Ricoh GR Digital 2
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Digital Camera Special
Ricoh GR Digital II
Published : Wednesday, December 5th 2007
Written by Dennis Hissink
Operation & Conclusion
The lens on the Ricoh GR Digital II camera has remained the same. The lens has already proved to be excellent in practice and is unique in the current digital compact camera market. The focal range of 28mm and the bright aperture of f/2.4 are extremely suitable for reporting jobs in natural light. For those who prefer more than 28mm are offered a wide angle converter (GW-1) to enhance the focal point to 21mm. In particular the reporting photographer is able to get nicely close to his object but also the architecture and landscape photographer will find it an excellent device to work with, considering all the possibilities. A beauty is the external viewfinder; the GV-2, making the Ricoh GR Digital II a lot more compact compared with the combination of camera and GV-1 viewfinder. The Ricoh GV-2 viewfinder is extremely compact and does offer framing in a 1:1 aspect ratio (vertical/horizontal ratio). This aspect ratio, also available in RAW format, is a new option, and lets the 'square format photography era' revive. Besides the 1:1 format also 3:2 (standard film) and 4:3 (standard reproduction format) are available. Most striking fact is that the popular 16:9 format is lacking.
Ricoh GR Digital 2 Digital Camera Review
Ricoh GR Digital 2 Ricoh GR Digital Camera
GR Digital 2 Ricoh GR Digital Cameras
Ricoh GR Digital 2 LCD monitor Ricoh GR Digital II RAW format image processing
Bottleneck on the predecessor was the time that it took to write a RAW format image to the memory card. It came down to a degradation of the camera due to the RAW format unless the photographer was extremely patient. The internal buffer of the Ricoh GR Digital 2 has been enhanced and consists of DDR-SDRAM memory now. The predecessor the GR Digital is equipped with standard SDRAM memory. The fast GR Engine II is capable of processing data considerably faster and in combination with a faster and enhanced buffer this results in a mere 3.8 seconds to process the RAW data. Compared to the 11 seconds (!) the GR Digital needed a huge improvement. This speed improvement is also effective for a faster start-up time of the camera. Considering the flash is turned off, it takes approximately 1.8 seconds to get the camera completely ready for action and to take the first picture.
In addition to improvement and enlargement of the LCD monitor one can also turn off the monitor. This may be necessary at times to prevent light from the monitor shining into the viewfinder which of course can be annoying. Even when the monitor is deactivated it is still possible to check the settings or to change them without having the object you want to capture visible on the monitor. When the release button is pressed down half way, reproduction mode is turned off and you can fully concentrate on looking through the viewfinder. Another addition is the automatic horizontal or vertical rotation of images according to the camera's position during playback on the LCD monitor. This function can also be turned off in the camera's menu to prevent yourself from getting frustrated if you want to show certain pictures tilted and the camera refuses to let you do that!
Image quality Lithium-Ion battery Ricoh Optical viewfinder
Ricoh Lens Lithium-Ion battery Ricoh GV2
Ricoh GR Digital 2 Photo quality Ricoh GR Digital 2 Lithium-Ion battery Ricoh GV-2 Optical viewfinder
Concerning the image quality, I cannot say anything just yet. The model I am using for the preview is a pre-production sample and does not guarantee the final image quality the consumer can expect when purchasing the Ricoh GR Digital II camera. The resolution has been enhanced as well from 8.13 to 10.1 Megapixel and is generated by the same CCD image sensor as that of the GX100 camera, a 1/1.75 inch sensor. We will have to wait and see what it will do to the noise. What I can say is that noise reduction on the Ricoh GR Digital II can be turned on or off to one's own desire. This was not possible on its predecessor. Naturally the Lithium-Ion battery has to be recharged before you can use the Ricoh GR Digital II camera. Open the box, insert the energy cable in the back of the battery charger, make sure the Lithium-Ion battery is put into the charger the correct way and insert it completely. The charger's small indicator will light up when charging the battery and as soon as the battery is fully loaded the indicator will turn off. It takes around two hours to fully charge the battery. And since the Ricoh GR Digital II camera is more economic as far as energy consumption is concerned you will easily get by with one battery. On the other hand, a second battery always comes in handy. As I mentioned before, a new optical viewfinder has been developed for the GR Digital II. The Ricoh GV-2 is an optical viewfinder that can be placed on the hot shoe. The viewfinder offers bright and clear reproduction and offers framing with 1:1 aspect ratio image size. The GV-2 is also compatible with the GR Digital. Although the LCD monitor offers excellent reproduction quality, it is also a pleasure to work with the optical viewfinder. In case you want to use a combination of wide angle converter and optical viewfinder, the GV-1 is the viewfinder you need. The GV-2 does not support the wide angle converter, but it does support the tele converter.
