Decision time

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A flash of inspiration; also, ninja timing matters in both photography and online shopping. Ricoh GR

Many of you will recall the 28mm shootout between the Ricoh GR and Nikon Coolpix A, and the not-so-simple decision process that ensued. What’s happened in the last two weeks is that both cameras have gone home, and I’ve had time to think a bit more about which camera would work best for me. I’m making my decision based on which is the best creative fit for me, rather than which is the best camera: take a moment to think about that, because it’s not quite as simple as it seems.

At the moment, for my personal work, I’m shooting a lot of black and white, and a lot of squares – blame that on the Hasselblad. It seems to be the way I see right now; logically, I’d like something that’s an extension of this for the times when I can’t carry around the ‘Blad, or want to shoot colour squares, or am carrying the ‘Blad with a longer lens and would like something complimentary and fast to use…you get the idea. The Ricoh GR excels at this kind of shooting, but isn’t quite so good at color – though the latest version of ACR remedies this considerably. There’s the low-light-slow-AF issue, but I don’t think that’s a big deal if Snap Focus works as advertised, and the distances are easy to change (they are). I admit I also prefer the way the GR series feels in my hand compared to the A, though the A is perhaps a little more solidly put together.

Coming to the conclusion of the topic, I’ve decided to go with the GR. I’ve been slowly accumulating my vouchers from referral sales at Amazon – thank you for your support, everybody – and since they won’t pay me cash, I’ve decided to put them to good use: I was lucky enough to happen to be browsing when they had some GR cameras in stock, and hit the order button. One is on its way to me now, and should arrive in a couple of weeks. :) MT

The Ricoh GR is available here from B&H and Amazon. The full review is here.

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Comments

  1. Hi Ming, I know this is probably a super dumb question, but since you are normally so patient with your readers I thought I would go ahead and ask it. You noted in both this review and the previous one where you compared the GR and the A, how good the GR was when shooting B&W. However, given how easy it is now to take a color photo and change it to B&W with so many presets and options for tweaking in either PS, LR, or something like Silver EFX, why would one be concerned with the B&W output of a camera? If you have a camera that takes good color, why not just PP it if you want B&W, and get the best of both worlds? Thanks in advance!

    • The GR’s raw files convert well to B&W. I don’t shoot it B&W natively. I think it’s to do with the way Ricoh have calibrated the tonal response of the sensor. The A’s tonal response is not as well suited to B&W conversions, because it appears to have been tweaked to be more linear – which produces punchier color. And Silver EFX and other filter packages give you nowhere near as much control as ACR/PS if you know what you’re doing…

      • I think the Panasonic GM1 has bested the GR and the A. With lenses like the Pana 20mm 1.7, 45mm 1.8 it opens a world. ISO 3200 is clean. Much smaller than a GR or A, with the small proud prime lens bulge in the middle. Touch focus. Bounce flash. Things have changed.

        • I’ve used one, and disagree. I can’t pocket the GM1 with any lens, nor are there any compact prime options that match the GR or A’s lenses. The bounce flash is so weak it’s effectively useless. And again both GR and A are cleaner than the GM1 at 3200. On top of that, it doesn’t have anywhere near the level of control, either. The only thing going for it is interchangeable lenses – and without IS, hand holding a 90mm equivalent at arms’ length is not stable at all…

      • Thanks Ming!

  2. Ming, need your inputs. I am currently an OMD user with a few lenses (9-18mm, 12mm, 20mm, 45mm). I have been itching to get a second body/camera because i hate changing lenses while traveling. I only shoots during my travel. In your opinion, should i get a second mft body say epm2/epl5 to match with 12mm which I already own or get something like GR or Coolpix A. Keep in mind I also have a sony rx100.

    Thank You very much for your time and effort.

    • I travel with the GR and GW3 covering 21 and 28mm, then either the 45 or 75mm for the OM-D (or both). Light, compact, and quality is excellent. Add the 14-42 X pancake if you feel you need a bit more flexibility between 28 and 90mm.

