Ricoh GRD IV review graphic

Ultimate 10 year Ricoh GRD IV review: Image samples & more [2023]

If you are looking for a Ricoh GRD IV review, look no further. I’ve been shooting the Ricoh GR Digital IV for the last 10 years and I still shoot it to this day. Here’s everything you know about it.


ricoh grd iv camera
Reasons to buy Cons
+ Small sensor look
+ Legendary handling
+ Great dynamic range
+ Snap focus
– Bad colors at higher ISO
– Getting rarer

A long time ago I’ve been plagued by serious Gear Acquisition Syndrome. I purchased cameras left and right, not even shooting with them nor enjoying them, until I stumbled upon the Ricoh GRD IV.

To be precise, I got the III and then the IV but both are so similar that in my mind it is just a blur.

Ricoh GRD IV sample image 1

I’ll credit this camera for saving my photography because after purchasing it, my camera habit went down to the point that I became a gear minimalist. I just have the bear minimum to shoot professionally.

About 95% of my personal fine art photography over the past 10 years have been made with the Ricoh GRD IV. So yes, this is a special camera. And if you are interested in it, read on.

Ricoh GRD IV sample image 2

10 Years: the ultimate Ricoh GRD IV Review

Before getting into this Ricoh GRD IV review let’s get something straight first:

Ricoh GRD ≠ Ricoh GR.

The Ricoh GRD line was a line of small sensor cameras, while the GR line is one of the smallest APSC sensor cameras you can get. The GRD line is defunct, the GR line continues.

I am sure when Ricoh announces the Ricoh GR IV, confusion will abound. If you want to make sure which is which, the Ricoh GR Digital IV has a little window on the top left corner of the lens.

Ricoh GRD IV sample image 3

Speaking of GR, ages ago, I remember the buzz in the streets. Ricoh was to announce a new camera, the Ricoh GRD V and everyone was excited, including me. But I never upgraded, the GR was simply too different in terms of ergonomics and image feel for me so I stayed with the GRD IV.

I’ve shot this camera everywhere, the images here are mostly shot in in New York, Miami & Haiti. I’ve processed these images with the presets you can find here.

Ricoh GRD IV sample image 4

The best ergonomics on a compact camera

Simply put, the ergonomics of the Ricoh GRD IV are legendary. I’ve had many cameras over the years and none match the GRD IV. And yes I’ve even had the Ricoh GX200, and even the newer GRs and let me tell you that it is not the same thing.

What’s the big deal you ask? I’m no industrial designer but here’s my observations:

  • There’s the weight, it’s perfect. Not too light to feel cheap but not too heavy that you don’t want to carry it.
  • There’s the grip, it’s so good that you are not afraid of dropping the camera.
  • There’s the slant in the front, perfect for your index to rest and be ready to change a setting on the fly.
  • There’s the shutter release button that is pill shaped. While that might not seem much, that shape is probably the best one, you never yearn for something like a soft release because it feels like one.
Ricoh GRD IV sample image 5

I might be the fact that it is elongated, might be because it is slightly taller in the middle, I don’t know, but if you start using any other compact camera, you can feel the difference immediately.

  • Lastly, on top there is a mode dial with a lock. This mode dial has rarely ever budged in a decade because in order to change the mode you need to actively press the little button that is near it.

Hand gymnastics

But hey it’s not about how a camera feels in your hands, it is how you use it. That whole shebang about ergonomics means one thing: It allows you to twist and flip the camera however you want and get the shot.

This is really important for those who want to have the odd angles in street photography, as there’s some shots I would never have gotten with a large DSLR.

Ricoh GRD IV sample image 6
Click here for the presets

Manual controls

When it comes to compacts, they usually omit manual controls. Certain cameras have it but only one dial, making on the fly adjustments pretty hard. The Ricoh GRD IV on the other hand has a dial in the front and a lever in the back. That means you can always have your shutter speed and aperture controls right at your fingertips.

For the ISO you can simply press the lever in the back and then use the front ring to select your ISO from ISO100 to ISO3200, and then press the lever again to implement the changes.

