Review: The 2013 Ricoh GR (digital V)

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Not long after Nikon announced their 28/2.8, 16MP APS-C super-compact, Ricoh also decided it’d be a good time to launch an update to their cult GR Digital line. Version V has done a Leica and dropped the model number to confuse us (and Google searches for the new model), but gained a near-identical spec to the Nikon – also 28/2.8 equivalent, 16MP APS-C sensor without AA filter (it does have square and 35mm crop options, but you can always easily apply those in post). Neither one has IS. I covered most of the spec sheet in the preview, here. Now I’ve had some (albeit very brief) time with a final production prototype*, it’s time to report back here on how it actually fares in the metal.

*Meaning some things like image quality and focusing behaviour may undergo final tweaks before production versions ship, but apparently they’re pretty close to it. My camera is running firmware 1.11.

4 October update: Ricoh has released FW 2.03 which fixes a lot of issues I had with the initial camera such as program mode stopping at f4 – the update is downloadable here.

A continuously updated set of sample images on my Flickr is here.

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Readers will know I’m personally a huge fan of the 28mm focal length; it simply matches the way I instinctively happen to see, and it also is fairly close to the natural field of view of human eyes when not focused on anything in particular. It’s a wide enough focal length to require care in composition to avoid flat-looking images, but not so wide that you see the extreme perspective first, and the rest of the composition second. It’s good for general documentary and very versatile if you have no choice but to carry one focal length – for instance if your camera’s size is of paramount importance and it can’t fit an 85mm too (or nobody wants to make one other than Sigma). It’s probably not the best choice for beginners as amateur users tend to produce very flat-looking images with it, thinking that wide lenses are to ‘get more in’ – they’re not – I admit my first encounter with the GR left me lukewarm and cursing the fixed 28mm equivalent.

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Angled. All images in this review were shot with a pre-production GR (digital V). And before anybody complains of oversharpening, it’s Flickr’s downsizing algorithm. Click through the image to see the original (unsharpened) image. All EXIF data remains intact.

I’ve owned every GR Digital except the IV, and I still currently own a film GR1v. So perhaps you could say upfront that I’m biased towards liking this camera. To say it feels very familiar in the hand is true; it’s almost the same size and shape as its predecessors, to within a few millimetres (annoyingly though, it still won’t fit inside my leather GRD III belt holster, which has been seasoned over time and is probably my favourite compact camera pouch of all time). How Ricoh accomplished this whilst stuffing a significantly larger – APS-C vs 1/1.7″ – sensor inside is impressive. Of course, some things had to go to make room, so we lose PDAF sensors, image stabilization, and the f1.9 maximum aperture. Instead we have contrast detect only, no IS, and f2.8. In fact, it’s almost the same size as my GR1v – perhaps a couple of millimetres thicker. Except the GR1v has a full frame capture area, a real 28/2.8, a more powerful flash, a status LCD, PDAF and an optical finder with shooting information.

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Reflections on furniture.

Aside from the innards, a GRD IV (or III, or II, or even I, for that matter) could pick up the GR and not notice any difference until entering a menu. The handling feels almost exactly the same as its predecessors; the magnesium-alloy body is solid and inspires confidence that it could withstand hard professional use. It fits the hand perfectly; the grip shape and materials evolve ever so slightly with every generation, very much for the better. This is easily one of the best-handling and best-feeling compact cameras, bar none; you just want to pick it up, fondle it, and shoot with it. On a haptic scale, the GR pushes absolutely all the right buttons. I personally like the stealthy, all-matte black design very much, though I’m sure there will be some who want a chrome version.

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Untitled cinematic

Ergonomics have always been unquestionably the GR line’s strength; in my opinion, the control layout is currently the benchmark for compacts. You even get holes on every corner to place the wrist or neck strap wherever takes your fancy. It feels secure in the hand, and all of the controls fall under the fingers of the right hand. More impressively, for anybody who’s never shot with a GR Digital, those controls are almost all easily accessible with your hand in the shooting position. The one exception is the mechanical flash release, and a new DOF preview button on the left side that can also be programmed to do double duty if pressed briefly instead of held down. Needless to say, the camera doesn’t keep you waiting in any way – file handling and buffering, write speeds, menu navigation – everything feels effectively instant. I’m pleased to report the increasingly bloated and seemingly endless scrolling menus of its predecessors are gone; I don’t feel as though there are any fewer options on this camera, but it seems that the menus are now shorter and much easier to navigate. Power on is snappy, too. On the topic of power, I think the battery life is in the ~250-300 shot per charge range, but I’ll have to have more time with the camera to get a better feel. Note that unlike previous versions, the battery compartment will no longer also accommodate AAA batteries for emergency use. It was a nice to have, but in all my years of ownership, I can’t remember ever having used the feature.

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Saluting Superman

New for the GR V is a rear toggle switch to choose between AF-C (AF-ON) and AE/AFL functions for a switch that’s ostensibly both. Oddly, choosing AE/AFL causes the camera to cycle focus before locking – regardless of whether focus was achieved immediately beforehand or not. In my mind, one of the things that set the earlier GR Digitals apart from other compacts was the level of control the camera gave you over the focusing system. It’s also one of the two things that frustrates me the most about the new GR V.

All of the focusing options from its predecessors have made it into the GR V; which is to say we still have multi-target AF, single target AF, pinpoint, movable target and tracking AF; there’s a macro mode that focuses down to 10cm, and of course, manual focus. Unique to Ricoh is the snap focus mode, where the lens will default to a certain distance setting if the shutter is jabbed straight down past the intermediate position and the camera isn’t given time to find focus; I almost never used this on my GRD III, simply because most of the time it was fast enough – or I was using the excellent manual focus mode in hyperfocal. It’s worth noting that whilst the focusing scale implementation is probably the best in the business (distances marked with the set distance shown and depth of field scales for the selected aperture overlaid) – changing distance isn’t intuitive at all. The trouble is, unlike the previous cameras, I can’t help but feel the GR V actually needs its snap focus override.

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One cold, miserable night. Wet, too.

The reason is inconsistent AF performance. In bright light or high contrast situations, it’s extremely fast indeed; matching the Olympus OM-D – fast enough to make you half-press the shutter again because you weren’t quite sure it nailed focus the first time. The minute light falls to moderate indoor levels, focusing slows down to be merely average; if your target has little contrast, things become downright glacial. The camera will rack through the entire focus range, very slowly, and often either fail to find focus at all, or worse, lock on to the wrong thing. Here’s the problem: focusing speed is anywhere from blindingly fast to terrible, and the transition point varies. (The Coolpix A always focuses at the same speed, regardless of light levels: it’s somewhere in between the Ricoh’s extremes, but closer to the fast end.) However, it’s probably worth noting that the PDAF system of the GR1v (no CDAF off unexposed film, obviously) is noticeably slower and less accurate than the GR – to put things in perspective. As for continuous AF – don’t bother. Ricoh should implement a firmware option to have the switch work as AE/AFL (button works without refocusing) and MF (AF-ON on button if desired).

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Pie in the sky

The GR’s program mode is rather strange: it won’t ever choose to shoot wide open, even if light is low; it will prefer to go to very high ISOs (assuming auto-ISO – with customizable thresholds for ISO and shutter speed – is enabled) and open no wider than f4. Presumably this is a hold-over from the days when AF wasn’t that accurate and lenses weren’t at their best wide open; I can’t imagine why it’s needed now given we have subject-specific CDAF and optics that were designed to be used at maximum aperture. Even if you program-shift, what happens is that the camera won’t drop ISO – say we start at f4 1/60s AUTO ISO 3200; you’d expect it to shift to f2.8 1/60s AUTO ISO 1600; instead you get f2.8 1/125s AUTO ISO 3200 – even though you set your auto-ISO threshold to drop at 1/60s. It also won’t show you the chosen exposure until you half press the shutter. There’s also the interesting TAv mode, which is basically ISO priority – it will ignore your AUTO ISO settings, and just pick whatever ISO fits your chosen aperture and shutter speed – even if that’s 19,500.

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The anime invasion of Kuala Lumpur

Let’s talk a bit about image quality. The optics of the lens are as-claimed, for the most part: resolution is excellent across the frame at all apertures and geometric distortion appears to be relatively low, but there are caveats. Performance degrades slightly at minimum focusing distance (10cm); the center remains excellent, but you start to see coma and smearing towards the edges of the frame. What the MTF charts don’t show is that lateral CA is a bit of an issue, especially in the corners; though they’re sharp, they can occasionally appear smeary especially if there’s a high contrast subject there. Flare and coma are visible with bright point sources in frame, but not especially objectionable. Throughout the testing, I couldn’t help but feel that the lens retains something of the character of the original GR1v’s lens; moderate overall contrast, moderate microcontrast, fairly good resolution wide-open (but clearly better stopped down) and a tendency towards warm transmission. There’s a sort of ’rounded smoothness’ about the rendering rather than the modern contrast-plus biting sharpness of the Nikon Coolpix A.

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Closeup performance isn’t bad, but the lens doesn’t slice things crisply into planes like the Nikon Coolpix A’s does.

Ricoh goes to pains to point out that the camera is fitted with a 9-bladed diaphragm for better bokeh; however, given the real focal length of 18mm and modest f2.8 maximum aperture, you’re not really going to be seeing a lot of out of focus areas unless used a close range and wide open. Should that kind of photography take your fancy, the GR also includes a built in ND filter (that can also be automatically activated if shutter speeds exceed the maximum available) – probably also useful given that at f2.8, 1/2000s is the upper limit; you don’t get the full 1/4000s until f5.6.

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Putting one’s foot down.

