Ricoh GR comparative review
With the launch of the Nikon Coolpix A we marvelled at how, in the space of a year, the idea of a large sensor compact with a fixed, prime lens, has gone from being an obscure niche (as it was when Sigma launched the original DP1) to a burgeoning and competitive area of the market. Now, with the Ricoh GR, Pentax Ricoh has added to this trend by introducing an APS-C compact with a fixed 28mm equivalent F2.8 lens.
The Nikon is an obvious reference point for this camera, since they share the same field-of-view, the same maximum aperture and, quite plausibly, the same sensor. For that reason, this review (like our recently published review of the Coolpix A) is structured around many direct comparisons between the two models. But it's important to give credit to Ricoh as the only manufacturer to have a continued history of building compact cameras with prime lenses. The GR is not just the immediate successor to a line of enthusiast compacts with bright, fixed-focal-length lenses, it's the continuation of a range that dates back into the film era.
Ricoh GR key specifications
- 16.2MP APS-C CMOS sensor with no low-pass filter
- 18.5mm (28mm equivalent) F2.8 lens
- ISO 100-25,600
- 3.0" 1.2m dot LCD
- Up to 4fps continuous shooting
- 1080p movies at 24, 25 or 30fps
- 12-bit Raw in DNG format
- 10MP 35mm equivalent crop mode
- Built-in 2-stop ND filter
However, while much of the Ricoh's core specification looks similar to the Coolpix A, there is at least one significant difference - the price. Whereas Nikon decided it could ask $1,100 for the Coolpix A, Pentax Ricoh has been much more aggressive - asking just $800 for the GR.
Interestingly for a camera with such deep Ricoh roots, the GR is the first camera to show signs of the company's purchase of Pentax. The camera gains the Pentax TAv (Time and Aperture priority) mode, allowing the photographer to specify both shutter speed and aperture, with the camera selecting the appropriate ISO. Having this option as a dedicated mode, rather than letting Auto ISO operate in Manual exposure mode as some recent cameras have, has the benefit that it's been properly thought out, so you still have access to exposure compensation. It also avoids the logical inconsistency of having the camera make decisions for you in a supposedly manual mode.
Beyond this, the GR uses an interface that's consistent with previous Ricoh models - and that's something we're happy to see. We've often referred to the Ricoh interface (as used in the GRD and GXR models) as arguably the best enthusiast-focused interface on a compact camera, so we're delighted to see it retained.
Existing Ricoh users will be pleased to hear that the GR is still capable of interval shooting and has retained the much-loved Snap Focus and Full Press Snap focus modes that push focus to a pre-determined distance to make it easy to get grab shots. The GR also perpetuates something of a history shared by Ricoh and Pentax - the ability to shoot Raw files conforming to Adobe's DNG open standard.
28mm equivalent GR lens
The Ricoh uses a 28mm equivalent F2.8 lens - an apparent step down from the F1.9 lens offered on the GRD IV but, as a result of the much larger sensor, actually effectively two stops more capable in terms of depth-of-field control and light-gathering capability.
The design features seven elements (two of which are aspheric) in five groups and there's a 9-blade diaphragm nestling inside. As with many cameras with a shutter in the lens, the maximum shutter speed is limited by the selected aperture.
|Aperture||Maximum available shutter speed|
|F2.8 - F3.2||1/2000th sec|
|F3.5 - F4||1/2500th sec|
|F4.5 - F5||1/3200th sec|
|F5.6 - F16||1/4000th sec|
|The front of the GR's lens, when set to close-focus. The outer tube of the lens doesn't change length on focusing - instead the lens assembly can be seen shunting back and forth within it.
As you may be able to see from this image, the lens itself is remarkably small - the front element is only around 12mm across.
The lens itself is set within an extending tube, whose length doesn't change as you focus. Instead you can see the front element of the lens shunt back and forth within the tube. Internal-focus lenses are usually fastest to focus, since you have less mass to accelerate and decelerate each time you focus, but although the Ricoh doesn't take this approach its speed is perfectly acceptable.
The Ricoh GR can capture 1080p movies at 24, 25 or 30 frames per second and save them in the MOV format with H.264 compression. It doesn't include a socket for an external mic, limiting audio quality by having to rely on built-in stereo microphones.
There's no exposure control when shooting movies (not even exposure compensation), so videographers shouldn't get too excited by the idea of the GR. You can apply many of the camera's film-related 'Effects' processing modes to the footage, but in terms of control that's about it.
A series of accessories is being launched alongside the GR, including an adapter (that allows use of 49mm filters) and lens hood combination (GH-3), and a wide-angle lens (the GW-3) that mounts onto the adapter. Optical viewfinders, both for the camera's native 28mm equivalent coverage and the wide-angle adapter's 21mm equivalent field-of-view will be available, as will a dedicated flash.
|A lens hood and adapter are available. The adapter then allows the use of other accessories, such as the 21mm equivalent wide-angle adapter.|
There's no accessory port on the back so, unlike the GXR module, you can't fit an electronic viewfinder.
