Ricoh GR Digital

Discussion in 'Mirrorless Digital Cameras' started by edward_gabriel, Nov 8, 2006.

  1. Hello everyone,

    Two days ago I submitted a posting in search of suggestions for a high-end
    digital point-and-shoot that I might carry with me at all times, able to produce
    RAW files suitable for publication. I received lots of great suggestions and am
    much appreciative.

    Currently I'm looking at the Ricoh GRD - I was nearly sold on the Leica D-Lux 3
    however, it's lack of any sort of optical viewfinder was a real turn-off.

    That leaves me with the Ricoh, which offers the viewfinder as an optional
    add-on. One concern however is the shutter lag when shotting in RAW mode. Might
    someone who owns one shed a little light on this little fella?

    As far as me and my anticipated use of a camera of this sort: I'm a news
    photo-editor who still ocassionally shoots stories - more along documentary
    lines. An example would be an ongoing piece on Cuban families separated by the
    revolution. Anyhow, I would love to have a small camera which is durable and
    able to produce high-quality images suitable for publication, in the range of
    8-10 MP. I think the Ricoh might be the one but, shutter lag worries me - just
    how long is it?

    Perhaps the JPEGS coming out of this camera are suitable enough on their own?


  2. Shutter lag is probably the wrong term to use. i assume you are refering to the time it takes to write a raw file to the memory card. In researching the grd i have heard from 12-8 sec.Shutter lag would be the time between pressing the shutter release and when the shutter actual opens.
  3. Some people love it. Others find it too noisy.

    I looked at it and bought the Panasonic LX1 instead ... the image stabilization helps and
    it's just as clean as the GR-D at high ISO, has RAW. The Panasonic writes data MUCH faster
    than the GR-D.

    But in the end, I found the sensitivity too much of a problem. The Fuji F30 does better for

  4. The shutter lag is negligible. I thought it was zero for a long time but I finally noticed there is a tiny amount of AF lag - in manual focus and snap focus (3m) modes there is no lag I can detect.

    On the other hand it takes about 10-12 seconds to write RAW which makes RAW pretty useless for any kind of photojournalism use.

    It is a bit noisy but the noise is very much like film grain. In mono it reminds me a bit of Tri-X - no bad thing.

    For the purpose you describe I'd say it is a good choice - as long as you can live with shooting JPEG or (very) slowly in RAW.
  5. Here's a picture at ISO 800 after processing and shot in JPEG mode.
  6. And if you're not bored of me yet, I'd add that it is very much a "photographers camera" with intelligently designed controls and quick access to the important functions. The accessory finder is very, very good.
  7. I bought one to supplement my Nikon D200. It's taken some time to learn to get the best of a
    P&S, but I enjoy it. I think it's a little high-priced for what you get, but I love the feel and
    convenience of it. There's lots of examples at:
  8. Check out this review if you haven't already:
  9. Ricoh didn't do well in the Dpreview test especially at higher iso. I think its overpriced. A Fuji 30 gives amazing results for the money. Shutter lag is generally reduced if you already have the shutter pressed half way down.
  10. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    Having bought the Fujifilm F30 and replaced it with a GR-D after four weeks, I would take issue. I have used both of them rather than read certain test reports that some manufacturers seem to use for optimization. In the "real world," the GR-D is far more controllable than the F30 and produces better results. The F30 images often look over-sharpened, and the high ISO images are very soft in exchange for low noise. You can get the same results from the GR-D in Photoshop if you like that look, which I don't.

    The GR-D is a "photographer's digicam" - it has far more control than virtually any other small digicam, and it is ergonomically superior. It's easy to operate in difficult environments, and easy to adjust in any environment.