      • Thanks Ming, one more specific question if you don’t mind. I am sure you have 12mm. Just wondering what makes you lean towards GR vs another pen body with 12mm? Image quality? Pocketability?

        • Mainly pocketability, though image quality goes up another notch because of sensor size (though you lose the stabilizer, of course). No matter how small the Pen and pancake lens, there’s no way it’s going to be as thin as the GR.

          • Got it. Thank you very much.

          • OMG I took a flash picture of three kids with the A and it was grainy and poor IQ. Wow. Focus was good but the flash on the A is fatally flawed.

            • I think it must be running auto ISO for flash. You should be going full manual anyway when using flash.

            • I’ve put some duck tape on mine, also on flash release switch and it is great. I do not understand how anybody at Nikon thought that such small flash can be usable on 28mm. I’ve been using CoolpixA for several months, and it is really great camera with several flaws. AF is not sufficient for shooting moving kids, but it can be resolved by using manual/zone focusing. Face detection (for kids) is worse than OMD implementation, but it can be used. IQ is fantastic, clearly a step above OMD with premium lenses (25,75). For me it is definitely the best camera I’ve ever used, mostly due to small size and perfect IQ. I agree with Ming about “punch” that images form CoolpixA have (great macro and microcontrast), it is clearly visible in photos.

  3. Hi Ming,

    Which one would you say is more pocketable between the GR & the Coolpix A. I know GR is a little longer but thinner right? BTW thanks for putting this site together, it is great resources for all photography fans.

    Cheers!

  4. Hey Ming, been a follower of your work for quite a while. I just bought my GR and i’m having a hard time finding out what shutter count it has using Opanda software. Is there any other way to do it? I kinda have trust issues with sellers here in our country, just wanna make sure i bought a brand new unit. Thanks in advance.

  5. Thanks Ming for the excellent reviews. After quite a while dedicated to a telephoto lens I am considering the 12mm/2 for my OM-D. However, the GR actually seems a viable alternative since it costs approximately the same. Obvious technical differences (and one being a whole new camera) aside, what would you consider the main photographic differences between the two? Having a smaller second body (and probably more versatile focal length) for a wide angle is tempting, but the images available online shot with GR give me slight concern. Though that is probably due to early adopters’ preference on B&W shooting. On paper everything seems ok and I have good experiences with Sigma 19mm/2.8 on a Sony NEX.

    • Photographic differences? 24mm vs 28mm perspective. That’s it. Image quality of the GR is a bit higher because of the sensor and slightly better optics. Which you prefer is up to the way you shoot – if you must have an eye-level or waist level finder, then the OM-D becomes the only choice.

  6. The user interface and unique feature set is great on the Ricohs. I’ll probably go GR again as well. I was curious on flash sync speed of the GR. Ricoh states 1/400 sec sync, but so many bloggers refer to a sync of 1/2000 sec that I wondered if Ricoh had a misprint.

  7. Scorpionic1 says:

    http://www.dpreview.com/news/2013/06/05/dxo-releases-optics-pro-8-point-two Ming,this update supports the Rcoh GR,it’s worth a trial run..

    • Thanks for the heads up. I generally tend to stay away from too many extra add-on pieces of software because it slows down my workflow too much; I’d rather be shooting than processing, so I want to make this bit as fast and painless as possible.

  8. Hi Ming, thanks again for great review and comparison between great cameras.

    I have been using CoolpixA for last few days and it is really great. I’m sure GR is better in several areas, but I’ve chosen CA mostly due to yours comments about picture quality (i really like great microcontrast) and possibility to relatively easily move focusing point in the frame. AF is relatively slow (especially compared to OMD with 25/1.4 or 45/1.8), but the ability to move AF to FN1 helps. I do not see the problem with zone focusing distance reset with every power down, since it is relatively easy to set focusing distance with focus ring. For me, bigger drawback is MF-AF focusing switch which is difficult to move and set in the wanted position, they should have put rotational switch as on Nikon DSLR-s. I should also mention great shutter response, shutter lag is much shorter than on OMD. There are several really stupid omissions, like no exposure compensation with secondary dial in A or S modes, user settings do not store FN1 function (it is not possible to store AF on FN1 function on user settings), but I really like the camera. Such great image quality in such small package was difficult to imagine just several years ago.

