Ricoh GR vs. RX100 - for my needs which is the better choice?

Started Aug 27, 2013 | Discussions thread
Logan3-1639
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Re: Ricoh GR vs. RX100 - for my needs which is the better choice?
In reply to smileman, Aug 27, 2013

smileman wrote:

Some background:

I've been shooting a Panasonic G1 with the kit lens, and I also have a Panasonic TS1 waterproof P&S. Both are about five years old. The image quality on the TS1 isn't that much better than my smartphone anymore, and I'm not climbing as many mountains these days. The lack of video on my G1 and its lack of pocketability, having to deal with a lens cap, etc. make it a less than ideal take everywhere camera.

With the RX100 Mark II coming out there appear to be some really good prices and deals for the original RX100. Amazon is throwing in the normally £50 case for free. Although I am wondering about the supposed better low light shooting with the Mark II I don't think I need any of the other Mark II improvements, so it seems like a great time to buy the RX100.

However, I was wondering whether I should instead consider the Ricoh GR? It's significantly more expensive (£200, and no free case), and more expensive in the UK than the U.S. I would probably wait until I'm back stateside to buy it there. Even there it would run me $200 more than the RX100 and I would still need a case.

However, I'm really intrigued by the prospect of a full APS sensor. I also really like high detail photos and the GR's lack of anti aliasing sounds great. The GR comes in form factor not much bigger and only 5g heavier than the RX100. It sounds like the GR is slightly less pocketable, but still very pocketable (particularly back pocket, where I like to carry my pocket camera when I'm walking).

I also like to shoot in RAW and am just getting to know Lightroom and it sounds like this is a good pairing for the GR. From DPreview it also looks like there isn't much benefit to shooting in RAW with the RX100 because Sony's JPEG engine is so good, although I'm wondering if Lightroom has made some improvements to their RAW processing of RX100 images since then?

It sounds like the GR has a better grip and overall better ergonomics. Build quality also appears to be stronger (mag alloy).

However, the GR has some tradeoffs. My big concerns are:

  • Slower shutter speed at 28mm. I'm particularly worried about this and trying to do action shots of my dog, etc.?
  • It appears the GR has worse video performance (e.g., no IS) and you cannot shoot in AVCHD. Good video is important to me.

Medium to unsure concerns are:

  • No zoom, although it sounds like the RX100 is best at 28mm and often used here?
  • Only a mono microphone.
  • Somewhat worse battery life on the GR
  • Slower burst shooting (up to 10fps on the RX100)
  • Slightly bigger, unsure how the leather hand grip is going to affect quickly removing the GR from a pocket.

The other things that make me think the RX100 could be a better choice right now is that while I aspire to take more control of my shots the reality at this stage is that I'm mostly a point and shooter. I'm wondering if my wife would also have a much easier time using the RX100.

Ultimately I envision adding a larger full frame sensor camera to my quiver, so the GR or RX100 would fit between that camera and my smartphone camera as a my take anywhere best picture/video camera. With the advances being made in smartphone cameras it would seem to argue for going for something like the GR and getting the best possible sensor in a pocketable size.

So it's a tough call!

Thanks for listening and any thoughts you have on this choice would be much appreciated!

I had an RX100 and loved it, but I sold it to buy the GR. The GR is my favorite camera, ever, but based on your concerns and priorities I think you'll be happier with the RX100.

With the GR, there's no zoom and you're stuck with the 28mm perspective, all the time.

The RX100 is slightly smaller, so you've got more options for carrying it in a pocket.

The RX100 is better for shooting video.

To optimize your shooting experience with the GR, you've got to familiarize yourself with its customization options, which you could conceivably accomplish in a couple of days, but it took me a few weeks, and there's still room for me to grow in my knowledge and understanding of the GR's settings and features.

Regarding pocketability, I don't think the RX100 is any more pocketable than the GR, and the RX100 is slippery. I bought a Richard Franiec grip for the RX100, because the camera was too slippery and awkward to hold for long periods of time, and it never felt secure in my hand without the custom Franiec grip.

I always shoot in RAW, and in my experience, there's no Lightroom advantage for the RX100 or the GR. The benefit in shooting RAW for any camera, for me, is that I get maximum control over my final image.

I don't understand your concern about "slow shutter speed." The GR's fastest shutter speed is 1/4000 of a second, which is plenty fast enough to get action shots of your dog.

In any case, from all that you've said here, I think the RX100 is your best choice.

~Ed

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Ricoh GR Olympus E-M1 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12mm 1:2 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8 +2 more
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