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01-12-2016, 07:12 AM   #1
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Not a street photographer, is the GR still right for me? (travel and everyday use)

Hi!

I have a K10D and was thinking of upgrading to a new body as I had some nice money coming in this christmas. But I have realized, that the main problem with my photography is not the old camera. My problem is that I just don't take enough photos. Using a DLSR is the main reason: it's so big that it's only an option when you specifically go out to just take photos. I have little time for that. Aditionally I'm beeing atracted to (leightweight) bike traveling... a purpose for which a 1,5kg camera/lens set-up is not acceptable.

So, here I am looking for the perfect compact/POS camera. I would use it for the bike trips I want to do and also as an everyday camera, which would include from hikes, runs, biking and nature/city walks to family gatherings and maybe some parties too (in order to have nice "memory" photos: my current digital album is way crappier then my family album until 2005).

The GR seems perfect: it's tiny and everybody has high regards of its astonishing quality (I guess its an improvement over my K10D).

I have only two concerns: will I get along with the fixed focal lenght of 28mm? Especially in landscape photography? My problem is that I became a bit of a 28mm "hater". I have the 18-55 kit lens for the K10D and when I look back, almost all my photos are pretty crappy. Only when I read in this forum about using more normal focal lenghts and if necesary stiching them, I've started noticing some improvement in my photos. But this might also be due to technical limitations (I had tremendous problems focusing with my kit lens compared to the Pentax-M 28mm or the DA-35). Has anybody here gone through the same process? I'd love to hear your opinion or maybe you can point me out to some article giving some tips/explanations for this focal lenght. I'm considering getting a compact camera with zoom, but I'm hesitant about compromising IQ. And I guess with practice almost everything other compact cameras can do is doable with the GR too (except "classic" portraits, for which I'd still have the K10D+50mm 1.7 which gives enough quality for ocassional "documentational" portraits of friends, family and myself).

The other concern is... the dust problem. Is it really that prevalent? Can it be avoided? My dream bike travel (planned for sumer 2017) is along the Great Divide Route. If you search in youtube "Highlights from the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route" you will see it's thousands of miles off-road. Does this sort of use disqualify the GR as an option?

Thanks! :-)

P.S.: As I'm on it, do you think a new similar model can be expected in the next 6-12 months? Even of other brands or even with zoom? (if yes I could wait).


Last edited by Barresian; 01-12-2016 at 08:22 AM. Reason: Had a link to the youtube video.
01-12-2016, 07:55 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Barresian Quote
Hi!

..... My problem is that I just don't take enough photos. Using a DLSR is the main reason: it's so big that it's only an option when you specifically go out to just take photos. I have little time for that. Aditionally I'm beeing atracted to (leightweight) bike traveling... a purpose for which a 1,5kg camera/lens set-up is not acceptable.

So, here I am looking for the perfect compact/POS camera. I would use it for the bike trips I want to do and also as an everyday camera, which would include from hikes, runs, biking and nature/city walks to family gatherings and maybe some parties too (in order to have nice "memory" photos: my current digital album is way crappier then my family album until 2005).

The GR seems perfect: it's tiny and everybody has high regards of its astonishing quality (I guess its an improvement over my K10D).

I have only two concerns: will I get along with the fixed focal lenght of 28mm? My problem is that I became a bit of a 28mm "hater". .....

...The other concern is... the dust problem. Is it really that prevalent? Can it be avoided? ...

P.S.: As I'm on it, do you think a new similar model can be expected in the next 6-12 months? Even of other brands or even with zoom? (if yes I could wait).
The bulk/weight problem is definitely overcome by the GR - I take mine with me on many occasions where the DSLR wouldn't suit - it's very liberating to be able to pull the GR out of your pocket and "snap" a high quality image

The dust issue - well that seems pretty mixed. There are a quite a few people who have experienced it, and it's not easy so deal with yourself - and I doubt there is a guaranteed way to avoid it - low abuse and a bit of luck are probably what's needed.

As for newer similar models then yes something may well turn up in the next 6 to 12 months (and the price of the GR/GRII may have dropped a bit in the meantime) - but getting one now will give you the time to get used to the change in shooting style and the fixed focal length lens. I was never a fan of 28mm, but have adjusted to it and now enjoy it!

In case you hadn't guessed I love my little GR
01-12-2016, 08:11 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by LennyBloke Quote
In case you hadn't guessed I love my little GR
Everybody seems to love their GR and that's the main reason I started even entertaining the idea of accepting the fixed lense. Right now it's mainly the dust issue holding me back, especially because it makes a second hund buy pretty dangerous, increasing the cost to the pain zone.

I would only wait if I can expect something similar/better in the same price range (which I guess I can't). In Germany I can't expect any further price drops (for example right now amazon price for K5 is 400$ compared to 294$ in the US. K3 goes for 200$ more then in the US or the price of the K-3 II. These are stable prices here. And if you compare it to the Adorama deals... Just saw you are british, sorry for this little rant. ).

