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01-28-2014, 11:09 PM   #1
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GR a joy in low light

Am enjoying the GR in low ambient light situations. F/2.8 on that APS-C brings in a lot of light, compared to my last two pocket cameras -- the RX100 and XZ-1. And -- the GR is so much easier to use on M Manual. This makes a tremendous difference for me at sunset -- when the light level is falling like a runaway elevator. When I have a moving subject, so I can't do a 3-shot HDR merge.

Is anybody else taking pictures with a GR at twilight, or indoors, or in the dark?

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01-29-2014, 05:00 PM   #2
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Great pic! When I had the GR I picked up on this as well. Having a pocketable apsc sensor is awesome!

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01-29-2014, 09:56 PM - 1 Like   #3
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Having an APS-C sensor in your pocket is wonderful. And there's something else I really like about the GR. In M Manual mode, all I have to do is hit the plus-minus rocker button, and -- just like that -- it sets the camera to whatever shutter speed it needs to satisfy the aperture and ISO I've chosen previously. This is VERY handy for snapshots -- like just pressing the button to take an instant spot exposure off some grass, or the sky, whatever you want. And -- if there's time -- you can adjust the aperture or shutter speed or ISO -- but when there isn't any time, it's an M Manual photographer's dream. For aperture and shutter speed, the two dials are perfect -- DSLR controlability in a pocket camera! Again, quite an improvement over my previous RX100 and XZ-1.

This morning, with the fog starting to burn off, I went by a golf course. We had a big tournament near here recently, and I was hoping to see the Goodyear blimp coming through the mist. Nope! Just the fog, and the grass to quickly meter off of with the plus-minus switch -- and this big bomb crater, a carefully manicured bomb crater, that I think they call a sand trap.

So Adam, what happened to your GR? Don't tell me you traded it on on a K-3!
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02-02-2014, 05:19 PM   #4
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How does the AF of the GR compare with the RX100? This was the #1 factor that made me choose the RX100 over the GR.

02-02-2014, 05:44 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by TopherTheME Quote
How does the AF of the GR compare with the RX100? This was the #1 factor that made me choose the RX100 over the GR.
Seriously?
02-02-2014, 06:47 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by JHD Quote
Seriously?
Yeah, seriously. Reviews say that low light AF on the GR is terrible, which is pretty important for what I use my compact camera for.
02-02-2014, 09:57 PM   #7
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Low light AF --GR vs RX100 -- they are both the same in my experience -- quite good enough for quick indoor pix of sugar-crazed grandchildren. Haven't had problems with either. I use spot exposure on both. Always try to pre-focus, if possible, on an area that has contrast -- like the edge of a lampshade. As an aside, both cameras have great short-distance flashes. The GR auto-exposes flash pix better, while the RX-100 flash can be angled to bounce off a ceiling -- although, it being a small flash, you don't get a lot of light back from a bounced flash. The GR, of course, has a a hotshoe, so you can mount a proper flash. As for The Sony, you'd have to buy the RX100-II to get the hotshoe -- but then the added thickness of the RX100-II tiltscreen will make it hard to put in your shirt pocket.

But make no mistake. Both RX-100 and GR are excellent cameras. Amazing products, when you think about it. One's choice may come down to what brand you favor -- if, like me, you own other Pentax cameras, you'll instantly relate to the GR's controls and clear menus. And to its near-perfect ergonomics -- ease of handling -- much better than the RX100. Had to buy a Franiec grip for the RX100 to make it holdable -- and never got used to adjusting shutter speed by fiddling with the 4-way dial on the back. Compared to the GR, not good. But then, the RX100 has a zoom lens, for those who need that. So maybe we are trying to compare apples and oranges, or at least oranges and tangerines. Cameras!
02-02-2014, 11:29 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by TopherTheME Quote
Yeah, seriously. Reviews say that low light AF on the GR is terrible, which is pretty important for what I use my compact camera for.
I can appreciate what you are saying, but since you said that "this was the #1 factor that made me choose the RX100 over the GR" it would seem you already know the answer to your question.

