Vintage Digital (Preview): RICOH GR… A 2013 camera in 2022.

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I have danced around this camera for years. Have always wanted one. But I could never get past the asking price or the no viewfinder thing. A rough around the edges copy was included in a compact camera comparison years ago.

For that comparison, I quickly eliminated the a6000 and not because of the camera, but the lens. In theory, the Sony 20m f/2.8 would be the perfect compact setup… But that lens is awful. It is the lone Sony lens that I like less than the (since redeemed) Sony FE 50mm f/1.8. Sony really needs to release upgraded replacements for both of these lenses… But I digress. That comparison came down to a shoot-out between the RICOH GR and the RX100 IV. Both are great choices, but I ended up leaning towards the RX100 IV.

But my compact daily use camera search continued. Tried many more cameras since this post. But none stuck. More on that later in a full post after more time with the camera.

For now, some quick first thoughts followed by some early sample images.

Spoiler alert. This camera is much better than I thought it was when I first tested it years ago. Will use my samples photos to do the talking. But this bothered me enough to make me go back and review the images I took for that comparison. Two in particular

I was comparing it to the RX100 IV images. In my RICOH GR cons I stated this:

  • That APS-C sensor did not blow the smaller sensor away IQ wise as I expected.

But looking at them closer with fresh eyes I now realize that these RICOH GR images were far better than I gave the camera credit for.

After more use, I realize that there were some significant issues with my comparison.

  • I took far too few pictures.
  • They all mostly took place over lunch.
  • I did not fully appreciate or make use of snap focus.
  • Lastly, I can now admit that I had a Sony bias.

    I am still collecting my thoughts, but here are some last notes for now.

    • Snap focus is cuss word awesome.
    • Light is this camera’s friend.
    • This lens is amazing.
    • Macro mode is quite impressive.
    • Truly DSLR performance in a tiny package.

    Enough of that for this post.

    Sample images.

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    After more time with the camera I have much more to say, and almost all of it is good. More on that in the next post. But what I will say for now is that this is a camera I did not understand the first time I tried it. But now I do. As is no surprise to many it is fully worthy of its fan base.

    Happy capturing.

    -ELW

    RICOH GR

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