Published in my review of the Ricoh GR in Guide to Mirrorless: Examples at the Beach. Variety, including some portraits and some close-ups and more, presented as retina-grade images that are particularly beautiful on a MacBook Pro with Retina Display.
If these images do not impress, I don’t know what will. I could not have done better with any camera or lens at any price. The total effect is one I’m not sure I have ever seen in a compact; it is a combination of sharpness, color, bokeh, and some other qualities hard to pin down. Close-ups in particular have a highly unusual presence.
I’m not responding to just these examples but the over 1100 images or so I’ve made with the Ricoh GR. I can’t remember being so impressed with what I’m seeing with each and every batch of images. The camera is effortless to shoot (DNG too!), and delivers quality leaps and bounds out of its class.
This is the best compact camera I have ever used, by a long shot.
Get the Ricoh GR for about $797 at B&H Photo.
Dr S writes:
About the Ricoh GR. Got it delivered this afternoon, charged the battery (in camera! yuk!) and snapped a couple on a tripod of my really ugly parking lot and fence in blazing afternoon sunlight in SoCal (just to see whether or not I could get an image. What a wonderful experience having RAW in DNG format! Easily brought into LR5.0 adjust the blacks, make the sky bluer, add a little sharpening with Topaz and that is one heckuva sharp image! Nice shooting experience, too.
It kinda makes you want to leave the other heavy crap behind and just use this cam. And as you say on your blog, it is a damn shame the sensor isn't 24 or 36mp. Hope their engineers can work a miracle because they would have a seriously great cam on their hands if they did.
Thanks for making spend another $800.00. This one was definitely worth it.
As I look back on my personal "digital cam" evolution I recall being amazed I could get an image copied onto a floppy disc with my Sony Mavica at a reasonable price. Then a Canon Elph made it so small and portable it was a pleasure but the quality one got from film was obviously lacking. Through the first Nikons (not a Leica owner) to the marvel of the D800e I thought the industry had hit a wonder point.
Then comes this rectangular piece of plastic that is as light as a feather, quite unassuming, all the necessary buttons and wheels within finger's reach, feeling just like those pocketable image-barely-acceptable compacts, that just blows you away.......and at a fabulous focal length! In today's blog you seem not only impressed but almost giddy with the whole Ricoh experience.
There is a large fire near us that is really making the area less than photographic but this weekend I may just go someplace far away and shoot. Lastly, I can go on long hikes and not feel as if I am a pack mule. At the least I had the D800e w/3 primes and a tripod. I can get away with compact and a gorilla pod. Life is good!
DIGLLOYD: Indeed, it does make one think, and yes the ease of use and outstanding image quality and light weight and best controls on any compact stand out as making the Ricoh GR a winner in so many ways. It is rare that a camera pulls it all together so well.
See the raw processing notes for color and tint in the review of the Ricoh GR.
Tom VP writes:
I really enjoyed your review of the Ricoh GR.
Mostly because of the thoroughness with which you always put equipment to the test. But also because it echoes the joy I have had for a couple of years now with my GR 3, the brother with the smaller sensor, which I have used as some sort of sketchbook next to my Canon DSLR. It makes me really determined to get an upgrade to APS-C as soon as I can. Ricoh (and Pentax for that matter) really knows how to build cameras for photographers (and amateurs like me). As opposed to Canon, for instance, who just seem to put in as much features as possible, without thinking about ergonomics.
I have also read (parts of) Making Sharp Images, and unfortunately did not find any tips on how to stably hold cameras with just an LCD screen on the back. Do you have any suggestions for holding this kind of camera?
DIGLLOYD: The Ricoh operational approach is outstanding, the Canon approach is a poster child for the worst possible design.
As for holding a camera with a rear LCD only, this is a real drawback: arm’s length means movement that kills picture sharpness.
One option is an optical viewfinder in the camera hot shoe; this allows mass coupling the body (via the forehead) to the camera, which turns high frequency movements into gross body movements, allowing lower shutter speeds. Another option is to use a focusing loupe like the Zacuto for the same purpose. Both have their drawbacks; it is a shame that Ricoh did not see fit to at least offer an optional EVF, because an EVF has major advantages in several ways.