In any case, apart from size, these cameras have nothing in common.

02-06-2014, 02:25 AM   #9
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You know, I hate to say this, since we are all very serious about photography, but the GR is fun. Fun! Because if I want to take a picture of somebody, I have to get close. Very close indeed, and that forces me to be social, and say "Hi, can I take your picture," and amazingly people roll with it and actually enjoy being photographed.

I think it's because the GR is so small and dull looking. What a difference from having someone stick a big DSLR in your face! Like if you were drunk, you'd think it was some kind of alien death ray device. Anyway, it's fun. Below, two guys at Cardiff State Beach cooking just-caught fish, and a clerk at our local FedEx store, in the soft cloudy-daylight coming in a window.

Not much light to work with for either photo, so the ISO rides up to 1600 or so, even at f/2.8 and 1/40. But that's OK, with the GR. It's a good low-light camera and you'll get a usable image.
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02-14-2014, 04:42 PM   #10
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The GR's focus in lowlight was decent. After the latest firmware upgrade it became good. The lowlight focus of it's earlier models (GRD III and IV) were absolutely stellar. I just posted about this in another thread in fact. The IQ of the new model is head and shoulders better though.
02-18-2014, 04:30 PM   #11
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I rarely worry about focus in low light because I use snap focus, but compared to many competing cameras it's pretty mediocre-to-bad.
02-18-2014, 04:47 PM   #12
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Well, personally I prefer the RX100 over the GR in low-light. I find that the AF hunts less and with the 1.8 aperture at 28mm I get cleaner shots because of the lower ISO - I find the RX100 pretty clean until 800-1000 ISO.

Of course when there is enough light the GR wins hands down regarding IQ.
06-27-2014, 06:15 AM   #13
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This was taken with a Ricoh GR Digital III on the second day after purchasing it, back in 2009. I was testing out the Snap Focus mode from within a moving NYC taxi going thru Times Square around midnight.

Color and B&W versions.




Last edited by tyrphoto; 06-27-2014 at 06:47 AM.
06-29-2014, 07:46 PM   #14
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Taking my new GR for a spin in low light

Just got my Ricoh GR for a couple of months now and am generally pleased with the low light performance. Spent some time at Ripley's aquarium here in Toronto and took some shots in generally challenging lighting conditions and here are some of the pictures I took that day - these are out of the camera jpegs and have been un-edited. Also included is a picture of my most willing model - well he really does not have a choice - Dawson. This was taken late in the evening with just a couple of 40 W lamps as light sources. It is also straight out of the camera jpegs. I noticed some noise / artifacts in the upper left hand corner in the shadows but overall, I am pleased with the GR's performance.

---------- Post added 06-29-14 at 10:50 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by tyrphoto Quote
This was taken with a Ricoh GR Digital III on the second day after purchasing it, back in 2009. I was testing out the Snap Focus mode from within a moving NYC taxi going thru Times Square around midnight.

Color and B&W versions.




Wow great shots! My wife and I visited Time Square last October and tried to get a shot similar to these with my Q7 and then on the Olympus EP-L 5 and they pale in comparison to your shots on the GR III!


Cheers!
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06-30-2014, 08:09 PM - 1 Like   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by jon404 Quote
Is anybody else taking pictures with a GR at twilight, or indoors, or in the dark?
I've been using the GR in low light but to be honest I haven't found it to be one of it's strengths.


f2.8 & 1/30" @ 6400iso

Personally I found the EM5 + m.ZD 17/f1.8 to be stronger for this kind of photography (thats the kit I was mainly using before the GR). You lose a bit with the smaller sensor, but that's more than made up for with the IS, faster lens and stability of an eye-level finder. Not to say the GR isn't great, but I don't think it's as strong in low-light (hand-held) as it could be.

That said, low-light on a tripod is another story

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