Okay, on the face of it this camera seems like an unexciting prospect, a (relatively) meager 10mp sensor, a fixed lens (no mega zoom) and a product made by a company more well known for their printers.
However, when one does a bit of research and actually takes the specs onboard it becomes clear that this camera is a street photographers dream. The lens is a 28mm (EFL) and opens to a dreamy f1.9, it also has image stabilization and has a usable ISO up to 800. So, this camera can be handheld in pretty low light.
In addition to this the camera has a pretty good form factor and will fit happily in a shirt pocket, the screen is very high resolution looks brilliant. You know something, I am actually going to struggle to fit in all the good things this camera packs in so I will list them as they come to me.
All metal construction with very good ergonomics, grippy material on the grip area. All major functions accessible with one hand so the camera can be held at waist level and adjustments dialled in (again good for stealth stree photography).
Fast start up time and a plethora of focussing options from pre-focus to an amazing feature called snap focus. This allows you to pre-set a focus distance which allows for ultra fast shutter release. However, a shutter half press will let the camera focus as normal.
Eye-fi card compatible, RAW shooting, insane customization options, genuinely usable macro setting, skew correction, handy post processing options, levelling indicator and square format shooting.
If it sounds like I am selling this camera then, unashamedly, I am. I have been bowled over by the options this camera offers and, more importantly, the image quality. The RAWs are awesome and the JPEGs are amazingly good straight out of the camera, look at the pic of the dog I attached.
However, what has really been the watershed feature on this camera is two of the image setting, namely hi-contrast black and white and bleach bypass. Both of those settings offer customization with tinting, vignetting and strength of effect, I have both these shooting styles set on my fn keys and they are just brilliant.
An online reviewer commented that Ricoh in-camera black and white is second on to Leica, a heady endorsement and something I would not dispute, the options are truly amazing, look at the attached pic of powerlines for an idea of the look the black and white setting gives. This is a straight lift from camera.
All told this is definitely a niche product, beginners will likely be turned off by the fixed lens and the lack of HD video. However, for those in the know this camera will, quite literally, knock your socks off. I will be carrying this in belt-mounted pouch 24/7 so I can grab shots whenever I see them.
A brilliant camera that will offer years of quality service. I really cant recommend this highly enough.
on 9 May 2014
One of the most popular pocket compacts in Japan and with good reason.
Ricoh not too well known as a solid producer of quality in the UK but this little pocket rocket is great as an everywhere and always documentary shooter. Nice wide and fast lens means you can shoot from the hip if needs, massive user adjustments in camera means you get what you want without needing copious post production. For me it's set to B&W and with some bite and I use it to document my daily life and random little moments I see. The pop up flash is great, the Snap focus thing is brill if you want something that you can point and shoot.
Great pocketable camera.
on 6 February 2014
Although now rather overshadowed by the larger sensor GR model, this is still a brilliant camera and one of the very best for street photography. In some ways its larger depth of field lends itself more to snap-type street photography than does the GR.
Improvements on the GRD 3 that really stand out are the faster focussing and the new image stabilisation. The fast lens was very useful for low light photography and now with IS it is even better.
The lens is razor sharp and the black and white image processing outstanding, with many options to tweak your final image.
I've owned all the previous GRDs...and this one is definitely the best!
With the release of the GR, its price is now dropping. My advice is to grab one before they're all gone....!
Have tried and returned a Ricoh GR and am keeping GRD 4.
The GR does have better image quality at higher ISOs and gives better control over depth of field but it seems slower and less nimble than the GRD 4 and I'm not sure the lens is as sharp. In the right conditions my GRD 4 gives bitingly sharp JPEGs and locks on to focus more or less instantly. Still the best in my opinion....!
on 13 May 2013
Ricoh GR Digital IV: high-end, premium priced compact camera
Pros: Shoots raw, Fast, Customizable, Excellent creative presets, Superb LCD, Bright f/1.9 Lens, Metal body with good handling, Excellent macro mode, Battery life
Cons: Expensive, Small image sensor, Fixed wide lens limiting, No HD video, Focusing not as quick as expected