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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A consumate performer
I was just about to purchase a Fuji X20 when I became aware this little baby was in the offing for release. I recently got involved in Street photography and bought a little Ricoh CX5 to use instead of cumbersome DSLR's or my Canon Compact.
The Ricoh CX5 astounded me in terms of swift focus and beautifully 'inky' black and white shots that people say are second only...
Published 14 months ago by Karia

versus
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dust on sensor a common problem despite fixed lens, sealed unit
This could actually be a wonderful camera as the handling, build quality and most importantly, the image quality is excellent. But within days of owning the camera and having kept it in a suitable case, dust found its way on to the sensor despite this being a sealed unit with a fixed lens. I discovered that this is a well documented problem and the only solution is to...
Published 15 days ago by Adam K.


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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A consumate performer, 22 Sep 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Ricoh GR Expert Compact Digital Camera - Black (16MP) 3 inch LCD Screen (Electronics)
I was just about to purchase a Fuji X20 when I became aware this little baby was in the offing for release. I recently got involved in Street photography and bought a little Ricoh CX5 to use instead of cumbersome DSLR's or my Canon Compact.
The Ricoh CX5 astounded me in terms of swift focus and beautifully 'inky' black and white shots that people say are second only to Leica. So I saved and waited....quite a long wait as it was heavily pre-odered. The GR Expert was the perfect blend of DSLR sized sensor performance and portability...if Ricoh could pull it off.

Eventually, it arrived and I was sceptical that anything could live up to the buzz surrounding this release..but you know what? It really does.
The moment you unbox it and hold it, it becomes clear that this was designed by people who actually take photographs. The weight, the grip, the balance in your hand for one handed shooting..it's simply exquisite. It screams quality but is also very low key to look at and doesn't attract unwanted attention.

Then you realise how rich it is in terms of options and settings. You find that the buttons and dials you reach for instinctively do the job..because many of them do whatever needs doing at the time. You can assign so many functions to specific buttons or dials but even if you choose not to..it always seems instinctive.

There are a range of 'creative options' and they are inspiring...not only that but when you choose one you have further control as to the singular aspects that make up that option via slider controls and can fine tune each to your own , very personal and specific tastes.

The Black and Whites excel and there are enough settings in that field alone to explore and fine tune for a long, long time. Then there is 'Bleach bypass' which is incredible. I have heard some murmerings about the Ricoh 'colours' not being all one could wish for but I honestly don't get that when you have so many options ( and options within options) It's hard to believe that with such customizable colours there wouldn't be something for everyone...I mean the combinations are virtually endless.

Another wonderful aspect of this camera is that you can take multiple exposures...up to 5 I believe although that may look a bit messy.

I have had this camera since the beginning of August and am still finding exciting things it can do. It's a delight and a joy and well worth the outlay.

If the 28mm fixed lens makes you hesitate then I would just add that with quality this good you can crop really hard if you need to and still get an amazing result.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Benchmark for Prime Lens Compacts, 12 Feb 2014
By 
Brian Hamilton "brianhamilton14" (Scotland, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Ricoh GR Expert Compact Digital Camera - Black (16MP) 3 inch LCD Screen (Electronics)
A few years ago Ricoh were laughed at with the launch of the GRD series of cameras. I mean, a compact camera with a wide angle prime lens with very wide maximum aperture, that's a joke right?

Only it wasn't and, as each iteration of the GRD cameras came along they slowly, quietly and without fanfare, changed what was thought possible from a compact camera.

I jumped in with the GRD-IV and, once I got my head around the insane customization, quickly fell in love with the camera, it was by far, and I mean by a country mile, the most ergonomically pleasing and well thought out camera I had ever used.

So, jump ahead to this camera, the GR. What are the USP's above and beyond the GRD series. Well, first thing is the sensor is now APS-C size, which means it has the same sensor as your average consumers DSLR. This is stunning in a compact. Secondly, as well as 16mp of resolution, the anti alias filter has been removed which means you will obtain bitingly sharp pictures. Thirdly, the files up to ISO 1600 (sometimes even 3200) are sharp, clean and eminently usable.

