Review of the Ricoh GR Digital (GRD V) for Street Photography

1x1.trans Review of the Ricoh GR Digital (GRD V) for Street Photography

Self-portrait with the Ricoh GRD V in Detroit

Disclaimer: I have been provided a Ricoh GRD V (no strings attached) from Pentax-Ricoh. However I will try to keep this review as un-biased as possible.

Disclaimer aside, I think this is currently hands-down the best bang-for-the-buck digital camera for street photography currently out there right now (retails for around ~$695 on Amazon). I love the compact size, the superb image quality and high-ISO performance, as well as the ergonomics and handling. It has been traveling with me alongside my Leica MP as a second shooter — and the camera seriously kicks ass.

While I still prefer shooting with film at the end of the day, it is an amazing camera and I highly recommend it to all street photographers who want a smaller alternative. Keep reading for more of my thoughts on the camera.

Also note I don’t really care for spec sheets and technical aspects, so I will keep this review as practical as possible for actual usage on the streets.

My history with Ricoh

1x1.trans Review of the Ricoh GR Digital (GRD V) for Street Photography

The legacy of Ricoh GR cameras

I have always been a Ricoh fanboy. Ever since I first shot with the Ricoh GRD III, I was in love. The compact size (that fit into my front jean pocket), the quickness of it (being able to prefocus and shoot without shutter lag), and intuitive controls made it an ideal solution for street photography.

I actually tested the Ricoh GRD III a few years ago for a month (thanks to Chris Gampat from the Phoblographer and B&H for hooking it up) as well as the Leica M9 (provided by Leica Camera USA).

I loved both cameras and gave them both a good workout (in the streets of LA and in Paris) and find them to be a great combination. The Leica was better as a main camera for general street photography, but the Ricoh was great as a compact camera that was always with me. I actually had more fun shooting with the Ricoh over the Leica, as it was easy to use (the majority of the time I just set the ISO to 1600 and in P mode with autofocus). At the end of the month, funny enough, I was sadder sending back the Ricoh than the Leica M9.

1x1.trans Review of the Ricoh GR Digital (GRD V) for Street Photography

Big brother and little brother: Ricoh GR1V and Ricoh GRD V

Fast-forward a few years. I ended up buying a Leica M9 (with generous support from my loving mom) and an older (non ASPH) 35mm Summilux lens. I enjoyed my M9 to death for about a year, and then when I visited Tokyo, my buddies Charlie Kirk, Bellamy Hunt, Mijonju, Mike, and several others convinced me to start shooting film. The timing was great, as my buddy Todd had a spare Leica M6 that he wasn’t using, and gave it to me as a present (I have pretty awesome friends huh?)

Anyways, after shooting b/w film for about a month on the Leica M6, I was hooked. My Leica M9 started collecting dust, and I loved shooting film above everything else. Sometime during the period, I also wrote an article: “Why Digital is Dead for Me in Street Photography“– explaining how I was having much more fun shooting film compared to digital, and explanations for my switch.

Realizing it was no longer being used, I ended up selling my Leica M9 and used the funds to buy a second-hand Leica MP (thanks to Bellamy from Japan Camera Hunter for finding me a great minty one).

Enter: Film compacts

1x1.trans Review of the Ricoh GR Digital (GRD V) for Street Photography

Contax T3, my primary film compact. Photo via Japan Camera Hunter

On a subsequent trip to Tokyo, I ended up also picking up a Ricoh GR1s (eventually traded it for a Ricoh GR1v for more functions).

Around several months later, I then also picked up a Contax T3 (as I switched from shooting black and white to color film, and the color images from the Ricoh didn’t look as great). I also wanted to stay consistent with the 35mm focal length (I have shot with a 35mm focal length more or less exclusively the last 7 years.

The only lens I currently own for my Leica is the new 35mm f/2 Summicron (traded my Summilux for it, as the Summilux was far too heavy, and I always shoot at f/8 in the streets anyways). The Contax T3 also has a 35mm focal length, which was perfect.

