The Ricoh GR is a stealth camera

The Ricoh GR is a seemingly simple, point and shoot camera that packs a big sensor, a sharp lens, excellent ergonomics and plenty of manual controls into a body that looks plain enough to make it easy to mistake it for a much simpler and less capable camera (stealth). I’ve been using it for a while and I can say without question that it is one of the finest, most enjoyable cameras I’ve ever used, bar none. I love this camera.



I’ve had a lot of cameras over the past ten years including some high end DSLR bodies and a lot of high end lenses. Over time, I got rid of my entire DSLR kit: it was spending too much time in a drawer as I used smaller and lighter cameras more, and it was too heavy. I take most of my pictures on hikes and while I started hiking when I still had my DSLR kit, I never took it along: too heavy, too involved to use quickly, and too expensive to risk an accident in the field. I haven’t had a DSLR for a few years now and except for a few instances I don’t miss it. It seems I’m not alone in this, there is a movement away from DSLRs in my category of photographer: advanced amateur, sometimes called “enthusiast” because we’re willing to spend some money to support our hobby. Luckily, as people have tired of the weight and expense of DSLR kits other types of cameras have come online.

Before I get into it I want to acknowledge the effect smartphones have had on this: there is no doubt that they have all but killed lower end point and shoot cameras for many people: the camera in my iPhone 5S is incredible. However, many of us who have smartphones still want dedicated (I was going to say “real” but thought better) cameras that allow more control and arguably, can record higher quality images. One of the many things people like about taking pictures with a smartphone is that they can immediately share them online and this is a plus (many dedicated cameras are now coming with this) but if you want to process your pictures with a larger screen on a computer and you want the manual controls of a dedicated camera, a smartphone can only get you so far.

These days there are many alternatives to DSLRs for making high quality images but the two most popular categories are:

High end point and shoot cameras, the highest end of which might be the Sony RX1r or the Fuji X100S but the group also includes the Sony RX100 (II), the Nikon Coolpix A, and the Ricoh GR. All of these cameras have excellent sensors and high end lenses that are not interchangeable.

Mirrorless camera systems like the Fuji X-E1/2 and its associated lenses, or the various micro 4/3 camera bodies from Olympus and Panasonic and their associated lenses. And, now Sony has two full-frame mirrorless bodies: the A7 and the A7R with associated lenses. These are all “system” cameras that are smaller, lighter versions of what we had with DSLRs. They have excellent sensors, manual controls and lots of lens possibilities.

Every camera listed here can make images that rival DSLRs of just a few years ago: they all have large, low noise sensors and excellent optics. Each of them could be used in fully automatic mode or in fully manual mode or anything in between. In other words, the high end point and shoot and mirrorless categories are taking a large bite out of the DSLR market just like smartphones are taking a large bite out of the lower end point and shoot market.

I’ve bought and returned or sold and/or rented many of the cameras listed here and while they all worked extremely well, none of them got me quite as excited as the Ricoh GR which is the one I’ve ended up with. The Ricoh GR is one of the best designed, easiest to use, and most capable camera I’ve ever used.

The Ricoh GR is not a great camera for everyone

First let me say that while I think the Ricoh GR is exceptional, it’s not for everyone. It has a fixed (non-zoom) 28mm lens so it’s not a great camera for closeup portraits and while its easy to use and can be used in fully automatic mode, there are other cameras that would be better for pure snap shooting. It’s also not an inexpensive camera: I paid $800 for it although I see that its price has dropped at both B&H and Amazon.

Size and ergonomics

For those of us who use the controls on cameras outside of the shutter button and on/off switch, size matters. If the camera is too small it can make the controls too small and in turn that can make them harder to use and so, they’ll get used less. If the camera is too big we’re back into DSLR territory. I had a Sony RX100 for a while and loved the camera. I also had the second version of the RX100. This camera has an excellent sensor and is very small, so small that for me, the controls were tough to use, especially in winter with thin glove liners on. Don’t get me wrong, the Sony RX100 is one of the best cameras in this class and it has a stellar Zeiss zoom lens on it but I found its small, flush mounted controls very tough to use in the field.


