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Wednesday, 17 April 2013

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The release of all these cameras that appear highly desirable at first sight but don't have a built-in viewfinder (or in many cases even the ability to attach an EVF) is saving me an absolute fortune. I just hope Olympus don't release a PEN with a viewfinder...

There is an adapter that takes it to 21mm-e.

As the former owner of a GX100 I can say that this body is by far the most comfortable compact I've held (I have large hands).

As far as I'm aware there are no 28mm-e primes for APS-C DSLRs(and the wide angle zooms are huge), so carrying one of these as a "28mm lens" may work for some people. It should work better than using a small-sensor compact for this purpose because the images will have a look much like those from a DSLR.

I loved my Caplio GX 100 and just with this came with 35 mm and/or 43mm equivalent lenses.

WANT!

Seriously i want this more than any other camera on the market out there. I've had my GRD since 2006 and it still gets regular use, so a larger-format version that's (based on measurements I've seen) not much bigger than the small-sensor GRD would be the ideal 'take everywhere' camera for me.

(Now if I only had six hundred quid going spare right now...!)

I'm not if this means anything to a user vulgaris of today, but I found it really refreshing to read Pentax Ricoh's Policy (?!) that defines the GR a camera as it is:

– We don’t compete in a numbers game using catalog specs
“The World’s Best” is a naive temptation for manufacturers. However, we believe that in itself is meaningless. We know that it's details which cannot be expressed by specifications are important.

– We don’t include functions just because they are popular
We don’t chase easy trends. “Is this right for the GR?” This is the only standard we base decisions on, always asking this question because we want to create new value.

– We won’t use a design simply to stand out
Only a form that fits the function, and designs that will stand the test of time as a camera will remain. We aim for design that cannot be noticed, design that feels as if it has always been there.

– We won’t produce simple model changes
The most important thing is how long the camera will be used. For us, each and every person who buys a GR will always be important.

– Never lose the ability to challenge or make a proposal
The only camera that can beat a GR is another GR. We want to always continue trying out new plans and proposals. Always exceed users’ expectations. We believe that is the GR’s role.

http://www.pentax.jp/english/products/gr_special/#9

The pentax influence strikes again with more 'me too' mediocrity slightly cheaper..... How about a touch of innovation?...how about an interchangeable lens version with a viewfinder?

........I bet they would sell loads of these to Jap schoolgirls if they offered 27 different colours......

Hi Mike
We all get wrapped up in the march forward but recently I dug out my Ricoh GX 100. I had previously had a GR but wanted the flexibility of a zoom for a carry everywhere camera so swapped to the GX100 with the first ever extra EVF which is dim but works.
I was amazed at the quality of the images which reminded me of 400ISO colour neg film and the beautiful colours.
DURABILITY ?...
I dropped the GX into a dog bowl full of water, opend the battery compartment poured out the water, took out the SD card put everything on top of a radiator and over 6 years later it still produces beautiful images.
If the new GR is as good with its timescale improvements it should be a winner.
Ricoh is a secret that many people know but few have benefited from.

David

A new GR! An advanced point-and-shoot with Nex 6 capabilities. Wow! This is certainly one upgrade I'm looking forward to. Is a TOP GR review in the offing?

You had the world beat here, Mike (at least for the likes of me who go to TOP for camera news). No wonder the wee hour time stamp. I looked up Ricoh Global hoping to find the new GR's complete specifications. No luck. You scooped them too. I then went to dpreview and they had it (their preview was posted at 05:01 GMT or 50 minutes earlier than yours).

I was looking for something to damp my upgrade fever and found one: the new GR has no IBIS! Shame. Its 28 mm-e fixed lens is also less bright at f/2.8 vs. the GRD IV's f/1.9.

On the positive side, Ricoh-Pentax has joined the bandwagon. The new GR now has face recognition, wi-fi capability (via Eye-Fi card), and ISO 25600 which, together with its APS-C sensor, should make up for its slower lens. (Before its merger with Pentax, Ricoh marched to a different drummer.)

