|Ricoh GR Digital camera review : The analogue cameras include the so-called precious compacts; these are high quality compact cameras with an exceptionally outstanding lens. Some examples are: Konica Hexar, the Nikon 28Ti and the Ricoh GR. This latter one is now also available in a digital version. It's obviously more than a Ricoh GR with an image sensor. Ricoh has developed a special lens and the only thing in common with the analogue version is its name.
Ricoh GR Digital camera - Wide Angle lens
The GR Digital stands out for a number of things. The most obvious one is the lens. Not a zoom lens but one with a fixed focus equivalent to 28mm on a 35mm camera, offering a real wide angle. And it's not just a standard wide angle. Ricoh has put in a lot of time and effort to develop this lens. It was supposed to have at least the quality of the analogue GR. Not an easy task because the real focal length of the GR Digital is a lot smaller, besides short focal lengths are very awkward to design. Usually they suffer easily from distortion, vignetting, colour fringing, too much flare and blurred corners. All matters that are not desirable on a camera like this and according to Ricoh they are all solved on the GR Digital.
Ricoh GR Digital - Converter lens adapter
Besides the standard lens, the Ricoh GR Digital also has an converter lens attachment. This gives the focal point an even larger wide angle. Compared to a 35mm camera it offers an angle of view of a 21mm lens. This is a huge wide angle and quite unique on a digital compact camera. The converter lens adapter comes with an optional separate viewfinder. It can be attached to the hot shoe, thus offering an optical viewfinder. You cannot judge the sharpness with it or view any exposure data, but you can see the angle of view. And because of it being a separate attachment, it is very bright making the Ricoh GR Digital suitable for shooting in dimly lit circumstances.
Ricoh GR Digital for the street photographer
Knowing this, it brings us to the most important target group of the Ricoh GR Digital. The Ricoh GR Digital is a camera very much suitable for the street photographer and the 'available light' photographer. In other words: the user of the analogue rangefinders. On paper the GR Digital is also the ideal camera for this type of photographer. Wide angle is very popular among street photographers; you can get extremely close to the subject yet still capture a lot of the surroundings. A bright lens with a bright viewfinder certainly is ideal when you are shooting in dark environments.
Ricoh GR Digital - JPEG & RAW files
The 8 Megapixels of resolution of the Ricoh GR Digital suffices when printing large photos. Besides JPEG, the digital GR version has the possibility to shoot in RAW. This is something that photographers going for quality will find essential. Ricoh very smartly uses DNG-standard. This is an open standard, developed by Adobe, to come to a camera-independent RAW file in order to offer you more choices between the different RAW convertors and to be able to still open your files in the far future.
Ricoh GR Digital review
The Ricoh GR Digital has an enormous potency to become the ideal digital camera for the seasoned rangefinder photographers. As a street photography enthusiast I was thrilled being able to test the Ricoh GR Digital for a longer period of time in combination with the ancillary lens attachment. My experiences can be read in the following Ricoh GR Digital review.
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"Some time ago we were informed about a new digital camera. In all these years since we have been around we have seen quite a number of cameras, and to be honest, most of them are not that exciting at all. Some models are developed just to function as a follow-up without any new features or improvements at all, just a new colour and a new name. Other models are claimed to be revolutionary, but seem to have been developed without any real inspiration or even passion. Today, we give you an exclusive preview of a digital camera that is developed from the heart and mind of a photographer, for a photographer... The Ricoh GR Digital is a camera that awakens old memories and reminds you of those days when film was the universal platform instead of a flash card. The sample we have used for our preview is not a final sample, although close to a full production model. Therefore some very minor things could change in the end. Enjoy reading the preview of Ricoh's top model, a digital version of the well-known GR camera series Ricoh GR Digital."
Continue to read our Ricoh GR Digital preview