Customer Review

14 of 15 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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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 22 Sep 2013 16:12:40 BDT
M. Roberts says:
Thanks for the review, I was torn between the GR and the Leica Dlux-6 and have just plumped for the GR off Amazon myself. Will do my own review shortly, thanks again.
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