Ricoh GR V – Large sensor goodness in a Compact

Ricoh GR V - Grap Shot on the street
Ricoh GR V – Grap Shot on the street

You might have wondered where I was leading with the last post on bigger is better, well here is a demonstration that we can have a small body and a big sensor.

Yesterday I had the opportunity to test the Ricoh GR V.  This compact, fits into your pocket but has a huge SLR sized DX sized sensor.

Ricoh GR V - Straight from RAW mixed light
Ricoh GR V – Straight from RAW mixed light

The controls are excellent and the compromises are few.  The biggest issues for me are the lack of view finder and the fixed 28mm lens.  If you want more range then the new Sony RX-100 may be a better option with it being slightly smaller and incorporates a 28-100mm zoom lens which starts at f/1.8.  The compromise is the sensor is smaller and the image quality not up to the Ricoh, but its close.

I had to admit, the camera felt great in the hand, its slightly rubbery grip felt good in the hand.  I would have no worries carrying this in my hand all day.

In good light the speed and responsiveness was excellent and even in the high contrast mixed light of the shop, it handled well.

Ricoh GR V - Massive underexposure and contrast - mixed light
Ricoh GR V – Massive underexposure and contrast – mixed light

As a bit of a test I metered for the highlights outdoors in the top shot and massively underexposed the inside.  Then with lots of use of the shadow and black sliders in Adobe Lightroom I tried to recover the back underexposed inside of the shop.  As you can see, while a little noisy, its done a great job.  I don’t believe the Ricoh GR V is officially supported yet by Lightroom or Adobe Camera RAW, so things are likely to improve but as its shoots DNG’s I could at least do something with the files.  Why is it so few camera manufactures adopt open standards for RAW, it really makes life easier.

Ricoh GR V - OOC JPeg
Ricoh GR V – OOC JPeg

If your interested here is an out of camera jpeg,  I have lightened it slightly.

All in all a stunning camera, would I buy one, not sure if could I live with the fixed 28mm lens on a compact.

Today i’ll go out and do some shooting with my Nikon V1 with the 10mm f/2.8 lens, this is close to the Ricoh in field of view, are they to similar? We will see.

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