Compact vs Rangefinder?

1x1.trans Review of the Ricoh GR Digital (GRD V) for Street Photography

Rangefinders are awesome, but nothing can beat the convenience of a compact camera

Although at the end of the day, I prefer shooting with my film Leica (it can always take photos without a battery, I shoot with it quicker (in terms of pre-focusing), I love the freedom of a point-and-shoot. Why? It is simple, you just simply frame, point, and click. You don’t have to worry about the technical settings so much, and you can focus on more important things (interacting with your subject, trying to get a good composition, or the right perspective).

Anyways enough about my personal history and blabbing on about cameras–lets get to the meat of the article–my thoughts on the Ricoh GRD V.

Ricoh GR Digital (GRD V) What’s new?

1x1.trans Review of the Ricoh GR Digital (GRD V) for Street Photography

For starters, Ricoh re-branded their newest digital GR-series as the “GR Digital.” They officially dropped the “V” from the end of their naming convention (kind of like how the iPad 3 was simply the “iPad”). Funny enough, Apple brought back the naming convention for the iPad 4 (maybe to stop confusion). Leica has also done the same with their new “M” which isn’t the “M10.” Considering digital cameras come out with new iterations about every two years or so, I think they wanted to quit adding numbers at the end.

For the purposes of simplicity, we will just call it the “Ricoh GRD V.”

The big things worth noting in the Ricoh GRD V:

  • 16MP APS-C sensor (a DSLR-sized crop sensor in a compact!!!)
  • 28mm f/2.8 lens (the aperture dropped from 1.9 to 2.8)
  • Ability to change from 28mm to “35mm crop mode” (more on this later)
  • No anti-aliasing filter (leads to sharp images, not sure if this is a new function or not–but pretty badass once I found out)

Handling

1x1.trans Review of the Ricoh GR Digital (GRD V) for Street Photography

Love how compact the camera is — not too much bigger than the Ricoh GR1v on the top.

This is quite possibly one of the most ergonomic compact cameras I have used in my life, if not the most ergonomic. It fits perfectly in your hand, and the rubberized grip prevents any concerns of slippage. The size is a tiny bit larger than the GRD IV, but it still easily slips into your front pocket (if you are a hipster with skinny jeans, you might have a problem). By default, the lens stays inside the body. It retracts once you turn it on (then it will no longer fit in your jeans).

1x1.trans Review of the Ricoh GR Digital (GRD V) for Street Photography

Magnesium alloy body – feel solid without being too heavy.

The body is also made out of magnesium alloy– which gives it a bit of weight without being too heavy. It certainly feels like a quality product, not some cheap plasticky camera.

Controls

1x1.trans Review of the Ricoh GR Digital (GRD V) for Street Photography

Hats off to whoever designed the controls of the Ricoh GRD-series. In an age where we have bloated menus, the Ricoh menus are a perfect balance between customizable without being too much. The camera has two function buttons (which is the left arrow and the self-timer button in the bottom left of the camera) which are easily customizable.

Function 1 and Function 2 buttons

I changed my left custom button (Fn1) to toggle between autofocus and snap focus (you can set your pre-focus from 1m, 1.5m, 2m, 2.5m, 5m, infinity. I have it set to 1m).

I also have my bottom left (Fn2) button to toggle between 28mm and the 35mm crop. How does it work exactly? It just crops in-camera from a 28mm to a 35mm in terms of the pixels. Considering it has a lot of pixels, 16mp, I find myself using the 35mm focal length a lot (I am used to it). Also it shows the different crops in-camera (it zooms in).

Adjustment lever

The adjustment lever is another brilliant control of the camera. It is situated at the top of the camera, and can be controlled by either toggling left, right, or pushing in. The settings I currently have programed in it:

  1. Snap focus distance (1 meter)
  2. Manual flash power
  3. Flash exposure adjustment
  4. Focusing options (in autofocus, I use “Multi AF”)
  5. Dynamic range adjustment (set to Auto)

You can also program it that whenever you push the adjustment lever to the left or right, it changes the ISO. I use this function a lot– and find it to be brilliant and easy way to change ISO quickly.

