Ricoh GR Digital extraordinary camera
Ricoh has placed a nice and extraordinary camera on the market with the Ricoh GR Digital. And it is not so strange that it is Ricoh doing this, since the brand has introduced exceptional cameras before. The Japanese certainly haven't moved in too hurried a manner especially not as far as the lens is concerned. We can definitely say that the Ricoh GR Digital offers one of the best lenses available for digital compact cameras at this moment. I am certainly positive about that and very enthusiastic!
Ricoh GR Digital - Wide Angle lens
It makes the lens the main sales argument for the Ricoh GR-D. It is almost distortion free and at maximum aperture astonishingly good. If you zoom with one step, you'll find that you get superior quality, with superb sharpness from centre to edges and hardly any colour fringing. Backlighting is no problem for this lens. There is hardly any flare and aperture spots are nicely diminished. This is an excellent performance since a small lens is many times harder to develop than a large telephoto lens. You might be somewhat disappointed at first that the Ricoh does not feature a special zoom lens, but in order to get a quality as high as possible the choice for wide angle was made. And experiencing the quality you can only be glad about it.
Ricoh GR Digital - Optional wide converter
If the angle of view of the 28mm lens is too small, you can create an angle of view of 21mm with the optional wide converter. It makes photographing a true joy! Ricoh got the most of it as far as image quality is concerned. You hardly lose any quality. The optional convertor and the Ricoh GR Digital are by far the favourite combination for the street and landscape photographer.
GR Digital camera - Separate viewfinder
Also exceptional is the availability of the separate viewfinder. It makes secretly shooting pictures a lot easier for the street photographer. One who likes to shoot in dark pubs or in dark streets with not enough environmental light, will still have a perfect clear view at all times. You will get used to the parallax all too easy and because of working with an enormous wide angle in combination with a small sensor; the sharpness will be fine, from top to bottom. The combination might look a bit weird and it might raise questions from casual bystanders. Don't worry, you are getting talked to which might be appreciated by you!
Ricoh GR Digital - Image quality
The passer-by will not see that the Ricoh GR Digital produces a fine image quality. Ok, noise is clearly visible from ISO 800, but what do you expect from an image sensor this small? The colour rendition, the white balance and the contrast are beautiful. Also the JPEG images are of high quality. Although the real enthusiast prefers working with RAW format.
Ricoh GR Digital - Too slow camera
Unfortunately this brings us to a weak point of the Ricoh GR Digital; the camera is too slow to serve as an active camera for the seasoned street photographer. You just have to wait too long after shooting a RAW image to be ready for the next shot. In JPEG it improves but processing ought to be faster. You have to bear this slow factor in mind, but if you're prepared for that you will truly enjoy and get the most of the Ricoh GR Digital.
GR Digital - Great camera for the enthusiast
The Ricoh GR-D will not become a mass product nor is it meant to be that by Ricoh. The Ricoh GR Digital will get its very own status, a camera designed for the enthusiast, the photographer that highly appreciates a quality lens like the GR wide angle and who is prepared to adjust him/herself to the camera. Who ever starts working with the GR Digital will sooner or later start loving the camera. It is a fantastically nice digital camera to work with and to carry with you wherever you go. You will get addicted to the outstanding lens, the wide angle possibilities and you will wonder why no other camera has such an excellent lens. The GR Digital is a superb and exceptional camera. Absolutely a must for the enthusiast!
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SanDisk Ultra II Plus SD card
When testing the Ricoh GR Digital I have used a very special and extremely handy Secure Digital memory card; the SanDisk Ultra II Plus. The design of the card is similar to that of the SD standard memory card; on top the card features an additional function. Having removed the card from the Ricoh GR Digital camera, you can bend it in the middle after which a USB interface is freed. This enables you to insert the card directly from your camera in a free USB port of a notebook or computer without the need for a connection to the camera or a card reader to get access to the stored data. Of course you can read the data through the camera but I must admit that I use the card more and more to transport data such as photos, but also documents, to and fro my different work floors.
1GB Secure Digital memory card
The Lithium Ion battery and the SD memory card are settled in the same compartment on the bottom side of the Ricoh GR-D. The 8 Megapixels deliver extensive files, certainly when shooting in RAW. A memory card with a large capacity is quite necessary; I'd even go for a 1GB memory card. The table below shows how many images will fit on a 1GB Secure Digital memory card.
Considering 1GB storage capacity:
Resolution - 3264 x 2448 pixels - RAW - 33 images
Resolution - 3264 x 2176 pixels - RAW - 37 images
Resolution - 3264x2448 pixels - JPEG - fine - 158 images
Resolution - 3264x2176 pixels - JPEG - fine - 177 images
Resolution - 3264x2448 pixels - JPEG - normal - 275 images
Resolution - 2592x1944 pixels - JPEG - normal - 430 images
Resolution - 2048x1536 pixels - JPEG - normal - 683 images
Resolution - 1280x960 pixels - JPEG - normal - 1209 images
Resolution - 640x480 pixels - JPEG - normal - 5237 images
Text mode - 3267x2448 pixels - 1257 images
Text mode - 2048x1536 pixels - 1654 images
Video - 320x240 pixels - 12 min 19s
Video - 160x120 pixels - 46 min 1s