distribution isn’t their strong suit in the US. It sounds like you can find them in Europe more easily. That’s a shame.


I think I saw something named Ricoh in a clear plastic package hanging in Radio Shack.


Not 1080 only 720, small CCD? what’s the point of this? someone please tell Ricoh that compact cameras are a dying breed and this one is already dead before it was born.


Is it only Ricoh? All other cameras I used to see prints the actual focal length instead of the 35mm equivalent focal length (24 – 360mm) in this case.


I hope Ricoh releasing bigger sensor compact cameras 1/1.7″
and please make sure the low light photos are good.
and market it worldwide.
many user want compact camera with big sensor, which work good on low light
and also add WiFi

PC Wheeler

Take a look at the Ricoh GR series for “bigger sensor”:

Richard Murdey

GR Digital says “hi”.


Almost looks like the Olympus wedge?


It would be interesting to know what size/type is the imaging sensor, megapixels don’t exactly say much.

R Butler

It’s 1/2.3″ – the size used in the vast majority of compacts.


Are you going to review this camera?


Still CCD, still 1/2.3″, f/3.3 my god is it still 2010/11. Nothing super about this zoom camera.


except superfluous!


Well the camera hasn’t been tested yet, but going by the reactions of people here, good job it hasn’ got the Pentax brand on it!


Very little Ricoh DNA in this camera. No 1 mil. dot LCD screen, no Ricoh interface. Yes, it seems to be a Pentax in Ricoh drag. What’s the strategy behind this? Why not use the Pentax name for low-budget compacts and the Ricoh brand for high end compact camera’s such as the GR and GRV or a successor to the GX200 i.e. with a zoom lens. This is a non distinct me-too product without a sparkle of imagination or bright engineering at all. A new Ricoh should be interesting, slightly off beat and quircky, scoring high on a photographers ‘want to have’ list. This one does not.

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