    The major downside is RAW write speed, but after I noticed that most of the pjs I know taught themselves to shoot in jpg, I started using jpg for a lot more shooting. It's a fine camera in jpg mode and has very little shutter lag. It's easy to prefocus or use the snap mode to get around the AF time, which really isn't bad.
  11. LOL ... I only use the F30 for fun, Jeff. :)

  12. I agree with Jeff's assessment and find the GR-D excellent for B&W photography, particularly in that its digital noise looks like film grain, as you can see here or perhaps in a more organized way in my Bangkok series.
  13. I have had my GR-D for over 9 months and love it, I have shot mainly in colour and RAW and the images are amazing - see Gallery/presentation/Ricoh GR-D and hopefully you will agree. I have recently purchased a Canon G7 as a backup to my 5D and I a delighted with it, I know it does not have RAW but the image quality of the JPEG's is fantastic and all of the features and build quality of the camera certainly exceed my expectations. I would certainly recommend it to anyone considering a back up camera to their DSLR/SLR. I am attaching a 160kb image taken with the G7 from a 28mb original, this image is un retouched and has no shrpening other than in camera.
  14. I am very facinated with the the following cameras and still not sure which to buy. Here they are listed with the pros I see in each (not listing cons since they would only be cons to me)

    GR-D - It has everything I want in a small camera, except for the size of the sensor. I never used zoom much (Yashica T4 was my favorite film camera). I just really wish Ricoh used a APS sized sensor.
    Pros - hot shoe, user interface, size, RAW, snap mode, can take AAA batteries in a jam

    Canon G7 - I am a G3 user and despite all that you might read about this not being a worthy successor to the G3 (all of which is true), it is still an incredible camera in it's own right.
    Pros - Viewfinder (and you can still add a real finder through the hot shoe if you want), Hot shoe (with Canon full E-TTL II support including wireless), IS, good zoom, Very flexible and good UI, through Custom functions can set up a 'snap' mode similar to the Ricoh or any other 'mode' you want.

    Fuji F30 - If you shoot lots of color in low light this probably beats the other two and it's SUPER cheap (talking US$220 now).
    Pros - AMAZING camera for the price, good low light

    and a black sheep...

    Pentax K100D with limited lenes - Tiny for a SLR (gota see these)
    but still bigger than all the others here).
    Pros - It actually has the APS sensor, IS, best photo quality, best user interface, Hot Shoe, the most flexible by leaps and bounds.

    I would try them all (althought good luck finding the pentax limited lenses in stock at most stores since they are mostly special order).

    In summary..

    If you want cheap get the F30
    If you want a really good really small camera get the GR-D
    If you are willing to trade a bit of extra size for much greater versatility get the G7

    I dont really think the Pentax belongs here, but those lenses are just so cool I added it for fun.
  15. Thanks guys, I'm seriously considering this camera. I find it odd however that it seems difficult to find available for sale in the U.S. Anyone know why? Not even B&H here in New York City carries it - crazy!
  16. I just recieved my GRD yesterday.The reported raw file write times are correct at around 8 secs. ouch. looks like i'll be shooting jpegs. i also purchased an 87 infrared filter. trying to experiment with infrared flash in the dark.
  17. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    Edward -

    You can buy it from, they are a reliable Leica dealer. The only other place I know definitely carries it is Adorama.
  18. A couple of questions for Mitch please. I am seriously thinking of getting this camera.

    In your shots in B&W, did you take in color and convert? Or is there an option to take it in
    B&W mode?

    At what ISO would you get a "Tri-X" like effect? In other words, from your perspective,
    what is the effect of ISO on the B&W images?

  19. Yes, it does ahve a B&W mode in-camera. For Tri-X effect shoot in mono at ISO800 and then USM a bit in PS or whatever. Looks like this. Sorry it's just a quick snap.
  20. Thank you, Andy.
  21. I'm considering the GRd and this thread has been extremely helpful.
    Getting back to the beginning, aside from the lack of view finder, can anyone comment on how the Leica D-lux 3 stacks up to the others mentioned wrt shutter lag, image quality, noise vs. ISO etc. I do mostly landscapes, some candids and general snapshots. Data write time is not so important to me, but I can't stand shutter lag!
    Thanks to all,
  22. Bought one in March after a few months of thinking about it and AFTER I read the dpreview test. RAW transfer speed is abysmal but I can live with that, I really like this camera. If you know how to use it manually and know how to pp your files, it's a good option. Not for the lazy!
  23. Here's another shot with the 21mm equivalent supplementary lens. I bought as a "notebook" camera (I'm a landscape photographer) and it works well for what I want from it:

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