I have been a user of Ricoh cameras and I have tested the Ricoh GRD is different incarnations. Is this the ideal camera for street and documentary photography? I can hardly wait to get my hands on one of this unit to test.
Denver, CO (April 16, 2013) — PENTAX RICOH IMAGING AMERICAS CORPORATION today announced the RICOH GR, an ideal blend of image quality, camera size and price; setting a new benchmark for the advanced compact camera category. The new RICOH GR camera features an APS-C-sized CMOS image sensor delivering shallow depth of field, exceptional low-light performance and a wide dynamic range for remarkable images across a wide variety of shooting styles.
Remaining true to the heritage of the multi- award-winning RICOH GR Digital series the new Ricoh GR camera combines compact size with outstanding performance. Featuring a 16 megapixel, APS-C-sized CMOS sensor, no low-pass filter and a completely redesigned optical path the GR is built for superb image performance. The newly developed and optimized 18.3mm (28mm in 35mm format) F2.8 lens compactly provides high-resolution, wide-angle images with stunning edge-to-edge sharpness all while minimizing chromatic aberration and distortion. The camera’s category-leading, nine-blade aperture diaphragm produces a rounded bokeh effect across a wide range of apertures.
Advanced capabilities of the sensor and lens are supported by a newly developed GR ENGINE V imaging processor which optimizes high-sensitivity shooting to ISO 25600 minimizing noise, producing accurate, color-rich images. Finally, a newly designed lens driving mechanism and optimized AF algorithm combined with faster data readout speeds from the image sensor provide a high-speed auto focus system that can focus on a subject in a mere two-tenths (0.2) of a second. A super quick start-up time of approximately one second ensures photographers are guaranteed a speedy capture ready camera in even the most fleeting scenarios; making the RICOH GR the ideal companion camera at a fraction of the size of a DSLR.
“The introduction of the RICOH GR marks a new standard of confidence in the compact camera segment,” said Jim Malcolm, Executive Vice President, PENTAX RICOH IMAGING AMERICA. “The RICOH GR camera’s unparalleled set of robust features and hardware completely redefines what can be expected from a compact camera.”
In keeping with its advanced functionality the GR also offers a range of helpful features common to DSLRs like in-body RAW-data development and a dedicated depth of field preview button to aid in accurate image framing and quick inspection of focus prior to capturing an image. Additionally, the GR boasts full 1080p HD video recording capabilities replete with continual AF during video capture creating sharply-focused, high-quality video output.
Instantaneous photo and video sharing is now a breeze with the GR’s optimized Eye-Fi SD card compatibility. Built-in menus allow the user to easily enable automatic transmission of images and video to a smartphone for rapid sharing. Users can even select favorite images and resize them before transmission.
For consumers seeking additional creative expression, RICOH offers an optional wide-angle conversion lens extending coverage to 21mm. The new GR is also compatible with the full range of accessories already offered for the preceding GR Digital line of cameras including viewfinders, flashes, lens hoods and adapters and more.
Pricing and Availability
The new GR advanced digital compact camera provides incredible value with a category-low cost of $799.95 and will be available at retail outlets nationwide and online in May 2013.
Major Features of the RICOH GR include:
Pocket-sized for superb operability
Despite the incorporation of an APS-C sized image sensor, the GR maintains the compact and portable design true to the GR Digital series. Its magnesium alloy body is both light and highly rigid, while its exterior design retains the refinement and style typical of the GR Digital series. Ergonomically designed for maximum comfort and operational ease; all control buttons are laid out for easy one-handed operation.
A new button has also been added to the camera’s side panel for quick preview of the depth of field; making it easier for the photographer to visualize the depth of field effect in the resulting image. Additionally, the focus-assist function comes in handy during manual-focus operation. Coupled with the image magnification and target shift functions, this function simplifies manual-focus shooting.
An AF function lever has been added to the camera’s back panel. When the lever is set to the Continuous AF (C-AF) mode, the user can capture a series of images of a moving subject — all in sharp focus by pushing the shutter release button while depressing the AF button. The user can also choose an optional setting, in which the continuous shooting mode is automatically activated while the C-AF button is pressed.
The GR offers the PENTAX-original Shutter-speed/Aperture-Priority (TAv) exposure mode, featured only in PENTAX-brand digital SLR cameras. This innovative mode automatically sets the optimum ISO sensitivity based on the shutter speed and aperture selected by the photographer. Additionally, aperture and shutter speed indicators have been added to the monitor screen. The layout of on-screen indicators has also been optimized to the 3:2 aspect ratio, with redesigned grid guide and electronic level.
Exceptional image quality produced by new GR LENS
The GR comes equipped with a newly designed GR Lens with the angle of view equivalent to 28mm in the 35mm format. Designed to be compact while providing high performance, this lens delivers high-resolution images with edge-to-edge sharpness and rich contrast, while minimizing distortion and chromatic aberration by incorporating two high-precision aspherical lens elements and a highly refractive low-dispersion glass element in its optics. It also offers benefits unique to a unifocal lens, such as sharp, crisp image description even at the open aperture of F2.8, and superb image definition with backlit subjects. Finally its manually adjustable ND (neutral density) filter, allows users to open the aperture up even under bright sunshine for a wider range of creative expression.