  9. Hey Ming, how are you? I’m pretty interested in this camera. Lately, I’ve been taking the RX100 with me on the streets, and I’m finding pretty exciting the photo opportunities that present with a really small, pocketable, silent and high quality camera. I’m considering selling it and buying a GR, mostly for the better user interface, bigger sensor, and snap focus feature. Would like your opinion on that.

    I’m mostly shooting at 28mm equivalent focal length, taking grab shots, shooting from the hip, etc – all pretty much fast techniques, where i’m not looking for technical perfection, but rather, capturing the energy of the moment, the unexpected. I’m mostly at ISO 800 or higher, converting to B/W in LR using Silver FX. I wonder how the Ricoh compares to the RX100 for that. Is the AF in the same league? I find the RX100 to be a pretty snappy camera, not E-M5 fast, but close enough – it works pretty well for spontaneous shooting in the streets. What about pocketability? The Ricoh seems a bit bigger, but don’t know how much in the real world, besides the RX100 lens when extended is pretty big, the camera certainly looses some of its “stealth factor”. Would I loose too much by changing to a GR in terms of compactness?

    Any other thoughts when comparing one to the other in terms of street shooting?

    Here are a couple of pics I recently took so you get an idea of what i’m talking about:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/nicolasraddatz/8897231340/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/nicolasraddatz/8874442618/

    Thanks for sharing your insight.

    Keep up the good work!

    • Wouldn’t know about LR or Silver FX, I can’t get the required degree of control I want from either.

      The GR is a bit slower than the RX100, but more pocketable because it’s thinner. Either will work fine for street shooting; stealth is more technique than camera. I use everything from my iphone to a Hasselblad for that, and believe me, the latter is NOT stealthy at all. You can hear the mirror from ten yards away.

  10. What is the focal length equivalent of the GRD when using the 1:1 aspect ratio?

  11. Having seen photos of the GR next to a GR1, and comparing my GRD to my GR1, it looks like that the GR is waaay bigger than the GRD, in fact not much smaller than my Olympus E-P3. That’s really a bit disapointing. It doesn’t seem that it would be really pocketable like the GRD. My enthusiasm is seriously wilting… the E-P3, specifically with the Lumix 14mm, already fits that niche for me. Grabbing a GRD 4 while I still can is looking more and more attractive.

    • Well, the sensor is considerably larger than either the GRD or E-P3 and delivers much better image quality than either. It’s a bit bigger, but I feel that’s a fair price to pay for the gain in image quality. It’s definitely still pocketable though.

      • david mantripp says:

        Yes, but “much better” is not so easy to quantify really is it? We’re not talking 100% (and of what, exactly, anyway?) are we? Maybe a touch better at resolving a black cat in a coal cellar? I’ve got a Sigma DP2M, which, as we all know, has great image quality. And yet, comparing two A3 prints of the same subject, from the DP2 and the E-P3 with Lumix 25mm, well I doubt you can say which was from which ( unless of course you look for some of the Sigma’s “unique” way of intepreting skin tones). And the Sigma is a total pig to use and to post-process. My point is, the GRD 4 delivers great photos and great control, with the unique advantage of being truly, forgettably, pocketable. The GR maybe delivers even better photos, for those who care about the difference, but at the cost of the GRD’s truly unique DNA. Well, that’s the way I see it. Digital camera IQ is, and has been, well beyond “good enough” for quite some time now. I hoped designers could getback to where they left off circa 1999 and start creating some great photographic tools again.

