Sunday, 9 December 2007

Photography by GR. It's GRrrreeat!

I have never really been bowed over by new equipment but from time to time, there appears a bright spark of a camera that catches my eye (and pocket!) This is the recently released Ricoh GR Digital II. From 1999 to 2004 prior to the conversion over to digital, I had been extensively using the original GR1 35mm film camera. The GR1 was a truly pocketable fixed lens 28mm 'point n shoot' consisting a metal alloy body only 25mm thick. The outstanding feature of the GR1 was the superb flat field 28mm f2.8 GR lens which has legendary edge to edge sharpness and Leica-like clarity. In 2006, Ricoh released a digital version of similar built, named the GR Digital with a similar 28mm f2.4. However, because the RAW shot to shot shooting capability was about 13 seconds, it wasn't a viable option to use it to its full potential for the type of photography I was used to.

(I popped by the V&A today and photographed Chihuly's huge glass chandelier in the foyer with the Ricoh, showing excellent detail and low noise.)

The GR Digital II however improves on this performance by cutting this shot to shot interval in RAW mode to about 3 seconds, and the camera has an internal buffer to write the files whilst allowing me to release the shutter immediately after the first shot. The High ISO files are quite film-like also, with noise appearing like film grain and is therefore ideal for high contrast black and white images. With 10MP resolution and a smallish 1/1.8'' sensor, this is an ideal street-shooter's stealth camera, with good depth-of-field. It even has a snap-focus setting to approximately 2.5m preset which improves the shooting lag. This gives me a usable professional digital camera that has the potential quality of RAW adjustments and enlargements should I choose to print large.

Another useful setting is its ability to shoot 3:2 format which is the same as 35mm film format. I cannot get used to the 4:3 format on all digicams yet and I seldom if at all crop my images, tending to frame my images critically as I compose.

I would thoroughly recommend keen enthusiasts among you to consider this camera if you are in the market for a decent digicam. Leave the zooms behind and consider using your feet to compose. You will not be disappointed.


KY said...

any idea on the price?

svllee said...

Hi ky, thanks for dropping by. The price in the UK is £399, maybe 10% less in Asia. Cheers.

Anonymous said...

Hello, svllee!
This is Honey.

Oh, Beeeaauutiful photo!!!
It looks very wonderful camera!
Will I buy one. too? (~.~)

svllee said...

Hello Honey, konichiwa! The GRD2 is produces absolutely great results, the colours are accurate bu i will continue to test its strength soon.

It also has a 1:1 setting!