For me, a camera needs to be big enough so that I can easily see the labels on the controls without glasses and use them without fumbling with or without thin glove liners on in extreme cold. All DSLRs and no doubt all mirrorless system cameras have big enough controls and the higher end point and shoot cameras like the Fuji X100S and Sony RX1 do as well. The Ricoh GR is a bit smaller and it too has excellent controls, so good in fact that it can be used and adjusted with one (the right) hand making it very popular among street photographers.

Some will look at the size and simple design of this camera and balk at such a high price (understandably) but I see things differently: I’m willing to pay a premium for a camera that comes close to my personal ideal and where the controls fall into the background allowing me to use it without too much confusion about which control does what. I realize that everyone’s learning and operating style’s are different but for me, this camera fits well.


The Ricoh GR starts up, takes a picture, and shuts down faster than any camera I’ve mentioned here. It is astonishingly fast. One reason for this is that it does not have a zoom lens but there’s more to it than that. A digital camera is really a computer that has to boot up, save a shot to disk/card and do other kinds of things a computer does. The GR just does all of these things blindingly fast so that once you get used to using it and want to change a setting, doing that is faster than almost any other camera. Formatting an SD card takes maybe 2 seconds.

For a nature shooter like me this isn’t as important as it would be to a street shooter and this is one of the reasons the Ricoh GR is so popular among street shooters: it can actually be controlled quickly and easily with one hand.

Large sensor

One of the reasons the Ricoh GR costs as much as it does is because it has a large APS-C sized sensor. The sensor is the part of a digital camera that records the image and its unusual to have such a large sensor in a point and shoot camera.

There is a difference between sensor size and resolution (the number of pixels on a sensor) and the idea that it’s better to have more resolution (measured in megapixels) needs to be combined with sensor size.

Most point and shoot cameras have extremely small sensors which means, cramming 16 or 20 million pixels on them puts the pixels (photo sites) very close together and makes them extremely small. Besides the physical limits on how small a photo site can be, one of the things that happens in the digital photographic process is in low light, the ISO (light sensitivity of the sensor) can be turned up (manually or automatically) and when this happens, the photo sites generate heat. That heat combines with the heat generated by adjacent photo sites and causes an artifact called “noise” in images.

Modern sensors and digital cameras have lots of built-in technology to limit noise or clean it up after the fact but the best way to eliminate noise is to have the right balance of sensor size and resolution so the photo sites aren’t too close together.

All of the cameras I’ve mentioned here have excellent low noise sensors but its unusual to find such sensors in cameras in this class, especially cameras that cost under $1000. This is one of the things that makes the Ricoh GR unique. The similar Nikon Cooloix A still costs over $1000 and it’s been out as long as the Ricoh GR. I had one and returned it liking the Ricoh GR’s controls better.

The other things that comes with the right balance of sensor size and resolution are: better color fidelity, more detail in images, less blown highlights in high contrast images, the ability to crop images without unacceptable loss of resolution, and lastly, the ability to make larger prints.

There are larger sensors in small point and shoot cameras: the Sony RX1 has a full frame sensor in it and having shot with one for a while, I can say that the image quality from that sensor is exceptional. But, the price for that (and the high end Zeiss lens that camera has) is $2700 which puts that camera in a different class than the Ricoh GR.

28mm lens

The Ricoh GR has a 28mm f/2.8 lens that retracts back into the body and is covered when the camera is turned off.


Ricoh has produced cameras with 28mm non-zoom lenses before: the GR is the latest camera in a line that’s been around for a while (with smaller sensors). Nikon has now entered this territory with the Coolpix A (also 28mm). But, for many people the idea of a camera in this price range without a zoom lens is a show stopper and this is understandable. It takes time to learn how to “sneaker-zoom” (move your body to frame a shot) and 28mm is a rather wide angle view, not appropriate for all types of photography.

One of the things that many DSLR owners learn over time is that prime lenses (lenses with a single focal length) produce sharper images than zoom lenses. This is a generalization but its worth considering. Producing a zoom lens that’s sharp at all of its focal lengths is a very difficult thing for camera makers to do and because of this, high end zoom lenses are expensive. High end zoom lenses that have large apertures across their zoom range are even more expensive and tend to be heavy (more glass). It’s rare to find a constant aperture zoom lens among point and shoot cameras, most cameras in this category that have zoom lenses have variable aperture lenses. An example is the Sony RX100 which has a zoom lens that is 28mm f/1.8 on the wide end and 100mm f/4.9 on the long end.