I’ve still not been able to determine if the sensor outputs 12 bit or 14 bit files; regardless, dynamic range is excellent (as-expected) on this Sony-derived unit; it’s not clear if it’s the same sensor as the K5IIs or D7000, but it does have exactly the same pixel dimensions – 4928×3264 – as the Coolpix A. It also lacks an anti-aliasing filter, which results in the expected crisply-rendered detail. Bearing in mind that the camera I had was a final pre-production prototype, I found the default color palette to be somewhat odd, though. Reds and oranges have a tendency to shift pink, WB temperatures are completely off (about 1000K cooler and 10-15 points more magenta than they should be, for daylight balance) exacerbated under incandescent light. I suppose this results in more pleasing skin tones, but not accurate colors overall – I felt the overall rendition to be biased a bit hot. It’s correctable by profiling the camera, but this is something I’d rather not have to do as playing around with one channel over another will inevitably affect image quality. It definitely doesn’t have the same tonal response as my GRDIII did. Hopefully this is something that will be fixed in the final firmware. Interestingly, the files make excellent B&W conversions with little tonal work required; I can’t help but wonder if this was a priority for the development team given the GR’s lineage and legacy.

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You know it’s wet when you can see this much rain in a still image.

High ISO performance is excellent through 1600, very good at 3200 and 6400 – and I personally wouldn’t go higher than this. It’s clear that you’re entering boost territory at 12800 and 25600; blue channel noise rises significantly, compromising dynamic range to the point that I probably wouldn’t even use these for B&W work – unless you particularly like having only black and white. Note that noise reduction appears to affect raw files too; the good news is that you can switch it off entirely, and select at precisely which ISO values high/medium/low/off NR settings kick in.

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Breakfast in progress

Before I start the conclusion, I’d like to note upfront that this article will evaluate the GR V based on its own merits; in part two (tomorrow) we’ll put it up against its natural rival – the Coolpix A. However, there are a mind-boggling number of customisations available, and some of them are a little cryptic. Oddly, its JPEG colors are much better than RAW, especially reds; it’s quite possible that it’s because my unit is pre-production, so I don’t want to draw any final conclusions about image quality just yet. RAW color is fairly easily fixable, though – it took me about ten minutes of tweaking before I had a set of ACR defaults I was happy with (and these were used for the images in this review). More concerning was inconsistent AF speed and program mode behaviour – I don’t feel it got in the way of any shots, but I didn’t feel fully confident of how the camera was going to behave under every situation. Frequently I found myself defaulting to MF mode and zone focusing.

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Heading to the end

The GR series has always been a very specific sort of tool, aimed at a narrow niche: it’s the serious photographer’s compact. The GR V doesn’t change that one single bit; if you’re prepared to invest a little time in learning and configuring the camera, it’s a very pleasant thing to shoot. Image quality doesn’t disappoint, either – though I think the marketing people and various popular fora were a bit optimistic in saying it would categorically destroy the Coolpix A. (As we’ll see tomorrow, it’s nowhere near as clear cut – even factoring in the $300 price differential.) The last thing to consider is the price point; at $799, this is new territory for a premium, large-sensor compact; though it’s still significantly more expensive than the compact M4/3 camera and pancake lens bundles; I can’t help the latter would make a more flexible and user-friendly choice for the average user. If you do want to take control of your camera, and value the build-feel, the Ricoh is definitely worthy of consideration; my time with it was all too short. I’m hoping to get an extended loan in the near future to complete part three of this review: does it finally inherit the GR1v’s position in every way? MT

Part two – Battle of the 28mm compacts: Ricoh GR vs Nikon Coolpix A – continues here.

A big thank you to Travel Photographer Malaysia and DSC World for the loan.

The Ricoh GR V can be preordered here from B&H and Amazon.

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Images and content copyright Ming Thein | mingthein.com 2012 onwards. All rights reserved

Comments

  1. Hi Ming. The Ricoh GR is pure magic when pix are turned to black and white. Color, so-so a lot of time. Do you have any video on post procesing the Ricoh Gr, both color and b n w? Thx.

  2. FW (V4.00)
    http://www.ricoh-imaging.co.jp/english/support/digital/gr_s.html

    interesting..
    Added [AF Mode] on [Set up] menu. It has two options: [Normal] or [High speed].

  3. Halo Ming,

    Is the ricoh still the best performing and most compact for b&w shots? What about the ricoh in comparison to the fuji x100s, sigma sd1 merrill, dp1-3 merill and the the new dp2 quattro (1 and 3 are follwoing soon..)? what about the sigma foveon sensor performing in low light better or worser than the cmos apsc of the ricoh gr…??? And what about the af system of merrills as worse as the ricoh in low light (struggling and hunting) especially if you put on the macro mode of the gr??

    Your thoughts/opinion and predicitons…..

    Terima kasih!

    • I haven’t used the X100s, SD1, DP1/2 or Quattro (nobody outside Japan has) so this is a rather impossible question to answer…is the Ricoh good enough? Yes. Is it excellent? Yes. What more do you want?

  4. NEW FIRMWARE VERSION (V4.00)

    Add the following enhanced features

    ・Added [Shift Crop] on [Effect] of [Shooting] menu.
    ・Added [AF Mode] on [Set up] menu. It has two options: [Normal] or [High speed].
    ・Added [Card Sequence No.] on [Setup] menu. It has two options: [On] or [Off].
    ・Added [Playback Animation] on [Setup] menu. It has two options: [On] or [Off]
    ・When deleting an image taken with RAW+ on Playback Mode, [Delete RAW+ JPEG], [Delete JPEG only] or [Delete RAW only] can be selected instead of [Delete One].

    Changes to V4.00

    ・Improved operational performance for [Aperture Preview].
    ・Improved stability for USB connection with Mac.

    Here’s the page for the download:
    http://www.ricoh-imaging.co.jp/english/support/digital/gr_s.html

    and the link (pdf file) with details about the update:
    http://www.ricoh-imaging.co.jp/english/support/digital/pdf/gr_vup_en.pdf

  5. Ming, I have a Nikon D600, and was considering the Nikon 28 f/1.8. I see that you rate that lens high, I’m wondering how you compare it to the Ricoh lens on the GR…

  6. Hello Ming. Did you ever had dust issue on the sensor with the Ricoh GR. I read an article by Streetshooter in Philadelphia (US). He said his camera got dust very easily at a point, got it repaired/cleaned, and later dust again. He makes it sounds like it’s a know issue and deal breaker. I was wondering about your experience on that subject. Thanks!

  7. If leica d-lux 6 at 200 usd less than ricoh gr… which would be a better buy for ooc jpeg

  8. Hi Ming. I am curious about the crop 35mm. It’s going to emulate the field of view, but it’s basically still done with a 18.3mm lens. Is it worth a feature anyway, compared to a “real” 35mm equivalent like on the X100(S)? The broader question I think is: Are non full frame cameras capable to replicate more than just the field of view of a full frame? Can they replicate the equivalent focal lengths (geometry, dof, etc…). Thanks a lot!

  9. Ming, I can’t tell you how enamoured I am with the GR B&W output. The files look so rich and organic to me, especially lighter tones – unlike any digital camera I’ve owned. However, I need a camera in the 50mm to 75mm range. In your opinion, are there any other cameras that render B&W similar to the GR? Thanks.

    • Anything with a CCD, or the D800E with some work.

      • What brands nowadays has a CCD? (I can only think of the Leica M8.2, Leica D-Lux 4 cameras.

        • M9 derivatives (M9, M9-P, M Monochrom, M-E), M8/8.2, S, S2, X1. Any of the medium format digital cameras except the H5D-50c/ Phase IQ250. And there’s of course the Sigma Merrills…not CCD, but still great for B&W.

          • Had the M8.2 and sold it. Never bought the M9. Can’t afford the Hassie or Phase One, but I do have a Sigma DP2M. I get lovely B&W from that, but also from Sony NEX 6, though not as much dynamic range, and it is a CMOS. Love the B&W from the Leica D-Lux 4. Why is the CCD better for B&W than the CMOS? I’m curious.

            • Nonlinear tonal response that’s closer to film (and our eyes).

              The only non-CCD camera with has excellent potential for B&W conversion is the GR V.

              • That’s interesting. I’d like to learn more. It makes sense as to why I am drawn more to certain B&W photos as opposed to others in the digital realm of things. I loved the B&W images from my M8.2 (with filter), more than the color. Ricoh looks like a great camera. Kind of wish it had the option of other lenses and a viewfinder. Why no viewfinder! I am older and need one.

  10. Ming, the best leather case for the GR out there:

    Ulysses Leather Ricoh GR Body Suit from ulysses-photo.com (http://www.ulysses-photo.com/product/4).
    It is not cheep, €110 shipped to Greece but it is made from the highest-grade vegetable-tanned Italian Pueblo leather.
    The Suit covers the GR as much as possible and protects the body from damage without spoiling any operability of the camera.
    Take a look, I think its worth :)

    Best, Dimitris

    • It does look nice, except I can’t use it in a quick draw holster anymore…

      • I totally agree with you Ming, but in my case I have permanently attached the 28mm Voigtlander Viewfinder with a black Ulysses Suit to my GR, so for currying around I use a ThinkTank Mover 10 bag with my sunglasses, iPhone, second battery & memory card in it…

  11. NEW FIRMWARE VERSION (V3.00)

    Add the following enhanced features

    ・Added [Slight] on [Effect] of [Shooting] menu.
    ・Added [AFL Focus Setting] on [Key Custom Options] menu.
    ・Added [Ambient Brightness] on [Setup] menu.
    ・Added [Folder Name Setting] on [Setup] menu.
    ・[Change Shutter Speed] will be set in increments of 1/3 steps when [ISO Step Setting] is set to [1/3EV].
    ・Added [Aspect Ratio] to the parameters of [RAW Development] on [Playback] menu.