LCD Screen

1x1.trans Review of the Ricoh GR Digital (GRD V) for Street Photography

Ricoh GR1v on top, GRD V on bottom

The new LCD screen is a big and bright 3 inches. I have no problems shooting with it during the day. The images look nice and crisp as well in it.

The brilliant thing about the Ricoh is that you can actually customize the different display settings– and even turn off the LCD completely (while the camera is still on). This is useful to those of you who want to shoot with a external viewfinder without having the LCD on (draining batteries).

One of the big questions I have is how do I like shooting with the LCD versus a viewfinder? Personally, I have no issue. In-fact, I love the versatility of shooting with an LCD screen because I can frame super-accurately around the edges (whereas with a Leica optical finder, it is about 95% accurate). Not only that, but I have been experimenting with a lot more angles (super low, and super high) while knowing exactly how I am composing.

Battery life

The battery lasts me about a full day of shooting, which is about ~300 RAW photos.

Responsiveness

1x1.trans Review of the Ricoh GR Digital (GRD V) for Street Photography

GRDV on top, GR1v on bottom

Another brilliant part of this camera is the fact that it is quick, spunky, and has no shutter lag. The start-up time has been reduced from 2 seconds (in the GRD IV) to around 1 second in the GRD V. Therefore it boots up in a jiffy, and there is no shutter lag when taking photos (when you are in snap mode).

The autofocus is pretty fast in bright sunlight. In low-light, I have also found it to be pretty good. The only issue I had was using macro mode in low-light (it hunts forever).

I would rank the autofocus speed to be about similar to using a DSLR with center-focus autofocus. It certainly isn’t as fast as the Olympus OM-D (the fastest autofocus I have used so far) and a tad bit slower than the Fuji x100s (which is also super-fast, but not as fast as the OM-D). To sum up, the autofocus in the GRD V is pretty damn good.

Also the best part is that even when you are shooting in RAW, there is no lag from the buffer filling up (I’m looking at you Leica M9). I took many photos in quick secession in the streets, and never had the buffer fill up before my shooting was done.

Macro mode

1x1.trans Review of the Ricoh GR Digital (GRD V) for Street Photography

A photo I took in macro mode in NYC.

One function I found myself using a lot is the macro mode, which allows you to focus up to .1 meter (10 centimeters). One of the frustrations of my Leica is that I can only focus up to .7 meters with my 35mm Summicron, which means I am a bit limited when I want to frame a bit tighter. So the macro mode of the Ricoh GRD V has been a blast, and I have taken some interesting photos with it.

Flash

1x1.trans Review of the Ricoh GR Digital (GRD V) for Street Photography

Easy to access flash switch on the side

The on-camera flash (you can turn it on by flipping a switch on the side of the camera) is small, but powerful. I used it a lot when taking portraits in the street– and found it to also recycle pretty quickly too (when recharging in-between flash shots).

I use the on-camera flash a lot, and love it.

Camera settings

1x1.trans Review of the Ricoh GR Digital (GRD V) for Street Photography

There is a plethora of camera settings you can use, Av, Tv, P, M, Tav (when you can set your shutter speed and aperture and have your ISO adjust automatically, which is great for street photography), and a bunch of “MY settings.”

The Tav is quite possibly the coolest feature for street photographers, especially if you pre-focus and shoot in the streets. For example, you can pre-set the focus to 1 meter (in snap mode), set the aperture to f/8, the shutter speed to 1/250th of a second (I find this to be the sweet spot to make sure walking subjects aren’t blurry) and the ISO will set itself automatically.

Nowadays I usually take still life photos, urban landscapes, and posed street portraits with my Ricoh GRD V so I usually keep it on multi-point autofocus and just keep it in “P” mode at ISO 400 (the same as my film cameras).