A liability of a zoom lens in the point and shoot world is that when framing a picture with the LCD you’re holding the camera at arm’s length and its not easy to keep steady. As you zoom into longer focal lengths you amplify the effects of camera shake: it’s tough to take a sharp picture at 100mm with a point and shoot camera that’s not steadied on a tripod or braced against your face. When I had the RX100 I noticed that I rarely used the zoom, doing most of my shooting at 28mm.

The Fuji X100S and the Sony RX1 have fixed prime lenses as well but they’re both 35mm and for some, this focal length is a nice compromise between 28mm (wide) and 50mm (normal). I’m not sure how I feel about 35mm yet but for the nature photography I do on hikes, I’m finding 28mm perfect. Interestingly, the Ricoh GR has a setting that will crop the angle of view in the camera to 35mm (also resulting in less resolution in the image).

The Ricoh GR lens isn’t all that fast: f/2.8 is a large aperture but f/1.8 or f/2 would be better. For the kinds of photography I do I’ve not found this to be a problem: most of my nature shots are done at f/8 or even smaller apertures as I want the deepest focus and the most detail I can get without using a tripod.

More on ergonomics and controls

The power button is more recessed than the shutter button but not flush mounted so it can be felt. But, it has a green light around it so that it can easily be seen and differentiated from other buttons in the dark. That light can be turned off in settings if it isn’t needed. I leave it on and don’t notice any battery drain because of it. Extremely useful for quickly finding the power button.


The mode dial has a button lock on it that makes it impossible to turn without releasing the lock. This means that you can’t accidentally move it when slipping the camera into a case only to find out you’re in M mode instead of P when you turn it on again. It also means that in cold weather with gloves on its tough to change the mode dial. Not a problem for me, I’m an AV (aperture priority) kinda guy most of the time.

In Av mode the front dial controls aperture just like on a DSLR. While it may be cool to control aperture on the lens (Leica, Fuji X100S, Sony RX1) it’s easier to do it with one’s finger on this dial. The front dial can control whatever you need it to determined by mode and setup. This is a great feature for a point and shoot camera.

Exposure compensation is controlled with a rocker and is easily changed with the right thumb. This is one control that can get bumped in normal use so one does have to keep an eye on its setting readout on the LCD screen.

ISO, metering, and other often changed controls are extremely easy to get at and change with the thumb toggle. This control takes some getting used to as its quite sensitive but it too can be used with the right thumb very quickly in normal use. I use it regularly with thin gloves on in winter.

Strap attachment points

Most cameras, even compact cameras have loops for a right wrist strap and maybe another attachment point on the top left so one could attach a neck/shoulder strap. Ricoh has those two attachment points and one more on the bottom right so the camera can be carried on its side around one’s neck.


This is a brilliant piece of ergonomic engineering and I’m using attachment loops from Op/Tech for both a wrist strap or, if I want to switch, a shoulder strap. Brilliant.

I use these products from Op/Tech:

Mini QD Loops on camera
Cam Strap QD wrist strap
Bin/Op Stap QD shoulder strap



I can leave two attachment points on the camera and attach a wrist strap or, detach that and attach a shoulder strap that keeps the camera hanging comfortably with the short side up. The wrist (cam) strap from Op/Tech is much more secure than the one that comes from Ricoh.

Batteries and charger

The Ricoh GR comes with a battery and a USB cable and AC adaptor for charging the battery in the camera. Many, including me, don’t like this method although one can use the cable to charge the GR in the car with a USB lighter adaptor like you might have for your iPhone.

I like to carry at least one extra battery and I like an external charger and the one I’ve got is this one: Wasabi Power Battery (2-Pack) and Charger for Ricoh GR.

The Wasabi batteries seem to last as long or longer than the OEM battery that came with the camera and the charger will charge both the Wasabi batteries and the OEM battery. It’s a great deal at $24.99 and a must have for this camera.