Last edited by Barresian; 01-12-2016 at 08:16 AM.
01-12-2016, 09:13 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Barresian Quote
will I get along with the fixed focal lenght of 28mm? Especially in landscape photography? My problem is that I became a bit of a 28mm "hater".
The lens on GR is 18mm, equivalent to 28mm on film. SO if you feel 28mm on kit lens, or M 28 on K10D is a little boring, it is because it is to normal (=42mm).
I love GR, a little camera I take with me to kids class activities, to easy hiking, to party, to dinner...
But I have to say, I have many cameras and lenses, and GR is just one of them. I will definitely fell limited if it is my only camera. Sometime if I feel 50-135 or 77 is the lens I am going to use most, I take K5II with that lens and the GR in pocket as well. Just in case. and I usually find good use of it, maybe just a few shots that I might just skip if I have to change lens.

01-12-2016, 09:38 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by grahame Quote
The lens on GR is 18mm, equivalent to 28mm on film. SO if you feel 28mm on kit lens, or M 28 on K10D is a little boring, it is because it is to normal (=42mm).
I love GR, a little camera I take with me to kids class activities, to easy hiking, to party, to dinner...
But I have to say, I have many cameras and lenses, and GR is just one of them. I will definitely fell limited if it is my only camera. Sometime if I feel 50-135 or 77 is the lens I am going to use most, I take K5II with that lens and the GR in pocket as well. Just in case. and I usually find good use of it, maybe just a few shots that I might just skip if I have to change lens.
Thank you too for your answer!

I think I've been unconsistant, mixing real and equivalent focal lenghts. I'm happy with my M-28. It's the 18-55 lens, shooting at the wide end (18mm, so 28mm film equivalent) where I have felt frustrated.

I'd keep the K10D, so I'd have two cameras in the end... but I think the compact camera I buy will become my primary camera, because I seldomly find time to specifically go out to take pictures. The only scenario where the K10D would be a better option is classic portraits and landscapes where I don't need to walk too much (which are going to be the minority of them). Anything involving a fair amount of walking around I'll go with the compact camera I think.

I have just read about the Lumix DMC GM 1 and GM 5, maybe this are options too with a zoom lens. I'll investigate a bit more. Still, hesitant to sacrifice IQ.
01-12-2016, 09:44 AM - 2 Likes   #6
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The GR is popular for street photography because the user interface is so customizable, but it also works well for more general photography. Scroll down for sample photos.

QuoteOriginally posted by Barresian Quote
will I get along with the fixed focal lenght of 28mm? Especially in landscape photography?
Focal length is very subjective and depends on how you see things. The 28mm field of view (like 18mm on your K10D) feels natural to me. The GR lens is very sharp for cropping during processing.

QuoteOriginally posted by Barresian Quote
the dust problem. Is it really that prevalent?
You'll get anecdotes rather than hard data on this. I bought my GR used, and after another 18 months of use there's still no noticeable dust on the sensor. As a precaution I usually carry my GR in a belt pouch not a lint-filled pants pocket. I gently blow on the lens seam before turning the camera on to reduce the risk of dust getting sucked in as the lens extends.











01-12-2016, 09:48 AM   #7
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IQ-wise, GR is waaaaayy better than 18-55 at 18mm. GR's lens is probably is sharpest 18mm lens I have ever seen. Shoot at RAW, you will see amazing details even in the corners. CA control is also amazing. GR's imaging processor is not as good, so raw is the way to go.
If you use 18mm on kit lens, only not happy with the IQ, GR will not disappoint you.
Keep K10D, get a DA 50/1.8 and DA 70 to pair with GR
01-12-2016, 11:26 AM   #8
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The GR has the same field of view as your K10D with the 18-55mm at 18mm.

The GR lens itself is way better, though, in just about all aspects. And combined with the newer sensor, you'll be getting much clearer images as the K10D does show its age alongside modern cameras.

The only question is if you're fine with always shootong that wide. If the answer is no, then upgrading to a K-5 or a different compact like a Sony or Panasonic with zoom and a 1" or four thirds sensor might be better. Check out the Sony RX 100 as its a jack of all trades without making very many compromises.


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01-12-2016, 12:29 PM   #9
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Don't forget the Coolpix A

Barresian, just before New year holidays, I have found a Nikon Coolpix A - GR twin sort of - for # 320 at...Amazon.de. It's an incredibly good little gem and the 18mm is just perfect. GR is of equal quality but 250 more expensive here in France. A no brainer!
01-12-2016, 01:03 PM   #10
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It's a great portable option. Dust not been a problem in the year I've had - I carry it in a thinned, padded, draw-skin lens bag and not my dusty pockets.
If I have a negative, and it's a small negative, it is that the DR seems less (12 bit) than my k3, which sometimes catches me out. Maybe the next generation will improve in this area.
Great camera to travel with ...
01-12-2016, 08:57 PM   #11
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It is a fantastic camera. I have had zero dust issues. Customization + rear jog dial + dedicated exposure button rock. I have been shooting exclusively with this camera for quite some time now and can say without a doubt that will be one of my all time favorite cameras. I understand why it is associated with street photography, but it is so much more than this. My only issue is the 18mm f.l. is not flattering for portraits, but if you pull back and crop a bit you can mediate this.
01-13-2016, 01:34 AM   #12
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2 points raised in in this thread that I think are particularly important...

