Ricoh GR Digital II review

Started Jan 2, 2009 | User reviews thread
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jaronberman
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Ricoh GR Digital II review
Jan 2, 2009

Just picked up this cam, the latest experiment to find a livable p&s/walkaround. I
was sold on the E-420/pancake combo, but kept playing with the GR and
eventually just gave in. The ergonomics are beautiful, the lens is razor-sharp, and
everything about this camera just screams "use me"! I've been a Canon shooter for
quite a while, but despite owning a few of the G's over the years, never loved them.
The G-10 is a remarkable camera and in many ways it's a step up from the GR -
better noise, slightly quicker, and finally a selector dial. BUT, there's just this
attraction to the Ricohs....you put one in your hand and don't want it to leave.
The camera feels right, moves at a respectable pace, and makes itself invisible. Try
as i might, I STILL can't even modestly like the DP1. I almost bought one again,
but no matter how much I want to tolerate it in exchange for the image quality , it's
simply an awful camera. If only Ricoh could build Foveon's cameras instead of
sigma (gag).
The GR has a significant amount of noise, but as many people have posted - it's
pleasant. Sounds strange in the age of clean=good, BUT some of us came from
and still shoot a lot of film. Grain in film looks quite different than noise in digital,
although the GR is the closest I've ever seen. That was the decision maker for me
personally. Printing digital files, most cameras can look quite good, but the
highlight transitions and sharpening artifacts always give away the digital original.
From printing the GR files, I feel that the look resembles film, which is a look i
personally prefer. With some gentle noiseware pro work, the files clean up
extremely well but still have a nice feel.

Overall a beautiful experience, a real camera only slightly let down by the
chip...BUT it prints well with a little massaging in PS. Most importantly it's a FUN
camera to use, it's tiny and powerful AND because of these things I know I'll have ti
with me. Getting the shot is a LOT more important than owning a camera with
great IQ (DP1) that is no fun to use and will let you down in the moment.

Problems:

Slightly noisy files, but I personally find them to look nice (this is my walkaround
equivalent to my T3 with Tmax). Build quality of this camera is superb.

jaronberman's score
4.6
Average community score
4.6
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