Here is a rare chance to see, side-by-side, two cameras from a pioneering manufacturer - version 1 and version 2 of Ricoh's first digital products.
The RDC-1 is a 0.41 megapixel still and video camera with 3-step zoom, colour monitor and PCMCIA card storage. As the photos show, there are plenty of buttons to push. And when you push them, the camera makes plenty of whirring noises, which is very satisfying for the modern-day enthusiast. The video capability of the RDC-1 means the camera layout is complicated by various controls and symbols for recording and playback. The RDC-2 had no video capability.
The example shown here comes with the detachable DM-1 LCD monitor and AC-1 power adapter/charger.
What is notable about the RDC-1 and RDC-2 is the amount of design change that Ricoh made between these versions that were only a year apart. Frankly, it's a new camera. Ricoh was no slouch in its determination to innovate!
Ricoh RDC-2 (1996)
Now for the RDC-2. Again, the colour monitor was optional, and whether using the viewfinder or the monitor, you hold the camera like a pair of binoculars. This time there is a bold 2-step "bifocal" switch next to the shutter button that replaces the multipurpose toggle of the RDC-1.
The example shown here is the "2L" version of the RDC-2, supplied with the DM-2 colour monitor. (My monitor still has its clear plastic screen protector in place.)
There is the same 0.41 megapixel resolution but 4mb of internal storage, as well as a removable PC Card. You have to transfer images from the camera to the card. Although there is no video mode, the camera does record audio. And it has a special mode for capturing documents.