Ricoh has announced the release of the CX1, a 9-megapixel compact offering 7x optical zoom, 3-inch LCD display and a lens equivalent to 28-200mm in 35mm film cameras.

The CX1 features Ricoh's "highly evolved" image processing engine "Smooth Imaging Engine IV".

With an expanded dynamic range of 12 EV equivalent, Ricoh claims the CX1 can capture high-contrast scenes in a way not possible with earlier models.

Featuring a "Dynamic Range Double Shot Mode", the camera will shoot two still images with different exposures, and then record the image that combines the properly exposed portions of each image.

In addition, a new enhanced, ultra-high-speed continuous shooting function sees the CX1 capable of shooting at around 120 frames at 60 frames per second as well as an "M-continuous plus shooting function" for action shots.

Other features include white balance adjustment, "Multi-Target Auto Focus" that shoots the same shot from seven different planes of focus, a variety of shooting modes and movie capture.

The CX1 will be available in the UK at a suggested price of £299 from 13 March.