Informal Ricoh GR Review: Discussion with 4 photographers (part 2)



Ray, in our conversation last night, you stated that the dynamic range is for jpegs only. I'm only doing raw and I think Craig is also. Is that correct about only in jpegs?


I'm playing around with the mysets. I've got the first one set up for street shooting in good light – its in TaV mode with a default shutter speed of 1/500 and an aperture of f6.3, snap focus at two meters. This is close enough to hyperfocal for the whole world to basically be in focus. This is one setup where I actually prefer the Nikon because it has a similar auto-ISO setup but you can set the minimum shutter speed anywhere up to 1/1000. So in a similar myset with that, I have it in aperture priority with a max ISO of 6400 and a minimum shutter speed of 1/500 and it does all the work – I just read the light and adjust exposure comp as I need to.

The shutter speed will go below 1/500 if it needs to, but when I'm shooting from the hip I like to keep it high when I can – even at 1/250 a combination of handshake and subject movement can give me a blurred shot. Which sometimes works, but that's not usually what I'm going for. Which brings me to Myset 2, which is set for lower light street work in aperture priority with an aperture of f4 and minimum shutter of 1/250, which is the Ricoh's maximum allowed. That works pretty well for shooting in evenings or indoor environments – I just have to be careful to steady myself for the shot. Myset 3 is set up for more scenic and contemplative shooting where the shutter speed doesn't matter much but IQ gets more important. That's aperture priority with a max ISO of 3200 and a minimum shutter speed of 1/60.

I always have fn1 set to toggle between snap focus and pinpoint AF and if I get the Ricoh over the Nikon, that's one of the key reasons why – that ability to instantly switch without any thought or break in concentration is pretty wonderful.

My understanding is that the DR thing is basically a jpeg setting. If it works like the X100 and other Fujis do, it raises the ISO, lowers the exposure, and then pushes the exposure back up in processing? Or maybe its the other way around, but I think that's it. And on the Fuji, if you leave it set to that in raw, it'll still raise the ISO and lower the exposure, but since it's not doing the processing, you're gonna get an underexposed file that you have to know what to do with in post. I usually shot the X100 and X-Pro in jpeg though, so I let the Fuji engineers handle that for me.

When I was getting some weird (and inconsistent) underexposures with the GR, I was wondering if maybe the same thing was happening with the Ricoh, which I was shooting in raw only. But I didn't have the DR turned on, so that's when I figured it was probably what Wouter was talking about on his blog. So, I haven't tried shooting raw with it to see if it works like the Fuji approach. I'm sure its intended to work primarily in jpeg, but if you have it on with raw, you might be getting underexposed files at high ISO – if so, that's why…


I just put some words on here – bit of a ramble, but some thoughts

Guys, here's a comment left on Inspired Eye FB page:
“Hey guys I just want to confirm if this is a bug on the new GR. I just received mine yesterday and there seems to be a bug when the LCD was switched off – aperture and shutter controls can't be used “blind” though I can still shoot with the LCD off. It seems to have lost the “LCD off” mode of the GRDiv, where the screen will momentarily come on when I touch the shutter speeds or aperture controls…..”


I don't remember that happening on the GRD4 either, could be wrong. I thought once it's off it's off, unless you go into menus or press playback.


My camera works fine with the screen off. When it's Round my neck… Screen off…I am able to adjust settings…


I don't have the problem either, Olivier.
Today I hit the streets again. Hot weather and the streets where crowded and people were in a sunny mood. I used the earlier described MY2 setting and occasionally switched between AF and snap mode. There was a lot going on, but I felt focused. I was glad that there was a bit of movement in the sky which would add a bit of texture. Yes, the GR is slightly larger than my GRD3. In the hand though I didn't notice the camera.


How did the camera affect your way of shooting? Did you notice you have a different way of seeing?


I don't think a camera really has much impact on my way of seeing unless it just interferes with my shooting process to the point that I'm not free to see in the first place. So it mostly needs to be intuitive and fast enough in use not to get in the way. The Ricoh generally meets this criteria, the only exception being that its complex enough that sometimes I trip over one of my own detailed settings.

Or I start to adjust the exposure comp, don't hit the OK button to lock in the change, forget I haven't done that, and then accidentally further adjust exposure comp when I meant to change the aperture or focus distance or something. But I'm only occasionally that stupid, so generally the camera does pretty much what I ask it to do without taking my attention too much away from the photograph.