Ricoh GRD IV sample image 7

Combine the perfect grip and the manual controls and that means someone can tie your hands in the back and without ever touching a menu you can change your aperture, shutter speed and ISO easily.


It has an integrated flash. Bid deal indeed. But if you are into flash street photography it’s pretty neat and unlike many more modern compacts (the newer GRs notwithstanding) it still features a hotshoe so that you can attach a flash on there (or a viewfinder, see the accessories)

The small sensor look

Technically speaking, when it comes to cameras you want the large sensors. Cleaner images, more megapixels. But the issue here, is that if -like me- you like your images with grit, the cleanliness and “clinical look” of larger sensors throw you off.

Ricoh GRD IV sample image 8

This is especially true if you do street photography and want that gritty look, it is just hard to get with large sensors. The GRD IV has a 1/1.7″ sensor and when you put this baby in black and white there is a certain signature grit to it that have yet to see in any other camera.

ricoh grd iv sample image 13

Just like under the right conditions there’s a certain look to Leicas, there is also a Ricoh GRD look due to the small sensor. It really comes alive in black and white and there’s something about it that I’ve always tried to replicate but never could in any other pocket camera.

There’s something about the black and whites & colors

Like I said above, there’s something about the black and whites with this camera. There is only one other camera that I had this feeling with, the Epson R-D1. And there’s something about the colors too.

Ricoh GRD IV sample image 11

Even when I try my hardest to have the colors as bland and straight as possible, there’s still something about them that gives a unique rendering. I’ve tough long and hard on what it could be and I settled on the fact that it is probably due to the CCD sensor, because the EPSON RD-1 and the GRD IV both share a CCD sensor while most modern cameras have CMOS sensors.

So yeah, both the black and white and colors have a pretty unique look to them.

The best raw files from a tiny body

If this sounds like a biased Ricoh GRD IV review yet, it because it is. And I am trying real hard not to sound like a fanboy because, well I am! Anyway. Onwards.

If you shoot situations where there’s lots of contrast, chances are your image will have to be over or underexposed and there’s nothing you can do but recover in post.

Ricoh GRD IV sample image 12

Well the GRD IV shoots some killer raw files. Often my heart drops when I see a part of the image clipped only to find that there is still some data left to recover. One of the Achilles heel of digital cameras is that they rarely handle highlights well, sometimes the amount of recovery I can get from the GRD IV raws are outstanding.

Just look at the highlight here:

street photography 31

It has it’s rhythms

Let’s face it the Ricoh GRD IV is old. And one of the issues here is that we retroactive our expectations on older gear, we expect it to shoot like modern cameras with their lightning fast AF and huge FPS.

The Ricoh GRD IV is not the fastest at AF, it takes a moment to lock on the focus, but it has a special mode that bypasses this (see below). As for FPS, well it takes about a fat second / second and a half to fully cycle.

So you will not be able to do street photography where you are shooting seconds worth of images and selecting the best one. Nopes. That is why Ricoh GRD IV street photography is deliberate.

Ricoh GRD IV sample image 9

It has its limitations in terms of speed so before you even shoot, knowing that you have a second or two before you can shoot again forces you to really pay attention. The good thing is, this camera has a rhythm that if you stick with, will make a killer combo in the streets.

You learn to pick up the cues. It’s almost like a sound, I shoot, wait, I know exactly when it will be ready again because of the rythm.

Ricoh GRD IV sample image 14

Bring on the grain

When you ramp up the ISO, not too much of course because this is still a small sensor, it makes the images have even more character. Well, at least in black and whites because when the ISO is pushed in the colors, everything looks digital-retro, like it was shot on a low quality digital camera of the 2000s.

Ricoh GRD IV sample image 19

So I would really not use it too much for color photography as the colors lose their charm when the ISO goes up.

The fast lens

If you don’t like to being the grain, don’t. The Ricoh GRD IV has a f1.9 lens that is a fast puppy. I’ve been in very low light situations and I barely needed ISO400 to shoot. This is also where the small sensor shines if you like lots of depth of field, you get a lot in focus for apertures of f1.9, f2.8, etc.

