First things first I would like to apologize for the title. There is no such thing as the best camera, nor the best settings. There's arguably a group of the best cameras and the best settings but not everyone will agree on a single one (hence a group!). These are my best Ricoh GRD IV settings for pretty much everything I do. I will present mine and will go and collect other shooters's best settings and the rationale behind them.
My Ricoh GRD IV Settings
When it comes to gear I only want one thing: Simplicity and accessibility of the trinity. Hear by trinity Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO. Some folks make full use of their “MY” mode but my minimalism forces me not to increase my options when it's not needed: I only use general settings. If I use general settings, they will propagate to all the modes (M,A,S, etc) besides the My modes. If you change the settings in “My” mode only, they are only contained within that mode. The way I have it set up is basically to cut all the fluff and have only the basic things at hand.
Picture quality: 3:2 Raw
I always shoot Raw, why would you want the most data that you can have? 3:2 is much less square than 4:3 but harder to balance.
Focus: Spot AF
If it's Multi AF, the camera will choose what to focus on, namely the thing in front. I don't want it to have that kind of control so focus where I want you to focus.
Snap Focus distance: 1m
I like it at one meter, I like to get close with my subjects.
Full Press Snap: On
That's the magic of the Ricoh. I put it on because I want to have the option of simply pressing the shutter release button and have it focus at one meter (previous setting). If I half press it's simply going to focus on the spot I told it to (2nd setting above).
Pre AF: On
Prefocuses before you press the shutter release, probably saves a half of a second or so. It safeguards the images if you have to do a hail Mary shot or something.
Exposure Metering: Multi
I like spot metering better, but when in a changing situation like the streets, it can easily be thrown off, so I rely on the camera weighing on the whole frame to judge what the correct exposure should be. It's a very accurate meter in my opinion.
Image Setting: B&W (TE)
This has to do with preference, I put it as close as I want to the final print because it's going to appear live on the screen. I put effect: Sepia, Vividness: 1, Contrast: 9, sharpness:9
Adj Lever Settings
These are settings that pop up if you press the little dial in the back, you can set up up to 5 different settings to go there. I remove everything and only have ISO and Flash amount. less settings to go through….
Zoom button: Exposure Compensation
Does not work on M mode because it's manual, but I set it up in case i want to be in A mode or other automatic mode. I have no problem with the camera shotting the way it should shoot but I need a button to give me under or over exposure on demand. The zoom button is pretty much an avoid because it basically crops the picture in camera, hardly a “zoom”.
M Mode setting: Setting 2
That puts the Shutter speed control in front and the aperture in the back jog. The aperture pretty much stays the same for me, so I really only change the shutter speed. I want the front dial because it's a smoother operation for the most changed setting.
ISO Step settinmgs: 1/3 EV
Makes the ISO increase or decreased in 1/3 of a stop increments
ISO Auto High Settings: 800, Auto
When in auto ISO mode, maximum not to go over is ISO 800
Volume Settings: Off
You can be a Ninja, why mess it up with bleeps?
LCD Confirmation time: 0.5
Gives me a quick preview for 0.5 seconds after a shot. Good enough to know if you have the shot while still focused on shooting.
It might be too much for you to do it all alone, so how about I let you download my Ricoh GRD IV settings?
How to download my settings:
My settings are to be for the whole camera, because that's how I have it set up, but in case you just want to load them into a My setting dial, I set it up at Aperture Priority. I would say to load it in into a My setting, play with it, change it and propagate it into the whole camera.
For a My dial: Recall my settings>Card>choose the My box and load it
For Camera propagation: Edit my settings>Card and load it
Download here. Simply extract the ZIP file to the Root of your SD Card. I am not responsible for overwritten settings or anything or the like.
Ricoh GRD IV Settings conclusion
There you have it, my best settings for the Ricoh GRD IV. I've spent years with this camera, and I still pretty much use the same ones, so they have stood the stand of time. What are your favorite settings?
Once you are ready…
Once you have your settings down, it's time to hit the streets. Check out my free guide on street photography, or the complete step-by-step street photography course. You might also like our street photography magazine and presets.