Thankfully, the new GR retains the DNA of four generations of GRD compacts, and then some: a customizable, button driven UI which has gained even more buttons (e.g., AEL/AFL toggle); standard hot shoe (which ought to accept the GRD IV's OVF); high-res TFT LCD (backlit?); and a tough magnesium alloy body with a sticky grip. On the software side: hybrid AF, snap focus, time lapse, etc. The well-organized menu typical of Ricoh is now also customizable, in a quick display menu like the GXR's.

Moreover, the new GR inherited the TAv (Shutter+Aperture priority) mode from Pentax. A promising augury of things to come. If only Ricoh-Pentax will come up next with an K-mount lens module for the GXR with IBIS built-in...

Still, the new GR's absent image stabilization gives me pause. Will I still be able to take hand-held photos in low light, worry free with it? (As it is, I almost always use a tripod when using my GXR which has no IS, which is why I find the small-sensor GRD IV liberating.)

Here's an example of a GRD IV photo I took hand-held in low light.

No viewfinder option. DOA.

Why am I interested in this one, and not the Nikon doppelganger?

Neatest surprise in the details is the presence of the neutral density filter.

Patrick

I'm thinking that people don't use cameras any longer. They just trawl websites like TOP and DPReview so they can buy the new version that has something the old one didn't. I find it quite dispiriting, but as has been observed before, cameras are now just electronic consumables, and not a way to be personally expressive, or to document life from a personal perspective. If they were, any old out of date camera would do..

Too wide. I don't want the whole world in each shot. I'd love one of these with a 50 equivalent. Yes, I know it would be a larger package, but that's okay. I sold my X100 because even 35 wasn't a do-everything view for me. So for now I love my new Fuji X20 and that neat zoom. Just wish it had a bigger sensor.

Do you think it's fair to say the Sigma DP1 was the promise and the Ricoh GR is the delivery?

More "detes"? Really? You are sleep-deprived!

The Coolpix A Killer.

If only it had a built-in EVF and the lens were non-retracting...

They already had the technology, yet Pentax decided NOT to include it? in-body-image-stabilization (IBIS) and EVF via the Hot Shoe...
Could have been the best in the market, then again it's Pentax ;-(

Did I miss the first post for the day?
Steve

Yes, I saw this on another site last night. This looks to be an impressive extension of Ricoh's GR line.

Ricoh's consistent body design: the GR1 (1996), GR1s (1997), GR1v (2001) film cameras and GRD III (2009) digital camera

The GRD line has long punched far above its weight class. It's been a popular niche market camera due to its good image quality, its durability, and unique features such as "snap" focus. But against the tsunami of good phone cameras and large-sensor compacts I was wondering if the GRD line was finished. Apparently not yet!

More exciting than I thought, actually.

Having played a tiny bit with Ricoh ergonomics and seeing how often they upgrade firmwares, I suspect this will be a very nice little camera indeed! All that for less than Nikon A. Cool product.

Greetings,
S.

This is great news: I have the original GR and felt it was a superb design screaming out for a better sensor. And finally, finally, finally here it is!

Pak

I looks appealing. If they could offer a 35mm and 50mm version like the Sigma's I'd consider one of those. The samples at DPR look very nice to me. But I'm in your boat. The spring money well is running dry, and if I did have the money I still might get the funky Sigma for $200 more because I still have yet to see a camera do foliage as well. As is, I'll have to be happy with the Canon FTb with 50 1.4 that I found poking out of a box of cameras at St. Vincent's the other day (whoo hoo!).

Meh. Not even an evf? Thanks but no thanks. I've tried that "composing on the screen" thing; I can get better shots from the meniscus lens on a 50 year old Instamatic.

Seriously, I can only use those things on a tripod like it's the ground glass on on of my LF cameras. OTOH, my little & already outdated E-PL1 with it's add on finder is at least useful to me as a camera I can compose on.