The Ricoh GRD IV is the camera killer

The Ricoh GRD IV was released in 2011. Don’t think I haven’t tried to get rid of it. I tried, many times. And the irony of it all is, the other cameras are the ones who end up getting the axe. Like my friend Don says (we do this magazine together) the Ricoh GRD IV is the camera killer, and I will have to concur.

Ricoh GRD IV sample image 10

Not even Ricoh offerings can beat it, from the GX200 or GR to the GXR S10. The Panasonic CM1 and LF1 that I love didn’t fill the gap either so after years of trying I gave up trying to find a replacement.

It always feel like I am trying to force myself to get something else while I already have it. So the GRD IV has been by my side for about a decade now and if it dies, I’ll get another one. There just ain’t another choice, I’ve tried too many times to get rid of it and proved unfruitful.

It’s always the same scenario:

  • Get new camera.
  • Not the GRD IV in terms of handling but I do with it
  • I forget the GRD IV
  • I come back to it for a day and shoot
  • The other camera goes to ebay

I don’t know how many times I’ve done this so you can be pretty sure I’ll probably be shooting this for life.

The holy grail of focusing

If there is one thing that street photographers have to deal with that most other genres don’t is focusing. It’s a pretty complicated matter as you have to balance available light, speed and aperture.

So it is always a juggle between automatic, zone and hyperfocal distance focusing. Ricohs have one advantage above any other camera, and that is their full press snap focus feature. To make a long story short, snap focus is simply manual focus with an indicator of how much will be in focus.

Ricoh GRD IV sample image 15

Big deal, right? Well hold on. The magic here is FULL PRESS SNAP. That means your camera can be in fully automatic mode, but if you press the shutter button fully (vs half pressing so that if focuses first, and then fully press to take the shot) you can set the camera to immediately focus to the1, 1.5, 2.5, 5 meters or infinity distance.

That means you always have two focus modes at your disposal. Autofocus (or another mode) AND zone focusing just by either half pressing or fully pressing the shutter release.

Ricoh GRD IV sample image 16

This makes street photography more straightforward. Am I or my subject static? I can simply do autofocus as normal. Am I or my subject moving too fast? Make sure they are at 1m or have enough aperture so that everything is well in focus and full press the button.

Just like if you want that magic hybrid viewfinder you need to go Fuji, only Ricohs have this full press snap feature. And because this is a small sensor camera, you don’t need to have small apertures to have a lot in focus. I can hit everything at f1.9 but again, I’ve been at this quite a while.

Image quality still holds up

I’ve been shooting this baby for 10 years and I can tell you that the 10 megapixels and image quality still hold up. Two caveats. You can forget video because it’s worse than you think (640 x 480 resolution) and if you are into color, it simply isn’t that great when the ISO starts going up.

As for black and whites, if you are looking for grit, this camera has it. If you like clean images, maybe the newer Ricoh GR will fit the bill better.

Ricoh GRD IV street photography

If the 28mm focal length didn’t clue you in, the GRD IV is made for street photography. Heck, Ricoh is one of the only camera manufacturers that unapologetically make cameras for street photographers. And if you want one with small sensor the GRD IV is it. It’s prefect for street and when you shoot nobody pays any attention to you and you lil camera. Check out some Ricoh GRD IV street photography:

Ricoh GRD IV street Photography 1
Ricoh GRD IV street photography example
Ricoh GRD IV street Photography 2
Ricoh GRD IV street Photography 3
Ricoh GRD IV street photography example 2
Ricoh GRD IV street Photography 4
Ricoh GRD IV street Photography 5

Street Photography settings

Here are my Ricoh GRD IV street photography settings. I’ve been using the same for about 10 years and it allows me to focus on the streets and change to snap focus on demand.

Name Value
Mode Manual
AF Mode Multi AF
Snap focus On
Snap focus distance 1m
Image Quality RAW 3:2
Image settings Black and white
Aperture f3.5-f5.6
ISO 100-400
Shutter Speed No lower than 1/125th

For everything else

Photography happens wheter you are ready or not. Hence having a camera in your pocket is a great way never to miss an opportunity. A lot of my best images have been made when I wasn’t explicitly “out there” looking to shoot images.