Image effects

I do a lot of my shooting in RAW mode (what the sensor records is what I work with in Lightroom) but lately I’ve been experimenting with the Ricoh GR’s built in image effects which only work on JPEG files. I’m getting the best of both worlds by setting the camera up to record both a RAW image and a JPEG for each shot and I’m using various image effects like high contrast black and white on the JPEGs.

One can also set the camera up to just record RAW images but display a high contrast black and white image on the LCD allowing you to compose more easily but use Lightroom to convert the RAW image to high contrast black and white. This will retain more detail as the camera won’t be compressing the image.


I haven’t figured out how macro mode works yet or, it’s got problems. Autofocus seems to hunt too much in macro mode. One feature that will be great for those who spend a lot of time in macro mode, less great for those who don’t, is that once you enter that mode the camera will stay there even when turned off. Many other point and shoot cameras will default to non-macro mode when turned off and then back on. Again, this isn’t necessarily bad, but if you forget to turn it off, it will be on when you start up the camera again. Because I’ve had problems with it, I stopping using it until I figure out what I’m doing wrong, or what the camera is doing wrong.

My Ricoh GR crashed a few times on me and this gave me great pause. But it seems I had an old and corrupted SD card in it, replacing the card seems to have solved the crash problem. We’ll see going forward.

I’m not ashamed to call myself a point and shoot photographer

What using the Ricoh GR has done for me, besides giving me a lot of excellent images, is hooked me on the high end point and shoot category of camera. I had various point and shoot cameras at the same time I was using a Canon 5D but those (mostly Canon S and G series cameras) never gave me the kind of depth in my images that I got from a DSLR with a decent lens. Now, with bigger sensors and better lenses, this class of camera is good enough for the kind of photography I do.

No doubt aspects of this camera can and maybe will be improved or, other manufacturers will produce cameras in this category that I like as well or better. What worries me is that the real money isn’t in this kind of camera. The real money (for manufacturers) is in system cameras where buying the body and a kit lens is just the start, one might buy many more lenses and attachments over time. While I could get into that again with the current mirrorless line, it doesn’t appeal to me as much as the high end point and shoot category which may or may not be a category the manufacturers want to support over time.

Here’s hoping that they do.


Here are some resources and sites that will give you some more information about the camera, including some subjective reviews. If you know of others, please post them in comments and I’ll check them out and maybe add them here.

Images at this site taken by a variety of photographers (including me) with the Ricoh GR: Images at this site tagged “Ricoh GR”

Ricoh GR review at Steve Huff (Watch Steve’s video review to get a sense of how the camera works and looks in hand)
Ricoh GR Review at DP Review
Ricoh GR review at Imaging Resource
Ricoh GR review at Pocket Lint
Informal Ricoh GR Review: Discussion with 3 photographers
Flickr: Ricoh GR Digital (group)

Photographers I follow who shoot with the Ricoh GR

Gary Sharp
Helena Normark
Craig Atkinson
ledesma Photography (note all the links on his page)
Wouter Brandsma
Positively Fourth


  1. Very informative review Richard! I used to have a GRD III and loved it! Now I’m thinking of buying the GR to complement my Nikon D700 with a high quality 28mm instead of buying a 28mm Nikon lens. What do you think of this alternative? I mainly do landscape and cityscape / objects. I don’t want to carry tons of gear and my 50 1.4 plus the GR would be just fine.
    Thanks for your advice!

    1. Thierry: I’m commenting here and emailing as well.

      Nothing will compare with a full frame sensor for certain kinds of effects (with the right lenses) but the GR is about as good as it gets in a compact camera (with an APS-C sized sensor).

      If you have a lightweight tripod and an extra small camera body plate to attach to the GR, there’s no reason you couldn’t use it for the same kind of landscape work you use the Nikon for (you don’t need a fast lens for landscapes so f/2.8 isn’t going to be a problem). If you don’t use a tripod for your Nikon you won’t need one for the GR.

      All of that said, I think getting one is a great idea for you: not lugging around a big kit will change your life. Trust me, I dumped a Canon 5D and lots of very nice L glass to move into compact cameras and I’ve not looked back. I’m completely satisfied with the quality of the images I’m getting out of the GR and I got from the Sony RX100 (I, II, and III). The reason I got rid of the Sony wasn’t for lack of IQ, it was because I didn’t care for its ergonomics. The GR has superior ergonomics and is a very fast camera to operate.