Ricoh GR Digital II Ricoh GR Lens
Ricoh GR Digital 2 Ricoh GR Lens
Ricoh GR Digital II Wide Photography Ricoh GR Digital II Lens
The first traditional Ricoh GR was launched almost nine years ago, in October 1996. This GR camera had an inbuilt 28mm lens, 7 aperture blades, alloy body and auto and aperture priority. The successful launch was the start of the Ricoh GR series; Ricoh GR1s (1998 - GR1 + lens cap and LCD back-light), GR10 (1998 - a less heavy edition of the GR), GR21 (2000 - introduction of 21mm super wide Angle GR lens) and GR1v (2001 - GR1s model with manual ISO setting, manual focus mode and auto bracket mode). The GR series cameras were renowned for their excellent quality in combination with 28mm and 21mm wide angle lenses, delivering needle-sharp pictures from corner to corner. In 1997 a special version of the Leica mount of the 28mm GR lens was created. And two years after the birth of the GR Digital it is now time for the Ricoh GR Digital II. The Ricoh GR Digital II camera offers the very best: extraordinary lens quality, GR Engine II (image process algorithms), functional user interface, high quality body and improved versatility. Even though Ricoh learned a lot from experiences with the analogue version of the GR lens, developing the GR lens for the GR Digital camera was nevertheless a real challenge for the R&D department. The Ricoh engineers had the almost impossible task of equipping the lens with high resolution, high contrast, efficient reduction of distortion in the corners and on top of that they had to create a similar or preferably an even better version than the traditional lens. The newly developed GR lens offers 5.9mm (equivalent of a 35mm camera) and has a brightness of f/2.4. Of course you may wonder why no optical zoom has been developed for the Ricoh GR Digital II. This is an easy to answer question: to develop the very best lens, a lens without zoom simply offers the maximum optical performance. The GR lens has 6 elements in 5 groups inclusive a special low dispersion lens. The engineers worked hard to provide outstanding sharpness and high contrast all the way to the corners of the image. A shutter with 7 blades offers creative out-of-focus pictures.
Dennis Hissink - LetsGoDigital Online Magazine
Ricoh GR Digital 2
Ricoh Digital Photography
Editor's conclusion:
"Today's GR Digital photographer will probably not have to think twice before stepping over to the GR Digital II. Naturally we have to wait for the production model of the Ricoh GR Digital II but if I take into account all the renewals and improvements; the specifications can be classified as interesting, and that is an understatement. Ricoh did not take the easy way out of just upgrading the sensor, but improved the entire camera. I am expecting a full production model soon so we will be able to give you a full review of the Ricoh GR Digital II in a little while. Technical tests will be carried out in our DIWA lab in Norway, run by Kai Thon - test manager of DIWA Awards. For now I can only say that I am positive about the new Ricoh GR Digital II. The improvements are well thought-out and Ricoh seriously listened to their fans. To be continued...."
Ricoh GR Digital 2 offering 10 Megapixels and a high-class GR Lens
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