I’ve made some of the finest photographs of my life with this camera, some that will end up being sold, some will end up as gifts to my kids when they grow up. And no, it is not the same thing as having a phone in your pocket.

Ricoh GRD IV sample image 17

The best camera is not the one that’s with you but the one you love. Because while I like my phone, I hate to use the camera, I just don’t like the way I hold it, the lack of control and whatnot. So I don’t like using it. And those blown highlights are blown out forever.

The GRD IV on the other hand I love using and it helps me create great photographs as I live regular life not because it is simply present, but because I gravitate towards it. Your images get better if you have a camera that you actually WANT to use vs one that is just there.

Ricoh GRD IV sample image 18

What are the cons?

I’ve been tryin real hard in this Ricoh GRD IV review to be balanced in my approach. And you probably didn’t see too many cons. This is because the GRD IV is the best camera but only for the RIGHT person.

I constantly get emails thanking me for how much people like their Ricohs (hear that, Ricoh? Sponsor me!) But I also get a few emails that simply don’t get what the fuss is about.

The only universal con is that this (very rarely) can turn on in your pocket, and that’s it. If you are the kind of person who wants wifi, video, clean images, bokeh and all of that stuff, consider this the bottom of the barell.

But if you do reportage photography, street photography and love gritty images, this is the best camera ever and there is none like it. Like I said way above in this Ricoh GRD IV review, I’ve tried to get rid of it an failed.

Either the handling wasn’t the same, the images didn’t have that je-ne-sais-quoi, or lacked the charm.

Ricoh GRD IV sample image 19


The GL-1 front cap

The Ricoh GL-1 (ebay) is probably the only accessory that is really worth it. Because if the Ricoh has a flaw it is that it occasionally hits something in your pocket and tries to push the lens while in there. This can of course damage the camera. This cap presses a few connections in the front and the camera will never turn on while it is there. Quite rare nowadays.

The extension tubes & 21mm

These two attach to the front of the GRD IV and transform the 28mm into an even wider 21mm. The GW-3 is the lens, the GH-3 is the tube. While cool this defeats the pocketability of the Ricoh GRD IV so even tough I had it for a while I sold it because this was extra things to carry and the focal length wasn’t wide enough to justify the hassle. You need the tube for filters however.

The viewfinders

Ricoh made two viewfinders, compatible with all the GRDs and GR, the external viewfinder and mini viewfinder. To be honest I never understood the appeal of this because it hinders the camera going in your pocket, but it does make for a cheap Leica 21/28mm viewfinder if you have one.

Yes I say 21/28 because the larger Ricoh GV-1 (ebay)  has framelines for both while the smaller Ricoh GV-2 (ebay) has only 28mm framelines.

Ricoh GRD IV settings
My first GRD IV

Where to get one?

The Ricoh GRD IV is a cult camera and it only gets more expensive by the day. I remember when Ricoh announced the follow up and then everyone flooded ebay with their cameras and they were cheap back then.

Not anymore, these are pretty sough after nowadays and the price only goes up, because of supply and demand.

There is no more GRD IV being made, they have not been made for probably about a decade so the supply is limited, ergo the prices you get today will be the best prices you will ever get. Get it on ebay.


I hope you’ve enjoyed my Ricoh GRD IV review. I’ve shot it for about 10 years and it is one of the best cameras that I’ve ever used. It is safe to say that if I didn’t shoot professionally all I would use is this.

It is not for everyone, but if you are into gritty black and whites, this is an amazing camera(ebay).

Also if you want the keys to street photography, this course teaches everything I know on the subject from composition to post processing. Click here to check it out.

Be yourself, stay focused and keep on shooting.