JL-SAVIGNOL has pointed out that the Nikon Coolpix A is a very good priced "twin" of the GR - if you can bring yourself to carry a Nikon then it is an excellent buy.

Most people has mentioned they have not had a problem with dust, but that does not mean there isn't a problem for a number of users. I regularly chat to the guys at a local camera shop and they are aware that a number of GR's have had the issue.
01-13-2016, 02:19 PM   #13
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Thank you all guys for your answers!

DeadJohn, great images! Especially the first one is just amazing.

J-L SALVIGNOL, was that a used camera or new? That's a very good tip with the Nikon. The price difference is 100€ right now which is significant.


QuoteOriginally posted by LennyBloke:
I was never a fan of 28mm, but have adjusted to it and now enjoy it!
Did you find it hard to adapt? As I said, my experience with 28mm frustrated me... but I'm not sure if the problem was my inhability to shoot it right or just a more technical problem with my kit lens. Probably both factors play a role as I've learned a bit since I relegated the 18-55 in the drawer.


QuoteOriginally posted by LennyBloke Quote
JL-SAVIGNOL has pointed out that the Nikon Coolpix A is a very good priced "twin" of the GR - if you can bring yourself to carry a Nikon then it is an excellent buy.
hahaha, good point. I'm trying to find a reason not to buy the Nikon, as the ugly silver version is 100€ cheaper then the GR right now... I guess this confirms I'm a little fanboy too. Or hateboy of Canikon. There are interesting points in which the GR might be better so... I guess I'm gonna have to think about it.


QuoteOriginally posted by Adam:
The only question is if you're fine with always shootong that wide. If the answer is no, then upgrading to a K-5 or a different compact like a Sony or Panasonic with zoom and a 1" or four thirds sensor might be better. Check out the Sony RX 100 as its a jack of all trades without making very many compromises.
That's the key. And I have no clue. Watching sample photos with the GR I'm absolutely amazed. But that's definitely also because the photographers are way better then I am. On the other hand, I'm a bit of a pixel peeper... so giving IQ feels wrong. But I change my mind every day.


Anyway, still have to decide about fixed focal lenght + superb quality vs. flexible zoom + not so good quality. It's gonna drive me creazy.

Can anybody recommend some article, video or similar about shooting at 28mm? How to do it and what it's good or bad for? (besides the obvious imposibility for classic portraits and shooting wild bears). Found some interesting but rather superficial material.

Thanks again for patiently answering my doubts!

Last edited by Barresian; 01-13-2016 at 03:14 PM.
01-13-2016, 02:35 PM   #14
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Hmmm, let me offer a few thoughts as well. I often carry my GR around as a second body when shooting the K-5 IIs with the DA*50-135 and I feel both cameras extract exactly the same awesome amount of detail and sharpness from any scene I point either at. I've had both cameras for about the same amount of time and I am careful to carry the GR in a proper pouch - have not run in to the dreaded dust problem yet.

I also take the GR out on its own (to intentionally force myself to look differently) and I do admit that I sometimes miss a bit of reach but then I experience the same in reverse when I stick the Sigma 85mm on the Pentax and purposely leave everything else at home just to "train" my eye in a similar way. I even bought the GW3 from Ricoh to go wider than the 18mm and I'm loving it!

Honest? I'd hesitate to be limited to only the focal length of the GR, as awesome a camera it is. On the whole "fanboy" thing about Nikon I can be simple - that is absolute nonsense! A good camera is a good camera no matter what the nametag on its front states. In the end, all of these companies are just that: companies who are in it to make a decent product and provide investors with a solid ROI. I'd purchase a Nikon, Canon, Olympus, Sony or any other solid brand in the blink of an eye if its specs and output quality matched what I was looking for. (as things stand I'm not looking for anything so just an example)
01-13-2016, 03:21 PM   #15
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The Sony RX100 has been mentioned. I know the IQ difference is going to be important between both cameras, but how good is the RX? For example, compared to my K10 with the 35 DA, is there going to be a lot of difference? If I can get near to that with the Sony I think I'd be happy.

QuoteOriginally posted by newmikey Quote
Honest? I'd hesitate to be limited to only the focal length of the GR, as awesome a camera it is. On the whole "fanboy" thing about Nikon I can be simple - that is absolute nonsense! A good camera is a good camera no matter what the nametag on its front states. In the end, all of these companies are just that: companies who are in it to make a decent product and provide investors with a solid ROI. I'd purchase a Nikon, Canon, Olympus, Sony or any other solid brand in the blink of an eye if its specs and output quality matched what I was looking for. (as things stand I'm not looking for anything so just an example)
Thanks for your insight. I'll keep the K10D and maybe upgrade it at some point, so I would still have a bit more reach... but right now I'm using it very little so I guess at the end of the day the compact will be my main device and the K10D something for very specific days (e.g. when I'm driving with somebody to a specific place or doing some portrait of friends or family).

My comment about the Nikon was not really ment seriously. If I'm getting a prime I'll consider it very carefully and probably get the Nikon. I'd definitely keep my K10D, so I would have the option of a bit more reach.
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