[I] love gear like everybody else, but I am before anything an Image Maker. The bulk of my work (And I still use it for weddings!) was done with either a Ricoh GRD III or Ricoh GRD IV, so what Leica M type 240 is to the Leica fan, the GRD V is to me. Jump in for toughts, full rez samples, my images with the III, IV and GXR 28mm.
The camera killer
When it comes to gear we deal in terms of the inverse square law: The more cameras you have, the less time you will spend with each. My experience with the GRD cameas (Don too!) makes me believe that it is a camera killer. Once you get it, other cameras quickly fall from grace, and it's very hard to dethrone. I've had 4 complete Ricoh GXR systems, they are gone because I got the III. I have a Nex 7 and an Epson RD1, they both do not get as much attention as my GRD IV. When I am at weddings I have to force myself to put the IV back in my pocket, or else I would shoot it completely with it.
There is reason to keep your APSC camera with the GRD IV, they are different sensor sizes, but with the GRD V, I know many that will sell their kit after getting their GRD V. If only there was a GRD with a Leica Tri-Elmarit type lens! I would drop everything in a heartbeat. I still want to get a GRD II because of that 40mm lens…oh well!
Value / Price
I would really like to congratulate Ricoh, they are the first to release the smallest APSC sensor camera with the smallest price: $799. I'm flabbergasted. At the time of writing the Nikon A is $1099, the Fuji X100 about the same, the Fuji X100s is $1499. The GRD V is $799. I never expected this, APSC in small bodies are still fresh and new, but Ricoh found a way to give you so much value for such a low price. I know for a fact that lots of cameras will have price cuts! The price is amazingly low, if you look at my previous post, I expected $1200+. I remember when the GXR had shortages when the M mount came out, my bet is the GRD is going to sell like hotcakes at this price point and at the same time be in the public eye. Up to the GRD IV, GRD cameras were alone in their segment, you will only learn about them if you search.
But with Fuji putting the X100s out there and Nikon with the A, what I think will happen is that people will be exposed to the GRD IV as a cheaper alternative, boosting Ricoh's popularity. I think that “effect” button on the GRD V is prepping for a broader acceptance. But who cares? A killer camera at an unbelievable price. An offer you can't refuse in my opinion.
These are samples from the Ricoh Japan website. For convenience, here's what I believe shows the power of the sensor:
The GRD V continues the tradition of the lengendary GR Lens….16 Megapixels are perfect for the APSC sized sensor. We won't be able to know what the camera can really do until a photographer gets their hands on one, full size samples are more for pixel peeping than anything. Look at what a GR lens can do at the bottom of this post, and that is on a small sensor.
Mirrorless rumors posted the image above, more HERE
I was wondering how the JPGs would handle a little stretching….out of curiosity I slapped in some of my presets on one. Actually, no not out of curiosity, it's just that if I were in the person's position it would be what I would see. Note that these are JPGs, that means much less information than you would get than a RAW file. Why don't every camera output DNGs (like the GRDs) and make everybody's life easier?
I'm impressed. Tack sharp, exposure was put up, the highlights still hold good. Can't wait for the RAW files!
What can you do with it
A spec sheet does not really mean much to me, and I seriously do not care that much about them. The only thing of interest is the max ISO of the Ricoh GRD V, it's 25600. It really makes up for the slower 2.8 lens. But I am sure that at max ISO's it's pretty much dirt (like any camera). In a nutshell, what the GRD is “Pocket DSLR”. I consider my GRD IV as my pocket DSLR but that's not really true because it's not a large sensor. The GRD V truly is a pocket DSLR, top notch, high quality GR lens, APSC sensor, legendary ergonomics and you can slip it in your jean pocket. By the way, the handling of all the Ricoh GRD is simply the best. When you hold it you know it means business, it also makes other point and shoot type cameras feel like toys.
What the GRD V does is simply put the power of a DSLR in your pocket. You will never miss a picture because it's always with you in your pocket. You will be able to bokeh with it because it's a large sensor. I am eager to see what folks who shoot with a DSLR and a wide angle will think of the GRD V (See Christophe's comment in my previous post). Don't be too afraid of the 28mm, I used to be the 50mm kind of guy, but the Ricoh made me used to 28mm field of view. Now I'd say I am more of a 28-35 guy.
Previous work with the previous cameras
I don't have the Ricoh GRD V, but I can tell you what to expect, having lots of experience with the III, IV and GXR 28mm.
Ricoh GXR 28mm:
Ricoh GRD III:
Ricoh GRD IV:
Am I exited about the new Ricoh GRD V? You bet! Am I going to get it? Maybe 🙂
There is more to photography than cameras
Once you get a Ricoh GR, what then? Cameras are good but in and of themselves they are unfulfilling, it's like having a piano and not using it. Get Inspired Eye, a digital magazine all about photography, it will help you develop yourself as a photographer by being inspired, and by teaching you a thing or two. Like many readers said “It makes me want to go out and shoot”. You can get your risk free trial on the website.