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09-20-2014, 01:18 PM   #1
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Travelling: Ricoh GR - questions

Hello All. This is a longer post. Apologies in advance.

I own a K-5IIs and a Fuji X-E1. I have a series of business trips coming up.

I'll be going to locations where I can't carry a lot, and where carrying a camera that is not pocketable may be problematic. I'm considering purchasing the GR, and also taking my Fuji F600EXR for any telephoto shots. I was also looking at the pana GM1 and 12-32mm, but cost, battery life, and kit lens speed are stopping me.

First question.
By default, I was going to take the X-E1 and the 27mm pancake. I still may do that. I do enjoy having a viewfinder, so is the lack of one on the GR a deal breaker? I previously travelled with a sony NEX-5n and sigma 30mm, so I can cope fairly easily, so think that is OK.

Second question:
In low light, I think the Fuji comes out easily over the K-5IIs. Is the low light sensor performance similar between the K-5IIs and the GR?

Third question:
At the risk of offending folks, I find that the k-5iis sensor can produce very crunchy, ropey textures, which can make skin, faces and hair a bit unnatural (the Fuji is leagues ahead IMO). Is the GR similar in this regard?

09-21-2014, 08:07 AM   #2
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I love my GR. It pretty much goes everywhere I go, and has been a great travel camera. I've had it for about a year, now. I love the ease of use, controls and image quality. I feel quite at home with 28 and 35mm focal lengths. If you're someone who is inclined toward 28mm and want an enjoyable, powerful compact camera at a decent price, I'd put the GR high on your list of cameras to consider.

In answer to your specific questions: 1. I don't miss a having an optical viewfinder on the GR. I do appreciate cameras with a good viewfinder, to be sure, but for this camera... I don't find it suffers in lacking a OVF/EVF. 2. I can't speak specifically about the K-5iis, but I've found the sensor performance is completely acceptable. Very good from 100-800. And good to acceptable from 800-3200. 3. I really like the image quality of the pix I've taken with the GR. Textures are pleasing to my eye. Metering is good and exposure compensation control is the best I've experienced in a digital camera thus far. The shot white balance is generally very good for skin tones (somewhat subjective, of course) but in photos where I've wanted to adjust it, I've found those files easy to work with (Capture One and Aperture).

All this being said, if I were considering purchasing a new compact camera right now I would be looking at the GR and be checking in with myself about my long time tendency to shoot with compact single focal length cameras (Minolta CLE, Contax T3)-- and then I'd take a close, serious look at the Panasonic LX100. That camera seems like a real strong contender for a powerful, take anywhere compact camera. And it has an EVF, even!
09-22-2014, 02:25 AM   #3
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I am completely happy with my GR and it travels with me everywhere, despite it not having a viewfinder, the updated LCD is brilliant and still allows use in sunny conditions (I did manage to pick up a superb GV-1 finder for a good price "just in case" but as yet had no need to use it).

I have not noticed any issues with low light images and have done some timed exposures (I try not to use auto ISO for low light and if time / situation permits I will set the camera to 100ISO and use the self timer to avoid movement)

I recently took some night shots in London when we were visiting and did use auto ISO so some of the images at night were 800ISO, I am still pleased with them. I also did some night shoots as base ISO recently and again I am pleased with the results - both sets can be seen at the links below:

571 Photography

571 Photography: Ricoh GR

Hope these help and I have no hesitation in recommending this camera - it is superb.
09-23-2014, 11:33 AM   #4
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if you want a viewfinder, you can always get the Ricoh GV-1.
I have it, but frankly, the LCD screen has been fine, even on sunny days.

09-23-2014, 02:50 PM   #5
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Original Poster
Thanks for all of the thoughts and the samples. I'm probably going to get a GR and not worry about the ovf.

i've also had a fairly long history with single lens focal length. I'm thinking the GR is a lot smaller than the fuji GA645 used to be!

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