Combine that with a fixed 28mm equivalent lens (sorry, I learned on a 50 & the 2 foot zoom. That's just too wide for a walk around lens for me) and the too high of a price tag (cut it to 1/3 of that & you might have something worth buying) and all I can say is I'm definitely not the target market.

No Viewfinder equals No Sale!!!

I don't care how many pixels the lcd has or the
"anti reflection" new tech coating on it.

Camera mfg's take note:
No viewfinder no sale.

And how about a fast, stabilized zoom lens, say 28-90mm (35mm equivalent). I'm sure they could do it for not alot more $$$

Fixed lens, no viewfinder. I find the fascination with these crippled cameras quite perverse. With a VF, maybe.
Roy

For those who find 28mm too wide and want a 35mm version of the GR it's already here: it's the GR!

The 35mm effective crop mode gives in camera crops (12.8Mpx ... a few more than a X100) for both JPEG and DNG images. Yes, the camera outputs a cropped DNG so no cropping in post.

For the "no viewfinder; no sale" folks (like Dean Forbes with whom I'll be drinking beer later today so I can set him straight personally on this issue) the "electronic ground glass" viewfinders really work fine. See my Flickr images. Even for presbyopes.

In fact "electronic ground glass" viewfinders can be a big advantage for street and candid photography (the Ricoh GR and GRD stronghold). If you bring an OVF to your eye your posture says "Photographer!". A compact with a one or two handed pose looking at the LCD is invisible to most folks. There are so many folks with cellphones and tourists with compacts you blend in in an urban environment.

If you really need an OVF Ricoh has two Galilean OVFs for $200 or so. One has 21mm and 28mm frame lines (either for the wide convertor lens that brings back the GR21) or for viewing the scene outside the 28mm frame. The other is a regular 28mm frame line OVF.

For those that think that "pros" must use OVFs check out Daido Moriyama (with what looks like a Nikon S9100 ... "tiny sensor" and JPEGs only ... the horror!) using an "electronic ground glass" to frame his images.

http://youtu.be/foWAs3V_lkg

I wonder if he'll switch back to Ricoh GR. A hunt on You Tube and you'll see him in action with a GR1v in Shinjuku.

There's apparently an OVF available albeit at a steep price... see http://www.ephotozine.com/article/ricoh-gr-first-impressions-preview-21728

Hey Joe B - You just specified the new Fuji X20. I know I do like mine a lot so far. Interior shots at f/2 are surprisingly sharp with minimal vignetting and surprising depth-of-field (smaller sensor). Plus a passable viewfinder.

At he risk of being very geeky ...

The Ricoh GR sensor is probably the same Sony APS-C 16Mpx sensor that's used in the Nikon D7000, D5100, Pentax K-01, and the Fujifilm XPro1**

So the overall performance and Dxomark results should be the same as those cameras i.e. very good.

It looks like this Sony APS-C 16Mpx sensor is turning into a classic (rather like the Sony type 1/1.7 sensor in the GRD3 and GRD4 and G11/G12 and P7000/P7100).

** I've matched the contact pads on the sensor from a teardown video with the K-01: it's the same underlying sensor with a different color filter array. Unfortuntaly the person doing the teardown didn't look for a Sony IMX part number on the back of the sensor.

The "new" Xtrans II sensors in the X100s is probably the same Sony sensor too with some green pixels half-masked to perform PDAF duty.

Compare the layout of gold contacts on the left side of the sensor package: four groups with a given pattern marked 1, 2, 3 and 4.

and the Pentax K-01 sensor from Sony.

You can see along the left side are 6 contact groups but 2 groups of two contacts are not used (no gold wire to the sensor). I think they omitted them in the production version. Omitting those unused contacts the groups match up between the two photos.

You can do a similar thing for the contacts across the top and the bottom (some are omitted too)

Compare these with an image of the GR sensor at imaging-resource.com

http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/ricoh-gr/ZTECH_SENSOR.jpg

It's the same contact layout.