    Here’s the page for the download:
    http://www.ricoh-imaging.co.jp/english/support/digital/gr_s.html

    and the link (pdf file) with details about the update:
    http://www.ricoh-imaging.co.jp/english/support/digital/pdf/gr_vup_en.pdf

    • Thanks for this! Not a huge list but always good to know the camera is still being enhanced…NOT fixed!

      • Don’t mention it :)
        I wish if Ricoh did something with the contrast detection algorithms, to improve the focusing in low light (and low contrast) situations, like Fuji did with the X-series lineup (the X-Pro1 & X100 cameras especially…)

      • The biggest improvement for me was the option to set ambient brightness to ‘original’ from ‘normal’. In ‘normal’ mode, strong backlit scenes would have pronounced concentric rings around the edges when pulling up the shadows in RAW. After setting it to ‘original’, the problem is gone!

      • Ming, always enjoy your insights! Now that you have had extensive time with the Ricoh GR, could you share how you have chosen to use and customize the “Fn1″, “Fn2″, and “Effect” buttons? You are so familiar with what the camera does best, as I would love your opinion as to some of the most useful ways you have found to use the customizable buttons to really get the most out of the camera!

        • Fn1 is move AF point. Fn2 is self timer. Effect switches ND.

          • Thanks, Ming. Curious why you would pick “self timer” as important quick go to function? That’s one setting I don’t use that often. There are so many options like ‘Snap Focus’, ‘B&W’ mode I thought you would go to use more often.
            Also, as an ‘amateur enthusiast’, what training video of yours would you recommend to get the most out of the camera? I’m assuming the “Compact Camera” training video.

            • Snap focus is already enabled by default if you just push the shutter all the way. B&W is for jpeg only, and I don’t shoot jpeg. Self timer is because I use it on a tripod frequently.

              I do not produce camera specific training. The equipment is irrelevant. Read the manual for that. I produce material that will teach you how to compose, which is far more important; start with The Fundamentals and progress to Outstanding Images 1-3.

  12. Ming,

    Loving the Ricoh GR. It is even nicer than I had imagined. I am wondering which PASM mode you are running in most or all of the time? I took it out shooting in TAv mode at night, In this mode you get manual with AUTO ISO except the max ISO setting is ignored, which I knew, however the camera picked ISO 25,600 for some shots where the SONY RX100 was shooting at 800 for the same scene, Seems like a firmware issue…

    I also found that (with the latest firmware) you can select:

    AEL/AFL Setting: AEL
    AEL/AFL Lock keep setting: On

    and the focus issues disappears. Without the second setting AEL does not seem to work. I am not sure why it defaults to Off.

    Best Wishes – Eric

  13. John A Fleming says:

    Hi, Ming. Love your written commentary and your training videos! The Ricoh GR is my first of that brand, so I don’t have lots of experience. The ability to customize it is almost limitless, and therein daunting to me. Any hints or tricks about the ideal set up (e.g., street shooting in good light, in poor light, shooting stationary object like landscapes and buildings, etc.)? That would be super helpful to me. Thanks, John

  14. Ming, from your great collection on flickr images taken with the GR, I see that you don’t go slower than 1/60sec on exposure time handheld. I would like to ask why is that?

    GR default settings on Auto ISO 3200 (which I see you use from the Making Outstanding Images – Ep1 video) is 1/40sec.

    You think it is not enough for a critical sharp capture?

    Thanks

  15. Ming, how does the IQ of GR compare with that of D5100? And for street photography, which of the two is better? D5100 has a tilt & swivel LCD which can be used to take waist level shots.

    • The GR has better IQ, and is stealthier. Success for street photography depends on your skill. I use a Hasselblad sometimes.

      • I agree. I was curious to know if D5100 offered any advantages over GR in your experience as you seem to have used a lot of your cameras on street and have insightful perspectives on street photography.

        Thanks for the quick response.

  16. Ricoh has released firmware v2.03 for the GR. The list of updated features includes support for Raw file transfer via Eye-Fi card, the ability to use 1/2500 sec shutter speed with maximum aperture and a 47mm equivalent crop mode. Also new is a ‘Maximum Aperture Priority’ setting available in Program and Manual exposure modes. Here’s the full list of updates in this firmware version:

    Shutter speed at the maximum aperture can be set up to 1/2500 seconds.
    Changed the order of the icons for No.21 to No.25 in the shooting display (p.18).
    Pressing the shutter release button fully after starting up the camera in playback mode can switch to shooting mode.
    Added 47mm crop (in 35mm format).
    Former [Crop to 35mm] has changed into [Crop]. It has three options: [OFF], [35mm] and [47mm].
    When [35mm] or [47mm] is selected, [35mm] or [47mm] appears instead of [CROP] on the shooting screen (p.18).
    Added the program diagram in [Max Aperture Prior.].
    Newly added [P Mode Selection] (can be set only in P mode and M mode) has two options: [Normal] and [Max Aperture Prior.] (Maximum Aperture Priority).
    When [Max Aperture Prior.] is set in P mode, [PA] appears on the shooting screen.
    When [Program] is selected in [One Press M Mode] of the [Key Custom Options] menu (p.42), the aperture value and shutter speed are adjusted according to the [P Mode Selection] setting you set.
    Added [Shutter Button Confirmation].
    When set to [On], pressing the shutter release button halfway can save the settings in ADJ. mode or in exposure compensation.
    Added [Eye-Fi RAW Transfer] (available only when using Eye-Fi cards which support RAW files).
    It has two options: [Allow] and [Deny]. When [Deny] is selected at [Eye-Fi transfer Selected Images], RAW files are not transferred.
    When transfer images using [Eye-Fi transfer Selected Images], the number of remaining images to be transferred can be displayed on the playback screen.
    Image files with a folder number of over 200 can also be transferred at [Eye-Fi transfer Selected Images].

    Changes to V2.03

    Exif tag [Manufacturer of image input equipment] change to RICOH IMAGING COMPANY, LTD.
    When focus is set with [Multiple AF], AFL is spot AF
    Improved image quality for dark section when developing Dynamic Range Compensation [Strong] setting by RAW Development function of GR camera for RAW file that captured image with the Dynamic Range Compensation [Strong].
    When LCD Confirmation time is set [HOLD] and taking image with [Custom Self-Timer], automatically taking next image with setting Shooting interval.
    Improved image quality when developing RAW file with combining brightness correction and limb darkening correction.
    Standard icon is displayed when taking image with setting Image Setting to Standard and playback with detail information display mode.
    Improved color reproduction of white balance [Multi-P AUTO] for some scenes.
    Improved ColorMatrix for setting of DNG file.
    Improved image quality for taking image with ISO 1600 to 3200 and Noise Reduction setting [Weak],[Medium],[Strong] and [Auto].
    Improved stability when selecting transfer by Eye-Fi.

    Link for download the new firmware: http://www.ricoh-imaging.co.jp/english/support/digital/gr_s.html

    • Thanks for posting this. I put an update on the FB page and Twitter link, but hadn’t gotten around to updating the article. Almost all of the things I requested have been fixed – kudos to Ricoh for this!

      • Glad to be a helping hand!

        • Hi,

          It feels like I’m joining this the day after the party. A question: would this make the Olympus 12mm on an OMD body redundant? Or am I comparing apples with oranges here? See, I’m thinking seriously about getting the 12mm, but maybe the Ricoh makes much more sense. Does 0.8 stop translate into a significant difference in lowlight capability?

          Sohail

          • Not so simple: the GR is 28mm; the 12mm is 24mm. There’s quite a big difference in FOV. You gain a 1-1.5 stops of ISO on the GR’s sensor over the E-M5; but the E-M5 claws back with another stop of light gathering on the 12mm, and there’s that stabilizer, too. But the GR is really a 21/28mm camera…

            Honestly: hard to say. I have the 12-40, so I sold my 12mm, but I also have the GR (with 21 converter) and love that, too.

  17. Hello Ming,
    your last words in this review was: “I’m hoping to get an extended loan in the near future to complete part three of this review: does it (the GR) finally inherit the GR1v’s position in every way? MT”
    Is it going to be really a part three? I’m really looking forward !!!

  18. Amazing Review…

  19. Great review! Dislike film camera I know well digital gears have to be changed as time goes by.
    In IQ and B&W tonality aspects(not AF and other body performance) I’d like to know your opinion about GR comparing with Leica X1.
    I don’t know whether time to replace or not.

    • Personal preference, as with the whole film vs digital debate. Replace if you like it better; both are more than sufficient for most uses from a image quality standpoint.

  20. Ming if you want to fix the output color of the DNG files from Ricoh GR you must follow these steps:

    1. Extract/Copy “Pentax Ricoh GR Adobe Standard.dcp” from ACR 8.1 RC or download the file from this link: https://www.box.com/s/2595zvdi6fi8nwiiklww

    2. Then copy the .dcp file to the applicable directory:
    Mac OS X: Macintosh HD/Library/Application Support/Adobe/CameraRaw/CameraProfiles
    Windows 7: C:\Users\UserName\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\CameraRaw\CameraProfiles *
    C:\ProgramData\Adobe\CameraRaw\CameraProfiles *
    * If you can’t find this folder, go to: Control Panel > Folder Options > View Tab > Select ‘Show Hidden Folders’.

    3. Finally change profile from “Embedded” to “Adobe Standard” under Camera Calibration > Color Profile at ACR for your specific photo and you should now see the correct color appear!

  21. One man’s update from the Left Coast:

    I’ve had my GR pre-ordered from B&H and the first batch went out and I wasn’t a recipient. The camera is once again on back-order. My apologies, Ming, but I found one buried in the system at Samy’s in LA. It was in a warehouse and no one even seemed to know what it was. I bought it on the spot.

