|Ricoh GR Digital - RAW format
You get the maximum quality when working with RAW format of course. Ricoh has joined DNG format, which is the RAW format introduced by Adobe to guarantee that you will still be able to open your files in many years from now. This of course is very kind of Ricoh though it also serves themselves since they don't have to put any effort in developing their own RAW file and additional convertor. The Ricoh files can be used effortlessly with the latest versions of Adobe Photoshop/Photoshop Elements.
Ricoh GR Digital - ISO sensitivity
The GR Digital does not contain a large sensor; in fact it's a rather small 1/1.8" CCD. This is a sensor we often find in compact cameras. The small sensor however makes the Ricoh GR-D suffer from noise at high sensitivities. Up to ISO 400 is very much useable, but ISO 800 shows noise dominantly. If you swap the photo to black & white however, it gives a nice effect. Taking black & white pictures with the Ricoh GR Digital does give you the feeling anyway to be back to working with rangefinder cameras with the granular Kodak Tri-X film. It's definitely an atmosphere you have to like, and I myself do like it to a great extend.
Ricoh GR Digital - Conversion to JPEG
Conversion to JPEG in the camera is carried out excellently by Ricoh. But the sharpening was a little bit on the high side for my taste. Still you can adjust all this perfectly on the GR Digital. It offers some two sets that you can adjust. Besides sharpening, contrast and saturation can also be altered here, somewhat confusingly referred to as Color Depth. Even in English it's the wrong term; in German it's called: Intensity which comes closer to what it actually is. The menu can be set to a few languages only, which is too bad really, but maybe the market segment is too small to take in an extensive language option.
Ricoh GR Digital camera - White balance
White balance is excellent, even incandescent light gets considerably corrected. It's still better however to create your own white balance. Adjusting white balance on the GR Digital is quite enhanced. Besides well-known presets and auto, the GR Digital offers two ways of creating a white balance yourself. First option is sliding a slide aside. This in fact is adjusting the colour temperature although you don't get to see how many grades Kelvin it is. Second manual option is the obvious one: you point the camera at a white surface and let it measure the white balance.
|The Ricoh GR-D lets you carry this out by means of the ADJ button. If you're not completely sure about the white balance, you can even make a white balance table, which is quite luxurious for a compact camera.
Ricoh GR Digital - Exposure options
A camera like the Ricoh GR Digital does of course offer a number of exposure options. Besides three metering methods (multi-segment, centre weighted metering and spot metering) the GR Digital features several shooting modes. A green mode and some scenes at which the camera operates fully automatic are available too. Most photographers however will go for the P, A or M mode at which a lot more can be adjusted by the photographer him/herself. In P mode the camera automatically adjusts shutter speed and aperture but you have more choices in adjusting things yourself than in Green mode. So I'd prefer the P mode to the Green mode. Funny enough shutter speed priority is missing on the GR Digital. Luckily the GR Digital does offer aperture priority for it lets you adjust depth of field. You can change priorities, even though it won't be of much affect due to the small sensor.
Ricoh GR Digital camera - Aperture
Aperture does certainly affect the final quality, zooming will often eliminate lens distortion. The corners of the GR Digital are somewhat blurred at maximum aperture than in the centre of the image. Not a lot, but at 100% you will see some blur, however minimal, in the corners on the monitor. From aperture f/4 the corners as well as the centre are razor-sharp. Purple fringing also reduces when zooming, yet losing them all is rather difficult for the GR Digital. The blurred corners and purple fringing are hardly visible on the images taken in practice, that's how little the GR Digital suffers from them. And that is a huge compliment for the lens designers. The lens is of outstanding quality.
Ricoh GR Digital - Small buffer
The Ricoh GR Digital is not the fastest camera due to the small buffer. Still shooting a series of images belongs to the possibilities. The GR Digital offers a few options. The simplest one is the normal continuous mode, in this mode the camera will capture images as long as you keep pressing the release button and the buffer is not full. In S-Cont 16 images are taken and in M-Cont only the last 16 photos are being stored. These last two modes create the 16 photos to one image which means you will have 16 small images in one file. A nice gimmick but I doubt whether it is very useful.