Re: The new GR's VF or lack of it

What the GR definitely doesn't have is an electronic viewfinder. Like the GRD IV, its standard hotshoe has no electronic port, only contacts for an external flash. There's no reason why the GRD IV's optical viewfinder, of which there are two versions, shouldn't fit the new GR. Both are 28 mm. Both OVFs have a 1:1 brightline. I haven't done the math yet but this (1:1 brightline) is somehere between 40 and 50 mm. (Note also that like the GR/D's before it, the GR's hotshoe is aligned with its lens axis.) Zeiss and Voigtlander also have OVFs at or near 28 mm in current production.

Unfortunately, Ricoh-made accessories are notoriously hard to find. You have to source them from Japan or Hong Kong. Maybe Pentax-Ricoh will address this with the former's wider retail network.

Re: the new GR's wide angle of view

For those who are not averse to cropping, this shouldn't be a problem. This is where the new GR's 16 MPx APS-c sensor comes in handy. The GR has a 35mm autocrop feature "for instant setting of a 35mm angle of view in the 35mm format." However this reduces the cropped file's maximum recorded size to "M" (unspecified). I think this is the GR's intermediate file size of 3936 X 2608 at 3:2 or 10.2 MPx.

Uncropped, the GR's maximum file sizes are 4982 X 3264 at 4:3 (16.2 MPx); 4352 X 3264 at 3:2 (14.2 MPx); 3264 X 3264 at 1:1 (10.6 MPx). The GR outperforms the GXR (12 MPx max) and the GRD IV (10 MPx).

In my experience with the GRD IV, unless you have the camera level and plumb, cropping is inevitable because it is tilt sensitive. The GRD IV has a two-axis electronic level which is carried on to the GR. When shooting buildings (or forest trees with straight boles) at an angle, perspective correction is almost always called for. This (skew correction) can be done in-camera (when detected), or with Lightroom's lens correction in post. In both cases trimming ("constrained crop") is inevitable.

The GR has a 3:2 native sensor (just like a DSLR).

The image sizes for 3:2 are: 4928×3264 (L) or 3936×2608 (M)

So the 35mm equivalent crop mode gives around 10Mpx images (not 12.8Mpx as I said before) as compared to the 16.2Mpx 28mm images.

I have three GRDs and a GXR and will get this as soon as I can. No viewfinder? There is an accessory shoe and several very small and bright finders are available not only from Ricoh but from Voigtlander, Sigma, even Leica, Zeiss etc. And the camera controls (and the rear LCD) are most likely designed so that it is convenient to use an external finder. As they are in the GRD series with smaller sensors.
By the way, the GXR is not 12Mp max as it has a 16Mp APS sensor in the zoom lens. Though it is 12 with the two fixed lenses (28 and 50eq).

Everyone is talking about sensors.
But about that supposedly amazing new 28mm lens in the Ricoh GR, that spanks even Nikon's in the Coolpix A?
No one digs quality lenses that actually make pictures possible?

I'll add my two cents, even though the penny has been discontinued where I'm from.

1. That looks almost as perfect as a Sausage and Egg McGriddle. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McGriddles)

2. I want a 31mm f/2 (46 mm-e) version with an EVF (oled).

It seems like Ricoh's snap focus feature makes this the camera to beat (short of a Leica M) for zone focusing. It's almost enough for me to work up some courage and try proper street photography.

If you want a 50mm, or so, equivalent and EVF, then it is quite a lot bigger, but already available as GXR. If you want a 'kit' zoom and EVF, that is much bigger still, but also available as GXR. It is funny that people are now asking Ricoh to make new versions of existing cameras when they come up with a vastly improved but yet as compact GRD. Quite an achievement. And yes, Ricoh lenses are very good indeed, and as they are optimised for the sensor, they somehow seem even better in practice.

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