I was a long time full frame canon DSLR user since 2007. Most of the time, I use 28 mm and 50 mm lens.
The quality was stunning. The feel of the image was different, much more film-like, than other cropped DSLRs.
But, just one drawback using a full frame bodies: weight.
I love traveling, if I used it just around the town, mostly i have no problem.
The problem arrives when I took it to the mountain. You know, every hikers know every gram is counted when you hike.
Did i mention the big tripod i have to bring, too? Years later, when Ricoh announced the new GR, APC-C size sensor, i was feel like “you’re the one”Originally i want to purchase the X100s, but because it is a 35 lens, and only 28 mm converter available, i hold my purchases.
The GR has 28 mm lens, like a I was using before. And more interestingly, it has 21 mm lens converter. I love wide angles!
The GR also has a 35 crop mode. I know it’s just a cropped for 28 one, but it really helps you to frame with 35 mm perspective. Useful if you want to have a tight portrait. (updated : with firmware 3.0, you can also crop to 47 mm, yeay!)
As i read the reviews, the Ricoh known as a street camera. It can be operated by just one hand. Contrary to its rival, the nikon coolpix A, you have to use it like a Nikon DSLR–with two hands.
The Ricoh known with it’s snap focus mode. Basically it’s just an automatic hyperfocal focus mode. You set the focus distance, and for the given aperture, you will know the focus range. Very useful for street photography when you need to capture the decisive moment.
The autofocus is fast. In daylight. But not as fast as the olympus m4/3 camera. Much more really like a nex-6 that I have used. It’s fast enough in daylight.
But in dim light, you really need to turn on the autofocus assist lamp. It sucks.
I used the snap mode for my landscape photography. Theres three “My Mode” ; like a canon C1, C2, C3 mode; where you can store your custom settings, and call them back in mode dial. I used the preset for landscape photo, portrait, and snapshot.
The dial has lock mechanism. You must press the button before turning the dial. Thanks to that i never accidentally moved the dial like the other compact camera.
What about image quality?
Believe me, the lens is tack-damn-sharp. Edge to edge. It doesn’t have a Anti-aliasing filter, which increasing the risk of moire. But I didn’t find it a problem.
The Ricoh has a nice natural color output. The standard mode is not as pop as other camera.
I love the Picture effects. Especially the Positive film effects. The saturation is even and the contrast is high. Much more really like a Kodakchrome. The other picture effect i love is cross process. It’s instagram-like hehe.
The thing i found about the color effect is they are usable. Not just another weird effect you can found in olympus camera.
The noise performance was good, though not as good as a full frame camera. But i shoot a milky way at 30 seconds and iso 3200 they turned up really good! The iso6400 is still acceptable for me.
I even using the iso 25600 for framing on 5 seconds exposure, because it’s really dark.
And this camera can have a shutter speed up to 60, 120, 240, 300 seconds before it has to go to bulb mode. I wish all cameras like this!
There is a Fn1 button, Fn2 button, and Adjustment lever button which can store and call five settings at once. There is also a dedicated effect button on the left, which also you can customize the function.
This is really a ninja camera.
The plus-minus exposure button is godsend.
It has a interval shooting function, for you a time lapse junkie. Even a composite interval, to make your star trail on camera. Pretty cool!
It also has the custom self timer. Which you can assign how many picture you take at a given interval.
The menu is neat and clean. Though you need a playing around a bit to get familiar.
And it has a RAW development tools inside. If you’re shooting jpeg, you are also has aa level adjustment tools, white balance tools, even a resizer tools. Nice feature if you need fast post processing.
The DB-65 battery has many equivalence. I bought 2 samsung battery, because it’s cheaper than original Ricoh. And an external panasonic LX-3 charger, because they didn’t include one. They work pretty well. I heard the sigma DP series also has the same battery.
It also has a built in ND filter for shooting large aperture in daylight, or slowing down for slower speed.
What the not-so-good ?
The autofocus in dim light is pretty slow. It will focus, but it takes maybe up to 2 seconds to locked. Once you turn of the AF assist light (the color is green, like the on off button also green), the problem somehow solved.
Another problem on dim light. The refresh rate on the LCD is drop. I have other compact camera which not-so-laggy when the light is dim. Very different when the light is enough. It was really fast refresh rate.
I wish Ricoh can fix it in next firmware.
And the shutter button. Somehow, it sticks on button when i presed the button not on center. I dont know what the cause, maybe there is a little dirt inside, because there is a space between camera and shutter button. It’s annoy sometimes.
The frame rate is only 4 fps. Very slow for continuous shooting. The C-AF is not so good, like other mirrorless camera.
The movie mode has slow autofocus, and you didn’t get a manual control. Even you can’t manually focus. But it has capability for full HD video with various frame rates 60p, 50p, 25p, 24p.
The manual focus sucks. Really sucks. You have to hold the macro button and rotate the dial. It’s too cumbersome.
And it’s $800 for a “compact” camera. I wish it was just $500 haha.
I LOVE this camera. I don’t use my canon 5d anymore. It has really a feature i need and can go inside you pocket. Not tight jeans pocket though.
From landscape to portrait the GR love it. I carry it everywhere I go. I hope Ricoh release 50 and 85 version 🙂
All photos taken on Raja Ampat, Indonesia. With a positive film effect. JPEG only. with love.
Get your Ricoh GR on Amazon or B&H now!
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