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11-23-2014, 01:10 AM   #1
Pentaxian




Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: New York
Posts: 3,104
Ricoh GR upgrade from Canon S95

I'm in love! Wow, what an upgrade! I work in New York City and have street photo ops on the way to meetings, lunch, and before/after work. It's impractical to bring a DSLR on my commute (I do it for special events but not every day) so a few years ago I bought a Canon S95. I never became one with the S95. 3 days using the GR already feels more comfortable than the years I struggled with the S95. I was torn between purchasing the GR, Sony RX100, Canon G7X, or a DA 21 to use with my K-5. I have zero buyers remorse picking the GR.

Focusing: street photography needs prefocusing to avoid missing the shot waiting for AF to lock on. The S95 manual distance was awkward to adjust. The GR is far superior with its snap focus. I configured Fn2 to toggle between AF and snap focus. I can hold the macro button and turn the front wheel to adjust my saved snap focus distance when I'm in tight quarters, then readjust the the snap focus distance when I expect my subjects to be a little further away. The rear graph shows my in-focus zone corresponding to the current aperture. And, if I want AF for a building or other object, it's just a quick thumb press on Fn2 to enable AF.

Toggling Off the Rear Display to save power and be stealthy: S95 has a motion sensor that automatically turns the display on with any movement, even after pressing the custom button programmed to turn off the display. The GR display button can be customized to keep the display completely off. The S95's only custom button gets tied up and doesn't quite do the job, the GR does it correctly and doesn't even need a custom button.

TAv mode: Invaluable for street photos. Nothing like it exists on the S95.

Size: The GR is a little larger but still fits in the same shirt and jacket pockets or a small belt bag. That extra size gives a good grip and makes it easier to use one handed; I can still work some rear buttons with my right thumb while holding the camera. I also get 3 custom buttons (Fn1, Fn2, Effect) instead of 1.

Exposure Compensation control: The S95 rear wheel turned too freely; I often got over or under exposed due to accidental setting changes. The GR buttons are positioned where they are less likely to be accidentally pressed.

Other GR bonuses include 3 custom modes on the top dial instead of 1, a much better sensor, more dynamic range, and a sharper lens. The GR sharpness rivals what I get from my Pentax FA43.

The GR sacrifices zoom but this isn't crucial for street photography. I was surprised that the GR tripod thread is offset from the sensor, making panoramic stitching more complex, but I'm not sure that I'd ever use the GR on a tripod anyway (that's what my DSLR is for).

11-23-2014, 03:23 AM   #2
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Glad to haer you're enjoying it! The GR is a true "photographers camera".

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11-23-2014, 10:15 AM   #3
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For me, the GR's EV comp controls are still easy to press, but the location is superior to any dial. Glad to hear we have another GR person in the fold! It's an incredible tool for capturing your vision.

If you like having your rear display off, you might want to invest in one of the OVFs that Ricoh sells. I have the GV-1 and it's terrific!
11-23-2014, 12:26 PM   #4
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Location: New York
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QuoteOriginally posted by astron Quote
For me, the GR's EV comp controls are still easy to press, but the location is superior to any dial. Glad to hear we have another GR person in the fold! It's an incredible tool for capturing your vision.

If you like having your rear display off, you might want to invest in one of the OVFs that Ricoh sells. I have the GV-1 and it's terrific!
Thanks for the suggestion but I don't think the OVF would work for me. Keeping the rear display off is for quickly shooting from the hip during street photography. The GR lens is wide enough to point in the general direction of the subject and click without carefully composing. For more deliberate portraits, architecture, and landscapes then I don't mind turning on the rear screen.

12-23-2014, 02:57 AM   #5
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Albuquerque
Posts: 1,120
I am generally satisfied with my Q10 with 01 Prime as my pocket cam, but I would love the snap focusing function. Ricoh gave the GR TAv mode, couldn't they give the Q snap focusing?

I've lusted after the GR since its release, but I can never justify pulling the trigger. I have the feeling that once I do, I'll wonder why I waited so long!
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