Image quality

1x1.trans Review of the Ricoh GR Digital (GRD V) for Street Photography

Old Ricoh GRDIV sensor size on left, Ricoh GRDV sensor on the right (compact vs APS-C sensors)

With no anti-aliasing filter (similar to the D800E) it is sharp as hell.

Below are some RAW un-processed images, and some processed images for you to take a closer look at:

1x1.trans Review of the Ricoh GR Digital (GRD V) for Street Photography

RAW file, no post-processing applied

1x1.trans Review of the Ricoh GR Digital (GRD V) for Street Photography

100% crop of her face

1x1.trans Review of the Ricoh GR Digital (GRD V) for Street Photography

Post-processed

1x1.trans Review of the Ricoh GR Digital (GRD V) for Street Photography

Post-processed 100% crop

ISO Performance

1x1.trans Review of the Ricoh GR Digital (GRD V) for Street Photography

Shot at ISO 3200. Raw file, no post-processing

1x1.trans Review of the Ricoh GR Digital (GRD V) for Street Photography

100% crop in ISO 3200. Superb in my opinion

The ISO performance is pretty solid too. I shot at ISO 1600 with no issues. At 3200 and above, it starts to get a bit noisy in color–but looks fine in black and white.

Sharpness/Colors

I found the colors that the camera produces to look great. Here is a RAW file straight out of the camera, exported into JPEG. See some of the details below.

1x1.trans Review of the Ricoh GR Digital (GRD V) for Street Photography

Shot with a flash, RAW image, no post-processing.

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1x1.trans Review of the Ricoh GR Digital (GRD V) for Street Photography

Downsides

To be quite frank, I find little to no downsides to this camera. The only thing that frustrated me was the hunting in the dark with the macro mode and autofocus enabled (even with the AF assist light on).

Who should buy this camera?

1x1.trans Review of the Ricoh GR Digital (GRD V) for Street Photography

NYC, 2013. Shot on the Ricoh GRD V in macro mode, post-processed.

If you shoot with a big and hulking DSLR and want something smaller, I highly recommend the Ricoh GRD V to either supplement your camera (or replace it entirely for street photography).

In general if you want to downsize your gear and want to focus on more minimalism in street photography, this camera is for you.

At ~$800 USD, the camera certainly isn’t “cheap” but is very affordable fi you consider it is a compact camera with a beastly APS-C sized sensor. The closest rival is the Coolpix A (I have never used it, but you can see this nice rival review on Ming Thein’s blog). Also it is definitely a lot more affordable than the Sony RX-1 (which goes for ~$2800 USD).

But remember before you drop $800 USD on this camera (which doesn’t seem a lot to a $7000 Leica) don’t forget the cost opportunity. You can still stick to the camera you currently own, and buy 16 quality photo books (at $50 use a pop), or a round-trip ticket to a place you have always wanted to travel to.

Before Ricoh generously sent this camera to me for free, I was considering purchasing the camera myself for my GoPro videos. In-fact, I have a few POV videos actually lined up–in which I have been shooting with this.

Conclusion

1x1.trans Review of the Ricoh GR Digital (GRD V) for Street Photography

Kane’s Diner, Flushing 2013. Shot on the Ricoh GRD V and post-processed.

I have been trying to simulate the look of my Portra 400 film on digital, but frankly–it doesn’t come close at the end of the day. Sure it is quite similar (you can download some of my Lightroom 4 presets for free here) but at the moment, I still love my film cameras. The Leica MP and Contax T3 are here to stay.

I still have been using the GRD V a lot as a fun snapshot camera in my daily life. I also use it when I need to focus really closely (with the macro function). When shooting urban landscapes on film, I have also taken same photos with digital.

If you need a compact daily shooter in street photography, I recommend this camera hands-down.

Sample photos

Not the best photos in the world, but here are some post-processed photos I have taken with the camera the last month in Detroit and NYC:

Detroit

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New York City

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Video Review

Below is a hands-on video review with the Ricoh. If you want to skip ahead, go to 6:44.