      There are times I’d like a wider angle of view than 28mm but they’re few.

      Plus, this is a nice time to buy one, the price has come down $100 since I bought mine.

      So I’d say, go for it. And, let me know what you think if you get it.

      By the way, I’ve had this camera for a year now and have done a lot of shooting with it and my opinion has only gotten stronger; it’s the best camera I’ve ever had (and that includes my beloved Canon 5D).

      1. Thanks Richard for your quick response!
        I know GR is an excellent camera, one of the best (or the best?) compact in that category ever !
        However, what holds me back is the APS-C sensor: is the dynamic range as good as a full frame DSLR?
        I sometimes like to have a short depth of field (for a detail to stand out on a blurred background): is f/2.8 enough for such effects? I won’t obtain the same result as with a 28mm f/1.8 prime lens (the latest Nikon G version is supposed to be stellar!)
        Plus, I’m not a fan of screen viewing and the optional viewfinder is not precise enough.
        Well, not easy to decide…

  2. thierryauge11: These are all great questions, let me see if I can answer some of them:

    1. The dynamic range on the GR will never be as broad as with your full frame camera but it’s amazingly good for a compact camera. I highly recommend following the Ricoh GR tag at this site:

    and see what some of us have done with it.

    And, you might also poke around Flickr by clicking on any of the embedded images, then following the Ricoh GR tag or poking around in various Ricoh GR groups (there are many).

    2. Aperture and depth of field will always be problematic with a wide angle lens (tougher to go shallow than longer lenses) but it certainly can be done. Move closer to subject, make sure background is pretty far away and you can isolate a subject with even smaller apertures. I had reservations about f/2.8 being the limit but after a year of using the camera I can honestly say I’ve never run into a situation where I missed f/2 or f/1.8.

    Again, look around at this site and online, you’ll see plenty of creamy bokeh created with the GR.

    3. The viewfinder vs LCD issue is a real one and while I’ve always liked a viewfinder for various reasons, I’ve not had any problems with the LCD on the Ricoh. But, another camera to consider, although bigger and more expensive, is the Fuji X100 series (latest being the “T”). I’ll be buying a T when they become available for the times I want a viewfinder and a slightly longer (35mm) angle of view. It too has an APS-C sensor. But, it’s a larger camera and of course, you’re missing the wider view.

    If I had to choose one, I’d go with the GR, it’s really a wonderful camera and I doubt you’d feel constrained with it.

    Check out the work my flickr contact and friend Helena Normark has done with the GR. She also has a Sony A7 but still uses the GR for much of her work. You’ll find her on this site in the tabs at the top “Curated Posts.”

  3. Hi Richard, Thank you for the review of the Ricoh Gr.

    I need a Little advise and you may help me:

    Im a painter and I´m looking for a camera to take excelent quality pictures of my paintings so that I can print, not only in catalogues, but also large.

    At the same time I would like a camera that is good enogh for the above, but that is also as pocketable as posible, so that I can travel and use it often in other occassions, but senior in importance is the high quality images of my paintings for printing.

    I´ve been looking at the RX 100, and now at the Richoh GR, I also considered the Fuji x100 though is not that pocketable. Im very novice at this and I get confused easily with the kinds of lenses and other specs. I need advise on which of these cameras would be best for what I need, and if there´s any other to consider.

    Thank you for your help

    1. Marcos, you’ve asked some great questions. I’ve done a lot of portfolio work for artists over many years with a variety of cameras so I have experience shooting paintings.

      First let me tell you what I think is essential for shooting paintings:

      1. A 50mm lens or longer. This is to make sure you get no wide angle barrel distortion and that the edges of the image are not bowed out.

      2. A camera that shoots RAW so you can better do color correction on a computer.

      Even though I love the Ricoh GR, with a 28mm fixed lens it is not appropriate for shooting paintings. Neither is the Fuji X100 series with its 35mm fixed lens. Both of these lenses are too wide to shoot paintings well.

