I was surprised to discover that I haven’t written much about the Ricoh GR which I got almost two and half years ago.
I was motivated to buy one due to both the praise some of my friends gave the camera, and my need for a more pocketable camera. I had just moved home and changed my commute, I now went through a shopping centre with a less than friendly attitude towards cameras and I wanted something that drew even less attention than my Fujifilm x100t.
Enter the Ricoh GR
Now, there have been two revision (the mark 2 with wifi added and the new mark 3 with a new sensor, lens, improved autofocus, and in body image stabilization) but I’m still on the old camera, it works.
The most pocketable camera…well basically
It’s truly amazing how small this APS-C camera is. It makes my Fuji X100T and previous Olympus Pen seem bulky. The key benefit is that you can just drop it in your jeans pocket and have it with you every day.
While my Fuji X100T would fit in my coat pocket without any issues, and I could always put it round my neck when the weather was warm enough to not warrant a coat, the increased pocketability of the GR has meant that more often than not, I’ll find it is the camera I have with me.
The joy of 28mm (full-frame equivalent)
I didn’t expect to like 28mm as much as I do. I still prefer the 35mm focal length overall as I find it to be more suitable for a wide range of situations — street, environmental portraits and even some headshots. But 28mm has a very different feel on the streets. It adds some challenges and requires you to get even closer, but it leads to a very different feel.
One handed simple controls
I love the analog style controls on the Fuji, but the Ricoh’s simplicity is also a great benefit. With the front and real dials you can quickly change your shutter speed, ISO and aperture depending on your settings.
Best of all, you can do it all with one hand making it perfect for a relaxed lunch time stroll out of the office.
Still good enough
Don’t get me wrong, I’d love the Ricoh GR iii with its new features and enhancements, they all seem like a massive improvement over the original and I’d happily sacrifice the built in flash considering I have another flash unit.
But the original is still a fantastic camera. The image quality holds up even today and despite the signs of wear and tear, I suspect it will be the camera I take most photos with this year (even though I still prefer the Fuji).
Also published on Medium.