Ricohs free me up. It's good and bad. Coming from the x100s which slows me down (also good and bad). A view finder I find pretty slow but it makes me thing more. I quite like the action of holding the camera to my face sometimes. However, mostly my unplanned shots are better. The Ricoh I rarely look at when I'm shooting. It's in my hand, occasionally I'll check ISO or aperture. If in a tight crowd I'll bring it closer to my face but not often. The danger with the GR is that it's so easy to take a shot that it can become a thoughtless process. I always have to consider that which makes me focus more on what I'm doing.


There's only 2 things a camera does with me.
First,it's intuitive without any intrusion on my vision.
Second, it's not intuitive and causes aggravation cause I need to sell it. No middle ground with me.
So if I'm using a camera and it's passed the test period…. It's now working with me and not for me.

My vision has been consistent for almost 5 decades and I plan on keeping that way.
The GR is not for sale….it sleeps next to the GRD4.


The GR doesn't affect my shooting. The camera just put on some weight. It is basically like using my GRD3. I know it is my hand, but I don't have think. Like Don says, it is a keeper since it doesn't hinder me. I only know the outcome is more refined. And I learned that the gritty sweet spot for me is around ISO 800. ISO gives me a lovely texture in the images.

I used to be a nifty 50 kind of guy and got converted because of the Ricoh. All of you do well with the 28mm. What is it about the 28mm that resonates with you and do you feel it limiting?

Craig: I've always used 28mm. All my old film cameras were 28mm except one Chinese 35mm fixed lens plastic slr! I love 35mm, was seduced by the Fuji and forgot about 28mm. I always thought though, what if I got a bit more of this, or that in the shot. 28mm is more dynamic I think. Perhaps not as natural but it's certainly as engaging. Anything wider is a bit too distorted for me though.


I'll tell ya something about Ricoh's I hate, GR included.
No strap lugs. I use Luigi's thin leather straps and wrist straps on all my cameras. I have Le Hook small on all strap ends.
I can switch from neck to wrist in under 30 sec. Now I have to commit to one or the other because I haven't found any solution using loop straps.

I love the camera on a wrist strap but sometimes I like to do chest shots…
ala' Inter Alios


Don, you need another GR!


When I was a kid shooting film, I have no idea what I was shooting with some of my early family hand me down cameras. I had a Canon half-frame from the '50s I think that must have been some sort of wider angle – I got that when I was 9 in '68 from my older brother who got it from my Dad – no idea how long he'd had it. But once I got my first SLR in high school (yeah, a K1000, what else?), I shot 50 because that's all there was. But as soon as I was conscious of what I was doing I started gravitating to wide angle as soon as I could get it. Bought my first zoom lens in about 1985 and when it occurred to me it never left 28mm I realized something must up with that. Nowadays I'll shoot anything but neutral.

I'll shoot wide anywhere from about 15 on up and I'll shoot long anywhere from about 90 on up, But the focal range between about 40-80 is pretty much dead to me – I just can't see a damn thing in those frames. I like 35 as my “neutral” length but for most walk around shooting I'll take 24 or 28 over anything. If someone made something like a GR with a 24mm equivalent, I'd buy that too. My Olympus 12mm lens is my favorite lens pretty much ever, but 4:3 is a narrower frame than 3:2 so 24mm at 4:3 and 28mm at 3:2 seem to feel pretty similar and very natural to me. I have an RX1 at 35 and I love that camera for a lot of reasons, but when I pick up a small camera with a 28, I just feel like I'm back home. These two Rikon twins are the camera I've been after for a loooong time…

Now I just have to choose – they're both so damn good. Both have great interfaces that have been refined over many years and are just about spot-perfect. The Ricoh is way more programmable, but I usually have it set up in a way that I can get to the few adjustments I use a lot very quickly and the Nikon does that just as well with less mental clutter. But the Ricoh just feeeeeels so right in the hand. And both of 'em shoot 28 so they both disappear pretty much totally…


I had all the options available in the Nineties. At some point though it all felt overwhelming and it didn't get me any further in photography. I thought about what I wanted and didn't want. Really felt sure I needed to restrict it all. In those days I mostly used an 18-35mm zoom lens and simply decided that 28mm was good enough. I just got rid of all the stuff, looked around for something simple, but still a quality product, and instantly bought the GR1 when it was introduced.

