The “GR” from Ricoh stands for GReat!

After my first day with this pocket rocket, I was already sold on its merits. Erik Kim had an early review on his street photography blog, which got me thinking about it. Although it’s clearly aimed at the highly discerning street shooter, I think you can do much more with its 18mm f/2.8 lens and APS-C sensor.

The first thing I did was confirm why Ricoh is known for outstanding B&W output. Here’s an example of the tonal range.

Just in case you think that’s fine, but the color is probably horrendous, take a look at this version. Just a little sharpening was needed, pretty much straight OOC otherwise.

It also makes for an awesome family snapshot machine. Here’s just one example that worked because of its instantly available full press snap focus.

Some early tests pointed out issues with the reds coming from its Adobe standard DNG files (Ming Thein mentioned this in his comparison against the Nikon A). As of the latest firmware, I didn’t see a problem at all, possibly due to 3 apparently effective updates that included added functionality, not just bug fixes – kudos Ricoh!

No it is not meant for portraits and huge swaths of backround blur, but it can do even this surprisingly well if needed.

What I really like is that I don’t need NR at base ISO, and the shadows are much cleaner in low light shots than with an EM5. That is one of my few disappointments with m43 sensors, even the best ones.

Although I dearly love the colors and IQ I can get from the best lenses on my Olympus OMD, and the manual zoom lens on the little Fuji X20 seems to be superior to anything else like it, the big sensor and classic 28mm FOV of the Ricoh GR totally won me over. This has instantaneously become my go to pocket camera for the forseable future.

If you want a little protection for your new GR and are looking for a case, I highly recommend this ridiculously cheap $6 “compass case” that I found at REI. It fits like a glove, has two very functional belt loop options, and offers a more comfortable carry than the pocket of your pants when travelling.

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The other must have accessories are Wasabi batteries with charger (the Ricoh original batteries are perpetually backordered) and the micro 250 tripod from Joby, which is about the size of a house key when folded and is just enough for setting up a selphie.

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