    On my trip this week to Chicago and I shot my first rounds having had no experience with a GR in the past. This is the lightest camera I’ve ever owned – period. It’s too big to carry in a pants pocket but easy to carry in a jacket pocket and is so light that you can simply dangle it on a wrist-strap or carry it in your hand.

    It’s unbelievably beautiful and stealth in construction and materials. I would prefer the optical viewfinder but the LED is bright and no one even notices you’re shooting a camera. It’s absolutely perfect for street photography. I’m new to the system, new to 28mm and so there is lots to learn. The Multi AF didn’t always work to nail my subject and there was often a very low shutter speed selected which cause more subject movement blur than I desired. I’m sure I can remedy that with some programing and practice.

    I shot RAW plus JPEG to compare. The RAW color is not right. I’m not the master you are, Ming, so I’m going to have to wait until Aperature comes out with an update on my Mac. Ironically, Apple released a major update last Friday that included the Coolpix A but not the Ricoh. The JPEGS looked amazing and helped me see how off the RAW color is.

    Having said that, the B&W is simply stunning. I have never personally seen JPEGs with such awesome tonality. Unless you were dodging and burning you could almost just use the JPEGS, they were that good.

    Anyway, just adding a little color for those considering the purchase. It’s quite an amazing little camera.

    • Sounds like you’re enjoying it! B&H didn’t get me one from the first batch either, I landed up using Amazon – mine’s currently somewhere in transit. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  22. Sounds like I’m WON’T be using the AF/Snap if I ever own the GR, probably not, though too early to say. The AF mechanism is what I concern the most off the GR line. Knowing the GRD IV is really a compact, that small and light in size; everything works including the snap focus thanks to the hybrid detection. Without it (the GR), it’s lost its edge. I don’t think the firmware can fix the mis-focus issue, just like I don’t see the Fuji had fixed their’s X100.

    Thanks for reviewing. It’s a great news to hear about the GR indeed no matter what.

    • The snap function works pretty well, actually – it’s a fixed distance rather than being a function of the AF system – I think it’s probably more critical here than it was on the GRDIV given the state of the focusing system. Fuji could have fixed a lot of things – like the MF ring rotation speed – but chose not to so they could sell us another version. Ah well.

  23. Ming,
    Did you use a tripod for any of the photos above when using the Ricoh or during your Nikon A review? Any sharpness adjusting in post? Wondering how your able to get these pictures so sharp at these slow shutter speeds.

    I shoot with a Nikon D7000 with the awesome 28mm and 85mm F1.8G lenses a noticed my sharpness is terrible if the shutter is less than 1/500s.

    Love your website by the way, keep those reviews coming. Is there a way to see full resolution photos that you take for your reviews?

    • Nope, only for the ISO and A-B comparisons. The rest were handheld – as befits how one would use one of these things in real life…

      You might want to have a look at this article on shot discipline…

      I don’t post full resolution. Too many instances of image theft in the past, unfortunately. And I won’t post crappy images, because they’ll affect my reputation – what if clients see them?

  24. Hello Ming,
    I could not find it in the review but a member of another forum pointed out that you wrote that the GR does not remember SNAP mode distance setting when it is turned off and back on. According to others you can actually set this in the menu. If you just dig a little deeper it is there, you must have missed it.

    Best regards,
    Henrik

  25. Wow, is that an illuminated mode dial? I’m sold! :-)

  26. 1/1.7″ CCD, 7.6mm x 5.7mm, 9.5mm diagonal, 43.3mm area, 4.55x crop factor. (Compare with “CX” 13.2mm x 8.8mm “one-inch” sensor in Nikon 1 J1 and V1 and upcoming Sony RX100. 15.86mm diagonal, 116mm area, 2.72x crop factor.) Combined with the wide angle lens it’s well suited to techniques that rely on deep depth of field – zone focused snapshots, wide vista scenics, tight interiors. But it’s not ideal for photographers who prefer shallow DOF to isolate subjects from busy surroundings, or for traditional frame-filling tight head and shoulders portraiture.

  27. Hi,

    great review, i’ve only just found your site and i can’t stop reading the reviews!

    Anyway, im still at a total loss. I have my Nikon D700 for my band photography and i have my old LX3. I wanting to upgrade my compact (LX3) as even with that one its not really jeans pocketable. So i guess it should be the RX100 (which with a work discount i can get for $400AU). But im a bit worried about the controls, hearing about how its not 100% intuitive and the lens dial doesn’t have clicks. Then i saw the Ricoh GR. I can definitely talk myself into having a small caribena pouch for carrying a slightly larger camera, and the controls on a GR are probably the best in the business, but its a big difference in money, and im not sure if i’ll be restrictive with 28mm (although when i use the LX3 i hardly zoom in and stay at the wide end, but there are circumstances i may need it…..but then the GR has the 35mm crop!). Other than that there is the LX7…but its quite bigger than the LX3, plus old sensor tech.

    Why doesn’t someone make the perfect camera!

    • Because then we wouldn’t buy any more cameras…

      It’s mechanically impossible to have a long lens in a small body with large sensor. So either you give up reach or sensor size…and which one depends very much on what you typically shoot.

      • Thank you for the quick reply. I usually shot wide, city/urban shots. The only thing that has made me panic was at a gig where my wife was singing. I didn’t mange to get a photo pass so i was stuck upstairs on the balcony and i wasn’t allowed my DSLR, so i took the LX3, which the security guards still got funny about. Anyway, i was lucky to get some zoomed in shots which made me wonder about restricting myself in those situations with a 28mm, but then again the better sensor and MP i might have been able to crop.

        So im a bit stuck at what i should purchase.

  28. Jonathan says:

    Ming Thein,

    I have been following your blog for a few weeks now,
    Thanks for this review, since the announcement of this camera i was exited,
    In my case, i did just learn to use full manual controls like a month ago, with a nikon p310 compact, i’m honest to say i’m far away from being a hobbie photographer and a life from a pro. i do just like photos, and the art behind.

    i’m not sure if this is the place to ask, but i see you take your time and answers to the comments, thing that in others don’t. I do just want an honest reply from a great pro like you,
    I do mostly take landscapes photos, street photo (architectural, houses, buildings, etc), and macros. and would like to take travel photos as well, but focusing not on the people, when i have the chance to travel. i’m looking for a real upgrade of my camera but keeping it to a real compact camera and pocket-able like the GR. i do really like a compact that can get close in terms of image quality to a DSLR at least to a beginners DSLR like the D3200. i’m really interested in the step up in the equipment but not close to a DSLR because the size, since i want to take the camera everywhere in “my pockets”.
    Said the above, do you think this is a excellent camera for my case and type of photos?

    Hopping you can reply.
    Best of regards,
    Jonathan,

  29. I hope the manual focus works the same way as the GRD IV as this is the mode I use most when shooting on the street where instant shutter release is required (no lag).
    With the GRD IV it only takes a single button press to switch from one focus distance to the next, so I’m hoping they will be keeping the same quick and easy method of changing focus distance.

  30. Steve Biro says:

    Great review, Ming. I have the GR on pre-order form B&H. Did you have a chance to try the camera’s 35mm crop mode? If so, how did the files work out at about 10mp? Would you say the crop mode provides results good enough to use often?

  31. Great review!

  32. Nate B. says:

    Ming,

    Long time lurker, first time poster. Thank you for graciously sharing your extensive knowledge, informed opinions and compelling photography through this blog. An unsurpassed combination of characteristics which, for me, distinguishes your contributions among those of your peers. While I draw artistic inspiration and sate my hunger for all things photographic from many online sources, yours has proven both indispensible and eminently satisfying since its discovery. Know that I am grateful.

    Best,
    Nate

  33. Hal Knowles says:

    Ming, your thoughtful reviews are always a delight! I’m seriously considering investing in either the Ricoh GR or the Nikon A at some point. Should I make a purchase, I’ll be sure to use your retail links! I’ve got two quick questions, but first some brief background to give them context.

    Several years ago, I backpacked through Europe for 10 weeks with an Olympus Stylus Epic 35mm f/2.8 fixed lens film point and shoot. It was a joy to use for its simplicity, compactness, and nice images. It served me well for street photography in the cities as well as landscape photography in the country side until I accidentally damaged the camera. I’ve long desired a fixed lens pocketable equivalent in the digital world.

    I am currently a happy owner of an Oly OM-D E-M5 with the Panny 14mm & 20mm and the Oly 45mm primes and the 4/3 version of the Oly 70-300mm. I also own the Oly XZ-1 as an everyday point and shoot camera. Some of the most fun I’ve had with my m4/3 system was capturing landscapes on a cattle ranch using the Panny 14mm and a B+W polarizer framing mostly from a tripod with the OLED screen (and not the EVF which I use more for portraits, etc.).

    I’m still learning how to “see” in various focal lengths, but my experience to date with the 28mm full frame equivalent suggests it agrees with me at a subconscious level. I’m merely a budding enthusiast very early in taking my hobby more seriously. I have no interest in sacrificing equipment portability and flexibility (nor emptying my pockets) in exchange for top of the line image quality from full frame professional gear, etc.

    Question 1: Should I desire to get more serious with my hobby and print at sizes large enough for local art festivals, etc., can the GR or the A both serve equally well for street photography and nature landscapes when hiking, etc.?

    Question 2: Would the image quality and user experience from the GR or the A be enough of an upgrade from the Oly E-M5 with the Panny 14mm (or the Oly 12mm) prime to justify the purchase as a wide angle street/nature imaging tool replacing both/either of these m4/3 options?

    For whatever its worth and if it affects your response, I’d likely sell my Panny 14mm lens and my Oly XZ-1 point and shoot to help fund the purchase as its hard to imagine using either much if I had the GR or the A.