64 thoughts on “Ultimate 10 year Ricoh GRD IV review: Image samples & more [2023]”

      1. I think there is. While the GR gave awesome B&Ws, the color was so-so. The GR II, imho, gives better color, but they are too crisp for me. And the B&W don’t have that little magic in them that I loved in the GR. Call me crazy, but I don’t think they render similarly. If sensor is the same as most people say, may be the ACR conversion is not the same, as suggested by Ming Thein when I asked him. So basically, I prefer the GR, first iteration

        1. Ok. I´ve been thinking of using the GR for color, but I´m not completetly convinced I like the rendering, allthough it´s far better than on the GRD4. The b&w high contrast jpgs are great on especially the GRD4. For color, I don´t hesitate to use my Samsung cell. Thanks, Talia and Mike.

        2. Ricoh changed the color matrix in the DNG with firmware 2.0 (see the release notes) so the early production models (that Ming Thein had and anyone who didn’t update the firmware has) do have slightly different color from the GR2.

          But if you have 2.0 or later firmware for the GR1 then the GR1 and GR2 have the same color matrix and the same (Sony) sensor. They have the same color. I don’t even think they changed the metering.

          The two big changes between the GRD3 and GRD4 were: metering and the PDAF AF. The change in metering was to give extra headroom in the 4 (and so “bumping” the ISO up a stop — with cries of “cheating” — there was no cheating you get to define ISO in many ways). These two cameras had the same Sony CCD sensor just used slightly differently. You’re less likely to blow the highlights on the GRD4.

          I think we might expect a 24Mpx GR3 at Photokina later this year using the latest Sony sensor but the small sensor GRD are different from the later cameras. That’s why people hold onto them. It’s a shame they break though.

  1. I adore the grd series.
    I started with the grd and now use the grd iii
    With the first it was my only camera for years till it died
    I put all my others away recently and am concentrating on the grd iii now, so your article is quite timely!

  2. To Elaborate on my last comment.
    For several years I used on the GRD , it was a glorious time and I loved the results and learned a lot.
    Then it died and I went to DSLR’s and finally Mirrorless.
    But, I rather lost the Fun of Photography.
    A few years ago I got the GRD III on Amazon and loved shooting with it.
    Then, I was seduced by buying new toys; lens and bodies.
    Lately I picked up the GRD III again, and it was as if my hand were complete.

  3. bought a GRD IV about a year ago, greatly influenced by your opinions. It is a superb camera. I use a Pentax K-5 for work, but the little Ricoh for everything else. Love that I can set it to B/W, see the image in B/W… and then, shooting RAW, go to color if I want later. It fits in my shirt pocket and is always ready!
    And I don’t seem to need a larger sensor… Lightroom goes a long way towards helping with shadows… and, when not at work, I’m not looking so much for a technically perfect image as for a compelling one.
    Didn’t know it had a movie mode, never had a reason to use it. But was at a concert tonight, took a few pix of the performers, then thought I’d take a video but couldn’t find a movie button… so ended up using a smartphone for that.
    Oliver, thanks again for interesting me in the GRD IV. Love it!

  4. I fluctuate between my GRD 4 and my GXR. Both are my black and white cameras, I use Fuji X100t for colour now. For use ability you can’t beat the Ricoh cameras. I still have a Ricoh 500G which I bought second hand in 1975 and it probably still works. Thanks for your post and website. I enjoy it a lot.
    Regards Jeff

  5. I’ve owned GRDs 1, 3 and now 4. I loved using them, but stupidly sold the 1 and 3 to a shop. It’s your enthusiasm that inspired me to get a 4…and for that I thank you.

  6. Dear Olivier. Do you remember me? You made 2 articles to your magazine some time ago. One of them referred to my analysis on the Canon G15. As a curiosity, before buying this camera, I wanted to purchase the Ricoh GRD IV. I noticed they don’t sell this camera in Brazil, which was a disappointment to me. But now reading your article, again the willingness to work with this camera and I still can’t get one. If you ever want to dispose of your old “friend” and make a donation to a friend, I’m applying for. A big hug.

    Helio Tomita

  7. After many years of reading about the Ricoh and articles here, I finally bought a GRDIV in great condition with a hood, which I am not using but good to have. I started with a K1000 years ago and I focused on composition and always enjoyed the grain of black and white. I grew up in the 70s and 80s and for me the grain of black and white has meaning and is an element of the composition. In 1999 I got a little olympus point and shoot digital for more money than I could afford back then but I loved it. It was a companion that I could take photos with up close or on the street. It had shutter lag and that was annoying but I loved the way the color images looked and even still, the photos I took remain some of my favorites. It took a tumble down some hardwood steps and never focused again so that one went were old cameras go.

