Tuesday, October 13, 2015

My Old Friend: Ricoh GR (2013 version)


I really meant it. I related myself to GR as my old friend. I had stopped taking photograph for many moons. I lost my focus on photography. Something distracted me or I needed a break from holding a camera. I’m not sure too. So when Ricoh finally announced to release the GR. It woke me up. I did not managed to buy it at first shipment. When I received a call from a friend, I rushed for it immediately and finally hands on it. The initial feeling was so familiar. I asked aloud in my heart, where have you (GR) been all this while, instantly I realised it was a more relevant question to myself. It was this camera has helped find myself again like a trusty old friend. Despite my current circumstances, it brought some happiness to me.


Ricoh GR
Hot Shoe Cover
Rechargeable Battery DB-65
USB Power Adaptor
Power Plug
USB cable
Hand strap
Instruction Manual


I have used Ricoh GRD I to IV, GXR and GR1v so I consider myself as long time Ricoh GRD user. When a long time Ricoh GRD user hands on to this camera, immediately noticed the familiar handling and at the same time knowing in mind that the major upgrade inside of this camera was as exciting as rapid beating heart now. It looked more sharper, I meant the edges were not as curvy as GRDs.

The weight was slightly heavier than Ricoh GRD IV after loaded with battery. The camera came with the same battery as GRD III and GRD IV, the rechargeable battery DB-60 for GRD I & GRD II were compatible too. A good news to long time GRD users. Turning on the camera would prompted you to set language, date and time. GR lens barrel was larger in diameter but was shorter in length.

Unlike past GRD models, GR did not shipped with desktop charger. To charge the battery in-camera, it took 5 hours to fully charge whereas desktop charger (BJ-6) took half of the time. Again, existing GRD owners needed not to worry about it.


Focal length approx. 28mm (35mm equivalent) Note that it is mentioned approx. 28mm. I will show you more later. Read on.
7 elements in 5 groups (2 asperical lens elements)
Aperture f/2.8 to f/16

Image Sensor:
APS-C CMOS (23.7 x 15.7 mm)
approx. 16.2 MP
Max Resolution 4928×3264

ISO 100-25,600

Focus Range:
Normal: Approx. 0.3m to ∞
Macro: Approx. 0.1m to ∞

Shooting Mode:
Av, TV, TAV, P, M, Auto, My settings 1, 2 & 3

Shutter Speed:
1/4000-300sec, Bulb

GN 5.4 (ISO 100 equivalent)

Video Recording:
1920×1080, 1280×720, 640×480

Click here for more details.

TRUE 28mm???

I spotted this difference when I was comparing the photos taken with GRD IV and GR. I noticed the photo taken using GRD IV was wider than GR. Look at the photos and you know what I mean.

Ricoh GR

Ricoh GRD IV


A quick Focal length comparison:

Ricoh GR: 18.3mm (1.5x crop factor is 27.45mm)

Ricoh GXR A12 28m: 18.3mm (1.5x crop factor is 27.45mm)

Ricoh GRD IV: 6mm (4.7x crop factor is 28.2mm)

Nikon Coolpix A : 18.5mm (1.5x crop factor is 27.75mm)

You might not agree with me on taking 4.7x for 1/1.7" sensor but the photos explained it clearly. :)


What are the nice and useful features:
It is APS-C sensor in a small package! I really love the photo quality it produces.
The low price tag as compare to its peer. Enuff said.
It has built-in 2 stops ND filter. A sweet new feature.
Usable ISO 1600, at least for me as I like the grainy effect on the photos especially on black and white photos.
Slightly larger hand grip.

What are the improvement Ricoh can provide in their next firmware update:
GR's Auto focus (AF) is slower than GRD IV, it is more obvious when test in low light. Even with the assist AF light on, it does not improve significantly.
GR colours are flat and unpleasing as compare to GRD IV. I guess it could be due to different technology (CMOS vs CCD). I have to manually adjust the color settings to match GRD IV's colour.
GR tends to underexpose a bit. I often found myself increase compensation to +0.3

Ricoh GR

Ricoh GRD IV


Despite some minor issues, I still in love with it. Ricoh's ergonomic design of this new camera is excellent and all the buttons fall on correct places, great for one hand operation. Additionally, the newly added AF mode selection switch are welcoming. The in-camera menu are logical and easy to navigate by using the front dial, back lever, directional buttons and EV compensation +/- button for express browsing. The TAv mode created by genius in Pentax are new to me and yet it will be useful when I get to understand it more.

I always want to write reviews on cameras but I do not know how to. But I still put this one up as I want to share what I have found during my familarisation with this new camera. I hope you find it useful as much as I hope.

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