I really can't say enough good things about this camera. When companies such as Nikon jump aboard this format (with the release of the Coolpix A) you know that something is happening here. However, Ricoh was years ahead of the curve and had refined their compact through five generations. Sorry Nikon but I will look at your offering once it has matured.

So, for a lot less than the Nikon Coolpix A you get a magnesium alloyed body, stealthy looking compact that will garner no attention when you are out shooting. There are numerous in-camera effects that are totally usable rather than cheesy, the bleach bypass and hi-contrast black and white are my favourites.

If you are a serious camera user and know and value what prime lenses can do you should look long and hard at this camera. It really is fantastically designed, the buttons are in the right place, the menus are easy to navigate, the raw files are very malleable, the sensor is tuned brilliantly and gives lush, sharp and beautifully coloured pictures.

This is not a boys toy camera, if you know and understand how difficult it is to make a good photograph and value a camera that unobtrusively assists in grabbing the vision that is in your head rather than having a camera that hinders the creative process, then this is for you.

No bells and whistles, no fanfare or neon lights, just a stealthy, street smart, amazingly specc'ed camera that will, honestly, revolutionize the way you think and shoot.

Unparalleled, worthy of all the praise it is receiving on the web.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very clear image, 7 Jun 2014
By 
J. Matthews (Wales, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Ricoh GR Expert Compact Digital Camera - Black (16MP) 3 inch LCD Screen (Electronics)
I bought this as an every day carry about camera so I can leave the DSLR at home. Problem with compact cameras is the image quality. This is overcome with this camera. It's crop image is as good as my cannon 650 DSLR. Quality not on par with my 3D mk 111, but it's only 10% of its cost. I have taken some very usable photographs at 1600 ISO on this. I sell stock photos through an agent and images on this camera pass quality control. I use it in RAW and process in Lightroom.

It's light and got a very fast focuse speed. For street photographs it's a dream come true. I use this with a £2.00 app on my iPhone for geocoding locational shoots. But don't skimp on the card quality or you will be letting the camera down. Use a high speed card above 45mb/s and you got a winning combination.

Battery is charged via the camera. Not the best idea I have come across. Plugging a camera into electricity socket is not something I was keen on so I bough a cheap charger of Amazon with another cheap battery as back up. For less that £20 you get both. I think they are called dot photo.

Yes it's expensive for a compact camera with no zoom. But if your reading this then your more interested in quality photographs. This camera gives quality photographs. I have had A3 prints from it and very good quality. 8x10 Prints on par with my full frame in the right conditions.

I'm not dissapointment with this camera.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy it!, 15 Nov 2013
This review is from: Ricoh GR Expert Compact Digital Camera - Black (16MP) 3 inch LCD Screen (Electronics)
I don't normally write reviews but I feel compelled to do so with the Ricoh GR as I'm just so impressed. My main camera is a Nikon d7100 and 99% of the time I have a prime lens on it and my most usual photographic subjects are my kids. The only problem with the dslr is that it's just not always practical to take it with me when I'm out and about with the kids due to its size, but my old point and shoot camera, although decent enough, just annoyed me as the quality was so far behind my d7100 that it didn't inspire me to take it with me. Consequently I felt I was missing out on a lot of everyday moments of the kids that I really wanted to be able to get a decent photo of.

Then I discovered the existence of this amazing camera! Wow! Incredibly similar sensor to the d7000 and it is apparent that, though this may look like a point and shoot, it is anything but (though of course you can use it that way if you want but that would be a waste!). I'm stunned by the image quality, the shallow depth of field I can achieve thanks to the large sensor and fast lens (especially in the fantastic macro mode) and how well it performs at high ISOs. There is definite noise at high ISOs, but as another reviewer said, it is somehow good noise and almost adds to the character of those images. I love how I can customise pretty much every aspect of this camera - the various function buttons, how it focuses, and all the tweaks you can make to how it processes the image in camera.

The one thing that concerned me before buying it was the focal length. It's so much wider than I normally shoot with, but now I actually have the camera I wouldn't change it. It's wide enough to get everything in shot indoors and the quality is so good that I can crop if I want to later. Or, there's an in built function so with the press of a button you can change it to 35mm instead (though this takes the image down to 10mp and doesn't alter your depth of field, but still excellent quality images and handy to have in-camera).

