The Ricoh FF-7 was the first camera reviewed for this website. I now have a Ricoh FF-9, which is supposed to be the same camera under a different name. But is it? I have already reviewed the similar, if not identical, Ricoh FF-7. And, to all intents and purposes, the Ricoh FF-9 does appear to be identical.

I can only assume that they were simply marketed to different countries. Certainly the specifications in their respective manuals are the same, as far as I can see. Although the manual for the Ricoh FF-9, also combines the Ricoh FF-9s.

But, having obtained a Ricoh FF-9, it gives me a chance to go over some of the features that I missed out the first time around.

Like the FF7, the Ricoh FF9 has one of the clearest viewfinders that I’ve come across in cheap point and shoot film cameras. The film ISO range (by sensing the DX code) of 100 to 1600 is also wider than many in its class. It has a few modes, including a night mode, which provides a kind of workaround for shooting in low light, without a flash. There is also a ‘panorama’ mode, TV mode for taking photographs of television screens (no, I don’t know why either), a continuous shooting mode, interval mode and a multiple exposure mode. Not bad at all.

Like the some other compact cameras, such as the Olympus mju II, the modes reset to default when the camera is switched off. Which is either irritating, or a good feature, depending on your outlook.

Difference between Ricoh FF-9 and Ricoh FF-7?

Two camera viewfinders

The top image shows the viewfinder from the Ricoh FF-9, with the smaller, round, flash ready lamp on the left and the auto-focus monitor light on the right. The image below, shows the same arrangement on the Ricoh FF-7, but with squarer windows.

There are only two differences that I can find between the Ricoh FF-7 and the Ricoh FF-9. And one of these might well be a misprint.

Firstly, the manual for the Ricoh FF-7 claims that the weight is 230g, without the battery. The Ricoh FF-9 manual appears to claim that it is only 220g. (I have no intention of weighing the two cameras to find out of there really is a difference.)

The only clear visual difference that I can find between the two cameras, is with the shape and size of the AF monitor and flash-ready lamps on the back of each camera. The lights on the back of the FF-7 are square, as opposed to the FF-9, which are smaller and more circular. There is little noticeable difference in use.

My particular FF-9 also has a slightly stiffer lens protector than the FF-7, but that could just be sample variation. It’s also possible that all these variations are more to do with specification changes in both models, at some point in their production cycle, than with differences between the cameras themselves.

So, nothing to write home about, but a couple of possible cosmetic differences. Other than that, I would suggest that these two cameras are essentially the same beast.

Posted by P&SFC