        • If you notice the difference, it’s better. If the difference bothers you when you go back, it’s much better. There’s my scientific explanation ;)

          I don’t think the GR compromises the GRD’s DNA at all; by that argument the GR1v is a bit fat, too. The GR is clearly a descendent of the GRD, and handles in almost exactly the same way. Being slightly larger doesn’t affect pocketability, and if anything, I imagine would improve handling for those with larger hands.

  12. Was at Yodobashi Camera here in Kyoto the morning after they received their first shipment comparing the Nikon and Rioch (they got 13 in, next morning 5 left). For me the handling and layout of the Ricoh was the easy choice even if they are basically the same price here in Japan. For B&W, square formant option is nice, loads of set-up options but easy to navigate, and everything seemed fast with the promise of quality output. Ricoh should come through with refinements with firmware updates.

    You’ll have to try the 21mm adapter lens. Yes, it adds bulk and weight and the camera is not so compact with it, but its still a lot smaller and less money than an SWC ;-), and will be very fun to use. Just about everything I could ask for with a fixed 28 and wide 21.

    I’m actually surprised you got the Ricoh. It seemed you were leaning towards the Nikon for the low light focus issue and colour. Guess the colour RAW conversion kinks are being worked out, and maybe the focus in low light will too (but I don’t know how they will do that without some changes in hardware).

    • Enjoy – I’m guessing you got the 21mm lens? My SWC will still be working in another 10 years, and probably won’t have depreciated as much as the Ricoh…I think I just gave the game away. :P

      The Ricoh fits me better creatively. I was leaning towards the Nikon, but I honestly enjoyed shooting with the Ricoh more – and the results weren’t that different in the grand scheme of things (and in some ways, like for B&W work, much in favor of the Ricoh).

      • Wasn’t say the Ricoh could replace an SWC, I love that camera and will get another at some point, but the 21 on the Ricoh does have an interesting perspective in a relatively compact size (don’t think Ricoh will release a 21 version like they had with their film cameras). No haven’t gotten it yet, maybe soon, but feel I should get to know the camera in its ‘natural’ state first. I was even thinking the past couple days that 1:1 wide format digital would pair up with my Rollieflex, odd size combination I know…

        • I agree with you – loved the 28 square format on the GR actually…the camera makes a nice quick-draw companion to something a bit larger and more contemplative.

  13. Heraldo says:

    Since the beginning I had the impression you would fall for the Ricoh; that was only a hunch, maybe because I had the feeling that the Ricoh seemed to appeal more to the senses, when in hands; and because of the wonderful b&w pictures. Last night I was watching Ingmar Berman’s Wild Strawberries, and I was impressed again by the wonderful photography – specially for the use of almost square format and its use almost in a portrait framing most of the time. I’m now looking forward for the pictures you will post using your GR. Thanks for sharing your decision process, and congratulations for the decision!

  14. Vincent says:

    Hi Ming,
    I thought they (Amazon) don’t ship electronics to Malaysia. Have always wanted to buy from amazon. Are your electronics re-routed through friends in America?
    -Vincent

    • They ship some stuff – depends on whether the principals declare regional exclusivity or not. No way I can get Nikon, Leica, Canon, WD drives etc – Ricoh seems to be fine. Couldn’t even get Sandisk until last month.

  15. Kenneth says:

    I wonder just how much sense there really is in choosing equipment based on performance, rather than on how much it suits your artistic needs. For example, I’ve noticed that a lot of eye-catching pictures have something interesting going on, but very often lack the sharpness, or utilized range etc., to meet that standard of “properly” photographed. This, in turn, makes it feel like technical imperfection, or rather just disregard of any notions concerning image quality, is almost part of what makes an image artistic/creative in the first place.
    As I’m trying to decide between two lenses (PL25 1.4 and ZD17 1.8) I’m facing a problem similar to your GR vs. A choice. It’s either superior optics (25) with a perspective that would have to grow on me, or a focal length that probably suits me a little better and IQ that just can’t keep up. I can’t afford two normals, so this has been wrecking my brain for some time now.