Purchase the Ricoh GRD V

1x1.trans Review of the Ricoh GR Digital (GRD V) for Street Photography

You can purchase the Ricoh GRD V on Amazon  for around ~$694.

Upcoming Street Photography Workshops

If you want to conquer your fears and meet new peers, join me in Singapore, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Sydney, Melbourne, San Francisco, Stockholm, London, Portland, Chicago, Toronto, and New York City:

See My Upcoming Street Photography Workshops

  • httpcolonslashslash

    Thanks! I also come from using a GR1V that I got back in 2003. I loved it to death, but since I have mostly used a 35mm focal length. The flash sync being 1/2000 second is really really nice (eliminating all “natural” light), but I don’t like the flash sitting on an anorectic arm. Is the flash arm flimsy or well built?

    • http://erickimphotography.com/blog Eric Kim

      The flash arm is pretty well built– I’ve used it to death the last few weeks, and it looks like it can stand a beating.

      And I have found myself using the “35m crop” setting in the GRD V quite a bit

  • Thomas van Hemert

    can you toggle easily between the distances in the snap focus mode?

    thanks

    • http://erickimphotography.com/blog Eric Kim

      Yes–very easily. And you can customize it incredibly easy with the adjustment lever

      • ian

        so users can’t press the up button and scroll with the front wheel to change snap focus distance like the GRD3?

  • Sebastian

    I´m so confused. I want to buy a small camera for street. I was pretty sure that i want the x100s. But now this GR arrived. I don´t know what to buy. Any suggestions?

    • http://erickimphotography.com/blog Eric Kim

      If you want a smaller camera, I’d go with the GR. For an optical finder, go with the x100s

  • Vincent Sjögren

    Very nice and straightforward review! I have a GRD IV that I love, but I find that the highlights get blown out too easily and that’s an issue for me.
    Judging from your photos the dynamic range is much improved, am I right?
    Also, the colors look superb!

    • http://erickimphotography.com/blog Eric Kim

      Thanks Vincent– yes I think the dynamic range is improved due to the increased sensor size. I think that alone makes it worth the upgrade

    • kenyee

      One other thing about this Sony sensor is that it does a *lot* better w/ preserving shadow detail. If you do have highlight blowout issues, underexpose it to retain highlights and pull out detail in post. There are “pull black cat out of black image” examples w/ this sensor…it’s really nice…

      • Vincent Sjögren

        That sounds brilliant!

        With my GRD IV I usually keep the upper midtones/lower highlights normally exposed to keep the highlights from getting blown out but that tends to make the midtones/shadows quite dull and boring, even with a lot of editing (most of the time).

        Now I just need to wait for the GR to arrive at the shop!

        • kenyee

          It’s pretty much the sensor in the Pentax K-5 and Nikon D7000 and it has received a lot of praise. That’s where you’ll find the “black cat out of black underexposed image” tests…pretty amazing. It doesn’t have that much DR in the highlights but Sony has done an amazing job w/ the shadow detail you can pull back..

  • http://www.boliston.com/ Adrian Boliston

    I find the only annoying thing so far is when using P mode that the aperture seems to stay at f/4 until the shutter speed reaches 1/1000s – I would rather it used f/5.6 & 1/500s or f/8 & 1/250s to get better DOF. An alternative is to select shutter priority and use 1/250s and let it select the aperture.

    • http://erickimphotography.com/blog Eric Kim

      Yes that is a bit annoying– I hope Ricoh fixes that in a future firmware update

  • Nick

    Photos look great. The colour is especially impressive. Is there any lag when you use the flash? This always bothered me with the GRDIV as it made quick snaps at night very difficult. Otherwise, I think I’m sold already – all this camera needed was a better sensor.

    • http://erickimphotography.com/blog Eric Kim

      I noticed with the new GR there doesn’t appear to be any noticeable lag (perhaps a bit, but much improved from the GRD IV)

  • K_iwi

    An outstanding little camera with a form factor that is perfect for street shooting….I’ve hardly used my MM since the GR arrived! The B&W grain (noise) at high ISO is much better than I expected too.

