Ricoh Caplio R30 adds ultrazoom to budget digicam

When Ricoh hit the market with its Caplio R3 a few months ago, we were more impressed than we usually are with the company's compacts. After all, the R3 boasted one of the longest zooms available on a compact -- 7x -- along with image stabilization and a 7 megapixel imager, all for under $500. Ricoh's follow up, the R30, includes the same double retracting lens system, but bumps the specs down for the budget market. The zoom is down to a still-impressive 5.7x, the CCD is down to 5 megapixels, and the price is down below $400. Unfortunately, they've also ditched the image stabilization, which could mean that you'll get some blurry images at the long end of that zoom range, so you may just want to spend the extra $100 or so and get the R3 if you're planning on shooting a lot of close ups.