    Looks like we can expect more fun shots from you with that GR! I found your more nonchalant photos to show your crazy compositional talent even better than those with the big guns. Have a nice day.

    • Actually, in an ideal world, one should have both. I’m certainly aiming for that. It isn’t always possible due to equipment or skill limitations. However, if the technical difference is marginal – a couple of percent perhaps – more of a difference will come down to ergonomics, handling, etc. I disagree with the necessity of technical imperfection being part of making art – it doesn’t have to be. A lot of fine art work – landscape for instance – has to be quite technically perfect in execution to work.

      Easy answer for you, go with the 20/1.7…bet the best of both worlds.

  16. Ricoh are great at supporting and improving their firmware. From my experience, my GRD4 had several “upgrades” during its stay with me, whilst my Nikon V1, which has multiple issues that could be addressed with firmware updates has been completely ignored by Nikon, who obviously want you to upgrade to the V2. (Never going to happen, despite the drawbacks I *love* the V1 with almost unnatural passion!)
    So your choice would have been the same as mine – I just have more faith that Ricoh will try to address all issues it can via firmware, whereas I doubt Nikon will bother.

    • Ricoh has always been good at offering FW updates/ support that improve functionality, right from the days of the first GR-Digital. One can only hope this doesn’t change post-Pentax…

      • Nolan Haynes says:

        Well given how Pentax has released several firmware updates for the Q, I believe that they’ll have Ricoh do the same for their cameras as it adds value and quality to their respective products.

  17. I do love the squares too. I shot a lot of films with a Ricohmatic 225 TLR and a Bronica SQ Ai for this too. I recently found this interesting article in French (http://www.annelaurejacquart.com/technique_le-format-carre-une-mine-d’or-geometrique-et-photographique_1240) about the virtue of the square format.

    • Now that I think about it, not that much consideration is given to the fact that vertical ergonomics aren’t really optimal for most cameras, nor is presentation on most – landscape – screens…

  18. I look forward to more your images from the GR appearing on Flickr. Your decision process serves as a good model for others; creative needs should not be overlooked. To that point, the GR was also my choice (stated after one of your earlier posts) due to black & white output you noted (thanks, I value your opinion!). Plus, I like the multiple exposure feature as well as the various bracketing features, some of which I am likely to use frequently. I could have adapted to the great Coolpix A, but would do so while being forced to alter my creative inclinations…no easy feat.

    Anyway, Ming, thanks for the update!

    Joe

  19. Well I bought a Ricoh and used your link and bought and recieved my GR. have to say I cant find a situation where the GR focuses slower than the A. I think you issues were pre production and pre adobe support more than anything else but we will find out.

    I have been a Nikon shooter since I was 16 and i made the jump to digital (Minolta at the time was giving no indication they’d ever make a DSLR. But I still find the Coolpix A more fiddly somehow than the Ricoh. I cant be so much of a pixel peeper that tiniest difference in color response outweigh how much i enjoy shooting the camera. And after 10 years of being a pro shooter with Nikon SLRs the GR is MUCH more comfortable and a joy to use.

    I have really loved the GR so far though its only been a weekend. I think you made a good choice! I dont think there has ever been a camera close to this good that fit in your pocket before

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/kodachromewolf/sets/72157633732738994/
    my GR images from the weekend

    • Thanks for the support. Some really excellent stuff in that set – hope you’ll add them to the reader pool. From the looks of things, the color issues are sorted out too; this is very encouraging indeed.

      As for AF speed – I only found issues under very low light situations; doesn’t look as though you encountered anything in the same luminance range as required to cause the speed slowdowns I experienced.