    Thanks!

    • Thanks for the support via the links.
      1. I’ve made 20×30″ prints from a D700 that looked stunning. The GR and A both have better image quality and significantly higher resolution, so the short answer is that the limitation is probably the photographer.
      2. Image quality yes – bigger sensor and better lenses than any of the other currently available wides for M4/3 including the 12/2; user experience no. UI and operation of the OM-D is still much superior to both GR and A.

      • Hal Knowles says:

        Thanks for the insights Ming! Much food for thought as I consider options and interests. I look forward to your part 2 review. Happy snapping!

  34. Very thoughtful and candid approach to your reviews. Though a partial review for a short period, I nonetheless suspect the takeaway is the Coolpix A (along with its compromises) is a better refined model at this point and not all of the Ricoh greatness has migrated to the GR.

  35. You note that “Frequently I found myself defaulting to MF mode and zone focusing.” I guess you may address this more in the next installment, but how practical/convenient did you find that?

    • Great review – is this great tonality coming from the incam B&W jpegs? or are you running raws through nik silver efex etc?
      cheers

      • I don’t use plugins because they don’t give you enough control, and frankly outsource creative decisions to the software maker. The same goes for camera JPEGs. All files are DNG via ACR.

        • Henrik says:

          Ming, I must say that I have not been to happy with ACR conversion of Ricoh DNG files. However I might be running an obsolete version by now. I do my DNG conversions in RPP; a very kludgy converter but definitely solid once set up and the difference was greater than expected so I have been using it ever since. I have the DP1M and I look forward to comparing the GR with it and hope the GR will be on par with it image quality wise. Except for low ISO performance in good light I expect the GR to be vastly better. Thanks for the write up on the GR.

          • ACR worked well for the smaller sensor GRDs; I can’t imagine why it doesn’t work so well here – unless a) it’s not been profiled yet, which is possible (though the profile for the M240 made almost no difference) or b) the GR’s output was intentionally biased that way for B&W.

    • Easy. Snap mode lets you pick a distance and have the camera default to that if you press the shutter straight through without half pressing to allow AF.

  36. Hi Ming,
    - I get the distinct impression that some of the camera companies sell their products in a “trial by fire” approach. For example, Nikon, Canon and Ricoh notice that small mirror-less cameras are gaining traction, so they figure that they must fill the gap with a competitive product. They put out a partially finished product and hope it will “stick”. The RX100 and RX1 seem to be fairly successful. Thus, the Coolpix A and Ricoh GR V were created. Any thoughts? If you have access, I’d love to hear you interview some of the camera company’s reps.

    - This seems to be the only explanation for two products, which seem to be promising, but appear to have some compromises. You may address this in your future comparison article. Does it appear that most of the issues can be addressed in future firmware for Nikon Coolpix A and Ricoh GR?

    - Maybe one of your marketing polls can focus on “recommended” firmware changes?
    (Like many readers, I’m a little frustrated that the camera companies are producing incomplete “ok” products… As an example, the D700 was in my mind, a well rounded product very good product. The D600 and D800 seem to have had some compromises and/or quality concerns.)

    Thank you for the insightful article!

    • Eric: I think that you need to read up a little on the heritage of the Ricoh GR. :)
      It is all available in the Ming Thein blog – he has good experience from back in the days when the GR was GR1s/V – back in the film days that is. The Ricoh GR is not a rushed out product – it has been around for ages, especially when talking digital ages. It is the fifth incarnation of the Digital GR – all the other digital varieties were small cameras based on smaller sensors. Not all, but many of the GR1 film owners were hoping for a larger sensor GR – and here it is. The GR is a niche camera that has survived virtually intact over the years and with small improvements along the way. The GR is more or less a big leap forward with true high ISO capabilities, large sensor and (probably) pretty good video. All this in a package just a fraction larger than the small sensor GRDIV that the GR is replacing. The GR has arrived pretty much according to the two year replacement schedule – like the previous incarnations.

      There will always be compromises with these cameras – it is just a matter of finding the compromise camera that you feel comfortable with. I don’t think the RX100 is really comparable. The Sony RX1 is a fantastic camera – showing that it is possible to create a small size “full frame sensor” fixed lens camera. Is it perfect? No, it is still a compromise. A great compromise though and something to really applaud. The camera is in the upper price range and perhaps justly so.

      The only of the above cameras that were “unexpected” would be the Coolpix A. A seemingly very capable camera – had Nikon had the same experience as Ricoh had in continunally developing the GR it would have been even better – I think.
      Best regards, Henrik

    • Ricoh have been doing this for many iterations already. I don’t think it’s so much trial and error as technical limitation (AF etc) or program behaviour that’s fixable via FW updates. Nikon just seems to have forgotten that at one point it actually produced decent film compacts, and has tried to shoehorn a DSLR inside a very small casing instead.

      I give feedback where it’s wanted. It would be a waste of time to survey users on specific camera firmware because most companies move on to the next device, so long as there aren’t any major flaws that affect sales. As it is, I spend more than enough of my time producing free content which contains plenty of sensible suggestions – not that any of the companies bother listening, even most of those I have/had a formal relationship with. Each review takes three solid days and nights to produce. Companies would rather sell you another new camera than fix the previous one, which means minimal to zero money spent on development.

      It’s a disturbing trend – everybody seems to be shipping half-baked goods because consumers are so hungry for the next hit. Cases in point: Nikon and the D800′s focusing issues. Leica recalling the M240 for strap lugs *that might fall off* and color issues. This is not just shocking for something very basic, but frankly a disgrace for a product this expensive.

      • - Appreciate your comments. Thanks Ming! Wow, you weren’t kidding… You seriously don’t sleep much…!
        - Completely understand and agree with your comments above. Nikon (at least in my mind) used to be the pinnacle of reliability.
        - No wonder the Nikon’s (and similar companies) of the world are losing out to cell phones. Hope this changes soon.

        • Well, if they can sell $7000 cameras without any QC, then why bother? That just costs money and eats into margins…CEOs are only around on contract. Better make your bonus now before you get ousted by the board. Sadly, it’s a pervasive mentality in the corporate world – camera company or not. Just look at Olympus…

      • Leica quality really ticks me off, and I’m now reluctant to buy any more Leica gear…ever.

        - 21mm Summilux rattles with a wobbly front-end
        - 18mm Super-Elmar has a very loose aperture ring;
        - 21mm Super-Elmar aperture ring has lateral play
        - Monochrom had lots of sensor dust from new
        - shoulder pad for my Monochrom leather strap has fallen apart (the glue softens in tropical heat)
        - M9 went back to Solms – camera completely frozen with with multiple issues
        - plastic bevel in front of main element on my 28mm Summicron fell out
        - Coffee stain on my M8.2 display (Leica offered to discount a Monochrom by 50% but I don’t need a 2nd!)

        • I’ve had coating separation on a 21 Summilux and seen it on a loaner Noct 0.95, no less than five subpar 50 Summilux ASPHs, and no end of lockups and card corruptions with the M9. No discounts offered, I was just accused of ‘user error’ on the last issue by Singapore…

          • Which is why I ended my relationship with Leica. All of those issues. All that money and then when there is an obvious flaw, Leica gets an attitude and offers nothing to its customers. Very elitist. I sold all of my Leica gear. The only Leica I still own is the Leica D-Lux 4. LOL!

            • Indeed. To this day I’m still waiting on an M240 allocation; frankly I’ve given up.

              • Don’t bother with the M24o, unless you’re just reviewing it. DigiLloyd wrote an article about how disappointed he was in this camera and was actually thinking of going back to his M9 because it’s built better. LOL!

            • shfoong says:

              Too bad for Leica. They will soon pay for their arrogance the way things are going. So, we can’t really blame all those negative comments about Leica afterall.

              The worst thing is if they don’t even bother to value their existing customers they will surely go downhill, and fast.

              Oskar must be turning in his grave. Sad.

  37. Heraldo Botelho says:

    Many thanks for one more timely review! Your reviews are not only to the point and technically precise in the points it needs to be, but above all a great pleasure to read, as much as your photos are a pleasure to see. It is like having an informal conversation with a master photographer, who also enjoys and knows how to produce and write a review. I enjoy the quality you put into all your posts, both images and writing.
    I would like to have an EPL5 (or an EPM2) with a couple of dedicated thumbwheels for f and speed… (I am considering the OMD, of course), but I could also take another direction and go for an A or a GR, depending on how the GR reviews finishes.

  38. Robert Luc says:

    Coolpix A vrs Ricoh GR

    But at the end of the day if money is not a major issue and that you were contemplating with the idea of printing in large formats such as 24×36 inches…given the fact that the Coolpix A has a Raw is in 14 bit… would this be your first choice ? Or would the Ricoh GR still be a very strong contender ?

    Regards,

    • Wait until tomorrow for the answer. I’ve spent the last day testing and producing a comprehensive 3,500 word analysis, I’m not going to retype it in a comment box!

  39. sergeylandesman says:

    Great review Ming! I have order mine from B & H Photo already.
    I am hoping for improve software in production version

    Kind Regards.

  40. Must stop reading your site. :p I have too much gear already and have lightly decided not to buy anything for a while, but you make it very difficult. :) Your product shots are so delicate and enticing, and combined with your review it looks like the GR is something I would love to own just for the sake of owning it. What a waste, I know.
    Of my other cameras, the one that puts a smile on my face by simply picking it up is the RX100 and I suspect the GR could be the same. Don’t think I like the focal length though. I’m not an “up-close-and-personal” type guy, so I prefer 35mm as it gives me a little more breathing space, without being too tight.

    • If the RX100 puts a smile on your face, the GR will do much more…build-feel of the GR is much more tactile and robust. I’m actually enjoying the square crop mode a lot; the output is very reminiscent of my Hasselblad and 50/4 FLE – especially in B&W.

