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Ricoh GR II Review

The wide-angle lens comparable to 28 millimeters on the Ricoh GR Digital II is fantastic for photographing landscapes, interiors, architecture, and “street” scenes. Still, it is useless for photographing portraits, long-range sports, and any animal that isn’t the tamest.

Therefore, the Ricoh is a specialized device, but it is quite good at the tasks that it performs. In the beginning, we extolled the glories of lenses that have a fixed focal length, and this is a prime (excuse the pun!) example.

The lens has a slightly quicker maximum aperture of f/2.4 than the typical zoom lens, but even more impressively, it exhibits no appreciable barrel distortion or chromatic aberration. In these regards, it is superior to zoom without a doubt.

You have the option of switching to Infinity Focus, Snap Focus (which is set at 2.5 meters), or Manual Focus in addition to the autofocus mechanism, which is neither quicker nor slower than that found on other compacts. The depth of field control offered by Ricoh comes into play at this point.

When the mode is set to Manual Focus, the up and down buttons on the LCD’s left side adjust the focus point along a vertical distance scale. If, however, you are shooting in the Aperture Priority or Manual Exposure mode, a green bar will display the size of the depth field both in front of and beyond the distance at which you have the camera focused.

When you make adjustments to the focus distance or the lens aperture, the position of the green bar as well as its length are reflected in the resulting image. It is a piece of cake, for instance, to select an aperture and a focus distance that will provide you with photographs that are in focus from one meter to infinity!

Ricoh GR II Features

Alongside the EV adjustment function, the Ricoh, like many other small cameras, features a live histogram that the photographer may use. It’s not that the Ricoh does anything that other cameras don’t, but it makes everything so much easier and more convenient to accomplish.

This is not a camera for the average person to pick up and start snapping pictures with since it has many additional advanced functions that set it different from other cameras. Images may be saved as RAW files and JPEGs. There is a choice of aspect ratios, including the usual 4:3 ratio of digital compacts, the 3:2 ratio of digital SLRs, and even the classic 1:1 square ratio of 6×6 medium-format cameras. In addition, images can be saved in a variety of sizes.

You can crop any digital image to these ratios in the image editor of your choice (and even in-camera with the Ricoh), but that is not the purpose.

You won’t truly understand how to use the compositional possibilities of these aspect ratios unless you’re working with them “live” in your work.

Shooting with the Ricoh GR II was, for the most part, a really enjoyable experience. This was primarily due to the camera’s improved raw shooting capabilities and significantly expanded buffer. In addition to that, I found that its pictures met all of my expectations.

They are packed with information, and although moiré can occasionally rear its ugly head due to the lack of an optical low-pass filter, I’m not going to hold that against Ricoh because that’s true of most large-sensor cameras these days.

In addition, the Ricoh GR II possesses extremely strong high-sensitivity capabilities, particularly for a camera of its class. In this respect, it is only somewhat superior to its predecessor; nonetheless, the improvement is insufficient to provide a discernible difference in the print sizes that you should be able to handle.

I found that anything up to an ISO of 3200 supplied acceptable image quality for normal usage, with the rare photo at ISO 6400 or even ISO 12,800 if necessary. (However, the most minute features become obscured when viewed at these higher sensitivities.)

However, the default saturation has been pushed a little farther for a punchier image that is more consumer-friendly straight out of the box. The color was correct, just as it was with the older camera.

Additionally, the skin tones were really attractive. The inclination toward a somewhat warm white balance while shooting inside was perhaps the most significant problem in terms of the image quality; however, this issue can be readily resolved by using the manual white balance setting.

Ricoh GR II New Approach

It’s the same thing with black and white photography; it’s far simpler to visualize and take pictures “live” in monochromatic than it is to take pictures in color with the hazy intention of converting them afterward (although you will, admittedly, have more control over the final product).

It is far too simple to evaluate the Ricoh GR Digital II based on its weaknesses rather than its capabilities.

Using a lens with a focal length of 28 millimeters places limitations and demands on the photographer. Still, it also compels them to approach the subjects of their photographs in novel and creative ways.