    After that and with some extra money, I bought into a Canon 20D and enjoyed it very much although it was large and lent itself to more purposeful photos. The 20D taught me about portraits since I was shooting a 50 1.4 on a crop body. One day at a flea market I found a Praktica with a 58mm biotar attached. I bought it for nothing and enjoyed shooting that old lens on the 20D. That led me to the NEX, A7r and adapting old lenses which is a rabbit hole I wish I never entered. I am convinced that fixed lenses (or single prime) and shooting close to squares allow for the most freedom and creative expression when composing documentary or reportage style. 3:2 is a bit to tall in portrait. 4:3, 6:7, 6:6 are what I like to start with. GRDIV, again satisfies.

    On the film front, the K1000 sat in a box and I proceeded to invest in many cameras from Leica and lenses to Mamiya 7II and TLRs. As my collection increased, my satisfaction with my portfolio decreased. the time between awesome photos expanded to months because I was shooting less. I got a Iphone 4s and for 2 years, it seemed all my photos were coming from it. I enjoyed making photos again because they were impulsive, and composition skills grew quickly with the Iphone. Handling and file flexibility was the disappointment with the Iphone. In the end I realized that all I needed was a better Olympus PS that I had in 1999. So now I have the GRDIV and it is great.

    I looked at the GRII and it is a fine camera but I don’t think it is even the same kind of tool as the GRDIV. I see the GRDIV as a companion. A sketchbook with potential. The potential to create perfection within bounds or enjoy the imperfection of the sketch. For me, It satisfies.

    So now, In spite of all the gear I own and will likely sell off slowly, I take the GRD!V in my pocket every day and if I have a bag, I will bring a DP2s for film like color. No one ever pays me for my photos and I wouldn’t want them to. The joy of capture is satisfied with simple tools. Thanks, Merci and Cam On, Olivier for reminding me of the joy of small sensors at their pinnacle. The GRDIV is likely the end of an era to which we will not likely return.

    Instagram @namredlawt

  8. I’m super excited to find another fan. I love my GRD IV. It just broke so I was doing a bunch of research about the GR. After reading your article and another’s, I’m sticking with the GRD IV. I feel like I still haven’t got the most out of yet and I’ve had it for YEARS. It is a perfect street camera. I just got the holster for it and it is beautiful. Quick draw, silent, one handed street photography.

    I’m looking for another camera but not due to any lacking with the GRD IV. I want to play with a different shooting experience, like with an articulated viewfinder.

  9. What a great article – I really identified with you passion. But I have to admit being a heretic and a solid Ricoh GR owner. Like you I am passionate about its capabilities and have got into trouble in some camera forums by stating that every photographer should own a GR. The GR is definitely the best camera I have ever owned. I own ‘better’ cameras (a Leica Q, for example) and I have owned optically superior cameras (a Hasselblad SWC, for example). But a camera is also about usability and dependability. My GR is by the most usable and dependable camera I have owned and I sense you feel the same about the GRD. I don’t just use it for street, I use it for pretty much anything largely because the 16mp sensor without AA filter is just astounding. Anyway, I do identify with your love for your GRD and recognise the same symptoms that I also suffer from with respect to my GR. I am so inspired by your article I think I’ll put up an article at my website about my passion for the GR. Thanks again.

  10. Wow it is great to see so much love for this camera. I own one too and love mine so much but i get distracted at times. I get pulled into the marketing hype and consumer crap that is such a part of photography these days. I have been under stress lately and with that comes some retail therapy and the chance to buy the next best thing. This time around I’m putting off getting a GH4 and deciding whether I should drop the idea of a 6D altogether.