      • Scott W says:

        Thanks for your review, Ming. As always, a great read… Can you explain the following comment a little more? “the output is very reminiscent of my Hasselblad and 50/4 FLE – especially in B&W.” Sharpness? Tonality? Are you comparing film scan files to GR files, or prints to prints? Or, is the comment just a general feeling you have? Again, thanks a lot!

      • Tooppy says:

        “…..I’m actually enjoying the square crop mode a lot; the output is very reminiscent of my Hasselblad and 50/4 FLE – especially in B&W….”
        You should never write this :( you are killing me ! I sold mine belly twisted but needed to, I perfectly know what you mean and square format is compulsory for me, not in post process of course, I love framing quare.

      • Now why did you say that. :p I could of course put down the $1081 for the GR (for comparison, the A is $1493) or I could spend $800 on your email school. I somehow think the email school would be vastly more beneficial to my photography than a new camera. :) But the B&W comment really caught my eye. I would really love files that convert to black and white without extreme amounts of work. Anyway, anticipating your next articles in this series. :)

        • Ouch, you’re overpaying for the cameras…RRP for the GR is $799, the Nikon is about $1100 or so.

          You’re right of course, skill will trump gear. Always.

  41. bubuli says:

    As the others have said: your reviews are much more useful than some “real-world” reviews out there even though it’s not as technical as some other websites (not that it needs to).

    I still have the original GR-D and IMO it was heads-and-shoulders above any compacts at the time in terms of useability/ergonomics/UI…trounces even a lot of the cameras even today including some of the m43rds like EP-2, EPL-1(groan!) and the EPM-2 (so frustrating to use i ended up returning it).

    I skipped 2 to 4 (although I was tempted by 3 at one point) because I felt that Ricoh didn’t progress much with the camera by sticking with small sensors.

    With Ricoh’s track record of continuously improving camera firmware long after it has been released, I’m sure some of the issues you’ve seen can be addressed (snap focus override and unintuitive distance setting, P mode max aperture…but who uses P mode in these cameras anyway?! ;-) ) and maybe improve the CDAF to an extent.

    speaking of CDAF, i think the issues you raised (glacial speed and inaccuracy in low-contrast subjects) is common to most CDAF (which includes SLRs), no? how is its AF accuracy overall, though (especially wide open)? my issue with the EPM-2 is that its AF is FAST, but focuses on the wrong thing more often than the EP2/EPL1 that I have on wide apertures (larger DOF makes up for using smaller aperture, I guess).

    I pre-ordered the 5 as soon as it was announced…but now I have a little reservation (not enough to cancel my pre-order, though). I still think this is a huge evolution of the GR line and is the step in the right direction. I hope they create a similar cameras with a higher speed 50mm and 90mm equivalent lens (like Sigma did with the DP series)

    • Actually, I pretty much always use P mode in my compacts – if they’re wide with big sensors, you don’t have that much DOF control so you want to use the smallest aperture you can (practically); in small sensor cameras, it makes no difference – aperture is basically there to control shutter speed within tolerable limits. And it’s useful on both for quick-draw shooting in case the shutter speed exceeds available maxima because you’re shooting wide open.

      It isn’t speed issues so much as inconsistent speed: the camera slows down dramatically, perhaps by as much as 5x under the wrong conditions. The Coolpix A is consistent to within 50%, all the time. It’s not so accurate in low light, either.

      The more I shoot with the V, the fewer reservations I have – color can be sorted with a good custom profile for ACR, and the camera’s B&W tonality is absolutely sublime; it’s very nearly as good as film.

      • What is it that makes the V “sublime” for B&W compared to, say, the A, which is so similar in many ways? Is it some underlying quality of the sensor, the camera profile, or…?

        • I think it’s the color/ tone profile Ricoh have chosen. The sensor is basically the same (or very similar) but the native color output is totally different – you’ll see what I mean in the next part of the review.

  42. Ming do you think it is fair to compare a pre-production firmware version camera (GR) with a final production model (A)? You should know that I always counting on your conclusions & thoughts, but I think this time the versus review (GR vs A) it is not going to be fair…
    Best-Dimitris

    • I was told it’s pretty final, and there were no restrictions. I’ve disclosed as much up front, and caveated where necessary. The companies are usually the first to embargo if there are any issues with the cameras. I have a feeling the color/ tonal choices were consciously made in favor of B&W processing – the more I run files from this camera, the more I’m impressed with the ease of getting absolutely gorgeous, film-like B&W tonality out of it. It’s the closest I’ve seen to film from a digital. The A seems to have an oddly compressed palette that requires a lot of careful work to get a good B&W out of, but it does color very well.

  43. gee i wish they’re was better news on the autofocus. i dunno maybe i will cancel my preorder and save up a bit for the a. Really like the size and ergnomics of the gr.

  44. Any thoughts on how this will compare with an OM-D w/ body cap lens? I mean, they have similar focal lengths and the body cap lens is effectively snap focus correct?

    You also mentioned that the Coolpix A’s lens/sensor combo was better than an M9/28 Elmarit, is it true here as well?

    • The body cap lens is a three-element plastic thing fixed at f8. It’s optics are fun but not of high quality.

      Image quality differences between the GR and A are minor except for color. Resolution, DR, noise, etc. both cameras outperform the M9/ 28/2 ASPH combination by some margin, and come pretty close to the M240.

  45. Vincent says:

    Ming, I’m always amazed at how quickly you can crank out a timely and quality review on the latest gear that I’m interested in. I’ll bet dpreview won’t have a review on the GR for several months. Although their reviews will be 30 pages long you pretty much hit all the relevant points in your much shorter blog entries. Furthermore, I really appreciate how you are very candid with the quirks and issues that you find. dpreview (i.e. Amazon) is way too afraid of offending their sponsors to say anything too negative. Looking forward to part II.

    • Thanks – I don’t sleep much, don’t find pixel-peeping bench tests relevant, and I think I’ve still got far more text and thought in a review than DPR manages…none of their staff are real photographers, and it shows.

      • Agreed. If they were proficient photographers, we would refer to them my their name and their work, instead of just DPR. I really appreciate ming getting these out so quickly. Thank you.

        • Curiously, what I do notice is they have an increasing tendency to delete posts by any name pros who have their own sites – unless they’re sanctioned, of course, which then makes them front-page newsworthy.

          • They also have an increasing tendency to be months late with their reviews, as Vincent says. In the fast-moving world of digital photography, that’s a big problem, and I can’t believe no one’s done anything about it. There’s no point in having 30 pages of minutiae if all of it’s long since been available elsewhere.

            • They are still the 300 pound gorilla presumably because of fora (full of idiots) and relationships with the camera companies and Amazon. It’s solely an elaborate ruse to sell gear, and clearly has nothing to do with knowledge (as it used to be). Their recent hiring choices, increasingly shallow and poor ‘articles’ and yes, late reviews – seem to support this.

  46. Very nice photos to go with this review specially pie in the sky and angled. I cannot wait for part 2. I’m guessing the A has the advantage.

  47. Have often felt that one of these beautiful cameras should have been ideal for me but the 28mm field of view has always felt too wide.In the end I bought a Caplio gx100 which is to be honest a compromise,one step away from the GR’s honesty.If only they’d made or could make a 35 or even better a 50mm lensed camera.Have to agree with you Ming about the black and white conversions,they’re very attractive.

    • Actually a 28/50 pair of cameras would be perfect.

      • Tooppy says:

        If I read well the spec, I understand you can frame to equivalent 35mm (similar to the sony RX1 from 35 to 50mm). Is that right ?
        Also do you think they could produce some sort of tele attachment the same way they plan to do a wide attachement (21mm) ?

        • It’s just cropping or digital zoom. You can do that in post with any camera.

          The original GR Digital had a 40mm tele adaptor – don’t see why they couldn’t do it here, whether they will or not is another question…

  48. Wai Lok says:

    hi Ming, it is a pleasure to read your reviews. I personally own a GXR with 28mm / 50mm modules but it is not pocketable. Do you think Ricoh GR is a lot better than Ricoh IV? The Ricoh IV is going for S$390 in Singapore. Just wondering if I should wait for the GR instead? Thanks.

  49. Hi Ming Thein,

    Thanks for the time you spend on this review.

    I am a great fan of the GRD series and own a GRD3 myself. With regard to the snap focus function in manual mode, I always found the combination of small sensor and a 1.5m MF distance would guarentee to get pretty much in focus around f/4 on a GRD3.

    With the bigger sensor of the GRDV, I am just wondering how easy is it to get things in focus with the snap distance. I guess it means closing the aperture further (Maybe f/11) then bumping the ISO which pretty much defeat the purpose of the large sensor if you need to work at 3200 ISO instead of 100 ISO on a small sensor.
    Basically, I am under the impression that GRDIII + small sensor + large aperture = GRDV + big sensor + small aperture, no real benefit for street photo provided one exclusively want to use zone focusiong.

    What is your opinion ?

    regards

    Nicolas

  50. Thank you for your review sir. I enjoy your work’s (photo and written) very much! I’m favoring the Nikon and ask what viewfinder you would use? I’m very much the amateur and appreciate your time. Scott

    • The Voigtlander mini 28/35, but it’s no longer in production and very expensive on the secondary market. The current Voigtlander 28 metal bright line is excellent and good value. Problem is the A doesn’t have an LCD off mode for viewfinder use, so you might find it very bright and distracting – I did.

  51. Thank You for the thoughtful review. Can’t wait until Part 2 and 3!

  52. Thank you for the review. Imaging resource note that there is a significant improvement in AF with the production firmware, not sure what that version is though.

    Quick question. If size and price and flexibility is not a factor, would you choose GR or a OMD+14/2.5?

