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Ricoh GR Digital

Reviews Views Date of last review
1 8,610 Sun February 10, 2013
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers None indicated 10.00
Ricoh GR Digital

Ricoh GR Digital
Ricoh GR Digital

This model is discontinued, replaced by GR Digital II.

Camera nameRicoh GR Digital
Sensor8.13 MP 1/1.8 inch CCD
ISO range64 - 1600
Exposure modesAuto, P, Av, M, Scene modes
Exposure compensation+/- 2 EV,
Light meter256 segment, center weight, spot
Lens5.9 mm F2.4 (28 mm eqv. in 24 x 36 format)
Digital zoom4x
Auto focusMulti AF / Spot AF
 AF assist light
Manual focusManual Focus / Snap / Infinity
Closest focus distance30 cm, 1.5 cm in macro mode
FlashBuilt-in, 20 cm - 3 m
MovieQVGA 320 x 240 (30 fps)
LCD monitor2.5 inch, 210,000 dots
File formatJPG, RAW (DNG), AVI
ConnectivityVideo out
BatteryDB-60 or 2 x AAA
Battery life250 pictures with DB-60
Size (W x H x D)107 x 58 x 25 mm
Weight198 g incl. battery
Accessories21mm conversion lens (GW-1)
 Optical viewfinder 21/28mm (GV-1)
 Hood and filter adapter (GH-1)
 Cable switch (CA-1)
 More, refer system diagram
Megapixels: 8 MP
Movie Mode: QVGA 320 x 240 30 fps
Weight: 198 g
Zoom: No
LCD: 2.7 inch 210,000 dots
In Production: No

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Registered: January, 2012
Location: Tokyo
Posts: 1,887

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: February 10, 2013 I can recommend the Ricoh GR Digital: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Great lens, great controls, great build quality, compact and discreet
Cons: Noisy sensor, poor video mode, 28mm may not be your preference

Well, this is a very old camera and I doubt that many are considering buying it, but I wanted to start the ball rolling for Ricoh camera reviews.

The first thing to say about the camera is that, of course, it is a fixed focal length and cannot zoom. If you are interested in a GRD, you need to be sure that you are happy with the 28mm equivalent field of view. The ability to take in and preserve the atmosphere of a scene is a key part of this camera's appeal. There are many situations where the GRD is not the best tool and a more general use camera will do better - even a simple point and shoot.

Lens - The f2.4 lens is the highlight of the camera. It is sharp and distortion-free, meaning that the files do not need software correction and corner resolution is not compromised. Other high-end compacts can also shoot at 28mm equivalent but sharpness in the corners is not even comparable. The lens also produces very smooth bokeh when used for macros, which can be taken as close as 15mm from the lens.

Other features - It's equipped with a hot shoe and a ring around the lens for attaching filters and conversion lenses. This original GRD has a hybrid AF system that combines CDAF with a separate PDAF sensor positioned above the lens. This feature was then missing from the GRD II and III, but brought back for the GRD IV. In addition, the GRD has the snap focusing mode that virtually eliminates shutter lag and operating noise, making it great for street shooting.

Build quality and design - The design is almost perfect. It is made of metal and feels very strong. The rubber grip is quite flat but provides a very secure hold. A nice feature is that the lens retracts completely into the body and no lens cap is required. That means you can easily slip it into a jeans pocket.

Controls - Everything is well placed and you have the same degree of control as most DSLRs. You can press the rear dial in and use it to select between a customisable selection of parameters (displayed as icons across the screen), then use the front dial to change them (displayed vertically below the icon). The rocker switch in the back is used to apply exposure compensation with one touch - I really miss this directness on the DSLRs I have used since, where you have to hold a button and turn a wheel to do the same thing.

Image quality - If the GRD's lens is its main strength, the sensor is the limiting factor. It was not bad for a small sensor at the time, but there is noise present at ISO 200 and it is noticeable at ISO 400 and 800. It is better to use it for grainy black and white shots at any ISO higher. I set it at ISO 64 whenever possible - the fast lens helps here - and hold very steady in low light. The JPEG processing is very natural and colours are rendered accurately.

Accessories - There are two OVFs available and a number of other accessories. I have the wide angle converter lens and although there is some degradation in image quality, it is still very good and provides a more dramatic angle of view than any other compact I know of.

Criticisms - As you've probably gathered, I love this camera, but it does have a couple more drawbacks. RAW mode is very slow on the original GRD. It takes about 15 seconds to store an image, so I've never really used it. The screen was never very good in bright daylight, but now mine has dimmed with age, so it's very difficult to see. Finally, the video mode is very basic. Newer versions of the GRD have fixed most of these problems and have much better sensors, but the video mode is still very basic.

I can wholeheartedly recommend the GRD series of cameras. However, I don't think the first version is worth anyone's money now. The GRD III or IV are the ones to go for. Here are some samples.

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