  20. I think the B+W output of the camera is very good.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/httpwwwflickrcomphotoslucylu/8777440606/

  21. I was wondering where you came down on this – I currently have loaners of both and am facing the same decision. I don’t find the difference you do with the B&W conversions – I’ve done a few sets of identical shots using identical processing settings and couldn’t see a difference – and now that I’ve got the ACR profile the colors are fine. I still initially still liked the Nikon colors better even using the Adobe Standard profile, but a tweak of WB on the Ricoh shots makes them all but identical. So I’m finding less and less compelling reasons to choose the Nikon. But there something about the relative simplicity of it (I’m very experienced with Ricohs but they can still start to seem a bit Rube Goldberg-like at times) that I’m still attracted to. But barring a real change over the next couple weeks of shooting, I’m probably headed in the same direction. I kind of wish just one of these had been released – I’d hav been thrilled with it and it would have avoided all of this decision making!

    -Ray

    • The mistake you’re making is converting the B&Ws with identical settings; you have to optimise for each camera. I just found it was much easier to get what I wanted out of the Ricoh than the Nikon for monochrome tones, but the reverse for color. ACR 8.1 narrows that gap dramatically, though.

      • What I did was process one shot for the Ricoh first and then apply the same settings to the Nikon. The next shot I’d process for the Nikon and then apply the settings to the Ricoh. After 4-5 like that, I still wasn’t seeing a notable difference. Probably because I don’t process as subtly or cleanly as you do and tend to go for higher contrast and often a grainy-er approach. So for my purposes, they’re about the same for B&W. And with the up to date ACR profile and a small amount of tweaking, the color looks awfully similar too. I’d be thrilled with either of these cameras. I’m going back and forth daily but it’ll start to coalesce around one of them soon. The Ricoh’s feel in the hand is sublime and a couple of the features are really useful, but I get into a really nice shooting flow with the Nikon – I think it’s relative simplicity and lack of feature clutter kind of appeals to me.

        • Could well be the case. I’m always looking to extract as much midtone contrast as possible and smooth rolloff in shadows and highlights.

          Good to know the new ACR profile fixes color.

          • Only thing is, will this remedy somehow /negatively/ affect the GR’s black and white output, if part of its elusive magic was to do with colours that weren’t optimised for, well, colour?

            • No idea – only one way to find out. And I suppose one always has the option of using an earlier (i.e. non-optimized) profile with ACR under the camera calibration tab…

              • I don’t know if “embedded” remains as an option after the new profile’s been installed or not; can anyone shed any light on this? Despite having had a Coolpix A for a couple of months I’m still interested in the GR, but that’s conditional on those sweet black and whites!

                • It is, you can choose either the embedded or the Adobe standard in the camera calibration tab.
                  I just noticed that the GXR’s embedded profile also have similar color, so maybe that’s Ricoh’s deliberate choice afterall.

                • I’ll let you know what happens once mine arrives. Supposedly 12 June…what on earth is Amazon doing with shipping?!

                  • Bah! Flagrant disregard for the excitement that is waiting for a new camera! They must know we’re junkies waiting for the next fix! Still, you’re lucky: Amazon UK seems to think it’ll be two months before they get any :( I suppose I should just STFU and enjoy the A…

                    • Well, given how much they’re charging in postage, the mind boggles as to why it has to take so long…

                      And you have the A. I have nothing more compact than my OM-D and 14-42 pancake now.

                    • On the opposite end of the spectrum, how are you getting on with the CVF-39 this time around? I love the black and white photo of a single scooter that you put on Flickr a few days ago; that seemed to have the rare distinction of really looking like it had been shot with a MF camera /at web size/. Maybe that was just your processing, though.

                    • Much, much better this time. I have a handle on how it should be shot, and my camera isn’t back focusing :)

                    • iPhoto now supports Nikon A RAWS

  22. Jack McDermott says:

    Oh no, the vouchers.

  23. Vincent says:

    “GR … isn’t quite so good at color – though the latest version of ACR remedies this considerably”

    Hi Ming. I’ve had a chance to play around with the GR DNG files using the “Standard Profile” in ACR 8.1 RC1. I agree with you that the colors, particularly the reds, are considerably better. However, some of the colors still look a bit off to my eyes. Did you have a similar experience ?