Apr 18, 2016
Mar 23, 2016
Dec 14, 2015
Jul 27, 2015
|Bald Eagle by anisah|
from Features - lips/mouth
|heron and fish by APenza|
from A Big Year - birds
|Cows Cowering Under Rare California Super Cell by RBFresno|
from -The Old Cows-
The new iZugar 3.25mm F2.5 super fisheye lens offers an insane 220-degree angle of view. That means it can basically see behind itself... good luck keeping your feet out of the shot.
You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll remember that time you took a picture of the frozen pizza baking directions.
A Craigslist poster has discovered the worst possible way to photograph a car: taking pictures of pictures displayed on a cracked and scratched up smartphone screen.
With the iPhone X coming out soon, the title probably won't last, but the iPhone 8 Plus is officially the best smartphone camera DxOMark has ever tested, and the iPhone 8 is second.
Kodak's new Facebook Messenger chatbot is trying to bring back the 'Kodak Moment' by digging up your old social media photos and trying to sell you prints and custom coffee mugs.
Affinity Photo for iPad was touted as "the first full blown, truly professional photo editing tool to make its way onto the Apple tablet." This update makes it that much more convenient.
Yashica has released a new teaser video, and this one claims they'll be releasing an "unprecedented camera" in October on Kickstarter. Ready... set... speculate!
Storage solutions company Synology has just released its very first 6-bay NAS tower. Combined with the DX1215 expansion units, it can hold and control up to thirty drives.
We're always expanding our collection of product overview content, and we've just added videos for the Canon EOS 6D Mark II, the EOS Rebel SL2 and EOS M6.
The venerable Canon PowerShot G1 was announced seventeen years ago this week, marking the start of a line of enthusiast-focused compacts that's still alive and kicking.
Super macro photographer Can Tuncer captured these incredible close-ups of a single peacock feather using a special setup and three different microscope lenses.
After successfully crowdfunding the Biotar 75mm F1.5, Oprema Jena is at it again. This time they're bringing back the Biotar 58mm F2: the world's only lens with a 17-blade aperture.
Adobe's move to a subscription model is treating it very well indeed. The company has posted record revenue for the second quarter in a row, hauling in a mind-boggling $1.84 billion.
More details have emerged about the potential sale of Blackstone's 45% stake in iconic camera brand Leica.
Popular mobile editing app Snapseed just got a major update that includes a new interface and 11 new presets for both Android and iOS, as well as adding the Perspective tool to the iOS version.
It might sound like a strange idea, but taking macro photos of boiling water can actually result in some really cool photographs. A good photo experiment for a rainy day.
The database was created to "break with the narrow lens through which history… has been recorded" by equipping those who commission photography with "the resources to discover photographers of color available for assignments.
Lensbaby has released two new optics for their special "optic swap system." The Lensbaby Sweet 80 Optic gives you that trademark sweet spot of focus, while the Creative Bokeh optic gives you 9 different drop in aperture plate options to play with.
TechCrunch has already posted their review of the upcoming iPhone 8 (not yet the iPhone X), and they're calling it "a look into the augmented future of photography."
Affinity Photo is a $50 photo editing software with no subscriptions. That's it – pay for it once and you're done. And we think it's actually pretty darn good.
Instagram is currently testing a major change to the app's profile layout: replacing the 3-photo across grid with a 4-photo grid... and some users are NOT taking the news well.
A report by USSRPhoto is shedding some light on the return of the famed Zenit camera brand. It seems the full-frame mirrorless camera they're working on will be made in part by Leica using components from the Leica SL.
According to a reliable Korean report, Samsung is developing a smartphone sensor that's capable of super slow motion. Translation: Samsung's next batch of Galaxy smartphones may be able to shoot 1,000fps.
This simple photograph of a seahorse and Q-tip has taken the internet by storm. We spoke to photographer Justin Hofman about how it was captured, and what it means to him.
After a massive leak last week, Profoto has officially debuted the Profoto A1: the company's first on-camera flash system that they're calling "the world's smallest studio flash."
"When the first hyperfocal distance charts were designed, someone decided that an acceptably sharp background contained some blur — enough to notice in a medium-sized print [...] After that point, nearly every other hyperfocal chart followed suit."
The Canon EOS Rebel SL2 (also known as the EOS 200D) is the company's impressively compact entry-level DSLR. Packing a 24MP APS-C sensor, DIGIC 7 processor and Dual Pixel AF, it promises a lot of bang for the buck. And while not mind-blowing, it handles most tasks very well.
Correct these four common composition mistakes and your photos will be more balanced, tell a better story, and lead your viewer's eye where you want it to go.
The rugged, compact 360° action camera Kodak unveiled at Photokina in 2016, the Kodak PixPro Orbit 360, is finally available in the United States.
iOS 11 launches tomorrow, and it'll save all of your pictures in a new high efficiency image format called HEIC. Fortunately, there's now a converter that will let you turn those photos back into JPEGs.