Ricoh. GRD or GRD II

Discussion in 'Mirrorless Digital Cameras' started by adrian bastin, Dec 31, 2007.

  1. Beside all the improvements in operation, is actual image quality the same,
    better or not so good with the GRD-2 ?

    I have searched for some answers but only found one, and that was in favour of
    the earlier camera. Ricoh says B&W capture is improved with the new one.

    Your experiences please.

  2. I shouldn't be duly concerned about noise and image quality. If you do any post-processing using photoshop and shoot in raw, the differences would be irrelevant. When I was deciding which one at the camera shop, one test shooting two RAW pictures in sequence, the delay writing files on the GRD-1 just put me off. Secondly, RAW files on the Ricoh are not as efficient as others like the Leica M8. Each file is more than 13,100kB compared to 10,000kB on the M8. Believe me, you'll want a 4-Gig SDHC memory card, and the GRD-1 won't allow SDHC.

    On image quality, I still have the Canon S60, a 5Megapixel compact camera which shoots raw, and with post-processing, still makes me happy with final quality. If you think I don't care about quality, I am using the Leica M8 as my primary camera.
  3. Thank you Ismail. I see. So the improvements in operation and capability are more important than I was reckoning.

    I really like the look of what it produces. I wonder how it is in JPEG for small files. For digital, I presently use a Panasonic TZ1, which I like the pictures from much better than the LX3 which is much too smooth for my taste, RAW and manual controls not withstanding.

    I've ordered a GRD ex-demonstrator, from a good company, for an attractive price. For the kind of landscape shooting I do it should be quite adequate in speed of use and capacity. And my little VC 28 finder should work nicely on it.

    Thanks again.
  4. I've thought about picking one up, but I'd like to try one out first. It strikes me that changing focal lengths with this machine might be a bit clunky and the camera loses some of its streamlined feel when you put the focal length adapters on. Also, if one does not choose to use the LCD, changing auxillary viewfinders will also be on the clumsy side, the very reason I bought a Bessa R4. Still, for the reasons outlined, the GR should be an option for anyone who likes rangefinder style photography and is looking for a more capable point and shoot alternative - especially in the wide-angle zone.

    I bought my mom a C-Lux2 for Christmas and she loves it. I took it out myself for a spin and I love it. The quality of pictures this little p&s can put out is outstanding. 28 to 100 zoom, 3 fps burst mode, 5 different focus modes, on and on. Leica and Panasonic have whole lines of feature-packed point and shoots that can stretch traditional "rangefinder style photography".

    Someone on this forum, I can't remember who, made the somewhat provocative statement that if HCB were shooting today, he might well be shooting with a phone camera.
  5. I own the GRD first version. Besides noise being an issue, especially above 200 ISO, the RAW
    writing time is simply too long (about 10-12 seconds) and the camera freezes during that
    time. Model II has a much faster writing time. Don't overlook the Gx-100, it is not a RF, but
    has some nice features, besides being cheaper!
  6. Is anyone able to comment on the quality of the 21mm converter? What is image quality like and how much does it take off the f2.4 lens speed?
  7. This is a question to all of you who own the GRD: Does it have significant shutter lag? That is
    an absolute deal-killer with a lot of the smaller digicams. The Panasonic LX-2 that I got last
    year for the non-photographers in my family makes me crazy with the push the button, and
    let me think about it' performance of the shutter.
  8. Next to no shutter lag when using 'Snap mode' because it is then pre-focused. (Most of the lag you describe is to do with AF time)
  9. A lot of cameras (especially Canon Powershot A and G series P&S cameras) can be self-programmed (to a customisable mode setting) to do 'snap mode' or 'shoot mode' or anything else the user wants to permanently program into a spare mode setting. Just need to know a bit about calculating suitable DOF and hyperfocal distance to get an ideal focus distance and aperture set manually.

    The Ricoh GR Digital saves all this time (and reading instructions and actually doing something) by having snap focus mode built in as an option.
  10. I think on the LX-2 you need to shoot in 'sports' mode under SCN or use manual focus to preset a distance.