    Looking forward to part 2.

    • The lens on the GR is much better than the 14/2.5.

      Hopefully mine has pre-production firmware – doubt it as it’s 1.11 though. Daylight focus is lightning fast, but low light is glacial.

  53. Any thoughts on how this might compare to other fixed lens compacts like the Fuji X100S? (I know some would argue its in a different category due to its larger size) Do you think that the Ricoh GR will cause high end compact prices to fall to 7-600ish USD?

    • They’re all slightly flawed, to be honest. I don’t like the size of the Fuji and find the finder fiddly in use; most of the time whine I had the X100 I just used the EVF. Not tried the X100s though.

      • Robert says:

        “find the finder fiddly in use”

        you make this comment about the Fuji X100 viewfinder, but it seems so vague as to be unfair. What, excatly, makes using the optical finder fiddly? It is after all an optical finder which you look through – it is bright and clear, rather like the M9 finder. The difference being that it has auto focus confirm (almost immediate in the X100s) rather than a central rangefinder. What is there to fiddle with? Do you mean focus/recompose – if so, any centrally focusing camera requires this, in fact many specifically choose to use their cameras like this (I do with my Canon 5DII) as they find changing focus points fiddly and completely unnecessary with a 35mm lens anyway.

        With the newer X100s, there is also the possibility of completely ignoring the OVF and using the EVF only, and even manually focusing with peaking or with a split image. So OVF is only a choice, which can be ignored, with nothing lost. The advantage though is that one can choose according to mood or lighting conditions.

        • The OVF requires you to guess the distance between two boxes when you AF to compensate for different subject distances because the assembly isn’t parallax corrected. You do land up missing focus quite often. If you switch to the EVF, then it defeats the point of the OVF entirely. Why pay a premium for a) something you won’t use in practice and b) something that’s more gimmicky than practically useful?

          • “Why pay a premium for a) something you won’t use in practice and b) something that’s more gimmicky than practically useful?”

            I do understand that for you that is obviously it. However, I still think you are being unduly dismissive, misrepresentative and quite unfair; your ‘b’ statement seems to be a sweeping personal judgement (how hard did you try?) dressed as something objective.

            1) some people who are buying the RX1 are paying $650 extra to use an optical viewfinder that has nothing other than a view that is not parallax corrected, nothing! and destroys the camera’s ergonomics to boot in a very clumsy way.
            2) with the X100s the OVF is included in the price, and seamlessly integrated; it has available shooting information displayed cleary and effectively, but unobtrusively; it takes about a millisecond of patience to learn to judge where focus will fall between the two rectangles in the viewfinder (this is only even an issue when shooting up close), and when learned becomes an intuitive, immediate, and, for me, infallible action (so it can’t be that hard). I really don’t understand why you missed focus as often as you seem to imply, I had assumed that you were confident and capable when crossing platforms.
            3) I, and it seems many others, use the OVF almost exclusively – I take mostly people in their environment, so don’t need real close-ups – so if the OVF serves so thoroughly, it can hardly be ‘more gimmicky than pracitcally useful’. In fact, I use the X100s as a reportage camera, which is obviously the design brief, and the task for which it is most eminently suited. If I were consistently wanting to focus on an branch or flower, or the spoon in a coffee cup two feet away in order to admire background boke, I too would be using the EVF regularly, or I would simply have bought different camera (and use a different lens).
            4) if you want to get away from using the EVF’s of any other fixed lens compacts and have a clear OVF view, you are going to have to resort to the clumsy and primitive RX1 solution, although probably at less cost.

            • I owned an X100 – one of the first in my country – and shot it every day for a couple of months, covering about 5,000 shots – is that trying hard enough for you?

              Bottom line: my time is valuable, and it seems pointless wasting it answering questions that are other people’s personal curiosities. At thee end of the day I’m running a business, not a charity.

              1. I never said that made sense either!
              2. Because the camera didn’t behave consistently.
              3. Near misses at even intermediate distances of 2-3m – which is where you’d want to put your people if you were using it for reportage instead of coffee cups or branches or flowers, and you’d use a longer FL camera/lens for bokeh – are very obvious. Enough that even if you’re shooting at f2.8 it’s extremely distracting. It doesn’t take much for the camera to focus on background instead of person, and it’s impossible to predict when it’s going to do this EVEN if you line up all your boxes perfectly.
              4. I’ll use whatever is the most accurate and not waist level where possible for stability: that’s an EVF if I have a non-SLR viewing system, or an SLR if I do.

    • Andre NYC says:

      Great *and timely* review as usual – thanks! So, what are your impressions comparing the Oly E PL5 w/17mm F1.8 and Fuji X100s (in as much as you can predict) re:
      1 – lens quality / image quality ( resolution, color rendition, high ISO performance .. )
      2 – AF speed – in particular Face Recognition (thinking of street photography)

      • I reviewed the 17mm here. And the E-PL5 here. I requested the X100s some time ago, but nobody wants to lend me one. I’m done waiting, I have to work to pay the bills and can’t waste any more time chasing it. I tried it briefly at a store, and it focuses fast enough. The lens was soft at f2 on the lower resolution X100, I’d imagine it’d be worse on the X100s since it’s the same lens. I don’t use face recognition because the cameras tend to think anything remotely face-shaped is a person, whether it is or not: it’s simply too unreliable. The Olympus combination will focus faster than the X100s, A or GR, but have the worst optics of the four.

        • Andre NYC says:

          Thanks – understand perfectly re X100s, hopefully its time will come when they’ve caught up with initial demand. Too bad Fuji is missing the boat on getting your ultra fast high quality reviews. This Ricoh GR V is looking really good then, even pricewise if that lens is so good. Looking forward to your updates.

          Re Olympus 17mm f1/8, I had seen your review, it’s too bad that this recent highest quality Oly 35mm equiv lens doesn’t measure up to the others – c la vie, APS-C still rules

          Re Face Recognition – too bad tech’s not here yet – manual focusing w/ focus confirm on DSLR is my alternative (in low light, else hyperfocal is if) but I really wished there were a multiple exposure mode with varying focal distances (much more important to me than multiple f-stops )

          • Don’t think there’s much point in reviewing an old camera, especially one that personally doesn’t interest you. It’s just a waste of time (and there are 1001 other things on my to do list).

            As for the 17 – I have a feeling it was designed to a price because it was meant to be more mass-market than the 12 and 75, which were both criticised for being expensive.

            Focus bracketing? I’m sure at least one camera had that, can’t remember which one. A decent C-AF mode would solve the problem too; the trouble is you have to buy something enormous to get it like a D4 or 1DX…

            • Andre NYC says:

              O thanks – hadn’t realized the 17 wasn’t quite in the same league as the 12 / 45 / 75. Would you say then that the OMD &12 combo would be better IQ wise than the GR V?

              Interesting that you are not interested in the Fuji X100s -after all the X100 was an epochal camera and had a big following even among pros; the X100s fixed all the shortcomings mentioned for the X100 and is also widely considered the third in line, after the $10K Leica (including the lens), and the $3,000 Sony RX1. At $1,200 for 94% of what the Leica provides and 96% of the RX1, that is certainly a major cam in my book*. Of course it appeals more to the photojournalist/ event photogs than the landscape & studio photogs, too. On the efficient frontier (best bang for bucks) these three seem to be tops.

              Anyhoo – yes – I can understand you have 1001 better things to do (and so do I). Watching the cam wars (as well the computing industry evolution /revolutions) is as good a hobby as any. .. “Plutot elire que lire” (rather select than lect/ read) as one noted writer said in the paper book era.

              Focus bracketing .. durn – why can’t Canon/ Nikon add this simple tweak ….. might have to wait for a Samsung android cam..

              OT. Comment on the camera industry: seems like we are like in the early 1900′s re car making, the 60′s re computer operating systems (the IBM 360 was revolutionary at the time), the early 70s re computing networks (thanks you Metcalf @ 3COM who is actually on of the real fathers of the internet). [begin rant] Maybe Android and Samsung w/ their ceil phone cams will help bring some standardization and stop this complete technical mess. Best and most intelligent approach is Ricoh’s modular actually
              There were something like a couple hundred new cameras marketed this year so far .. wasteful and ecologically silly. [end of rant]

              (*) Steve Huff made a pretty neat comparison there
              http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/2013/03/21/crazy-comparison-leica-m-sony-rx1-and-fuji-x100s/

              • No, the GR V will still win on image quality.

                I owned an X100 and sold it after a month. The X100s is faster, but appears to be fiddly for the sake of being fiddly. Frankly, most makers add in stuff for the sake of it: the film GR1v is a lot easier to use than the GR V…

              • lainer1 says:

                Ugh, Steve Huff’s reviews? Please!