R0000413 blog

I had pictures in my head I couldn't translate to film. It was a process of at least 10 years to get where I am now, but a lot needed to happen in my personal life to realize it and to express my feelings. Much has changed, not only photographically, but what remained was my desire to keep it simple and to restrict myself. Therefore my interest in the GR, and the GRD1 and GRD3 before.

Interesting comments! The Ricoh are known as street cameras, something that is common about all of you. Why do you think that is and what does Street Photography mean to you?


A tricky one, Olivier. I had my fair amount of interest in street photography and some of the photographers that inspired me are mostly known for their street photographs. I still make photographs you might categorize as street photography, but street photography is no necessity anymore. It forms only a small portion of my photography.

R0000385 blog
I think the connection people make between the Ricoh GR(D) cameras and street photography is something of the more recent years. Kind of sad too, because the photographer with these cameras can do so much more. Therefore I prefer to call my photography stroll photography. Wherever I wander around there can be something interesting, something that connects with your feelings. I prefer some distance and respect in my photography. And I much rather prefer to focus on how people interact with their environment. I don't really care about genres, I care how I feel about the things I see and I like to capture what I feel.


Hey gents,

I'm getting more and more comfortable with a decision to send back the GR loaner and buy the Nikon A, so if you'd like to jettison me from the rest of the discussion I'll understand. I'll give you my reasons, but if you'd rather just keep this among us and not post it to the blog (is any more of this going on the blog, or are we just talking amongst ourselves at this point?), I'm more than fine with that. You all are a discerning bunch, so its worth putting out there for any thoughts you might have.

I like both cameras a lot – I'm not a fanboy (and if I was I've been a Ricoh fanboy for a few years and a Nikon fanboy for a couple of months – the zeal of the recently converted?). If the Ricoh had been announced before the Nikon I'd have probably pre-ordered one and never even tried the Nikon. But because the Nikon was available to me for almost a month before the Ricoh was announced, I had a chance to get to know it on its own terms and judge it against other Ricoh's I've known (and still do). And at the end of the day, much to my surprise, I prefer it.

Nikon A Shot
Nikon A Shot

Some of my preferences are interface related and ONLY preferences, but I'm pretty clear on them. Some are arguably a little more technical, but are still basically preferences rather than better or worse…. The biggest things I LIKE about the Ricoh are the feel of the shape of the camera in my hand (no surprise after the GRD3), the ability to switch instantly between zone focus and AF and have the camera remember the zone distance (I”m not overly smitten with snap focus otherwise, but this is a pretty big deal), and the faster AF in good light (which is not a big deal for me, but its nice to have anyway). The biggest thing I don't like about the Ricoh (and this surprised me because its Ricoh's calling card and part of what I've loved about it in the past) is the complexity of its interface, which I just find to be totally overkill for how I shoot and I sometimes trip over that complexity, even with a relatively straightforward setup.

For example, something as simple as changing exposure compensation requires pushing the plus or minus rocker – so far so good because its instantly armed and ready – but then you have to choose whether to keep it “open” or hit the OK button to lock in the new setting. And you have to remember which you've chosen to do because there are consequences if you don't! Hitting the OK button every time I change something strikes me as a bit of a pain. Sometimes its nice to leave it open so you can change again after the next shot. But if you do leave it in this “active” state, ANYTHING else you go to change will only affect exposure comp, so if you go to change the aperture, for example, all you'll do is further adjust exposure comp to an extend you probably didn't mean to and the aperture is unaffected. The GXR had an option you could turn on so that as soon as you pressed or half-pressed the shutter button, that would have the same effect as hitting the OK button, but the GR doesn't have this option. They may add it back in firmware some day, or not. On the Nikon, by contrast, to change exposure compensation, you hold down a button and turn a wheel (like snap focus on the GR) and when you release the button, its set – this is the way you adjust a number of things on the Nikon and I find it works really well. Exposure comp I can do with one hand.

Nikon A Street Photography
Nikon A Street Photography

I can setup the GR to have my most used options in easy reach, but I can do that on the Nikon too. The difference comes in where to put the only occasionally used items. On the Ricoh you've got an extra fn button or two and the five banks under the ADJ controller but you've got to DECIDE what to put where and if you change something later, and you have “mysets” designated, you have to remember to change it for all of them or you risk hopeless confusion. On the Nikon, the lesser used functions are just all in one place, about as quickly accessible as the ADJ controller on the Ricoh, but they don't change – they're just there.