Ricoh GR II Image Quality

Shooting with the Ricoh GR II was, for the most part, a really enjoyable experience. This was mostly due to the camera’s improved raw shooting capabilities and significantly expanded buffer. In addition to that, I found that its pictures met all of my expectations. They are packed with information, and although moiré can occasionally rear its ugly head due to the lack of an optical low-pass filter, I’m not going to hold that against Ricoh because that’s true of most large-sensor cameras these days.

In addition, the Ricoh GR II possesses extremely strong high-sensitivity capabilities, particularly for a camera of its class. In this respect, it is only somewhat superior to its predecessor; nonetheless, the improvement is insufficient to provide a discernible difference in the print sizes that you should be able to handle. I found that anything up to an ISO of 3200 supplied acceptable image quality for normal usage, with the rare photo at ISO 6400 or even ISO 12,800 if necessary. (However, the most minute features become obscured when viewed at these higher sensitivities.)

However, the default saturation has been pushed a little farther for a punchier image that is more consumer-friendly straight out of the box. Color was essentially correct, just as it was with the older camera. Additionally, the skin tones were really attractive. The inclination toward a somewhat warm white balance while shooting inside was perhaps the most significant problem in terms of the image quality; however, this issue can be readily resolved by using the manual white balance setting.

Ricoh GR II Specs

Body typeLarge sensor compact
Max resolution4928 x 3264
Other resolutions3:2 (3936 x 2608, 2912 x 1936, 1280 x 864), 4:3 (4352 x 3264, 3488 x 2068, 2592 x 1936x 1152 x 864), 1:1 (3264 x 3264, 1936 x 1936, 864 x 864)
Image ratio w:h1:1, 4:3, 3:2
Effective pixels16 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors17 megapixels
Sensor sizeAPS-C (23.7 x 15.7 mm)
Sensor typeCMOS
ProcessorGR Engine V
ISOAuto, 100-25600
White balance presets10
Custom white balanceYes
Image stabilizationNo
Uncompressed formatRAW
Focal length (equiv.)28 mm
Optical zoom
Maximum apertureF2.8–16
AutofocusContrast Detect (sensor)Multi-areaCenterSelective single-pointTrackingSingleContinuousFace DetectionLive View
Manual focusYes
Normal focus range30 cm (11.81″)
Macro focus range10 cm (3.94″)
Number of focus points9
Articulated LCDFixed
Screen size3″
Screen dots1,230,000
Touch screenNo
Screen typeTFT LCD
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeOptical (optional)
Minimum shutter speed300 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/4000 sec
Aperture priorityYes
Shutter priorityYes
Manual exposure modeYes
Built-in flashYes
Flash range3.00 m (at Auto ISO)
External flashYes (via hot shoe)
Flash modesAuto, Flash On, Flash Synchro., Manual Flash, Red-Eye Flash Auto, Red-Eye Flash On, Red-Eye Flash Synchro, Wireless
Continuous drive4.0 fps
Self-timerYes
Metering modesMultiCenter-weightedSpot
Exposure compensation±4 (at 1/3 EV steps)
AE Bracketing±4
WB BracketingYes
Resolutions1920 x 1080 (30p, 25p, 24p), 1280 x 720 (60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, 24p), 640 x 480 (30p, 25p, 24p)
FormatMPEG-4, H.264
MicrophoneStereo
SpeakerMono
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC
Storage included54MB
USBUSB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMIYes
Microphone portNo
Headphone portNo
WirelessBuilt-In
Wireless notes802.11b/g/n with NFC
Remote controlYes (wired or via smartphone)
Environmentally sealedNo
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionDB-65 lithium-ion battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA)320
Weight (inc. batteries)251 g (0.55 lb / 8.85 oz)
Dimensions117 x 63 x 35 mm (4.61 x 2.48 x 1.38″)
Orientation sensorYes
GPSNone

Ricoh GR II Conclusion

The Ricoh GR II is an excellent option for unobtrusive and speedy street photography, as well as for use as a trip camera for landscape enthusiasts. The camera is small enough to fit in a pocket and has the ability to create stunning photographs, although this does require some adjustment. It’s possible that this isn’t the right camera for you, though, if you want something that’s just as good at video or has the versatility of shooting angles that a moveable LCD or viewfinder offers.

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