    A couple of gripes: my GR is consistently over-exposing so needs to be set at -1 EV at night and -2/3 in daylight. Maybe it’s just my camera as other users don’t seem to be reporting this. I like to keep the display disabled (especiallly at night) but the Fn1 and Fn2 buttons don’t work when the display is off. For example, the display has to be toggled back on to activate Fn1 snap mode which is distracting when I’m in a hurry for a shot.

    • http://erickimphotography.com/blog Eric Kim

      Thanks for the tip Jonathan! :)

    • Yes Modo

      As crazy as it sounds, I’ve recently acquired an MM and loving it BUT I’m a big believer in always carrying your camera with you and am thinking, can’t believe I’m saying this, of trading down to something more pocketable. I’m a one camera guy. Does your MM comment still stand? My preference is street but still looking for the perfect tool. I’m also a big viewfinder fan and although that would of course add some bulk, it would still fit in a jacket I think. Have you used a viewfinder on your GR?

  • Nik.C

    My DSLR while useful, especially with manual lenses, is redundant as an everyday shooter, I now shoot everyday with my Panny LX3 in high contrast B&W, and while slow compared to today’s camera’s ( it’s a 2008 model) with AE/AF lock on it’s not to bad, and any under/over exposures can be rectified post process… looking at where I’m heading with my photography, street/observational shooting, where a decent, small, and compact sized camera is the order of the day, for me the GRD with the APS-C looks like my next step, the 28mm lens would be ideal, as the LX3 is a 24mm equiv I think at it’s widest, and often have to zoom in a tad, or get really close, plus the Ricoh will be lightning fast compared… time to save up me thinks!

  • http://the.me/ DanTHEME

    Thanks for the nice review, Eric. Looks like a great tool for photojournalism and documentary style.

    What I don’t like is the visible distortion out-of-camera.

    The 28mm equivalence could — technically — be undistorted.

    • http://erickimphotography.com/blog Eric Kim

      Yes, you can always use the “35mm crop” setting– I find myself using it quite a bit

      • idp69

        hi there erik. thanks for this nice review. speaking of the 35mm crop mode, is this feature available when shooting raw? thanks.

  • Ilkka

    Thanks for the good, practical review.
    I am a bit concerned about focusing speed/accuracy with this camera. In the above pictures the one with a guy talking on a phone in a bar seems out of focus even though he is big and almost right in the middle of the frame. This happens to me a lot with my GRD3 and 4. I know it sounds silly, but I think this camera should have face priority focus as an option. Not sure if it has, but the previous models don’t have. It works well on my Olympus and Panasonic m4/3 bodies. With a bigger sensor, depth of field is much more limited than in the small sensor GRDs even with their faster lenses. so focusing becomes even more of an issue. If you shoot F/8 and be there, then it is obviously not that much of a problem. But I just cannot think of shooting at F/8 at night…
    I also think Ricoh should have put a EVF port on this camera, using the same pretty good GXR external finder. That would make confirming the focus a bit easier. They already have the finder and hot shoe, just need to add the port under it.
    I am happy that it uses the same battery as the previous models but I am a bit pissed that it has the third version of their 21mm adaptor. GRD 1&2 had one, 3&4 had a different one, and now again another one. I suppose it is somewhat understandable that the wide angle lens converter needs a different optical formula for a new lens, though it works pretty well on other lenses even when just held in front of the lens by hand. But even the old filter/hood adapter cannot be used. Would be nice to at least have the choice.

  • http://ledesmaphotography.wordpress.com/ Jorge Ledesma

    Likewise here, I love the macro function and double exposure. Cool snaps. For me the GR has now become my primary documentary tool. I have a review site dedicated to the Ricoh GR over at http://ledesmaphotography.wordpress.com/new-ricoh-gr-review/ its a microsite but there you’ll find tons of images including macros.

