Ricoh GR – Design
As you’d expect from a compact camera with an enthusiastic leaning, the Ricoh GR is a well-built bit of kit. The core composite material is a solid magnesium alloy that’s much the same as that found on previous Ricoh GR Digital models.
In spite of this solid build material and aesthetically sturdy design, the Ricoh GR remains compact in proportions and, at just a little over 200g, won’t weigh down your pocket if you choose it as your take-everywhere compact.
Although the rear of the camera is lacking in a control wheel as such, there is a D-pad orientation that allows for quick navigation of the menus. Holding down one of the directional buttons will also allow for a faster navigation if needed.
There are a host of manual controls around the body that add to the enthusiast feel. The addition of an aperture preview button on the side of the camera allows for a quick depth of field preview, while the AF function button in the same area of the camera is also welcome.
Ricoh GR – Performance
Considering the resolution and size of sensor – along with the Raw file capabilities – you could be forgiven for expecting slow write times. The good news, however, is that this isn’t the case.
If you use a fast card (such as a Class 10 SDHC) you’ll be waiting no longer than a second or so for the camera to move from shot to shot when autofocusing on a clear subject.
Although the Ricoh GR’s AF performance is commendable on the whole, it can struggle in poorly lit conditions when not utilising the AF lamp. On occasion the GR struggles to acquire focus at all in these conditions, despite several attempts to do so.
Granted – you would generally expect a compact to struggle without the AF lamp in such conditions, although it would be good to know that the camera would eventually get there when use of the AF lamp is undesirable.
Outside of the AF lamp issues, the focus system is prompt although not the best in class. It features something of a manic quality when acquiring focus and although Ricoh claims the compact will acquire focus in just 0.2 seconds, it appears to be just off that estimate.
Start-up time is fast – just a little over a second. The power down speed is much the same, meaning the GR is good to go as quick as it can be put away.
And, as hoped earlier in the review, the screen is excellent. It delivers a detailed representation of the scene you’re capturing and avoids reflections well, and as such allows for a good shooting experience.