Ricoh GR II

Ricoh GR II

16MP APS-C CMOS sensor | 28mm F2.8 lens | Wi-Fi with NFC

What we like:

  • APS-C sensor quality in a truly pocket-sized body
  • Simple, refined menu system
  • Wireless flash firing capabilities with some external flash units

What we don't:

  • Expensive for such a short list of upgrades from its predecessor
  • Sluggish AF in room/low light
  • Poor high ISO image quality

The Ricoh GR II retains its predecessor's excellent and highly customizable user interface within a magnesium alloy housing, making it a pleasure to use as a pocketable, wide-angle camera with a familiar 16MP resolution and 28mm field of view. While only marginally improved upon compared to the original GR, the GR II adds several specific features to maintain a semblance of relevancy in a growing, niche lineup of large sensor compacts with fixed prime lenses.

The GR II's imaging power has been slightly upgraded by reprogramming the white balance algorithm to improve the precision of auto white balance control and fine-tuning of the compensation program to prevent high-sensitivity noise. It has also been designed to accommodate a wider variety of scenes and subjects by adding new creative tools, including six effect modes and a wireless flash discharge function when used with an external flash unit. None of these features are worth selling an original GR for, but they're nice tweaks to an already capable design.

"Ricoh's GR II offers up high quality photography in a variety of conditions, if you're after something small, wide-angle and engaging to use."

While Single Shot autofocus is swift and accurate when using single point in bright/day light, AF tends to struggle in room/low light. Burst mode hovers at a sluggish 4 fps. Image quality shines through with thoughtful post-processing of the GR II's Raw DNG files, but the out of camera JPEGs are good enough for most uses. However, low light images look pretty noisy, even at ISO 3200.

The Ricoh GR II can capture 1080p MPEG-4 movies at 24, 25 or 30 fps and save them in QuickTime format with H.264 compression. Continuous or spot AF modes can be found while video shooting. The GR II doesn't include a socket for external recording, limiting audio quality by having to rely on a built-in mono microphone.

Ultimately, the GR II is one of only two truly pocketable cameras in this roundup. Its image quality may not be up to par with some of the other cameras here, but there is no denying that it offers a thoughtfully feature-laden package and is one of the smallest fixed lens APS-C cameras currently on the market.

Studio Test Scene | Specifications Compared

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