  • Baz

    I have been using my GR for about a week now and after some reservations at first in comparison with my GRD3, I was not happy with snap focus, I am loving it, I have discovered Pinpoint Focus, I just focus on a particular spot by part pressing the shutter, keep you finger gently on it then press it when you spot your subject, instant shutter reaction, it stays focused on the distance so it could be more accurate than snap focus.

  • Mike Avina

    Glad to see someone reviewing this tool. People that emphasize film and xzy camera are mostly creating barriers to entry in an attempt to protect what they imagine they have. Many of the people that are best-positioned to take stories that actually matter can’t afford an M anything or ‘cron anything. More digital, more pictures, less preciousness. Good.

    • http://erickimphotography.com/blog Eric Kim

      Agree Mike!

  • hamm

    Do you think the size (and price) difference makes the GRD an “x100s-beater” despite lacking a viewfinder?

    • http://erickimphotography.com/blog Eric Kim

      I think it is a personal choice. If you want an optical finder, go with the x100s. If size is a concern, then go with the Ricoh

      • hamm

        That’s no help! :D

        • OMlegacy

          Own both cameras if you can afford, then there will be no problem, hamm .
          The GR/GRD and Fujifilm x1oo are best of the crop, we live in the age spoilt by abundence and choices. :D

  • dan

    I thank you for your honesty up front (a lot of bloggers would not have disclosed a no-strings-attached gift). But when I read that disclaimer, I didn’t read another word of the review. A saint couldn’t give a credible review to a camera received as a gift from the manufacturer. I would suggest that you accept the camera on loan, review it, then give it back. Better yet, BUY the camera and then review it.

    • http://erickimphotography.com/blog Eric Kim

      You are right Dan– it does influence how I perceive the camera as I didn’t pay any money for it. Having said that, I was considering purchasing the camera before I got it for free. Thanks for your feedback!

  • John

    re: branding. They re-branded 2 times – they started with GR, then GRD (for digital), then BACK to just “GR”. I believe they did this because it doesn’t make sense to put “Digital” anymore since it’ll FOREVER be digital and they’ll never go back to film anyway. So you are incorrect sir when you say they rebranded it to Digital at this point. It’s just GR.

  • Michael Ares

    I would really like to get the V, but I can’t spend $800 for it anytime soon. However I am interested in the IV and see prices for it for about $350. I really want a compact camera to take with me besides a dslr. You think the IV is worth getting instead of the V? Is there that much difference?

  • Jason

    Thanks for the review! The GR looks to be a great camera and it really looks attractive, but I can’t really justify the price just yet. I noticed that some GRD IV’s are going for cheaper on ebay, do you think it is still a good option? I know you only had a month to use the GRD III, but if you had it again do you think it would still hold up?

  • Frensoa

    Hello!

    Nice review!

    What do you think of the depth of field? Does the lens/captor couple allow to take good portrait photos? I’d like to buy this camera for street photography, but also to take my relatives in photo…

    Thanks a lot for your answer!

  • Jonas

    Great review! Thanks!
    Can’t decide between the GR and x100s, but the size isn’t the most crusual thing for me, it’s the focal length.
    Question: Is it stupid to buy a GR and only use it in 35mm crop mode (28mm is too wide for me) and not taking atvantage of the whole sensor?
    It’s not like the 35mm crop will provide any shallower dof since it only crops down on the sensor.
    And, how annoying is the green light around the on/off button? Can it be turned off?

    Thanks!!

  • isoterica

    I received my -first- GR a couple weeks ago and after spending a week with it could not get it to shoot an image with any level of sharpness, even on a tripod, thus I sent it back. The -second- will be delivered this coming week. I am crossing my fingers as vacation looms dangerously close and while I’m not overly fond of how wide the GR shoots I have heard that in Europe wider is better given the tightness of the streets etc. Curious about the X100s and how it would compare though I can’t get my hands on one since they are so scarce right now. Putting size aside, opinions? At any rate, Eric, did you [or anyone reading] have to do a lot of processing on your GR images, were they sharp out of camera in raw, in jpg? How sharp?

