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Ricoh GR-Digital Review

August 2006 | By Simon Joinson

For information about the Ricoh GR, launched in 2013 - click here to read our hands-on Ricoh GR preview.

Announced almost a year ago - and rumored for a long time before - the GR Digital was always going to be something of a niche product. Described as a 'professional grade high resolution compact' the GR Digital echoes the design and ethos of the popular and very highly regarded GR series of film compacts and is unusual in having a fixed 28mm equivalent F2.4 lens and full photographic control. The 8MP GR-D (as we'll call it from now on) is also fairly expandable; with an optional optical viewfinder, 21mm equivalent ultra wide converter and dedicated flash available (though by then you've spend well over $1000). Originally released only in Europe and Asia, the GR-D has recently made its way to North America, though you're still unlikely to find it on the shelves of your local camera store. So does the GR-D live up to all the hype or is it just another 8MP compact with pretensions? Let's find out, starting as usual with the headline features:

  • Newly Developed GR Lens Provides High Resolution and resolving power
  • 8.13 million effective pixels
  • High resolution 2.5-inch LCD
  • World's first twin-dial control system in a compact
  • Magnesium Alloy case
  • Optional high performance optical viewfinder
  • Optional 21mm equivalent wide converter
  • Manual, Program, Program shift AE and Aperture Priority modes
  • 1.5 cm macro mode

GR-Digital specifications

Street price • US: $699
• UK: £380
Body Material Magnesium alloy and plastic

• 1/1.8" Type CCD
• 8.3 million pixels total
• 8.1 million effective pixels

Image sizes

• 3264 x 2448
• 3264 x 2176
• 2592 x 1944
• 2048 x 1536
• 1280 x 960
• 640 x 480
• 3264 x 2448
• 2048 x 1536

Movie clips

• 320 x 240 30fps
• 160 x 120 30fps

File formats • JPEG (EXIF 2.2)
• AVI (Motion JPEG)

• 28mm equiv.
• F2.4
• Ricoh GR Lens
• 6 elements including low dispersion glass and two molded aspherical elements
• Seven-bladed aperture diaphragm

Image stabilization None
Conversion lenses 21mm equivalent wide converter (Optional)
Digital zoom up to 4x
Focus • Auto focus
• Manual focus
• Snap (Hyperfocal)
• Infinity
AF area modes • Multi-point
• Spot
AF assist lamp Yes
Focus distance • Normal: 30cm – infinity
• Macro: 1.5cm – infinity
Metering • Multi (256 zone)
• Center weighted
• Spot
ISO sensitivity • ISO 64
• ISO 100
• ISO 200
• ISO 400
• ISO 800
• ISO 1600
Exposure compensation • +/- 2 EV
• 1/3 EV steps
Exposure bracketing -0.5 EV, 0, +0.5 EV
Shutter speed 180 - 1/2000 sec
Aperture • F2.4 - 11 (f7.1 - 11 with ND filter)
• 1/3 EV increments in P, A , M modes
Modes • Program
• Aperture priority
• Program shift AE
Scene modes • Text
White balance • Auto
• Daylight
• Overcast
• Tungsten Light
• Fluorescent light
• Manual
• Advanced (Manual fine-tune)
White balance fine tune

• 150 K step
• +/- 1500 K
• White balance bracketing

Self timer 10 / 2 secs
Continuous shooting • Cont (Limited only by size of card)
• Multi-shot (16 shots combined into one image) at 8fps
Image parameters Hard, normal, soft, b/w, two presets
Flash • Built-in pop-up
• Auto, red-eye suppression, force flash, slow synchro, no flash
• Range: Approx. 0.2 to 3 m (when ISO Auto is set)
Viewfinder Optional hotshoe-mounted Galilean finder with frame lines for 21/28mm
LCD monitor • 2.5" TFT LCD
• 210,000 pixels
Connectivity • USB 2.0
• AV out
Print compliance PictBridge
Storage • SD / MMC card
• 26 MB internal memory
Power • 1x rechargeable D-60 battery or 2x AAA batteries
• Charger optional
Weight 170 g (6 oz) (no card, batteries or strap)
200 g (7.1 oz) (with batteries and strap)
Dimensions 107 x 25 x 58 mm (4.2 x 1 x 2.3 in)

If you're new to digital photography you may wish to read the Digital Photography Glossary before diving into this article (it may help you understand some of the terms used).

Conclusion / Recommendation / Ratings are based on the opinion of the reviewer, you should read the ENTIRE review before coming to your own conclusions.

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DPReview calibrate their monitors using Color Vision OptiCal at the (fairly well accepted) PC normal gamma 2.2, this means that on our monitors we can make out the difference between all of the (computer generated) grayscale blocks below. We recommend to make the most of this review you should be able to see the difference (at least) between X,Y and Z and ideally A,B and C.

This article is Copyright 2006 Simon Joinson / and the review in part or in whole may NOT be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the author. For information on reproducing any part of this review (or any images) please contact: Phil Askey

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