Ricoh GR review - LetsGoDigital
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Ricoh GR Digital Camera Preview
GR Ricoh - Page 2/14
Friday 23th September 2005
Written by Dennis Hissink
The Ricoh GR Digital provides a fixed 28mm lens with a bright aperture of f/2.4. Working with a 28mm focal length is already a pleasure, but using the optional Ricoh GW-1 wide conversion lens gives you a focal length of 21mm, fantastic! Especially landscape and architecture enthusiasts will be pleased to learn more about the Ricoh GR Digital camera. To create 21mm you need to attach the Ricoh GH-1 hood adapter to the camera. Unscrew the ring around the lens and you will notice three silver communication interfaces. The adapter hood is more or less able to intelligent perception; it tells the camera that a wide conversion lens will be attached to the camera warning the GR Digital to enable wide auto focus, clever. To be able making the GR Digital as small as possible the viewfinder is removed and a large 2.5-inch LCD display steals the show. However you will be able to use the optional Ricoh GV-1 viewfinder that covers 21 and 28mm angle. The GV/1, once attached, will give you an amazingly bright and large viewfinder.
Ricoh GR Digital with GW-1 wide conversion lens
Ricoh GR Digital with GW-1 wide conversion lens
Multi format batteries Design and Display
Ricoh GR Digital Multi format batteries Ricoh GR Digital Design and Display
Ricoh GR Digital Multi format batteries Ricoh GR Digital Design and Display
Due to the small and compact size of the GR Digital camera a Lithium-ion battery is used to provide the camera with energy. It is possible to use multi format batteries and an optional AC adapter for energy. The latter one can be used by removing the battery or batteries and inserting the AD adapter battery in stead. In this case you will be supplied with constant power, handy in a studio environment or when viewing the images directly from the camera via a television set, etc. The Ricoh GR Digital comes with a charger and Lithium-ion battery. The DB-60 Lithium battery (3.7V 1150mAh) is one option, regular AAA alkaline or AAA NiMH batteries is another one. Alkaline batteries do not last long and are not economical in use, but could be a shot saver in cases when no power is available. Using AAA NiMH batteries or the Li-ion battery are far more advisable. Both types last long and can be used over and over again. Note that Ni-Cd batteries are not accepted.
Your photographic heart will pump some extra rounds, your hands will begin to sweat or you simply do not understand what the fuzz is about; personally I love the concept. Hitting the digital market with a classy styled high resolution camera and a newly developed GR lens is something that some of us would not expect from Ricoh... but hey, it is a fact! The GR lens is placed near the center of the GR Digital camera resulting in a design that gives a perfect balance in favour of stability, even more noticeable when the wide conversion lens is attached to the camera. The Ricoh GR Digital features a magnesium-alloy case. The Ricoh GR Digital with full equipment looks just amazing, it reminds me of the Ricoh GR camera, the Nikon 35Ti and 28Ti cameras or the Konica Hexar 35mm based cameras. All designed for the enthusiastic photographer who is looking for something special, something unique. Turning the Ricoh 180° a large 2.5-inch format LCD display appears. The display is bright and rich in contrast. The 2.5-inch TFT display offers approximately 210,000 pixels and is ideal for using as a large viewfinder or for playing back captured images.
External viewfinder Microphone Auto focus / flash lamp
Ricoh GR External viewfinder Ricoh GR Microphone
Ricoh GR External viewfinder Ricoh GR Microphone Ricoh GR Auto focus / flash lamp
Ricoh is offering optional accessories for the Ricoh GR Digital. One of the accessories is the Ricoh GV-1 external viewfinder. This optical viewfinder can be attached to the hot shoe. Just remove the cover from the hot shoe and place the GV-1 external viewfinder on top of the camera. The viewfinder is amazingly bright and has a frame for 21mm and 28mm (equivalent to 35mm camera) focal length. Working with the external viewfinder is a true joy, and honestly; using the Ricoh with the wide conversion lens and external viewfinder is just great. To be able to capture landscapes, interior shots or composing architectural images with such a compact camera gives you the ultimate creative freedom packed in a stylish compact body.