    I cannot be certain as I chose the GR Digital instead of the LX-2 when I chose from the two. It is configured more like a proper camera and takes filters and has an optical VF and a 21mm convertor.
  11. For some of my GR DigitaL photos you can go to my biography page...

    Click on the link I have listed on my biography for my Personal homepage then click on 'tags' and then click on 'grdigital'.
  12. I just like those gritty GR pictures.
  13. Trevor; I wrote that before seeing your link to your shots - which I am about to enjoy.
  14. Like others, I remain intreagued by the Ricoh cameras. Great pictures Trevor.
  15. In addition to Trevor's fine shots, you might want to have a look at the "GetDPI" site, where a bunch of the Ricoh enthusiasts are posting. Some of them have, or have used, both the GR-D and the new GR-D II, and a couple of whom I suspect have the full Ricoh 'belt and suspenders' outfit, which I'd define as those two cameras plus the GX100, which has an optical zoom lens of 24 - 72mm (equiv).
    I just wish there were somewhere around here (metro DC area) where I could actually see the cameras. In the US there are only two dealers, Popflash in California and Adorama in NY. Both sell Ricoh cameras that carry Ricoh US warranties.
    Knowing that Adrian, Trevor, and others are not in the US, I post this because the cameras have attracted interest on this side of the pond as well.
  16. Should've typed:
    " .... and a couple of them have the full Ricoh 'belt and suspenders' outfit ... "
  17. Adrian, I cannot compare the two models as I only have the GRD 1. As mentioned above the RAW writing times are slow but it does not bother me at all.The B&W stuff I am getting is really good, and some of the prints show really nice tonal range.It is a very special camera that, for me, has the best user interface and controls of almost any camera I have used and is so portable that it is a pleasure to pick up and take with you. Here a recent shot in RAW and then converted in Lightroom. regards andy
  18. Trevor, nice shots. Flickr makes for a great showcase! It is also nice to see that the GR works well for IR captures! f
  19. From comparisons I've seen online the GRD2 handles noise better.
  20. the beauty of the grd is the quality of noise, the grdII has a different sensor with a different noise profile that is filtered with a reduction program that can't be shut off completely.
  21. Andy. Thank you. I think the original GRD is right for me, too.

    Thanks to everyone here I'm aware of a lot of stuff on this camera I didn't find myself - some good forums and, especially, the PICTURES like Trevor's.

    I'm allowing myself to anticipate a lot of great fun with this little thing. I have the GR1, by the way.
  22. Yes, the noise - the noise ! That's it. I made the mistake of buying the Pana. LX3 with that smeary noise suppression.
  23. I'm waiting for Dpreview to do a test on the GRDII, the results on the first version was real bad at higher iso. I cannot see spending that much on a digicam unless it has good high iso performance. My Fuji digicam cost me $200 and its quite good at high iso. IMHO a fixed lens digicam has to have some advantage over compact dslr like Nikon D40 or the 4/3 system compacts. Besides, a new APC sensor DRF may come out soon I hope the PMA will have something new.
  24. IMHO a fixed lens digicam has to have some advantage over compact dslr like Nikon D40 or the 4/3 system compacts.
    Yes, the digicam fits in a jeans pocket. Everything else about it is a compromise. However, many photographers (real photographers, not equipment owners) have risen to the occasion and made the compact cameras work for them. Thomas Dworzak of Magnum is such a photographer, and in this interview he speaks of using the GRD in his work.
  25. Noise in this case is grain and B&W needs grain. I read somewhere in their blurb that improvements have been made in its B&W tonality. I suspect this is to compensate for the loss of noise/grain. But one particular photographer uses 200 ISO on the GRD and 400 ISO on the GRD II to the same effect, and he seems happy with that.
  26. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    There are several advantages that digicams have over dslrs. One is the
    "live view" on the sensor, although that is changing with dslrs and will probably not be an issue in a few years. Another is a live histogram, same thing. Another is swivel screens, although this seems to be disappearing, and with live view on dslrs, could show up on dslrs. That leaves us with the size. Otherwise, the image quality suffers way too much compared to a dslr, and I can create noise and grain easily in Photoshop, and often do this. Lot better images to start with, and I can end up with the same thing.