A sort of big one for me is one mere detail in the auto-ISO implementation. The Ricoh limits you to a a high of 1/250 of a second for minimum shutter speed. The Nikon allows you to go up to 1/1000. This matters a lot to me for street work in fairly bright light because between subject movement and camera shake (I sometimes shoot while I'm still moving), 1/250 isn't high enough for me. So, with the Ricoh I'll use TaV mode and set the shutter speed manually, but I have to remember to keep an eye on it and manage it. Otherwise, as I move into a shady area, the ISO can get totally out of whack – I had a couple of shots done in a shaded area on a super-bright day recently come in around 8000-9000. With the Nikon, I can still use aperture priority and auto-ISO and with a minimum shutter speed of 1/500 and a max ISO of 6400, it will logically start dropping the shutter speed if the ISO hits 6400. This is the logic I would use but with the Nikon it does it for me. TaV works well (and Nikon has that option too if I want it), but I prefer the aperture priority with a more flexible auto-ISO approach personally.

Finally, there's the metering and the colors, particularly the colors that result from under-exposure. The Nikon metering is just about perfect. And the default colors that come up in Lightroom are already in a state I like and can immediately go to work with for those shots I'm leaving in color. The Ricoh metering and colors in easy light (bright light or low light) are fine and the metering seems OK. But in really tricky light (sunrise, sunset, dawn, dusk, fog, etc), the Ricoh metering, as Wouter pointed out can underexpose quite a bit unless you stay really on top of it, and I personally don't find the default colors that result all that pleasing. This is totally subjective and it may be made better if Adobe adjusts the color profile that's now in beta before they release it to the general public, although I am using the up to date beta color profile. This alone would NOT be a deal breaker for me at all, but for now its a small point in the Nikon's favor. The Nikon just gives me files I can work with more easily right out of the gate.

Nikon A Street Photography
Nikon A Street Photography

Finally, what do I NOT like about the Nikon? Well, it doesn't quite become as much of an extension of your arm as the Ricoh does. Its still kind of a foreign object down there in my hand where the Ricoh sort of becomes part of my hand. Moving between auto focus and zone focus take 1-3 second usually, rather than a nano second. I'd love to hope they'll update the firmware to make the camera remember its MF distance after a power down, but Nikon is well known for lack of firmware updates so I have to figure this is something I'll have to deal with. This is not a problem for me – I may switch between auto and manual/zone focus a few times in a day out, but I'm usually in one mode or the other and its rare that I need to switch right NOW, so not an issue for me, though it could be for some. The AF is not as good or fast as the Ricoh, but I tend to only use AF for rather sedentary stuff, so AF speed at this focal length is never an issue for me.

What I DO like about the Nikon is its relative functional simplicity. For someone who needs to customize EVERYthing, ti wouldn't cut it. But I usually only need to customize a few things. And then the camera just totally gets out the way. There are only two programmable buttons and two mysets, but that's enough for me to do everything I need to do quickly and easily. The Ricoh leaves me feeling a bit mentally cluttered sometimes – the Nikon doesn't…

Oh, and Don, the Nikon has strap lugs… Just putting it out there. I actually don't care – I sort of like the Ricoh's third wrist strap attachment on the bottom of the right side of the camera and I have one of Luigi's skinny little wrist straps with a string attachment that I love, so this is another thing I actually prefer slightly on the Ricoh. But I suppose if I ever did decide to use it with a neck strap, it'd be easier to do…

Anyway, that's where I am. Great cameras both and lacking the option of the Nikon, I'd have ridden off happily into the sunset. But the Nikon seems to have stolen my heart. I'll do the same type of shooting with either, but it feels like a tool I'll use more easily, or more of a “friend” if you will. I guess I'll have to name it now…..

Thanks for your indulgence…


Ray, I think your points should certainly be posted on the blog. It is not all praise. It should make clear that anyone interested in either the GR, Nikon Coolpix A, or any other camera shouldn't just jump to conclusions. We all need to realize that we all have our preferences and these can differ. I tell you, that if Ricoh didn't introduce the GR this year I might have saved up my money for Nikon instead.

