Inside Story

I want to widen the range of people who have fun shooting

Takashi Ishida
“I want the CX4 to be a camera that people
always want to carry and that they are
proud to carry.” (Takashi Ishida)

For the CX4 design, emphasis was placed on the rounded, approachable form and on the color variations, including a new vivid pink.

The CX4 comes in three color variations: black, silver, and pink. “For people looking for the feel of the camera as a tool, there is the black model; for people looking for elegance and a high-class feel, there is the silver model; and to expand the CX4’s appeal to people just looking to have fun shooting, we added the pink model,” explained Takashi Ishida, a designer in the Product Design Office of the Corporate Design Center’s Corporate Planning Division. Careful attention was paid to detail in the variations: to emphasize the “tool feel” of the black model, even the small parts are black, and for the silver model, a champagne tone was added to the refined color scheme.


The decision to introduce the pink color went quite smoothly as part of consideration of the question: What colors would be good for expanding the range of users? “On the CX2 and CX3, pink was used as an accent color in a two-tone color scheme, with the result being a rather distinctive appearance. This time we considered adding pink as the third color in order to satisfy people who genuinely want pink. However, we really agonized over which shade of pink to use,” said Ishida. In the case of the CX1, a pale pink called “champagne rose” had been selected. “In the CX Series previously, designs with a sharp form and strong tool feel have been used, and in certain respects this made it difficult to use vivid colors. Such colors are more of a match to the CX4 design concept, with its added aspect of “approachability,” and this led to the selection of the new color lineup,” said Ishida.

Combining a tool feel with an approachable feel

Considerable ingenuity was also devoted to the form. “The sharp lines of the CX Series have been popular, but with the CX4 we used a more rounded form to give a feel that is approachable as well as sharp,” explained Ishida. Using all black, small parts included, emphasizes the “camera as a tool feel,” while using vivid pink gives an approachable feel with a fashion sensibility. “Our goal was a design that would be accepted by long-time Ricoh users while also appealing to a wider range of people,” said Ishida.

The basic design of the operation controls was not changed, just made easier to use. (CX4 at front, CX3 at back) / Both "appeal as a tool" and "approachability" were sought. (Mockups of each model shown to rear)

The rounded grip makes the CX4 easy to hold as well as giving it a lustrous quality feel. “We prepared many trial bodies until we finally decided on this shape,” said Ishida. Of course there was strong emphasis on operability, with operation buttons able to immediately call up necessary functions and screen guidance displays so that even first-time users don’t get confused.

Easy-to-hold rounded grip / Guidance display for ease of use

“I want the CX4 to be a camera that people always want to carry and that they are proud to carry. When thinking about the design, I worry about whether we have successfully communicated our intentions to the customer, but it pleased me intensely when I saw people taking the CX4 in hand in stores after it went on sale,” said Ishida.
“CX Series models have been the starting point for many people getting involved in photography as a hobby. When I think about how the products that I have worked on have influenced the hobbies and interests of the people who use them, it gives me a real thrill as a product planner, and at the same time I also feel a strong sense of responsibility,” Arai added.

Next we will talk to the design staff who brought the special functions into being.

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