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05-12-2013, 11:30 PM - 12 Likes   #1
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Ricoh GR Hands-on and Lots of Photos...

Hi All,

I got chance to play a GR for two days, well actually only one night plus one day only. This was the first time I really take photos w/ a GR series digital cameras, although I had a GR1 film camera about 14-15 years back.

The GR camera felt at home almost immediately even w/o much pre experiences w/ GRD cameras, all the buttons and settings are logically located at the right places. The operation is pretty fast and easy, it's really a joy to hold and shoot w/ this camera.

I'm not good at doing reviews, and it's pretty hard for me to put my feelings in words (thanks to my poor language skills :embrass. For me the best way to review a camera or lens is to put it in actual use instead of shooting at meaningless charts or targets. So I'll just post some photos and let them talk for me

Is this a good camera? Well, I sold my Fujifilm X100 after I've looked through some photos I took w/ this little gem.

I didn't do much setting changes, used default settings for most photos I took except a few photos taken with manual white balance. The battery was rated for 300-330 shots per charge, but I managed to squeeze 768 shots in one day one charge! Yeah, the battery did die a couple of times, but I switched camera off then on, and kept shooting until it I couldn't turn it on anymore. Total 768 JPG photos taken, with quite some preview and showing the photos to the kids. Far better than I expected!

Enough words, let's show some pictures:







There is an adapter ring which can be easily taken off:



A wide angle converter (21mm equivalent on FF) can be adapted on easily:







It comes w/ a nice hood too:



This round Ricoh really put in effort to get all kinds of accessories ready for the little camera: leather pouch, half case, wide angle converter and etc:












It looks and feels really tiny when put together w/ an X100:












It's even more compact than a Panasonic LX7!







I bought a leather pouch for my Sony RX100 which fits the GR perfectly:



But I couldn't squeeze the LX7 in at all:




Okay, enough gear photos. Let's show some real photos.

The first pair is to show how wide the 21mm wide angle converter is:

w/o converter:


w/ converter:


Think about those X100 users by a $300 plus wide converter just to convert that 35mm lens to an 28mm one, ours can go as wide as 21mm! I think every one should get this adapter if you are buying this camera. Really worth it.


A couple of quick testing shots before we left home, my little model, not as professional yet, but he got the potential:





It's on May 1st, we head directly to Pizza Hut for a treat:








My daughter is a bit shy now, didn't want to post for me, so I just snap when she wasn't pay attention:



But the little brother didn't mind showing off his missing teeth:






Of course the best part is the treat:






Managed to ask my daughter helping me out a bit:



But it didn't last long before she gave up:





They sure had some fun there:




That's how it ended, as usual:




After lunch, we went to Istana, the President's house, or garden shall we say. Some quick snaps along the way, all taken like w/ an iPhone:












He really needs to learn how to post properly I think:





He can fly:



But his big sis can fly much higher:




The camera is so small and discrete, I probably wouldn't be able get permission from their parents if I used a bigger dSLR camera on these cute kids:





A lot time I just raised camera and shoot along with the others, and seems they didn't mind a strange w/ a tiny camera:








Pity the pretty guard-on-duty politely refused me taking her photo:



But the others didn't mind at all:










There was a fun party going on in front of the President's house:





And an Orchestra in the Garden too:







A bit close up:



Closer:




A lot audiences didn't mind sitting in the light rain to enjoy the show:



But it's a bit bored for the little ones I guess:



Finally we met the hosts (the President and his wife) of the house:







Wish I had a longer lens so I'd have some close-ups, but then the guards might not let me get as close if I had a bigger camera

At least my wife liked them this way. She was in the second photo above, but probably you can't find her if you don't know her well enough


Last batch for today:









I'll post some more during the next a few days after I look through the rest.

05-12-2013, 11:38 PM   #2
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Seems like you had fun with it. Thanks for the review. I will read it again when I am not on my phone.
05-13-2013, 12:28 AM   #3
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Hi Frank,

Thanks for sharing with us! Looks like it's a keeper!

I've already pre-ordered the GR and can't wait to get it.

Thanks again!
05-13-2013, 01:36 AM   #4
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An informative post with some great shots Frank.
How did the auto-focus perform?

05-13-2013, 01:56 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by kenafein Quote
Seems like you had fun with it. Thanks for the review. I will read it again when I am not on my phone.
Yeah, it's really a fun camera to play with.

QuoteOriginally posted by laopai Quote
Hi Frank,

Thanks for sharing with us! Looks like it's a keeper!

I've already pre-ordered the GR and can't wait to get it.

Thanks again!
Same here. If only the distributor could bring it in before my trip to Beijing ...

QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
An informative post with some great shots Frank.
How did the auto-focus perform?
Thanks. AF is pretty fast in daytime, a bit slow down when the light gets dark like indoor shots at night. But still faster than my X100. I'd say it's definitely usable. I'm gonna carry this thing wherever I go, and shoot under bright daylight (ND filter comes in handy) or dark street lights
05-13-2013, 08:17 AM   #6
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Worth looking at on the big screen, great photos. I think Adam was right to say the image quality is like that of a mini K5iis.
05-13-2013, 11:07 AM   #7
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Looks like it produces good results and looking forward to getting one.

I wonder if you tried using manual focus? My GRD IV has good manual focus which I use 90% of the time so I'm hoping the manual focus works the same way on the GR. I like the way the GRD IV lets me easily change the focus distance with a single button press (no menu required!) and the distance scale is clearly displayed in metres AND it remembers the focus distance assigned to the MY1/MY2/MY3 settings.

I one tried manual focus on a lumix GF2 and it was a disaster, as there was no distance scale in metres (or even feet!) and it just showed a "dumb" flower to indicate close and a "dumb" mountain to indicate far. What sort of idiot designed a system like that?
05-13-2013, 12:22 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by boliston Quote
Looks like it produces good results and looking forward to getting one.

I wonder if you tried using manual focus? My GRD IV has good manual focus which I use 90% of the time so I'm hoping the manual focus works the same way on the GR. I like the way the GRD IV lets me easily change the focus distance with a single button press (no menu required!) and the distance scale is clearly displayed in metres AND it remembers the focus distance assigned to the MY1/MY2/MY3 settings.

I one tried manual focus on a lumix GF2 and it was a disaster, as there was no distance scale in metres (or even feet!) and it just showed a "dumb" flower to indicate close and a "dumb" mountain to indicate far. What sort of idiot designed a system like that?
The GR shows a distance scale in meters, and it also shows the hyperfocal distance in Av mode, which is nice.

You hold the macro button down and then use the front e-dial to focus manually, once you've entered MF mode.

There is no focus peaking, however, which makes it somewhat hard to focus due to the lens's wide focal length.


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05-13-2013, 08:17 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by kenafein Quote
Worth looking at on the big screen, great photos. I think Adam was right to say the image quality is like that of a mini K5iis.
Thanks again. I really love the photos from this camera. After I've seen some of the photos, I sold my X100 (but still keeping the XE1) right away


QuoteOriginally posted by boliston Quote
Looks like it produces good results and looking forward to getting one.

I wonder if you tried using manual focus? My GRD IV has good manual focus which I use 90% of the time so I'm hoping the manual focus works the same way on the GR. I like the way the GRD IV lets me easily change the focus distance with a single button press (no menu required!) and the distance scale is clearly displayed in metres AND it remembers the focus distance assigned to the MY1/MY2/MY3 settings.

I one tried manual focus on a lumix GF2 and it was a disaster, as there was no distance scale in metres (or even feet!) and it just showed a "dumb" flower to indicate close and a "dumb" mountain to indicate far. What sort of idiot designed a system like that?
Sorry I never tried manual focus on this little camera. I was pretty happy w/ the AF performance, other than a bit sluggish under low light, but still usable, faster than my X100 anyway. But I guess Adam answered your question already. Sounds pretty fun to use MF too. Pity I don't have the camera w/ me anymore, but I'm getting one as soon as it's officially arrived here in Singapore.
05-13-2013, 09:13 PM   #10
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thanks for sharing frank ... i think after a few more good reviews i would think about putting my X100 up as well
05-13-2013, 09:26 PM   #11
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Well done frank. These are all brilliant images. Great results from this small wonder of a camera. Very useful tool as a compact camera.
05-13-2013, 09:43 PM   #12
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oh wow, those images look awfully a lot like what comes out of the current line of pentax dslr's and the k-01. IQ is absolutely amazing for that tiny camera and that lens and bokeh, it is def a proper recreation of the old 35mm GR's.
05-13-2013, 10:08 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by wanderography Quote
oh wow, those images look awfully a lot like what comes out of the current line of pentax dslr's and the k-01. IQ is absolutely amazing for that tiny camera and that lens and bokeh, it is def a proper recreation of the old 35mm GR's.
Thanks guys

I'll show some high ISO photos by Thur or Friday. Kids in exams now, don't have much free time after work

BTW, there is another cool feature in this little GR, you can set it as a camera w/ a 35mm lens instead of 28mm, the camera will crop the photo for you, and you'd have 35mm equivalent FOV on the LCD too. If you love 35mm FOV, this would be a very cool feature. The GRD series cameras might have this feature too, but I don't know. Never really played one before.

Plus the 21mm wide angle converter, you'd have 21+28+35mm all in one little cute camera. Pretty cool, isn't it?
05-14-2013, 06:53 AM   #14
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Small world. The red headed concert master in the orchestra is Roi! From the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. Lol when were these photos taken?
05-14-2013, 07:01 AM   #15
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Nice and thanks for the review!
I guess is a camera worth having ... it got on my Christmas list
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