There are so many neat functions that this camera has that I could go on forever, and I think most of them have been covered really well in the other reviews. One feature that I wasn't aware of until I got the camera out of the box and started reading the manual though is that it has an in-built interval composite mode. I love taking star trail photos, and this mode seems especially designed for this purpose - the manual even gives you instructions on how to do it. You set up the shot you want, tell it how often to take the photo, and it will do the rest until you tell it to stop. You can even half press the shutter button while it's doing it and see what your composite image is looking like so far. Although it won't replace my d7100 and computer software as my main equipment for this purpose, it's amazing to know that if I'm ever caught out with only my Ricoh GR on a starry night, I can still get the shot!

How is a camera this size so clever?! If you're reading this review considering buying it, do it! It certainly won't ever replace my dslr as my main camera, but I'll be carrying this one around in my bag all day everyday, safe in the knowledge that I will always be able to get a fantastic quality photo whenever I want. Just brilliant!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars APS-C in a fantastic compact., 23 July 2013
By 
J. Bootle - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Ricoh GR Expert Compact Digital Camera - Black (16MP) 3 inch LCD Screen (Electronics)
This is one special little camera.

I currently own the original GR and GR III. The main reason I have invested so much in the Ricoh GR line is the build quality, solid magnesium body with excellent ergonomics. Up until now though these cameras have still just been well built compacts with manual controls.

The Ricoh GR is the fifth in the series of digital GRs and is the first to get a major sensor upgrade, and it shows.

Ricoh have managed to fit an APS-C sensor, similar to that used in the Nikon D7000, into the body of a compact from the GR range. The main improvement this brings over previous versions is the image quality is pretty astounding. The dynamic range is very good and performs amazingly well up to 6400 ISO. The sensor also lacks an Anti Aliasing filter resulting in pin sharp images every time.

Start up times have been massively reduced from previous generations. It takes about 1 second to go from powered off to ready to shoot.

All in all its as close to a perfect camera as I can think of. Maybe the only improvement would be a 50mm equiv. lens rather than the 28mm but thats purely personal.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The finest compact camera bar none, 19 Aug 2013
This review is from: Ricoh GR Expert Compact Digital Camera - Black (16MP) 3 inch LCD Screen (Electronics)
First off I'm an amateur ([...] with no interest in Ricoh/Pentax. I just think this is a wonderful camera.

If you prize exceptional image quality, build quality, portability and the ability to point-and-shoot or manually adjust every facet of picture taking I would suggest you take a close look at the new Ricoh GR.

Since the 1990s and the days of 35mm film, the GR range has set the standard for gimmick-free compact cameras aimed at people who like taking and looking at photos.

I've owned and loved a Ricoh GR Digital 3 (GRD3) for about three years, and also love my Olympus OM-D, but this new incarnation of the GR is proving a game-changer. However good the GRD3 is - and it is very, very good - in the final analysis, cameras with larger sensors usually win on image quality. Now the GR has its own large (APS size) sensor behind a new pin-sharp 18.3mm (28mm equivalent) lens. Together lens and sensor deliver exceptional image performance, which, coupled with its rugged, compact form, is tending more and more to have me pick up the Ricoh GR rather than the small but comparatively much larger Olympus. I doubt there is any camera on the market that matches the ratio of image quality to size/weight of the GR.

Close comparisons between images captured with the GR and those captured with the OM-D with the very sharp Lumix 20mm pancake lens stopped down to f9,0 reveal differences that are marginal if not entirely negligible.

One further point on image quality with the GR. I have captured great images at ISO6400. Sure there is grain/noise at high ISO, but somehow its `good' grain/noise. This must come from the exception pairing of lens and sensor.

From a controls point of view, Ricoh have maintained the wonderful ADJ. button on the back face. The ADJ. button can be programmed to access and adjust any five controls you choose. I have it set to ISO, metering (matrix, centre, etc), capture type (RAW, JPG), aspect ratio, focus type and effect. Thus with three buttons/dials I can adjust all of the above plus aperture and shutter speed. This simple to use button enhances the useability of the GR way above any other camera I have used or owned.

