Ricoh GR Digital review - LetsGoDigital
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Ricoh GR Digital Camera Preview
GR Ricoh - Page 1/14
Friday 23th September 2005
Written by Dennis Hissink
Introduction
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.
Ricoh GR Digital 28mm with external GV-1 viewfinder attached
Ricoh GR Digital 28mm with external GV-1 viewfinder attached
Ricoh GR1 vs. Ricoh GR Digital
Ricoh GR lens
Ricoh GR Digital GR1 vs. GR Digital Ricoh GR Digital Lens
Ricoh GR Digital GR1 vs. GR Digital Ricoh GR Digital Lens
The first analogue Ricoh GR was launched almost nine years ago, in October 1996. The GR camera incorporated a 28mm lens, 7 blade aperture, magnesium-alloy body, and auto & aperture priority. The successful launch was the start of the Ricoh GR series; Ricoh GR1s (1998 - GR1 + lens hood and LCD back-light), GR10 (1998 - a light edition of the GR), GR21 (2000 - introduction of 21mm super wide GR lens) and GR1v (2001 - GR1s model with manual ISO setting, manual focus mode and auto bracket mode). The GR series' cameras were known because of the fact that they delivered a perfect quality although using 28mm and 21mm wide angle lenses, and created razor sharp images right up to the edges. In 1997 a special Leica mount version of the 28mm GR lens was made! Now it is time to introduce the return of the GR as the Ricoh GR Digital. The GR digital camera has the best of the best to offer: superb lens quality, GR Engine (image process algorithm), functional user interface, high quality body and versatility. Although Ricoh has acquired a lot of experience with the 'analogue' version of the GR lens, developing the GR lens for the GR Digital camera was a challenge for the R&D department. Providing a lens with a high resolution, a very effective suppression of distortion in the corner and a high contrast plus the need of being at least as good, preferably better than the analogue version is quite a task for the team of Ricoh engineers. The new developed GR lens offers 5.9mm (equivalent of 28mm in 35mm format camera) and a brightness of f/2.4. Of course you may ask why not developing an optical zoom for the Ricoh GR Digital? Well, to be able to develop the 'best of the best' lens a non-zoom lens offers simply the maximal optical performance. The GR lens incorporates 6 elements in 5 groups including a special low dispersion lens. The engineers have also worked hard to guarantee a high contrast from the center to the edge of the lens. A 7-blade shutter results in creative out-of-focus images.
Storage medium External flash Power on/off
Ricoh GR Storage medium Ricoh GR External flash Ricoh GR Power on/off
Ricoh GR Storage medium Ricoh GR External flash Ricoh GR Power on/off
The Ricoh GR Digital supports Secure Digital (SD) flash cards. I have used the SanDisk Ultra II SD Plus flash card which provides a unique capability of utilizing the SD card in a USB port. There is no need for a card reader anymore to upload your content to a PC or notebook. By 'breaking' the card in the middle it transforms itself into a USB adapter! Offering 8 Megapixels and RAW format images we recommend using at least 1GB for storage. Open the lever of the battery/flash card compartment, push the card till it clicks and close the cover. The Rich GR Digital also features an internal memory of 26MB which is only used when no external SD flash card is used.
The GR Digital camera is equipped with a hot-shoe thus allowing you to attach an external flash. Ricoh recommends using the Sigma EF-500G DG Super or the Sigma EF-500 DG ST external flash. One of these combinations offers you the most convenient way of using an external flash. Using other non-recommended flashes you need to take the following steps; Mode dial to A or M, set aperture value, set ISO other than Auto and set the F-value and ISO sensitivity to the camera-set values. The Ricoh GR Digital camera uses a hot-shoe with an X-contact.
On top of the GR Digital camera a small but clear button for power on/off is placed. Labeled with a green sign the power on/off is positioned in a certain way so that you can't miss it, nor accidentally activate it. After pressing the power button you will hear a starting sound and the auto focus/flash lamp will blink for several seconds. Turn the mode dial to playback or select one of the other settings to capture your moment in time. When the internal flash is enabled it will take longer from power-on until the camera is ready for shooting than when the internal flash is disabled. A bright fixed lens does not often need the extra light from the internal flash so disabling it will give you a somewhat faster start-up time.
Dennis Hissink - LetsGoDigital Online Magazine
Audio Video output Speaker
Ricoh GR Audio Video output Ricoh GR Speaker
Editor's comment:
"The Ricoh GR Digital is a kind of camera that GR-fans or owners of one of Ricoh's analogue GR series cameras have been waiting for. From a photographer's point of view it is a joy to see that a company like Ricoh takes the effort to develop a digital jewel like the Ricoh GR Digital. A fantastic high quality GR lens, a great versatility as a result of using the converter to create a 21mm lens and the highly attractive optional viewfinder that gives the Ricoh GR Digital a distinctive look and feel. Having had the pleasure of using the GR1 analogue version together with the GR Digital camera I came to the conclusion that this is a successful transformation of going from analogue to digital. The Ricoh GR Digital really is one of a kind... "
Ricoh GR A/V out Ricoh GR Speaker
On the side of the camera, behind a smooth, soft but thorough small lever the AV-out interface is hidden. Although the Ricoh GR digital camera is not a camera that really needs integration of video and other multimedia features and the GR camera is mainly focused on photography Ricoh still decided to make sure the movie feature is incorporated and the AV-out interface is integrated. The captured images can be viewed on a big screen like a television by connecting the camera to the television with the AV cable that comes standard with the GR Digital camera. Simple and easy, during holidays or in the house sharing with family and friends.
There is a small speaker placed in the corner of the bottom of the camera. Pressing the playback button on the back of the camera the last shot that is taken will be displayed. Scrolling using the buttons of the multi controller enables you to select a sound file for playback. The sound file is marked with a speaker icon. Pressing the ADJ button, the multifunctional wheel on the side of the large 2.5-inch format LCD display starts the playback. Adding sound and movie features to the Ricoh GR Digital is nice, but the main interest goes out to the photographic features and specifications of the Ricoh GR Digital camera.
Product gallery : Ricoh GR Digital Gallery
User review :  Ricoh GR Digital
Ricoh GR Digital - next page >
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