Trackbacks

  1. […] set shot with a Ricoh GR, Nikon D800E and the 70-200/4 […]

  2. […] to push the limits to have fun; I can do interesting things with a moped (iPhone, I suppose) or a Golf GTI (I suppose that’d be a Ricoh GR). Or I’ll go with a vintage Ferrari (Hassy V), or even […]

  3. […] revised sensor and a few other features. I skipped it and in fact sold my original RX100 after the Ricoh GR release. Not enough difference for most people to upgrade, but still a solid camera in its own […]

  4. […] as there are already quite a few reviews online for the Ricoh GR, the more notable ones are by Ming Thein, Wouter Brandsma and Mookio, all whom are much better writer and photographer than I.  So I […]

  5. […] – has used an image for commercial promotion purposes without permission or credit, from my review here. Note how the watermark is still in place – how could their web designer have failed to […]

  6. […] set was shot with a Ricoh GR, Nikon D800E and Zeiss ZF.2 1.4/55 Otus […]

  7. […] might carry something with more potential, for example a fixed-lens large sensor camera like the Ricoh GR, or a small mirrorless camera like the GM1. These are situations in which photography might not be […]

  8. […] Ricoh GR Digital V Still just as enamoured of this little powerhouse as I was at the start. Has one of the highest pixel quality levels of any camera, and certainly the highest of all the APS-C cameras – thanks to a combination of its outstanding lens and AA-free sensor. It always goes with me wherever I go, and never disappoints. Despite fairly heavy use – up to 400 images a day – I never ran out of juice. The battery indicator never ran down by a single bar, either… […]

  9. […] I did just say Bigger sensors are better, all other things being equal. But they also mean you need bigger bodies and bigger glass. There is an optimum ergonomic size that balances weight, handling, portability, cost, etc – I think that’s perhaps the size of an E-M1 with 12-40/2.8 or thereabouts; assuming that effectively all sensors in consideration are going to hit sufficiency from an image quality standpoint, then this is about the size we should be aiming for. The sensor should therefore be the largest it can be whilst balancing out the requisite size of properly matched optics. Look at the Sony A7R: the body is the same size as the E-M1, but the sensor is enormous. Paired with primes, it makes sense; paired with zooms, the handling is terribly imbalanced. There’s also no room within the body for a stabilizer, so all of the lenses must have it built in there, instead – once again making them larger.. The E-M1, on the other hand, is always balanced, though perhaps it might well be possible to fit APS-C within the same footprint. Look at the Ricoh GR… […]

  10. […] Hasselblad 501CM, 2.8/80 or 4/150 lenses and the CFV-39 digital back, with a few thrown in from the Ricoh GR and 21mm converter – there isn’t anything that wide for the Hasselblad V system other […]

  11. […] shot with a Ricoh GR, Olympus E-M1/ Panasonic 12-32 pancake zoom and Hasselblad 501CM, CFV-39 digital back and […]

  12. […] possibly the best currently available one – and one that delivers known excellent results. (The Ricoh GR is a good example of […]

  13. […] images were shot in Prague with a Ricoh GR and sometimes the 21mm GW-3 […]

  14. […] This series was shot with an Olympus E-M1 and Panasonic 12-32/3.5-5.6 pancake, and a Ricoh GR. […]

  15. […] general forms: zooms in utility (‘Swiss army knife’) cameras and high quality primes (GR, Coolpix A, X2 etc). There are also some good zooms – the RX10 and X Vario come to mind. The […]

  16. […] they were; there are times when I need a bit more flexibility than the fixed 28mm of the excellent Ricoh GR, and this seemed like just the […]

  17. […] on FF – is a lot easier to use than the 21mm converter I had permanently attached to the Ricoh GR. I shot my usual mix of urban reportage and still life involving moving subjects and static […]

  18. […] with a Ricoh GR, Olympus OM-D E-M5 and Panasonic 14-42 X pancake zoom during the October Prague […]

  19. […] Shot with a mixture of cameras – mainly the OM-D E-M5 and 14-42 X pancake, with the Ricoh GR. […]

  20. […] set was shot with a Ricoh GR, Olympus OM-D E-M5, the Panasonic 14-42/3.5-5.6 X pancake, and the Leica 50/1.4 Summilux-M […]

  21. […] set was shot with the APS-C Ricoh GR and the 21mm GW-3 converter. Enjoy! […]

  22. […] in this set were shot with a Ricoh GR (digital V) and the 21mm […]

  23. […] the lens-sensor interaction to consider. The reason why fixed-lens large-sensor compacts like the Ricoh GR, Nikon Coolpix A and Sigma DP Merrils are so good is because the lens was designed specifically for […]

  24. […] professional kit (including backups and redundancies). I bought few cameras this year – the Ricoh GR, a pair of Olympus E-M1s, a waterproof Sony compact, and a Canon IXUS 520HS – but a lot of […]

  25. […] series was shot with a Ricoh GR, sometimes with the 21mm converter, and an Olympus E-M5 with the 14-42 X pancake or Leica 50/1.4 […]

  26. […] with an Olympus OM-D E-M5, Panasonic 14-42 X pancake, Leica 50/1.4 Summilux-M ASPH via adaptor, and Ricoh GR sometimes with the GW-3 converter. Enjoy! […]

  27. […] GR ($799; Review | Amazon | B&H) – Perhaps the best compact of 2013, and certainly one of the most […]

  28. […] Wide Angle Masters: Ricoh GR (review, B&H, Amazon) and Nikon Coolpix A (review, B&H, Amazon) Image quality is superb on these […]

  29. […] use with gloves, but a slight redesign of the buttons would solve that. No such problems with the Ricoh GR or Coolpix A. The elephant in the room is legacy lenses: it’s tough for a DSLR owner to give […]

  30. […] The reason is inconsistent AF performance. In bright light or high contrast situations, it’s extremely fast indeed; matching the Olympus OM-D – fast enough to make you half-press the shutter again because you weren’t quite sure it nailed focus the first time. The minute light falls to moderate indoor levels, focusing slows down to be merely average; if your target has little contrast, things become downright glacial. Review: The 2013 Ricoh GR (digital V) – Ming Thein | Photographer […]

  31. […] Unique to Ricoh is the snap focus mode, where the lens will default to a certain distance setting if the shutter is jabbed straight down past the intermediate position and the camera isn’t given time to find focus Review: The 2013 Ricoh GR (digital V) – Ming Thein | Photographer […]

  32. […] Big Sensor Primes action now with a new photographer priority review of the Ricoh GR (APS-C) by professional photographer Ming Thein. […]

  33. […] while back, I found that one of the most compelling features of the Ricoh GR  (Digital V, reviewed here and compared against the Coolpix A, here) was its ability to output native squares and files that […]

  34. […] manual focus here with anything fast-moving; at the wide end, behaviour is quite similar to the Ricoh GR: very fast when there’s enough light, but prone to hunting the moment things get dark. Before […]

  35. […] excellent, since it’s the same one used in the X2 and a whole host of other cameras like the Ricoh GR and Coolpix […]

  36. […] Added on 5/6/2013: http://blog.mingthein.com/2013/05/06/review-2013-ricoh-gr-digital-v/ […]

  37. […] The Ricoh GR is available here from B&H and Amazon. The full review is here. […]

  38. […] Thein’s review of this camera was spot on (Ricoh GRD V). There are a few annoyances which I have noted. Namely, the P (auto program mode) never sets the […]

  39. […] (I think this week maybe) but here's a seemingly balanced review from a long time Ricoh user: Review: The 2013 Ricoh GR (digital V) – Ming Thein | Photographer It's nice that he has the temerity and the integrity to be honest and upfront and not take his own […]

  40. […] interesting review of the latest version of the Digital GR. Review: The 2013 Ricoh GR (digital V) Mine is on order! Pete Reply With […]

  41. […] Not long after Nikon announced their 28/2.8, 16MP APS-C super-compact, Ricoh also decided it’d be a good time to launch an update to their cult GR Digital line. Version V has done a Leica and dropped the model number to confuse us (and Google searches for the new model), but gained a near-identical spec to the Nikon – also 28/2.8 equivalent, 16MP APS-C sensor without AA filter (it does have square and 35mm crop options, but you can always easily apply those in post). Neither one has IS. I covered most of the spec sheet in the preview, here. Now I’ve had some (albeit very brief) time with a final production prototype*, it’s time to report back here on how it actually fares in the metal.  […]

  42. […] Not long after Nikon announced their 28/2.8, 16MP APS-C super-compact, Ricoh also decided it'd be a good time to launch an update to their cult GR Digital line. Version V has done a Leica and dropp…  […]

  43. [...] Not long after Nikon announced their 28/2.8, 16MP APS-C super-compact, Ricoh also decided it’d be a good time to launch an update to their cult GR Digital line. Version V has done a Leica and dropped the model number to confuse us (and Google searches for the new model), but gained a near-identical spec to the Nikon – also 28/2.8 equivalent, 16MP APS-C sensor without AA filter (it does have square and 35mm crop options, but you can always easily apply those in post). Neither one has IS. I covered most of the spec sheet in the preview, here. Now I’ve had some (albeit very brief) time with a final production prototype*, it’s time to report back here on how it actually fares in the metal.  [...]

  44. [...] on from yesterday’s review of the Ricoh GR (Digital V) can only be one thing: the comparison shootout between the GR and its natural rival, the Nikon [...]

  45. [...] Source: http://blog.mingthein.com/2013/05/06/review-2013-ricoh-gr-digital-v/ [...]

  46. [...] Not long after Nikon announced their 28/2.8, 16MP APS-C super-compact, Ricoh also decided it’d be a good time to launch an update to their cult GR Digital line. Version V has done a Leica and dropped the model number to confuse us (and Google searches for the new model), but gained a near-identical spec to the Nikon – also 28/2.8 equivalent, 16MP APS-C sensor without AA filter (it does have square and 35mm crop options, but you can always easily apply those in post). Neither one has IS. I covered most of the spec sheet in the preview, here. Now I’ve had some (albeit very brief) time with a final production prototype*, it’s time to report back here on how it actually fares in the metal.  [...]

  47. [...] Not long after Nikon announced their 28/2.8, 16MP APS-C super-compact, Ricoh also decided it’d be a good time to launch an update to their cult GR Digital line. Version V has done a Leica and dropped the model number to confuse us (and Google searches for the new model), but gained a near-identical spec to the Nikon – also 28/2.8 equivalent, 16MP APS-C sensor without AA filter (it does have square and 35mm crop options, but you can always easily apply those in post). Neither one has IS. I covered most of the spec sheet in the preview, here. Now I’ve had some (albeit very brief) time with a final production prototype*, it’s time to report back here on how it actually fares in the metal.  [...]

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