    I know the camera is only a tool and in the right hands the camera itself is negligible. The most important part of the camera is the 6 inches behind it! Your post inspired me to take out the Ricoh and smile because it is all i need. It was in the bottom of my bag, wrapped in a little Travelblue wallet covered with apples and bananas and all sorts of junk. I turned it on and although i have not used it in weeks the battery is still full and ready to shoot.

    This is my second GRDIV, it has a screw missing bottom left side and top right side but it doesn’t need material things like screws! It’s held together with some strange sort of magic.

  11. I loved my GRD iv too. I had it from new in 2013 until Sept 2015. Unfortunately dust appeared on the sensor ruining shots. Really expensive to fix (over £250) so therefore not viable and atrocious after sales service from Ricoh UK. I was bitterly disappointed because as I said I loved this camera. Its size and IQ were perfect for my needs, the functionality and ergonomics are superb.Over a year later I still miss it and nothing new on the market comes close. I’ve toyed with the idea of replacing it with a GRii but don’t trust Ricoh any more and the extra size really bugs me. The Fuji X70 also keeps attracting my attention but the grip is pants and again the size is just too big.
    I used to use mine as a walk around camera. I found it great for night shots on a tripod and would carry it instead of a wide angle lens when taking a dslr out. Every year I produce a callender for family Xmas presents and a large number of pictures from the GRD iv would appear on it! I eventually settled on a Pentax Q as a replacement with the 8.5mm prime lens, and I’ve come to love this one too, but you can’t fit it into your trouser pocket. I still miss the Ricoh!

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  13. I, too, am a huge GRD IV fan, having used one as my primary daily walkaround camera since August 2013, when I bought one new in Japan. It was right at the time that the new GR was causing the price of the GRD IV to plummet, so I lucked out.

    I should also say that I am in general a Ricoh fan, with a GXR (w/ all modules except the A12-28 and A12-M) and GX200 in the collection. But I totally agree that there is a certain magic about the GRD IV, and have been impressed with it from day one.

    Attached is a shot from day one.

  14. Hi Oliver 🙂

    I stumbled into this excellently written review while taking a peek at some used deals on KEH. Curious, I wanted to see if anyone else was using the GRD IV like myself. I like you, feel the IV is a serious classic and has a “soul” unlike many cameras. Having used SO many, and reviewed SO many, the IV is still one of my all time favorites (top 5 in fact). This was a pleasant read, so thank you! (Sorry I’m a year late). I did a piece on it myself back in 2015, and even before that on website I used to run that I ended up shutting down. Cheers to you!

    Here is the last piece, if interested:

  15. Great article, Oliver. After reading it, now I wanted to own one. Since GRD IV is no longer in the market, what is your opinion about the current GR II?

  16. Johnny Cuijpers


    Thanks for this lyric camera-epos.
    I am a ex-pro photographer, still doing my “thing”.
    Use now for almost a decade a Ricoh, first a GX100, then/now a GX200.
    Was looking for buying the new GR II, but by a misunderstanding
    in a shop in Italy, they proposed my a ‘nos’ GRD IV, coming from a old shelf anywhere in the corner of the shop.
    Price was so low (160€/new-in-the-box, zero clicks) that I couldnt resist this offer.

    Back home I am realising that this is the camera I always wanted, and after reading your review, 100% sure that I will keep this jewel, and skip the new GR II for at least 10 years or so…

    So, thanks again,
    You’ve been very inspirational to me!


    Bree, Belgium.

  17. I share the same sentiment as you regarding the GRD series. I had the III for 5 years and it’s finally on it’s way out and I’m devastated. My only gripe is that I wish that there was better sealing on them. It collects dust and other grime like crazy.

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  20. I bought a GRD 4…
    …because of you 😀 (I mean really, you inspired me into buying this camera).
    I found a brand new one, boxed.. for 150€.
    Thousands of shots later, I’m in love with this piece of gear. It’s just a fantastic camera.
    I have APS-C mirroless systems with prime lenses, I had Canon xxD Eos etc but this little Ricoh is by *far* my favorite.
    I just…. like… pictures I get from it.
    So : thank you very much!!!!