Improved image quality, supported by the large image sensor, GR ENGINE V and Anti-aliasing filter-less design
The new GR comes equipped with a new APS-C-size CMOS image sensor, with an image-sensitive area as wide as that of a PENTAX DSLR image sensor. Thanks to this large image sensor, the GR offers approximately 16.0 effective megapixels to produce beautiful, high-resolution images. By coupling the large image sensor with the newly developed GR ENGINE V imaging engine, the GR offers high-sensitivity shooting at ISO 25600 with minimal high-sensitivity noise to produce high-resolution, color-rich images with a natural sense of depth and a beautiful Bokeh effect. The image sensor has been optimized for the GR Lens 18.3mm F2.8. To give top priority to image resolution, an Anti-aliasing filter-less design has been adopted to bring out the best performance of the lens and assure exceptional image quality over the entire image field.
Quick response time
Thanks to the newly developed lens driving mechanism and optimized AF algorithm, as well as fast data readout speed from the image sensor, the GR provides a high-speed autofocus system that can focus on a subject in 0.2 seconds*1 Its quick start-up time of approximately one second, enables quick response to fleeting photo opportunities. In addition, the GR’s AF Continuous Shooting function captures a series of photos at a maximum speed of approximately four images per second, allowing the photographer to capture a fast-moving subjects, such as athletes and wildlife, in sharp focus.
High-quality Full HD recording of extended movie clips
Taking advantage of the H.264 video format, the GR’s Full HD movie recording function captures high-quality, extended movie clips (1920 x 1080 pixels, 16:9 aspect ratio) at a frame rate of 30 frames per second. Image Effects such as Retro and Bleach Bypass are available during movie recording. During recording, its AF system remains active and the camera continuously focuses on subjects in the center of its angle of view. With this AF mechanism, the user is always assured of sharp focus, along with the excellent image quality delivered by the combination of the GR Lens and the large image sensor.
Eye-Fi card compatibility for easy image sharing
With Eye-Fi wireless LAN SD memory cards, the user can automatically transmit recorded images to a smartphone,*2 and even select favorite images and resize them before transmission. In the playback mode, the user can also recall the transmitted images on the monitor using the Effect button on the side panel.
New shooting functions expand creative horizons
The Image Effect modes allow the user to add a variety of visual effects to create distinctive images without the need for a computer. The GR also offers a variety of in-body image processing functions, including RAW-data development to JPEG-format files.
For greater creativity, three new modes have been added to the GR: Retro for a nostalgic ambience with subdued saturation, High Key for a bright, lively finish while retaining subtle gradation in highlights, and Miniaturize for a diorama-like appearance. Additionally, selection of the nine Image Effect modes is easily accessed with the direct-access Effect button positioned on the camera’s side panel.
The precision of the Multi-pattern AWB (auto white balance) function has been upgraded to automatically achieve more accurate color reproduction by more clearly defining white balance to fit the light source of each segregated area of the image when there are multiple light sources. The Dynamic Range Compensation function, which minimizes washed-out highlights and pitch-black shadows, now offers pixel-level compensation to nearly eliminate borders along the luminance threshold areas and achieve the smoother transition of gradation.
Even when the user fails to set the macro shooting mode, the GR’s Auto Macro function will set it automatically by monitoring the distance to the subject. The Face Detection AF & AE function automatically captures the subject’s face in sharp focus and with perfect exposure. (These functions are available only in the Auto shooting mode.)
The Interval Composite mode captures a series of images of the night sky at a fixed interval, then selects and combines only the high-luminance pixel data from each of those images to produce a single composite image. This mode comes in handy when the user wishes to combine the trails of the moon and the stars with a landscape.
Function expansion via firmware upgrade
Function-enhancing firmware upgrades, which have been popular with all GR Digital series models, are scheduled to become available throughout the lifecycle for the new GR as well. By upgrading the camera’s firmware, the user can always take advantage of the latest, most advanced functions to optimize the camera’s performance.
- Dual-axis electronic level for high-precision horizontal and vertical alignment
- Non-directional stereo microphone
- Crop mode*3 for instant setting of a 35mm angle of view in the 35mm format
- Chromatic moiré compensation function to minimize wavy moiré patterns in the image
- Optional GW-3 Wide Conversion Lens (with 0.75X magnification and optics optimized for the GR) for 21mm ultra-wide-angle shooting
- Compatibility with UHS-1 high-speed memory cards
- SILKYPIX Developer Studio 3.0 LE for PENTAX RICOH IMAGING RAW-data processing software (developed by Ichikawa Soft Laboratory) included; in-body RAW-data development also available
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