    In the end, it is just the pocketability, which is why I rarely bother with the digicam anymore. The Mk3 images are so good, especially at 3200 (relative to my Ricoh at 200 even), that it really doesn't make sense as long as carrying it isn't an issue.
  27. From El Fang's linked interview with Thomas Dworzak in "El Pais" comes this Q and A:

    << ... P. ?Qué cámaras emplea?

    R. Tres cámaras Ricoh GR. Son rápidas y la calidad es suficiente. Si llevas cámaras grandes la gente te mira de otra manera, piensa que eres más rico. ... >>

    My own Spanish, never very good, is embarrassingly rusty, but I believe Dworzak's response to the question "What cameras do you use?" was, in essence, as follows:

    ^^^ A: Three Ricoh GR cameras. They're fast and the quality is sufficient. If you carry large cameras the people look at you in another way, thinking that you are wealthier. ^^^

    [Earlier in the article it is established that the Ricoh GR's he refers to are digital cameras, not the film cameras from the earlier Ricoh GR series.]

    By the way, the live view feature coupled with pivot/swivel lcd that Jeff mentions has shown up on two recently introduced dslr's, the L10 from Panasonic and the Olympus E-3.
  28. If you carry large cameras do people look at you in another way? [​IMG] I my love my...grd 21mm
  29. I hope post-processing/enhancing isn't going to be too big a part of using this camera. Would rather have a grain or texture imposed on me than select one to impose on the picture; that just feels like going too far into the creative process. It's like choosing the grain of a canvas after you have painted the picture. In that case the lie would show up, like it does in cheap textured prints of paintings.

    But these pictures jump out and rip your face off in a very nice way.
  30. [​IMG] The ricoh(i have a GX) digicams are made for b/w.
  31. Got my thinking straight on this: You get your format, your parameters, THEN capture your image. Only that way can the process work.
  32. And no one could prove that better than Travis.
  33. Had a GRD, now have a GRD II and will never look back. Image quality is different, maybe a bit better, but as a camera it's better overall
  34. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    that just feels like going too far into the creative process.
    Great, let's keep creativity and photography separate.
    It's like choosing the grain of a canvas after you have painted the picture.
    Wrong analogy, the "canvas" stays the same. If you want a good analogy, it's like painters who use paint buildup to add texture to their painting after they've mapped it out. It doesn't seem like anyone ever thought that was criminal, why apply rigid rules to photography?
    In that case the lie would show up, like it does in cheap textured prints of paintings.
    If done properly, techniques work. If not, then they don't. Sounds like you have been looking at the latter.
  35. Jeff. Don't worry, it's my problem. I can explain further but this probably is not the place. But it is the reason, thanks to all the contributors here, the GRD is the one for me.

    And according to Robert White it should be here tomorrow.

    If you're still there : thanks everyone.
  36. Enjoy it, Adrian.

    I look forward to seeing the photos.
  37. Man, this thread has made me interested in the GR-Digital again. In general, I'm with Jeff. It's hard to give up the image quality of the dSLR's. But on the other hand, I have taken a lot of personally important images with my Canon SD series cameras over the years. Sometimes image quality is not everything.
  38. "Would rather have a grain or texture imposed on me than select one to impose on the picture; ...In that case the lie would show up, like it does in cheap textured prints of paintings."

    Photography is not painting. Photographs have no actual "texture" as in your reference to canvas..unless printed on a textured surface. Could you explain just what truth is being corrupted with this lie you refer to?

    Isn't it adequate to say that you simply like the look of the GRD files, and the camera's other qualities, without implying that others are "lying" by post-processing to bring out what they want in the image? Or if I use my E-410 at ISO 1600 to produce a grainier image, am I lying about something because you get the same noise at ISO 400?

