Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Ricoh GR Announced

Today Ricoh/Pentax entered the fray of camera makers releasing APS-C sensor compact cameras, joining the likes of the Fuji X100s, Sigma DP series, and Nikon Coolpix A. Like the Nikon and Fuji cameras the Ricoh GR features a 16MP sensor, without an AA filter. Like the Coolpix A the Ricoh features a fixed 28mm F2.8 equivalent lens (18mm actual). The camera has a built in crop mode, to give a 35mm equivalent focal length, outputting 10MP files. There is an optional a wide angle adapter, providing a 21mm equivalent view, and optical viewfinder that slides into the Ricoh hotshoe (compatible with Ricoh flashes, not Pentax). The GR is also the smallest APS-C sensor compact released to date.

For full specs check Pentax/Ricoh's website

Overall the Ricoh GR looks to be a strong competitor to the Nikon Coolpix A, especially due to the fact that it is slated to come in at a retail price well below the Nikon model ($799.95 USD vs $1199 MSRP). The specs of the Nikon and Ricoh cameras are very similar, and aside from the fact that the Ricoh GR RAW DNG files are only 12bit, it seems to be a far more attractive camera.

The controls on Ricoh cameras seem to be built very much with advanced photographers in mind. Allowing direct control over ISO via a dial, rather than menu diving or programing a function button seems to be a step in the right direction. The camera may not offer any revolutionary features, but it is compact and the price is low enough to attract a large group of buyers. I think it is safe to say that this is a camera that you should keep your eye on if you are thinking of buying one of the cameras in this category.