Introducing the Ricoh GRD V


[M]ost of you know that I am a hardcore Ricoh GRD IV user. Most of the photographs on this website were made with the III or the IV, but now Ricoh just announced the Ricoh GRD V. Jump in for a presentation video and some thoughts.


First of all, WOW. It appears to be the same size of all the GRDs yet have a APSC sensor in it. This is an incredible piece of technology! The lens is a good old trusty 28mm 2.8. It's a huge step back from the 1.9 of the previous GRD but having that fast of a lens on an APSC sensor would ramp up the price like crazy.

Comparing apple and oranges
This is called the GRD V, but comparing the GRD V with the GRD IV would be comparing apples and oranges. They are different cameras, and I know many will actually own two GRD cameras: One the GRD V and the other the GRD IV or III. The GRD V is an APSC camera while the previous versions are small sensor cameras, and you cannot compare the two, just like you cannot compare full frame with Large format.

Snap Focus
I'm an extremely fast photographer, I move really quickly. I did not enjoy snap focus on my Ricoh GXR one bit. The reason is that the GRD is a small sensor, and it gives you a larger depth of field at smaller apertures than larger sensors. To achieve what the GRD did, I really had to push my ISO up when I was in the streets. Maybe I just have to shoot less like a Ninja and more like a regular person. Or maybe am I too used to snap focus on a small sensor?

The price is rumored to be at $800. I don't think that will be the case. The rival cameras would be the Fuji X100 and the Nikon A. Both cameras are in the 4 figures. GRD cameras have always been premium priced when compared to other similar sized cameras, and i think this will be the same for the APSC camera. Plus APSC sized sensor in a small body kind of technology is way too fresh to be out for $800. I'm seeing more in the ballpark of $1200 – $1300.

Note: Price is confirmed to be $800

GR Lens
What the heck is a GR lens? In one word: Legendary. Ever since the Ricoh GR cameras the lens has been very well received as extremely sharp. There is one Leica M lens that is still very sought after called the Ricoh GR 28mm f/2.8. I'm not going to say it's the same lens in the GRD V, but you bet it's the same people behind the original GR and the M lens that are behind the new GRD V's lens. What does all that mean? One killer lens from Ricoh as always. Check out the bottom of this post.

The game has changed
The GRD line will never be the same again. This is on of the smallest APSC sensor cameras AND it's a GRD. With the high quality of the GRD IV camera you can bet that this is one killer of a camera without even touching it. It's not fanboyism  but pure trust of the GR name. The GRD IV is the perfect camera for me, and I always wondered how you could top it off. I think the announcer said right: Only a GR can beat a GR.

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19 thoughts on “Introducing the Ricoh GRD V”

  1. Hi Olivier,

    Thank you for the news.

    GRD with APSC? Interesting but why it has to carry a APS-C sensor?
    I have a mixed feeling about it. I know GRD is a good camera but with my
    experience with 5D, 5DII and 5DIII, a compact is more difficult for me
    to handle. (simply because my experience in Street Photography is still limited)

    In terms of sensor size and from image quality perspective, I don’t see much difference between four thirds and APSC (since E-M5 was launched) *Considering its cost* I would choose E-PL5 as a back up or NEX -7 (or NEX-8?) as main and 5DIII as a back up (I don’t explain as to why so here)
    It does not have to have as many as 24M pixels (NEX-7). I think pixel pitch is more important (rather than the number of pixels) to improve image qualities at high ISO. So I guess I will stay with GRD-IV.

    Best regards


    1. Well the point and shoot market is dying because of smartphones. Plus, phone manufactures are really pushing the cameras in their phones with more megapixels, more camera like handling, etc.
      So Ricoh has to innovate.

      Well I really see a lot of difference between APSC and Mu43 🙂 And I think large cameras are more difficult to handle 🙂

      It’s going to be a great camera, I would love to get my hands on one, at least to review or try it.

      1. Well, I know you chose NEX-7 rather than E-M5 so I think I knew your comment : )
        If I were to choose the latest model of low end EOS (here it’s called Kiss X7. Canon have a different product name in the west) or E-M5 I may choose EOS, but otherwise I would think it depends on which APSC camera you compare with a 4/3. I am happy with the combination of E-M5 and 5DIII. I think Ricoh decided to use APSC because APSC sensor became cheaper and wanted to go back to the USD1000 product segment.

        1. It’s going to sell like hotcakes at it appears to be $799. If it is, it will be the cheapest on the market and will definitely make the sales of similar cameras much slower

  2. i wonder how the gritty bw photos will turn out on this new sensor? smoother and less GR feeling???
    the slower lens is sad, but i understand.

    1. The slower lens is a bummer, but having 1.8 on such small body and lage sensor would make this camera so much more expensive… I think it will turn out fine with the gritty stuff because ppl have been doing it on FF cameras since forever. They would just have to push the sliders a bit more…

      But there is still a small sensor feel that would be hard to simulate tough…

      1. It’s probably best to think of this as a new camera and not an upgraded GRD4. It’s like moving to a different sensor format. I don’t care what features it has or doesn’t have ….. I’ll get one right away.
        No matter how it performs, I’ll still keep my GRD4………..

  3. Christophe Debon

    Olivier, would that be your recommendation for a fast-wideangle-snapshot-light-camera ? I am very happy with my gear (5DIII +24mm) but I find this gear somewhat heavy sometimes…

    1. It would Totally replace your gear. The only thing is that it’s APSC, not FF like the 5D. There is not much difference between 24 and 28mm. I can tell you that having a small camera is the best thing ever, you do not look like a photographer at all and people do not feel threatened by the small camera. I would rent it first if I were you 🙂

        1. In my opinion the GRD is the type of camera that makes you abandon others. I had 4 Ricoh GXRs and I sold them all because I was using the GRD only

  4. I really hope it has snap focus too! A shame there is no dedicated af-window for the hybrid focus. The auto snap mode on the GRD IV is imo THE killer feature…

    1. It is the feature. I don’t even take time to focus anymore, I’m so used to snap focusing. I personally am not a big fan of snap on a APSC sensor, but my views might change 🙂

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  6. Thanks for this post. GRD V may well be one of my future cameras. Could give nice competition for Fuji X100S.

  7. Pingback: The Game has changed: Ricoh GRD V - F8 Photography | Fort Lauderdale Documentary | Wedding Photojournalism

  8. Great write up! I’m glad to hear your. comments about the gr. Thinking of getting the GR II. How does it shoot indoors with some movements without flash?

    I’m coming from the LX7, so I’m used to a 24mm. Glad to hear it won’t be too significant. I can always get the 21mm adapter but the pt of this camera would be to put in my pocket.

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