Very minuscule and hardly visible is the microphone that is integrated in the magnesium-alloy body of the Ricoh GR Digital camera. Although the GR Digital camera is mainly focused on photography you're still offered to record sound. The mode dial on top of the camera needs to be turned to SCENE, choose Voice Memo mode and press the MENU/OK button to proceed. As soon as you push the shutter release button the sound recording starts. Releasing the shutter release button immediate stops the sound recording. This feature does not take up much storage capacity, using only 32MB memory results in 64 minutes of voice memo recording.
The Ricoh GR Digital has a tiny lamp that is placed just above the 2.5-inch TFT display. This lamp gives you an indication of the auto focus status. The lamp has a double function, besides showing the status of auto focus it also provides information about the flash status. During flash charging the lamp keeps blinking. Once the internal flash is fully charged the lamp goes off and it is possible to shoot with flash again. It is only a small detail within the camera but useful. It is amazing how often you use the sideline information of just a blinking lamp.
Close-up Internal flash Optional accessories
Ricoh GR Close up
Ricoh GR Optional accessories
Ricoh GR Close up Ricoh GR Internal flash Ricoh GR Optional accessories
The Ricoh GR Digital is able to capture close ups from a distance of 1.5cm. The macro function allows you to capture all the details that are normally 'hidden' for one's eyes. The internal flash has an effective range of 20cm - 3m. Using an external flash together with one or two extra flash guns that are triggered by the main flash is the solution for capturing close ups from a distance closer than 20cm. Select the macro function by pressing the lower button of the multicontrol button.
The Ricoh GR Digital offers a range of flash settings. By default the flash mode is set to flash off. Turn the camera on, turn the mode dial to P, A, M or SCENE. The internal flash pops up automatically when the flash is set to auto. The GR Digital camera offers auto flash, red-eye reduction, forced flash, slow synchro flash, external flash and flash off mode. Pressing the pop-up flash down will close the internal flash, but pressing the shutter release button makes it pop up again if needed.
Although the Ricoh GR Digital incorporates a fixed 28mm (equivalent of 35mm format camera) lens the GR lens' focal length is expandable using the optional Ricoh GW-1 conversion lens. This will turn 28mm into a wide angle of 21mm, superb. You need to unscrew the ring around the GR lens, place the lens adapter on it, and after that the conversion lens. Other optional accessories are: Ricoh GV-1 external viewfinder, Ricoh GH-1 hood, Ricoh AC-4c adapter, Ricoh GS1- neck strap and the Ricoh GC-1 soft case.
Dennis Hissink - LetsGoDigital Online Magazine
Exposure compensation White balance
Ricoh GR Exposure compensation Ricoh GR White balance
Editor's comment:
"The Ricoh GR Digital is convenient to use. I just have to repeat myself telling you that handling a digital camera like the GR Digital with its wide 28mm fixed lens and the optional 21mm conversion lens gives it something extra. Today's cameras are almost all equipped with optical zoom, from 2.4x to 12x optical zoom ranges. I have noticed this before; using a camera with optical zoom will not encourage you to become part of the action. It does not invite you to come out of your chair and be part of the composition. Using the Ricoh GR Digital around Amsterdam in combination with the conversion lens (21mm, equiv. 35mm format camera) resulted in some great shots around the Van Gogh museum and the Amsterdam Concert Building... Although pre-production status I am impressed with the sharpness, the contrast and the lack of vignetting/distortion of the GR lens!"
Ricoh GR Exposure compensation Ricoh GR White balance
In some cases you need to compensate your exposure. The Ricoh GR Digital is compensating the exposure automatically when your subject is centered and backlight is present. However there are some exposures that need (creative) compensation (P and A mode). Pushing the ADJ button on the back of the camera and scrolling with the multicontrol button makes the exposure compensation menu appear. Pressing the up and low buds changes the exposure with a maximum of -2 - +2 EV (1/3 EV steps).
Another feature hidden behind the ADJ button is the white balance function. Normally the GR Digital camera is set to AUTO and is able to expose a great variety of images under various conditions. However, sometimes the camera is having difficulties determining the correct white balance when shooting an object of a single colour or under several light sources. Pushing the ADJ button and setting the menu to white balance with the multicontrol button you will be able to change the setting (P, A or M mode).
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