Ricoh GR II: a camera that every street photographer should own

Dear friend,

Here are my personal recommendations for the best cameras and lenses for street photography:

1. RICOH GR II

Small is beautiful: RICOH GR II — my favorite street photography travel camera.
Small is beautiful: RICOH GR II — my favorite street photography travel camera.

If you want just one camera and one lens for street photography, get the RICOH GR II. It is roughly ~$600 USD, small, compact, fits in your front pocket, always with you, has a (very sharp) integrated and non-interchangeable wide-angle 28mm lens, APS-C DSLR-sized no anti-aliasing filter (very sharp images), very customizable, perfect ergonomics for a handheld camera, nice color JPEG photos (positive film preset), and the RAW photos look beautiful with ERIC KIM MONOCHROME presets.

RICOH GR II x Eric Kim Neck Strap
RICOH GR II x Eric Kim Neck Strap

Recommend accessories with RICOH GR II:
ERIC KIM Neck Strap (compatible with the point-and-shoot strap lugs for RICOH GR II)
ERIC KIM WRIST STRAP (compatible with Ricoh GR II)
3.0 inch Screen protector

Buy RICOH GR II on Amazon



2. FUJIFILM x100F

eric kim street photography x100f fujifilm-7030
Selfie with Fujifilm x100F

The best value camera for street photography (in terms of price, functions) is the Fujifilm x100F. After many generations of x100’s, the x100F is pretty much perfect. It is small, light, has a good 35mm integrated lens, insanely fast autofocus, and a thin profile. Also it has a cool ‘retro’ look (known in street photography circles as the ‘poor man’s Leica’).

Also, the X100F (as well as all the Fujifilm cameras) have the best in-camera JPEG processing for colors, as well as insanely-great high-ISO capabilities.

Recommended accessories with x100F:
ERIC KIM Henri Neck Strap
ERIC KIM Henri Wrist Strap (also check out PHANTOM BLACK edition).

Buy Fujifilm X100F on Amazon


3. Olympus PEN-F + Olympus 17mm f/1.8 Lens

eric kim street photography portrait
Dalat, 2016. Selfie with Olympus Pen F.

If you want a camera that looks cooler than the X100F (in terms of aesthetics), and an even faster autofocus, I recommend the Olympus PEN-F. The on-off switch is like where the old film rewinder was on my film Leica MP. The black and white in-camera JPEG settings look awesome. I also love the color-filter JPEG front dial (where the old Olympus PEN ISO dial was), which is fun to switch around and play with.

Another benefit of the PEN-F: you can turn around the back LCD screen, so you can prevent yourself from “chimping” (checking your LCD screen immediately after shooting photos). Thus, it is like a zen-like experience of staying focused of making photos (like shooting with a film camera).

The Olympus 17mm f/1.8 Lens (after the 2x crop of the Olympus PEN-F), is a full-frame 35mm equivalent (ideal for street photography) with a camera with a viewfinder. Also the electronic viewfinder on the Olympus PEN-F is excellent: very fast refresh rate.


Lenses for Street Photography

Zone focusing at f/16 (notice the range of focus at f/16) When lens is pre focused to around 1 meter. .7 meters to 1.5 meters are in focus.
Zone focusing at f/16 (notice the range of focus at f/16) When lens is pre focused to around 1 meter. .7 meters to 1.5 meters are in focus with Leica 35mm f/1.4 Lens

For street photography, generally a 35mm “full-frame equivalent” is ideal for street photography (if you use a viewfinder). If you shoot with a point-and-shoot camera and frame with your LCD screen, I recommend a 28mm “full-frame equivalent” lens.

Personal recommendations of lenses for street photography:


Visualization: What is the Best Camera for Street Photography?

What is the best camera for street photography? NEWEST VISUALIZATION by ANNETTE KIM
What is the best camera for street photography? NEWEST VISUALIZATION by ANNETTE KIM

Not sure what is the best camera for street photography? ANNETTE KIM put together this dope visualization on how to simplify your life by helping you decide, “What is the best street photography camera for me?

See all free street photography visualizations


Recommended Photography Equipment

There is no “perfect” camera. Don’t fall into GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) and falsely believe that buying a new camera will make you a better photographer.

If you’re not feeling inspired in your photography, I recommend you to buy books, not gear. Also check out these 75+ Inspirational Photo Books You Gotta Buy. You can also download my free books.

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