    • They’re still a bit off, but no camera has been perfect out of the box – everything has required some adjusting to taste. That said, it could be my files not coming from a final production camera that’s causing the difference, too. I’ll report back once I’ve had a chance to shoot with the production camera.

  24. Wonderful Choice Ming! Look forward to the photos and I am jealous.

    Best Wishes – Eric

  25. Perfect decision for all the wrong reasons. Ignore the competent AF on the A and go for the super slow low light GR AF. Ignore the tighter body of the A. Igonre the better colors of the A. Choose due to B&W, which at most 1% of all the pictures shown in Dpreview galleries are in B&W.

    • Haha – well, it’s what works for me creatively since I’ll be shooting with it – and cameras are meant to be shot with – it isn’t always the same as what’s technically ‘better’. A lot of art wouldn’t have been produced if we just went for more pixels, more bit depth, heavier tripods, or whatever.

      • perhaps a more useful advice would be to say “if you are this kind of shooter then this…if you are that kind then that…”

        • I spent two days doing tests and writing a 3,500 word article which came to precisely those conclusions in a very logical way. That article is linked in the post text. I posted this because a lot of people asked me what I eventually decided personally…

    • So what’s so special about having your images displayed in the Dpreview galleries?

  26. I hope you enjoy your new GR. I’ve been very fond of the Ricoh camera product and their GXR-M helped move me to a Leica after seeing what one can do with Leica glass. I still have my GRDIII and GXR with 28 module. The GRDIII really changed my interest in photography. I went from a large P&S DSLR to actually thinking about what I was really trying to accomplish by only having a fixed lens.

    I’m sure the new GR has the same exquisite customizability as previous Ricohs and once one has configured the camera the way you like it truly is a joy to shoot.

    So I completely understand that the GR may not be the “better” camera as compared to the Nikon, but if it feels right one can justify his decision knowing he’ll enjoy his photography experience more.

    • Thanks Duane. Yes, the GR series is unbeatable when it comes to configurability – though I often wonder if the necessity of that configurability is also because of feature creep/ options; the film GRs had only EV comp and P/Aperture dials; yet we didn’t really feel those controls were missing anything…

      • Unfortunately I don’t see a decrease in the number of functions the camera makers are trying to stuff into these little boxes. At least Ricoh was willing to listen to the end user on allowing some override capability to what the engineers thought was best. I’m happy with my outdated, horrible low light, no video and mostly manual camera as I like how simple it really is.

        • No, sadly not. You know, my Hasselblads have only rings for aperture, shutter speed and focus distance, plus a button for mirror lockup, yet I don’t feel like I’m missing anything. Hmmm.

          • David Babsky says:

            “..my Hasselblads have only rings for aperture, shutter speed and focus distance, plus a button for mirror lockup, yet I don’t feel like I’m missing anything. Hmmm..” ..I once borrowed a moon Hasselblad from H’blad and played about with it for weeks: it had big “ears” on the lens, so that aperture, shutter speed and focus could be adjusted wearing thick gloves. And it had a notice on the top saying “f8 for moon to earth” (there’s no atmosphere on the moon, so all settings held good always; there’s no weather there).

            Anyway, I took it with me to visit Jim Irwin, astronaut, who would be speaking at Oundle School (in the UK Midlands). I shot a snap of Jim holding it, and he said “the awkward thing about these was that there’s no viewfinder”..!

            ..I’d never even noticed! To have the fewest things to go wrong, the moon ‘Blads simply had a motor on the bottom and those big ears on the lens. Nothing more. To take pics you strapped it to the front of the spacesuit, and just stood in what you hoped was a vertical-ish attitude.

            That’s why all the ‘Blad moon photos are a bit cockeyed: no viewfinder. Quarter of a million miles, then just squeeze and hope for the best.