  21. My apologies for continuing this four year old thread, but I think I got my GRD IV in the same period, for a bit less than 300 euro. At the same time I owned a Fuji X100 (currently my only camera). The usage was very different because I never use the X100’s display. At first the display and the lack of exposure and aperture controls annoyed me. After experimenting with the snap focus feature I started using this camera more, with the display turned off.

    The possibility of adding standard batteries is a great design choice in case that you run out of battery life in a city.
    I pushed it off the table half a year ago, and it would no longer turn on. Unfortunately the repair center in Europe (Ireland and Germany) confirmed that certain parts are no longer available.

    Perhaps I’ll find the same model for a cheaper price, but it did surprise me that such a fall would damage the device.

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  29. Thanks, Olivier, for reuniting me with a camera I’d loved, let-go of, and now – love again, after eight years. Not all nostalgia is rose-tinted, it seems. Some of it is actually as real as now. Great post and superb frames.

  30. I’ve used a GR and GR II. The GR was better in my judgment but it fell out of my pocket and got run over by a car. Thinking of buying GR IV in white. Can it deliver in color? Why do many shooters prefer this model over the larger-sensor GR? What about GRIII?

  31. 1919 and I’ve just read your enthusiastic article after reading Jean Perenet on You and he say basically the same thing, and it seems this might be a camera worth hunting down antique – not least for the really atmospheric b&w images!

  32. Just got my GRD4 am ecstatic, couple months back bought the gr2, also hv 4 Leica X ‘s but they been inactive since GR2, I intend to buy another GRD4 end of month or beginning of next. Just so much fun, was thinking of 111 but think I pass, even tho it is closer in size to 4 than is to the 2. Can’t figure out why 111 doesn’t have flash.

  33. Hello

    4 years later the RICOH GR III Street Kit is announced and my GR DIGITAL III is just working, but sometimes i am thinkung about the APSC sensor version.

    Time will tell and we will see.

    But what i really, really mis is a version of the original GT-1 Telekonverter for the GRD I/II cameras.

    40mm are the very, very best for all day photography i think and it remember me to the old day of my analog ROLLEI 35 T with the 40mm Tessar Lens.

    Please Ricoh, gibe the optical 40mm Converter a second try!


    Take care and stay safe


  34. I just bought my Ricoh GRD IV back! Sold it for the GR II, but never had the same feeling with that as with the IV. I love it and I’m so happy to have it back and will not sell it again. Just over 7000 in shutter count, I hope it will give me many years to go. Wonder about lifespan/actuations but guess it depends on your luck. I have made books with these cameras, the III&IV, I have had exhibitions with A2 sized prints looking great. A life companion:)

  35. I bought one recently, but sold it back. I also have a GRD I and I compared it. The GRD one has much better sharpness and nicer grain in B&W

  36. Great article, needless to say. I have two GRDIVs, a white and a black one.
    I have to suggest a correction: The wide angle lens for the GRDIV is the GW-2 model with the GH-2 adapter. The GW-3 is for the GR/GR2 APS-C sensor cameras.
    You can corroborate this on Ricoh’s official GRDIV page.

  37. 2023 now. Bought one about a month ago for 100 bucks. Great fun, artsy low-fi shots, and even my 4yo kid plays around with it (it is more simple and more intuitive than all those 50 bucks kids’ cameras). I do really hope the next GR IV will get the built-in flash back. Just one alert: the hi contrast BW is far worst that the GRII’s one. Try these Settings: positive film simulation, auto iso (max 3200), aperture priority, weak vignetting. That’s it.

  38. Just bought a GRD IV thanks to this great article. It has a focus issue: every pic in all kinds of focus is blurry (super blurry in green cam mode, less so in A/PS).

    When I half-press, I can see the green-frames confirmation and everything looks crystal clear. But when I fully press to take the pic, the result is blurry.

    All kinds of snap focus create blurry photos

    Macro & close-up shots are perfect though (> is Snap the culprit that messes up regular focus? It seems that theres no way to disable Snap in non-macro mode?
    – If I use that macro-for-distance workaround, will it hurt the camera/lens system? I heard a lot of noise as the macro mode is trying to focus on the faraway object.


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