    Are you sure you are not rationalizing the GRD's image quality, and perhaps lying to yourself?
  39. Does a fair job of infrared B&W too. B+W 093 IR filter and handheld at ISO 400 at f/2.4 at just about the limit of safe handholding speed....
  40. Would you want to apply Tri X grain to a picture ? I'm not sure exactly why I wouldn't want to but I wouldn't. As it is, I use my old Summar and shoot Reala (because I need the colour) and desaturate and increase contrast to get some B&W images that please me. I'm happy with that. The Ricoh is another foray into digital photography that, I hope, will come closer to my analogue experience than other digital cameras I have had. But to add analogue effects just feels wrong.

    Maybe the reference to painting was just wrong. When painting you are using the canvas texture to break up your brush strokes as you go along and you modify your marks accordingly. In fact you can even suppress or provide a texture for an individual brush-stroke, where needed, as you go along. So the texture shapes the painting. When a texture is imposed on the print of a painting it is a lie. That's not calling anyone a liar, exactly.
  41. Absolutely gorgeous, Trevor !
  42. This is all based on my suspicion that the GRD II has noise suppression that Ricoh have felt needs noising up a bit in B&W mode.
    It may be wrong but on its strength I am buying the earlier model.
  43. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    When a texture is imposed on the print of a painting it is a lie.
    It's not a "lie." Paintings and photographs are neither "truths" nor "lies." Thinking about them this way debases the art.
  44. A textured print is trying to look like an oil painting.
  45. "Summar and shoot Reala (because I need the colour) and desaturate and increase contrast to get some B&W images that please me. I'm happy with that. The Ricoh ... will come closer to my analogue experience than other digital cameras I have had. But to add analogue effects just feels wrong."

    .."desaturate and increase contrast to get some B&W images" ..Do as you please, but how do you figure that adding digital effects and processing to an "analog" image is less wrong than adding "analog" effects to a digital image? Analog and digital are meaningless in the artificial value ridden context in which you use them. You are getting lost in BS rationalizations that have nothing to do with photography as far as I can tell. Some sort of gear and process morality. I'm sorry but it all seems less than's a romantic fantasy. The Ricoh is a small sensor digicam and there are others such as the Fuji F810 that can serve the same purpose..if you like the GRDI and the files you've seen absolutely go for it.. but let the lofty BS go. You say you are not calling anyone liars, but you invite contention by endowing processes and hardware with moral values. Again do what you like, for whatever reasons, it's personal expression afterall, but join the living while you're at it.
  46. The texture of a canvas is there to facilitate the application of paint, not as an effect.
  47. "When a texture is imposed on the print of a painting it is a lie."

    I think the key words here are "print of a painting". The original painting will be posessed of all the textures and brushwork and layering of paint that the artist built up as he/she created it. It gives the work an essential character and individual 'signature'.

    If however the "print of a painting" has texture and fake brushstrokes etc. applied in some way then it is tacky and silly.

    I will not comment on the application of grain or noise in photographs though. I only wanted to make the point about prints of paintings.
  48. OK Adrian clarified his point whilst I was typing. Sorry.
  49. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    The texture of a canvas is there to facilitate the application of paint, not as an effect.
    Who said? Where's the rule book? Or are you the only person who can tell us what happens with other people's art?
  50. I live in a house that was built 400 years ago from the ground it stands on; stone, clay, sand and lime. The beams were split along their grain and everything has its own texture or that of the hands that crafted it. You get a feel for what is machine made and what is natural.
  51. Who's making rules ? A fake painting is a fake painting.
  52. all of these are grd mk1 shots if your interested, the Ricoh has replaced my m3 as my
    'personal' camera
  53. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    A fake painting is a fake painting.
    Well who says what is fake and what is real? Collage has been around for thousands of years.
    I was in Sicily a few years ago, it was very interesting, a number of paintings from the 12th century were painted on wood and afterwards had numerous pinholes punched in them to change the texture. Guess those were fake too. You should consider notifying the Sicilian art police about all the fakes.
  54. "I was in Sicily a few years ago..."