            • The Moon ‘blads had no finder because there’s no way an astronaut could see through them with the visor. I think they had some sort of wireframe sports finder, or they just used modified SWCs and cropped.

              Oh well, if we ever go back to the moon, I bet they’ll be using the equivalent of iPads at arms’ length.

  27. GR’s problem with color has been fixed when you have Adobe’s new profile, so you can have the b/w cake (w/ embedded profile) and eat it (w/ Adobe standard profile) too:
    http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3494235

    • Indeed!

    • Super complicated routine less than 3% will follow

      • Downloading a file and copy it to a certain directory is not that complicated.
        Alternatively you can wait for Adobe’s official support in ACR, LR, PS, much like how every camera’s raw cannot be opened until Adobe support it.
        The problem with GR’s color is really due to it using DNG, so you can open it before they have made an official profile to support it.

        • It’s more complicated than that for Lightroom users who don’t also have Photoshop on their machines. Then you have to dig up some hidden folders in the user directory to drag the profile into. Works brilliantly but took several people working together for the better part of a day to work it out. Definitely still doable and easy enough once you know how, but not easy to figure out if you don’t know where it has to go. And Adobe’s not telling…

          • Actually, it would be very, very useful if you could share that process with us here…

            • Quick fix:

              Extract/Copy “Pentax Ricoh GR Adobe Standard.dcp” from ACR 8.1 Beta or download the file from here
              Shutdown LR if it’s still running, then copy the .dcp file from step1 to (see **Note** on how to find these directories and folders)
              Vista\Win7 – “C:\Users\[your username]\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\CameraRaw\CameraProfiles\” or
              Mac “Macintosh HD/Users/[your username]/Library/Application Support/Adobe/CameraRaw/CameraProfiles/”
              Start Lightroom, change profile to “Adobe Standard” under Camera Calibration in Develop Module for your specific photo and you should now see the correct color appear.

              **Note**: These folders are normally hidden so you have to unhide them. This is not difficult, but requires a quick google search for instructions… It takes about 2-3 minutes. Its different for Macs and Windows machines.

              More detail if you’re interested:

              Lightroom and ACR camera profiles are installed in different directories so LR4 can’t read ACR camera profiles.

              When LR4 is installed, by default all camera profiles that are read by LR are installed to
              Vista\Win7 – C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4.3\Resources\CameraProfiles
              Mac – Macintosh HD/Applications/Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4.app/Contents/Resources/CameraProfiles/

              When ACR is installed, by default all camera profiles that are read by ACR is installed to
              Vista\Win7 – C:\ProgramData\Adobe\CameraRaw\CameraProfiles\Adob e Standard\
              Mac – Macintosh HD/Library/Application Support/Adobe/CameraRaw/CameraProfiles
              You can also install custom profiles to be read by both Lightroom and ACR. These need to be installed to Vista\Win7 – “C:\Users\[your username]\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\CameraRaw\CameraProfiles\”
              Mac “Macintosh HD/Users/[your username]/Library/Application support/Adobe/CameraRaw/CameraProfiles/”.

              So there are a total of 3 folders which contain these camera profiles and so lots of confusion on where to place them so they can be seen.

              Rule of thumb is, you should install new or custom profiles to the user location, installing them to the program specific default location usually doesn’t work and can’t be read.

              • Very, very useful indeed – thank you very much, Ray!

                • You’re welcome. The key is people need to un-hide the “Library” folder in their user directory. There are various ways to do this, mostly quite easy, but it’ll take a search to find those instructions. If you don’t do that first, none of the rest of this will make any sense…

                  • You don’t need to unhide anything. Just go into Finder, enter Cmd+G (goto location, also accessible by the Go menu in Finder). In the box that opens, enter ~/Library and you’re there. Or use the Terminal, where nothing is hidden:

                    cp *.dcp ~/Library/Application Support/Adobe/CameraRaw/CameraProfiles/

  28. I knew it. GR wins.

  29. Yeah! For B&W I go with the Grade.

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