January 19, 2005 – Ricoh released the gadget-laden GPS-ready Ricoh Pro G3 yesterday. This digital camera is aimed more for business solutions, but is available to consumers as well. The 3.24-megapixel G3 embeds the GPS coordinates, as well as up to five memos, in each of its image files. The camera can scan information such as barcodes and text documents for easier embedding. Once the photos are uploaded to a computer, they are instantly integrated into Geographic Information Systems (GIS). The interface can look like a map; when users scroll over the image, thumbnails of their pictures appear over the locations they were taken. This feature is handy for archaeologists, contractors and city planners, among others.
"We needed a way to identify and photograph more than 30,000 street lights," said AJ. Romanelli of workflow optimization company EMA, Inc. "The camera did exactly what we needed it to do and allowed us to finish the project ahead of schedule and without errors."
The camera has a 1/2.7-inch CCD with 3.34 megapixels and a 3x optical zoom. The lens has a mount for conversion lenses, so users aren’t limited to the 3x optical and 3.4x digital zoom. The Ricoh Caplio Pro G3 has a CompactFlash slot for a WAAS-enabled GPS card. The camera can also receive GPS information from other devices with its Bluetooth compatibility.
The Pro G3 can connect to business networks and equipment with the camera's Ethernet or WiFi options. The wireless card connects to the camera directly below the LCD, which makes the Ricoh G3 appear an odd shape. However, the camera still isn’t bulky with its 4.9 x 1.4 x 2.2-inch measurements.
Ricoh’s Pro G3 still has options and modes for consumers. It has six scene modes, a movie mode, and four ISO speed selections. It has a 1.6-inch LCD with 80,000 pixels and 8MB of internal memory. A slot for SD or MMC cards is also available. However, the price will probably limit customers to businesses rather than consumers looking for a good vacation camera. The Ricoh Caplio Pro G3 goes for $870 by itself. Coupled with a CompactFlash GPS card, it sells for $950. If a GPS-Photo Link Ricoh Edition Software package is thrown in with that, it goes for $1,149. The camera is available immediately at selected Ricoh retailers.