A faster burst rate and longer zoom are among the claimed improvements on board the Ricoh CX2 ? a digital compact set to replace the five-month-old CX1.

Priced £299.99, the 9.29-million-pixel CX2 inherits many features from its older sibling, but sports a 10.7x zoom, designed to deliver the 35mm equivalent of a 28-300mm lens (the CX1 has a 28-200mm zoom).

Ricoh has ramped up the continuous shooting rate to five frames per second (fps) at full resolution, an improvement on the 4fps (at 7MP) of the CX1 (tested AP 2 May).

A Ricoh spokesman told AP that the firm is pitching the CX2 against the likes of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ7 and Fujifilm FinePix F200EXR compact cameras.

Ricoh is keen to promote the camera as a high-end compact model that will appeal to professional photographers.

Due out in September, new features also include a ?High-Contrast B&W? mode. ?This makes it possible to record images with a grainy feel such as that created using ultra-high sensitivity film? or by push processing film at the development stage,? explained the firm.

The CX2 also boasts a ?Miniaturize? effect mode, which blurs the top and bottom areas of the image to ?recreate the impression given when photographing miniatures?.

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