It you are put off by the fixed focal length (i.e. non-zoom) lens, please don't be. Unless you are in the market for lenses costing many thousands of pounds, zooms are never, ever as good as fixed focal length `prime' lenses. I have tried to disprove this and wasted many hundreds of pounds in the process. No more. If you value image quality fixed focal length is better, believe me. And the GR proves it. From a creative perspective I find using fixed focal length far more interesting to use than zoom. If you want to get closer to something, get closer to it (unless you are taking a dangerous wild animal while on Safari - for which I would not recommend this camera, much less any zoom compact).

I have recently tried the Leica D-Lux 6 and the Sony RX100. Both are very capable cameras and both are smaller than the GR. For my hands both are too small to be easily used - they feel fiddly and over complicated. More importantly both compromise by using zoom lenses. On balance, for my kind of photo taking anyway, the GR is in a completely different class.

A final quality of the GR is that its physical appearance is the opposite of bling. It is plain black - the initials "GR" the only readable lettering on the front face. It won't attract attention to you as a photographer and it will minimise the attention of potential thieves.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pocket power, 27 Oct 2013
By 
Sn Baines (st albans, hertfordshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Ricoh GR Expert Compact Digital Camera - Black (16MP) 3 inch LCD Screen (Electronics)
This camera is going every where with me,very liberating and so stealthy in black with an almost silent shutter.
colors are slightly subdued out of camera but can be easily adjusted to suit, the dynamic black and white is the best I have ever seen,the camera is worth buying just for that.
The handing and buttons etc are the best and the most intuitive I have ever used,great for one handed use
autofocus in good light is near instant,but in poor light slows down substantially,luckily the snap focus can help there.
The fixed crop modes 35mm and 47mm are really quite usefull and produce images with no loss of quality other then cropping ability.
The GR can be more then just a street camera,I use it for travel/social,landscape ,all sorts,but then I,m happy shooting between 28mm and a cropped 47mm,my prev camera was the fuji x100,I think the GR may be more usefull for me at least,time will tell !
So far I love mine.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love using it!, 5 Nov 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Ricoh GR Expert Compact Digital Camera - Black (16MP) 3 inch LCD Screen (Electronics)
Professional standard yet easy to use. Takes stunning DSLR quality photographs, has lots of nice effects to choose and love the trim option. Brilliant!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The king of the street, 9 Aug 2013
This review is from: Ricoh GR Expert Compact Digital Camera - Black (16MP) 3 inch LCD Screen (Electronics)
Fantastic camera, great for street shooting. Fits in your hand nicely for single hand shooting. More keepers than any camera I have used. I usually use a 35mm eq lens so at first I felt 28mm was too wide but it makes you get into the scene more and it's so small you tend not to draw attention to yourself.

The shooting mode that locks shutter speed and aperture whilst auto adjusting iso works better than I could have hoped for, bye bye motion blur unless you want it!

I won't go on too much about the positives as they have been covered by other reviews. The one negative I have with this camera is the colour it renders. It just isn't as good as the competition. Saying its the subtle Ricoh look is a cop out, it's just not as good as the Nikon A, from raw or jpeg. But then again the b&w is better than any other camera this size so depends what you want. Battery life is average.

Haven't enjoyed using a camera this much since I had a GR1V. Somebody commented on this camera "you paid 600 quid for that small camera!?!?" That's exactly why this camera is so good. If it were a car it would be a normal looking mini with a Hidden V6 engine. No posing, no show, just an awesome photographic tool that will always be in your bag.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not much to say really ..., 14 Jun 2013
This review is from: Ricoh GR Expert Compact Digital Camera - Black (16MP) 3 inch LCD Screen (Electronics)
... except that it's BRILLIANT! Don't hesitate, and don't waste time wondering about other makes/models ... if you're looking for a prime lens compact this is THE one to have. No, I'm not employed by Ricoh. Have a look for Steve Huff's review on the net. Not much to add to that except that I've had mine for a week or so, I take it everywhere and I can't stop taking pictures. GREAT pictures. Such a joy and so easy to use. Even if you simply leave it on auto the results are nearly always stunning. Worth every penny and much much more. I particularly love the character of the B/W images.
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