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Customer Review

76 of 76 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Benchmark for Prime Lens Compacts, 12 Feb. 2014
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This review is from: Ricoh GR Expert Compact Digital Camera - Black (16MP) 3 inch LCD Screen (Camera)
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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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 27 Nov 2014 17:03:07 GMT
Yes, Brian, I've bought this camera, but can't agree at the moment that all buttons are in the right place as the exposure + - one is just where I put my thumb when holding the camera. The result is a dark screen as the exposure goes down to -4.0. How do you overcome this, please?

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Nov 2014 17:54:48 GMT
Hi. I find my thumb naturally sits on the grip between the +/- button and the AEL wheel. My thumb points straight up and pad of my thumb sits flat against the grip.

I find this gives a light yet secure grip.

Hope this helps.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Nov 2014 19:49:59 GMT
Thanks, Brian, will work on this. Had just bought this when the Pentax Q10 was on an unmissable deal. Not the same quality sensor but the feel is just right and is a delight to use.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Nov 2014 21:46:12 GMT
Good luck and stick with it. This camera is amazing.
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