Last questions! What is your priority in a camera? Image Quality? Speed of operation? Handling?
How does the Ricoh GR fare in that area?
How are you guys making out with zone focusing-hyperfocal?


Yes, all of the above. Speed of operation and handling are pretty critical in a street camera, but there's no downside to more horsepower in the sensor either, unless its Don's concern about the images being too clean. But you can always dirty up a clean image but its tough to do the opposite. The presets you guys sell is testament to that. While the ultimate in IQ is not critical in terms of the appearance of the final image, a sensor with more DR and better high ISO capabilities make getting the shot a lot easier, even when the light isn't that low. It allows you to push your depth of field and shutter speeds in OK light into areas that make zone focus techniques are far more effective than with a lesser sensor. The flip side of that is that a smaller sensor, as on the previous GRD's have a lot more DOF at a given aperture, but I'd still rather have a larger sensor with more capability than a smaller one with less.

The GR is great in these regards. Those who like the basic Ricoh interface will like the GR – its pretty much the same as previous Ricohs with a few differences only in the details. The Nikon is great in this regard too and, to my surprise I seem to like it marginally better, but both are really quite good.

How am I making out with zone focusing-hyperfocal? That's what I use almost always, particularly on the street. For scenic and architectural and more sedentary types of shooting I'll use auto-focus, but the bulk of the time with a camera like the GR, I'll be in zone focus. On the Ricoh its the snap focus technique – on the Nikon its just the by-wire focus ring on the lens and an electronic distance scale on the screen. The Ricoh is a lot more convenient to get into and out of – the Nikon a bit more convenient to change focus distance, at least to me. While these larger sensors give up some DOF to the small sensors in the GRD3/4, with such good low light capability, its still wonderful for zone focussing.

In broad daylight you can easily use hyperfocal settings, but I don't see that as terribly necessary because infinity doesn't really have to be in focus for most street shooting, or anything else beyond landscapes for that matter. With these new APS sensor cameras being really usable up to 6400 and semi-usable a bit higher than that, its possible to still use zone focus in pretty low light and make it work – you just have to realize that the zone of focus isn't as deep. I tend to use 2 meters as my starting point for zone focus. When I'm shooting really close I'll tighten this down to 1-1.5 meters (very easily done on either of these cameras), but 2 meters is my general starting point and where I do most of my shooting.

In bright light I'll shoot at f6.3 or 7.1, which is basically around hyperfocal territory, with everything from about a meter on out in focus. In OK outdoor light I open it up to f4.5 or 5 which still gives you everything from a little over a meter out to about 5 meters in focus. In really low light, I'll open it all the way up to f3.5, at which point I've got about from 1.5-4 meters in focus. But really, most of the key action in most street shots happens in that range and I've had great luck shooting like that in low light. Here are a couple of indoor, low light shots done in zone focus with those settings, one with the Ricoh, one with the Nikon. (I think I may have sent these previously – not sure).


My main priorities are handling and speed of operation, and that to a sense where I just don't notice the camera anymore. After almost two weeks of using the GR I notice that it is starting to fulfill those priorities.

R0000381 blog

My phase of getting familiar with the camera is becoming a closing chapter. I learned some of the limitations, which I feel are necessary for my photography. I am getting used to some of the new possibilities and learned some of the new features. I will never learn all of the possibilities of the new GR, nor do I feel I have too. From what I know I can use it without that the camera hinders me. And to me, that is what matters and makes the GR excel.
R0000397 blog

Thank you all! And thank you Olivier for providing a place where we can discus and share our thoughts and experiences.


My priority for any camera is that is keep up with me and doesn't get in my way. I want it to be there and show it's presence but as an equal partner. I am totally aware that photography and I are partners in a collaborative effort to make the images. If I have a new camera after a week, it's a keeper, if not…well maybe for someone else it is…..


I know these guys are smiling if your asking about IQ meaning Image Quality. My IQ meaning a number does not allow me to think about IQ, either way. My initial thoughts about the GR were that it may be too good for me. I still feel a little that way but I am adapting to the sterile quality the camera provides. Don't sweat, I'll find a way to bugger up the files and still have them work.