    Jeff, I whole-heartedly agree with everything you have just said and if there is anything, any favour or service, I can do for you....

    Well, I am sure you can find me :)
  55. I would suggest the pinholes were put there for the purpose of giving some bight to the surface. How could an actual painting be a fake paiting ?
  56. If you take a look in your Cennino Cennini you will probably find the technique described in exact detail for giving a tooth to a plain board. And most likely for tempera painting, which can tend to flake off a smooth surface.
  57. "The texture of a canvas is there to facilitate the application of paint, not as an effect."

    You are, apparently, not a painter. Artists who are painters frequently paint on a variety of surfaces and have done so for centuries, and not simply to facilitate the application of paint. Hardboard, glass, you name it. Each has it's "effect".. and at that you contradict yourself again because you want to use the GRD for its effect. And even more ridiculously claim it possesses some sort of naturalness. But other effects are somehow "wrong". You could simply own up to these attitudes as personal preference and I believe no one would argue against your right to choose. But you persist in offering your opinions as truths and rules.

    You say you have a special feel for what's natural vs whats not because you live in an old house. I suggest you get out once and a while. While it is perhaps old that does not make it more "natural" than anything else, including manufactured things and neither are the images from a GRD vs those from any other camera or process.

    Of course you don't speak to any of the questions posed to you in a logical manner, you keep blathering this nonsense like a bible belt preacher.
  58. If you're not careful I'll show you the whole sodding thing.
  59. OK assuming by that you mean you are a painter, then you know perfectly well that the surface has an impact on the look of the painting, as does the type of paint, whether it is oil, acrylic, watercolor etc. And any of these can be chosen for their "effect".

    But it doesn't really matter anyway because we're not painting are we? This is about photography, specifically digital photography, and in digital photography we have this thing called a computer, and there is software, and there are output devices..monitors, printers, and the papers, and ink. There are a variety of techniques in digital photography and they take place one way or the other on a computer, whether it is the little computer engine in the camera, and the computer that's in the pictbridge printer you might be using to convince yourself that this is still film, or a computer on your desk that allows you to have a digital darkroom. All your talk of what's natural, or right or wrong having to do with whether your camera has inherent noise or if someone adds it, is moot. There is no "canvas" other than the composite of all the components in the workflow. The only originating source of the image is the light itself and that's the same no matter what camera you use, and that choice of camera is arbitrary and that choice equals processing, which you decry as "wrong" or "unnatural" if it is done downstream.

    You say want to have the noise or grittiness imposed on you by the GRD as if not having a choice makes it somehow more "authentic" (authentically what? noisy?), but the contradiction lies in the fact that there are alternatives and you are _choosing_ this one, and by your logic that would make it artificial noise.
  60. You are quoting me with words I haven't used, like, 'authentic'.

    Yes it affects the way the paint goes on so it allows different effects - sure. That's not the same thing as putting an effect on afterwards. The difference of a few thousandths of an inch depth can have a drastic affect on the way the paint catches and mounds so affecting its transparency and so its colour.

    If you go to the museums you will see how, once, a painter could outshine all the chromes and cadmium's and aniline colours with just a little earth and vegetable matter, because he knew how to apply it to a ground.

    But I did say quite early that I should not be comparing painting with photography.
  61. By the way, you will notice that in the example above there are no mixed colours. The texture of the canvas allows me to use pure colours and mingle them, wet, on the surface.
  62. And, interestingly here, oil painting canvas cannot be made from artificial fibre, its too regular in texture. Flax, being irregularly lumpy, makes the best and has done for centuries - not just because it lasts longer than cotton.
  63. "Had a GRD, now have a GRD a camera it's better overall"

    Can Kristian, or someone, please elaborate.

    Apart from the faster raw writing speed, in what other way is it better? Not talking about the small difference in pixels and maybe a small difference in noise, one way or another.

    I have the GRD and am considering a GRD2 or GX100 as a second (first?) 'body'. To me the rear toggle switch is a step backwards from the rear wheel in GRD. Anything else I am missing?

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