      You need a zoom lens and the Sony RX100 III will be fine for what you want. It can zoom from 24 to 70mm (which gives you 50mm in the middle) and you can shoot RAW so you can better do color correction on a computer.

      There are other cameras in this class but since you mentioned the Sony and I know it from experience, I’d certainly consider it.

      There is also the new Canon G7X which is very similar to the Sony RX100 series. It’s new enough so processing RAW files for the next month or so will be near impossible but programs like Lightroom will eventually have the proper updates to work with its files.

      Either of these cameras will be fine for paintings. Remember, 50mm or longer is a must which rules out any camera without a zoom or interchangeable lenses because almost all of them are 28mm.

      I would use a tripod for sure. Any tripod will do, or, a table top tripod like a Gorilla pod. The important thing is to get absolutely square with the center of the painting so you’re not shooting it at an angle that will make distortion. If you use a table top tripod you’ll need something to set it on so it’s square with the center of the painting. If the painting is on a wall, make sure it’s hanging square. Even a small tilt will make distortion.

      Shoot in Av mode and stop down to f/8 if you can. No flash, on a tripod if the shutter speed is slow then use the timer so you don’t jostle the camera with your press of the shutter.

      Let me know if you have more questions, glad to help.

      1. Hi Richard, Thank you very much for your response, I really apreciate it! By the way, considering the use I want to give it, and my total lack of knowledge on the subject, I´m not sure if I should get the RX 100 or go for the RX 100 III. As the price is almost double and I don´t know if it is worth it to pay that much extra and more important is if I will be using any of the upgrades that it may have. A final question: Is this camera my best bet? (Meaning portability, Image Quality, and easy to use for a novice) Thank you again and I apreciate very much all your advices!

        Marcos Dana

    2. Marcos: the comment template on this theme won’t let me reply to your reply comment, so I’m replying to your last comment here.

      Any model of the Sony RX100 will be fine but the latest one has a viewfinder which, while not essential is a very nice addition. They all have 1″ sensors, all shoot RAW, all zoom through 50mm.

      For your work shooting paintings, if you don’t get the viewfinder make sure the model you get has the articulated LCD, that will make it easier to frame images of paintings.

      Good luck.

  4. Big congrats for encapsulated every thought I’ve had about this camera. 🙂 I’ve been a GR series user for almost 10 years and all other pale. Love the film versions as well. Quite a bit of camera in the space of a cigarette pack plus a wee bit more. 🙂

    1. Thanks Kevin, glad to know there are others out there who appreciate what a gem the GR is (and the other Ricoh cameras its based on).

      I need to update this review: I’ve since bought and used the 21mm wide angle converter and it works extremely well. And, I bought a second copy of the GR because my first had a sticky shutter button which I got fixed out of warranty at Precision Camera (the Ricoh/Pentax authorized service center). They got a load of dust on the sensor when they opened it up and it took three trips back (no cost but hassle) to get it cleaned out. I’m noting that there is a dust issue with both this camera and the now discontinued Nikon Coolpix A. I find that interesting given that they’re both fixed focal length cameras but they both do extend and retract which is no doubt allowing dust to get in somehow.

      I’m trying to find out if the new GR has fixed this dust issue but I’m not hearing anything about it. I don’t really care about wifi or NFC so if those are the only fixes I’ll pass on it. I’d buy a third GR if it ever came down under $500. Or, maybe I should be looking for a GRD IV for something a bit different.

      Thanks for the comment, glad to know you’re out there.

  5. Hi Richard, thank you for this nice review. I would like to ask for an advice: since you said that you “use Lightroom to convert the RAW image to high contrast black and white” and I’m trying to do exactly the same thing in my workflow, I’m facing very bad times trying to replicate that in-camera effect in Lightroom. Apart from the quite non-naive tone curve, the real problem is that lovely film-like sensor grain that gives a real analog feeling. I’m sure that the texture is in the DNG as well but letting it to pop out is very hard. May I ask you how do you treat your DNGs in Lightroom?

    1. One thing I haven’t tried to do is add grain to the RAW images and good thing because I don’t know how to do it. I’m sure we could figure it out, but I’ve not tried yet.