The GR was given birth from the GRD4. It's operation is as good and maybe better in some scenes.
It's very fast like it's little Momma and the handling is equal to her. I found that the GR is a femle. Most don't pay attention to camera gender or names but I do.
Like Ray and I'm sure all and all that ever use a Ricoh will use Zone Focusing. I think that's a very big advantage with the GR. The Hyperfocal Distance works great on the GRD4 with a nice close range to infinity. The GR has a shallower DOF and thus offers a different way of thinking the image. It's been a challenge but I have to admit that I like rethinking what I know and have used for so many years. Ray's figures for Zone are I'm sure what we all are using. I read Wouter's post a few days ago about using f/4.5….hmmmm I thought…..hmmmmm that does not compute. Well, it does compute…..




Sorry for the delay with this. Everything conspiring against me replying!

What is your priority in a camera? Image Quality? Speed of operation? Handling?

All of those things are important. I get sucked in to trying a lot of new cameras. It's my weakness! What I've found is that generally I'm never satisfied, which is good and bad depending on the context. Speed, AF speed, zero shutter lag – both very important for walking and shooting. So the ‘snap' function is really the only answer to this. Zone focussing on any other camera isn't as fast, for me at least. The only other camera that comes close is the lego-brick-like Olympus EM5, which is far too electronic.

Opuntia Microdasys / Bunny Ears Cactus

Image quality. Yes, important and again I get sucked in by this. I got the Fuji 35mm lens for the XE1, amazing lens, iQ is outstanding, lovely bokeh etc but really, when do I want bokeh?! So it all went back. IQ is important. I like to start with the best, at least then you have the option of destroying it if you wish. Image ‘personality' is perhaps more important.

Handling. Absolutely. The X100s is a beautiful camera. The rX100 produces great images. I would say neither handle very well. Neither have a grip, both require two hands – the Sony because it's so small. The Ricoh is one of the most ergonomic of all cameras I've used. The menu system I find really logical too, much more than many others. The scroll is a little long but it's better than having several menus. So far, I hate touch screen cameras. Seems so unintuitive. I guess the next generation will grow up with them and find them better.
Liverpool, Cornwallis Street

I go through hyper shoot everything months, then have quiet months to reflect and revisit a lot of old stuff. So, although I'm still shooting, the images attached aren't my ‘usual' but perhaps for the sake of this discussion about the more varied merits of the camera these might be better anyway than my normal work.

London, Elephant and Castle

One other thing that usually drives me back to Ricohs. I love drawing. I always fight between drawing and photography. Generally those who are interested in one aren't in the other, in the context of my own work anyway, which makes it more difficult to use and to place both. I haven't found a way yet of combing both. I don't really know even if I should as it might dilute both. Anyway, the Ricoh is a little like drawing, and the marks, grain etc achievable with the Ricoh are ‘drawn' marks.

Update: Hey folks, hope all is well with you guys. It's been a while since we last talked, I know for a fact that sometimes a camera that seems perfect starts showing it's nasty side, and vice versa……So here's a few follow up questions:

How are you guys doing with the camera?
Any issues that came up during that time?



Hey back at ya.
There's a few things that need to be addressed on the firmware. I got caught up in the negative aspects of things and then I decided to just make photos. The camera is very responsive and I find working with it very intuitive. 2 of my photos have gone viral on Explore at Flickr and the overall response to my work has been positive. That's how I judge what's going on.
Photography is about visual communication and if people aren't responding to your work, there's a language barrier that must be addressed. The GR helps me with the syntax of photography….


Hello hello hello and hello,

At present the camera is my only one, everything else has gone. I'm enjoying it. I think some people think it's a gun because of the way I hold it when I'm walking so I need to change that before I get shot. I always compare the snap function to a gun though, it's so fast. I've never fired a gun by the way. The camera is very unassuming and discreet and really a pleasure to use once all the custom settings are set. The ISO rocker is brilliant. Paired with some new features in LR5 it's a great little camera.

I'm working with Jpegs and RAW files for the first time in a long time, thanks to a comment from Wouter. Some of the jpegs have a lot of character and don't have any less detail than the RAW. There are no real issues. One weird thing happened when I had the camera in macro mode and turned it off, the lens jammed and struggled in and out a few times before finally shutting down correctly. It's not happened since but I'm always a bit scared of it happening again, it didn't make a nice noise when it happened!