  • Tween.sane

    What kind of tool do you use for post processing?

  • Brandon Campbell

    Looks great! I’ve always wished for a digital version of my old Olympus XA rangefinder, and this sounds like the closest thing yet.

  • David

    Hi,

    Maybe a stupid question… but, what are the pros/cons of editing images within the camera (BW filters, RAW editing, etc) versus taking plain pictures and editing with external software later (lightroom, photoshop, dxo optics, etc)? It is nice that the camera allows inside editing, but is it that good that it’s better than using external softwares that most people use today? I’m just curious.. any comparisons have been made? Is it just to save a bit of time, but actually the quality is better with external softwares?

    Thank you!

  • ricke

    Eric, I also use Portra and colors are wonderful! however its too expensive than Kodak Ultramax. Do you get them scanned in a lab? what kind of scanner do you use?

    • hdhdjsk

      Uh Eric Kim uses the best lab in the world CVS lol he gets them developed and scanned at CVS I believe.

      • http://erickimphotography.com/blog Eric Kim

        I actually use Costco.

        And Ricke– I get them developed and scanned at Costco

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  • Talosh

    I have the grs 3 do you think it worth to upgrade to gr v? Thanks

  • Andre

    Hello Eric,)
    Can you show us the size of the GRD V vs the Sony RX100. Size is everything to me (well not quite but…) and I’m really tempted by the Ricoh but only if it fits in my shirt pocket. I do street photography.

    Thanks a lot for this review, yours are always the best because you go beyond the purely technical reviews.

    André Dumas
    Ottawa, Canada

  • Max

    Those photos look pretty damn good to me.

    Also: I see you’re really embracing the Eggleston influence now! Cool!

  • Jae B.

    For those of you who are looking for a replacement battery and an external charger, I would recommend the bp-41 battery from bestbatt.com. I paid about $35 for both the battery and charger rather than $100+ for the Ricoh brand. (For some reason, even the BestBatt rep claims that they do not carry the battery for the new Ricoh GR, but the bp-41 works fine on my GR V.) I find that I drain the battery in about 2.5 hours and the charging charging cord (that came with the camera) is a pain to use.

  • Alejandro Ilukewitsch

    Really, really wonderful pictures! love the processing, composition and the mood of them. I guess you didn’t use the optical viewfinder on this, but any idea on how is shooting with it? will there ever be a electronic viewfinder for this camera?

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  • http://www.rokasjankus.com Rokas Jankus

    Hey Eric, the b/w macro Remonds me of the famous malcolm x photo by Eve Arnold! Btw. i love this camera…

  • teorema67

    Great review and great pictures, thanks!

  • Owen

    Hi Eric,
    Considering i have a d-lux 6 currently(selling off my e510 and gf1 plus lenses) and keeping things small, would you suggest GRV or leica x2 or rx1r? :)

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  • 王同

    GR has a new firmware 4.0 released, it added highspeed AF mode feature. I tested it out yesterday night, it was amazing. Now I can do AF at the night street where previously I have to stick with the snap mode.

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  • Bill Green

    I love love love this camera. I work in a camera store and I’ve been hands-on with a lot of other cameras. My SLR has been sitting on the shelf unused since I got this one.

    I just got back from a trip to Manila – got lots of great shots.

    I just got back from my trip and discovered something about the camera quite by accident. I’ve tried to find it in the manual but haven’t been able. I’ve been shooting in TAV mode, and still experimenting with various focus modes – snap, spot,multi AF.
    When it came to shooting macro shots I’d change to MF and do the macro. I discovered that when the camera is set up on MF, the AF still works if the screen has the display showing the distance bar on left.
    When in MF mode the AF defaults to spot and the AEL/AFL or C-AF buttons still work. This means that i can street shoot using MF all of the time and move in for macro shots without changing modes in menu.

    I don’t know if others had found this, but I’m excited about this and I’m looking forward to doing more experimentation.