      Many times I start with one of LR’s built in filters: Black and White high contest or Black and white look 5 and then start tweaking from there as you do. I rarely get close to the great Ricoh high contrast filter but I don’t always want the starkness of it for my nature shots. I want more detail showing.

      Anyway, I think you’re on the right track playing with the tone curve and Clarity. If I’ve shot a batch I’ll work on one, then copy/paste its settings into others although many times each one needs to be messed with to get what I want.

      To sum, I don’t have a very easy workflow for this stuff, but I’ve been fascinated with the GR’s high contrast filter so attempt to mimic it with a more detailed RAW image.

      Sorry I can’t be more help, I’m very happy to share everything but in this case I don’t have much definitive to share.

      If you come up with some more ideas on this do let me know here. Thanks.

      1. Richard, frustrated by the ugly Lightroom’s grain engine I tried the Silver Efex way, I came up with a pretty convincing first attempt. You can find the Silver Efex preset for Ricoh High Contrast Monochrome here:

        I still have some problems on midtones, I’m going to refine the tone curve in the next days. In the meantime, it would be great if you could give me some feedback.

  6. ..Richard…. you’re good…why..?? ..frank,simple,plus you tell the truth,..even you’re on page 9-10,it didn’t matter,glad i read your reviews(read almost everyone,though)…apparently, i just got my GR(used),few days ago,…just like what you described… great,nice little piece..i’m also kaki(m’sian slang..for leg/supporter)..,for street photography,..used to have,sony 100m2,..xpro..,7000,etc,…(no pro,though)…..i think,this is the one i want/keep,…agreed totally…you’re too neat…thank you for the efforts….

  7. Hi Richard,

    Congratulation for your review, it s well done and really helpful! I’m writing you because I would like to buy a every day camera and I m still not sure about the GR.. When you say that there are other cameras that would be better for pure snap shooting. Which cameras would you suggest?!

    Let me thank you in advance for this,
    My best regards,


    1. Giulii: I guess what I meant by that is that without a zoom lens, for some people the GR might be limiting at 28mm. The more popular camera in this class (high end point and shoot) is the Sony RX100 (any version). However, I prefer the GR as a tool and it does have a bigger sensor than the RX100 and can produce images that rival that of DSLRs. As I said in the post, I also prefer its ergonomics. But, not everyone does and again, the Sony is very popular. My guess is that many people who like and buy the Sony have never tried a GR. If they did, some might like it better, some might go for the zoom lens.

      There is also the Panasonic LX100 which is a terrific camera as well.

      I’ve tried everything in this class and I prefer the GR: image quality, ergonomics, pretty much everything about it.

      If I didn’t answer your question, feel free to rephrase and ask again. Glad to help.

      1. Hi Richard! Thank you for your answer, you did very well! 🙂 I see your points especially in therms of ergonomics, i was thinking about the sony too but everytime I had in my hands it felt too slippery for me. Thank you again for the help and congrats for your blogs, it s great!



      2. Guilio: Slippery is a good term for the Sony. Flush mounted controls don’t make for an easy time of finding buttons for a quick shot.

        You can easily use the GR with one (right) hand in the dark. The controls are very good.

        If you get one do let me know what you think. Oh, and if you can still get it, the original one is fine, the GR II only adds wifi and unless you’re into posting online directly from the camera, I don’t think that’s worth the upgrade price. Other than that, it looks like the exact same camera as the original GR.

  8. Hello Richard.
    I read an old post on flickr about a problem with the ricoh gr and error formatting SD card. The same problem happened to me on a recent trip and I can not operate the damaged SD card. It is not recognize on any pc and Ricoh GR menu keeps saying the same error message. Do you know if there any solution? Can I recover photos from my card?, it is a problem to lose them… Thank you for your attention.


  9. Rodrigo: First, I moved your comment to a more appropriate place at my site.

    Have you made sure that the lock tab on the card is not in the locked position, or between the locked and unlocked position? Sometimes that tab’s position can mess things up.

    Can you format new cards in the camera? Is the camera formatting cards correctly? Is your computer reading cards correctly?

    If you format cards in your computer, problems can arise. Did you do this with that card?

