In Praise of the GRD

Started 11 months ago | Discussions thread
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MarkWW Contributing Member • Posts: 881
In Praise of the GRD

Lately I've been carrying the GRD iii around with me - I switched jackets yesterday (unseasonably warm) and felt a pang of regret when I realized I'd left it in my other jacket.

The funny thing is - I had another camera with me at the time - a Fuji with 35mm equiv lens, but if you take that out you're "taking pictures". The GRD iii is more casual - an extension of your body, for documenting the world and not for "taking pictures."

JPG only, snap focus (2.5m), Black & White (contrast all the way up, noise reduction all the way down).

Two custom modes - f/5.6 for daytime (large DoF), f/1.9 for nighttime. (may add an f/1.9 1m snap mode for close up photography at night)

10 megapixels is plenty & the form factor, aspect ratio, field of view & B&W grainy mood fits for street photography & documenting the world around me.

A 2 GB memory card is enough to fit 3600+ JPGs.

The image stabilization & phase detect of the GRD iv or the grain of the original GRD would be nice, but not enough to spend additional money on since I already own the GRD iii. High ISO (faster shutters) at night would be nice too - but somehow the GRD iii comes with me and not the GR.

Honestly, I'm thinking of selling the GR - it's a great camera, but I'm enjoying the GRD iii so much more and I have plenty of other cameras if I want to take "serious" photos (as in not just for social media), and the 28mm field of view isn't my favorite, but it works for street & documenting the world around me.

The GRD iii camera is a "less is more" camera - I'm not thinking about exposure, what sort of film simulation I want, what sort of (in camera or post) crop do I want - I just get the photo or not, with maybe a slight crop in post.

The smaller size of the GRD iii - I didn't think it would be that important, but it kinda is. It fits in my hand just that little bit sweeter than the GR.

Sometimes I hold it in this claw-like grip, thumb on the shutter button, pinky and ring finger wrapped around, with my index & middle finger splayed around the lens. I get better control of it this way - the center of gravity is close to the palm of my hand & it's more discrete for street shooting.

The GR is a great camera, but there's too many options - I'd rather have fewer options - constraint can aid in creativity.

Could I get better quality images with the GR? Sure. I could also get better quality images shooting in RAW (The JPGs aren't the best, but for social media they're fine.)

The grain is sort of filmic, but the noise reduction does make things a bit blobby. Still, somehow it has the feel of a high ISO, high contrast film, unless you pixel peep and start noticing all the ways the digital flaws don't quite parallel film's flaws.

BTW this thread is a follow up on this 2014 thread - thanks to this community for being so great about sharing your insights & knowledge.

 MarkWW's gear list:MarkWW's gear list
Ricoh GR Digital III Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 Sigma DP2 Merrill Sigma DP3 Merrill Ricoh GR +8 more
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