Some pics:
London, Oxford Circus


Preston, Orchard Street


Mine loaner GR is boxed up and heading back. I decided to buy the Nikon instead, as I indicated was very likely in an earlier email. It was not due to any deficiency with the GR at all – the Nikon just has a way of dealing with auto-ISO that really frees me up to just read the light and shoot in a way that no other camera has managed before. The most comfortable workflow I'd arrived at with the GR for street work was to just shoot in Aperture priority with manual ISO enabled on the ADJ rocker – this was exactly the way I'd shot forever with the GRD3 and the GXR-28 and if there hadn't been another option, I'd have used the GR happily and sung its praises to anyone who'd listen. The Nikon is slightly less wonderful in a couple of ways (feel in hand and snap focus being the main things, but its good enough in those areas), but its auto-ISO setup allows me to set the camera to automate the whole ISO / shutter speed relationship and I know it will handle it in the same way I'd handle it if I was doing ISO manually.

And its just something that frees my head that much more from the exposure details and I can just work the exposure comp control as my position relative to the light changes and let the camera handle the rest. And mostly focus on the moment and the framing. The only other thing I have to change on the street is the aperture when I move from good light into low light. I usually shoot at f6.3 or 7.1 in good light and 3.5 in low light. For me, the Nikon gives me a sublime shooting experience where the Ricoh was just very very good. And for more varied work, I slightly preferred the Nikon's signature colors, but this was not a major consideration – I'd have been perfectly comfortable with the Ricoh. Just down to one fairly small detail that became a very large detail in how I shoot with the two cameras…

There are some workarounds under discussion at DPR regarding ways of getting the GR to behave in a similar manner in TaV mode to what I'm doing on the Nikon and it seems promising (a combination of DR controls and Shutter/Aperture Auto Shift), but my experiments indicated it wasn't quite there and would probably need a firmware update to get it where I'd be comfortable with it. There was more inconsistency in the ISO behavior that I didn't understand well enough to get comfortable with it. So, I'm shooting with the Nikon and I'm not feeling any regrets or second thoughts. Its far from my only camera, but a 28mm that fits in a pocket with this level of capability is destined to be my favorite and most used camera. Probably by a large margin.

Both great cameras, plenty of good reasons for any individual shooter to prefer one to the other. I came down with the Nikon, but I'd have been happy enough with the Ricoh if I'd never shot with the Nikon.

Happy shooting everyone…


Interesting observations from all of you. For me, the GR is like my GRD3. I don't notice. I operate it with my thumb without looking at it. I have learned that the exposure metering is very consistent and I am very pleased with that.

I had to make some adjustments to my post processing. And the most important reason for me is how the camera imaging engine is handling moiré in the jpegs. Even with all corrections set to zero it still does strange things which can be most noticeable in brick walls. I moved to RAW only instead now.

The other issue that I still have are the hot pixels at high ISO. Don shared some photographs and those looked a lot, I mean a lot better. So I still believe I have a one off. And I have new issue that can randomly become apparent in good, bright light. And these are some kind of strange small white orbs. Not too long ago Don asked us about it as he saw one in a photograph. I checked his image too and it looked quite similar, although the spots were smaller in my images. I shared my observations and images with Pentax Ricoh and I hope their engineers can fix it with a firmware update.

In all other cases, the camera works reliable and I use it in auto pilot mode.

Thanks to all who participated, it has been an enlighten read! Please make sure you check out their websites:

StreetshooterCraig AtkinsonRay SachsWouter Brandsma

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6 thoughts on “Informal Ricoh GR Review: Discussion with 4 photographers (part 2)”

  1. Pingback: Informal Ricoh GR Review: Discussion with 4 photographers - Olivier "F8" Duong | Documentary & Street Photography

  2. Excellent blog post about how you guys are shooting with the Ricoh GR. I’m happy Ricoh has hit another homerun with this one. Let’s hope their new relationship with Pentax doesn’t affect future firmware upgrades and they’re listening to how others are using their camera!

  3. Indeed an excellent and intelligent blog.
    It is do refreshing to get really useful feedback for experienced shooters.
    So much stuff on the net is just hype and PR.
    Really glad I found f/8’s postings.

  4. Pingback: Informal Ricoh GR Review: Discussion with 4 pho...

  5. Hi everyone . . . . I just loved reading through this thread . . . . so much passion, so much detail . . . . . result, I went out and got a GR yesterday . . . . . .my Canon DSLR’s are taking a break and maybe not coming back if the GR takes their place . . . . .Thank You to you all . . . . .

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