    Did the GR crash during a shooting session? I’ve had cards get corrupted during a camera crash. I didn’t have anything important on cards that had this issue and once I rebooted the camera, I reformatted the cards. One card I think would not consistently hold a format and I threw it out.

    That’s about all I know. Let me know if any of this helps.

    1. The error occurred while shooting a photo. The image froze on the screen and after a while, asked me to format the SD card. There was no way to make it work again. I have not wanted to try to format it on the camera not to lose the photos, there are still users who got neither. Corruption of the file system should be large. I chose to go to a professional data recovery company because I could not do that any computer to recognize the card, nor with Windows nor Mac nor Linux. I hope that professionals give me solution and extract data. I have not found anyone on the Web to talk about having recovered any data when this error happened. Everyone speaks format or discard the card. I’ll tell you when I know more. Thank you very much for your help and congratulations for the blog.

      1. Thanks for the update Rodrigo.

        As I said, I’ve had the GR crash and mess up a card a number of times. I reformatted cards and they worked fine, and ones that failed formatting a few times I tossed out (which I’ve done with other cameras as well).

        I think it’s safer to buy numerous smaller cards and unload and format them after every shooting session. This way if a card gets corrupted you can let it go more easily as you’ve not lost all of your images and it’s not a lot of money. Also, I don’t keep my cards forever: I shoot with cards for a few years, then either give them away or toss them. Flash memory has a life cycle and I’d rather not push the boundaries of this. That may sound wasteful but in fact, over many years of shooting I’ve lost very little work, maybe a few meaningful shots out of tens of thousands.

        Good luck, let me know how it works out.

    1. Interesting. I guess some do because of the smaller sensor and lower resolution which is nice for certain kinds of street work. I like as much resolution as I can get so I’m happy with the larger sensor. Is there something else about the GRD that you like?

      1. The first thing I like in GRD IV is the look of grain. It is against the trend of making pictures smooth and noiseless. That trend somehow is disconnecting us from real photography. So, in my opinion the images from GRD I to GRD IV are more authentic.
        The second to me the move from GRD IV to GR with APS-C sensor is move to mass production, camera that will appeal to more people. Personally I think the quality of GRD IV is better more reliable than GR 2 APS-C.
        The third is the price. I prefer to have 2 GRD IV (one as a back up) plus 21mm lens than the new GR 2 APS-C.
        The fourth – the GR2 APS-C is just a different camera.
        The fifth is the focus speed. I find GRD IV much faster and as you have mentioned GR 2 APS-C quite flustrating in macro mode too.
        The last one is the work of other photographers. When I buy a camera I always check the sample photos, try to find photographers who are consistently doing a good job with a camera.
        So, whilst Daido Moriyama have a good deal with Ricoh to advertise GR 2 APS-C I think he would choose GRD IV if he would have to, the same as Josh White
        If I would need to have a smooth like bigger image resolution for larger prints I would go for Fuji X-Pro1.

      2. “That trend somehow is disconnecting us from real photography.”

        Sorry, you lost me there. That’s matter of taste and style, totally subjective. If you want to really get back to it, go back to film, or, large format film.

        Grain in the GRD series isn’t from the small sensor, it’s added by software so it’s nothing like film at all, it mimic slow film.

        But, all of this is a matter of taste and I do like low resolution photography as well as high resolution photography. One isn’t better or truer, they’re both photography and each is suited for different types of work.

        I doubt Ansel Adams would have made a name for himself had he been shooting grainy low res stuff. His camera and technique were well suited for the landscape work he did. He did use a red filter to add drama so one might say that was his high contrast, grainy bow.

        For the work I do, I want a big sensor and big photo sites with high dynamic range, very different from the typical street photographer.

        To each his own.


  10. You have really good thoughts, but grain in GRD is because of sensor type, and more because of pixel size. As there is less photons coming through you will get more noise when recording using your software.
    I was talking more about the camera producers trends. I would advise anyone wanting to do a project to try a large or medium format film camera when suitable.

  11. Hi Richard,
    Thanks for the follow. I noticed that you said in the comments above that you were going to get a Fuji x100 T. Now that they have come out with the F, did you upgrade? I bit the bullet and got one a while ago and I love the damn thing.

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