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.
Following 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 Coolpix A (full review here). Or is it the other way around, since the A came first? Doesn’t matter a single bit, it’s all about the images. Fight!
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.