The Ricoh GR has an impressive lineage, starting from the film Ricoh GR1 introduced in 1996. The camera set the tone and direction for the GR series, focusing on delivering the best image quality with a fast 28mm prime lens in a compact chassis.
The series ended on a high with the Ricoh GR1V, which was made famous by the legendary Japanese street photographer Daido Moriyama who used it for his grainy monochromic depiction of the streets of Japan.
Perfect for the streets
Coming from Canon 5d Mark II, the GR doesn’t draw attention to itself in any way, that makes it the best option for the street photographer compared to its direct competitors like Nikon Coolpix. It looks like nothing more than a cheap and somewhat over-sized point-and-shoot camera. If people see you using it, they will probably think you were too cheap to buy a “better” brand like Canon or Sony.
Ricoh GR comes with a 16.2MP APS-C CMOS sensor and a 28mm-equivalent f/2.8 prime lens. The feeling of the camera is just perfect and you can use it with one hand. The lens is sharp with minimal vignetting and the files are excellent with a large dynamic range, low noise, excellent high ISO and great resolution. Images are sharp, with a pleasing look and nice colors. Since I prefer a more “natural” look, the Ricoh GR images satisfy that. So they are not super crisp and saturated like for an example Nikon. If you shoot in RAW, you can always tweak it up in post-production. RAW files (DNG) are superb, the JPG out of the camera are acceptable.
For the Ricoh owners is a confirmation: a camera for photographers, not thinking to the marketing special effects. I love this little piece.
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