Ricoh GRD IV is a fantastic tool to shoot close-ups. It will focus to 1 cm in the macro mode, and its in-camera high-contrast B&W produces rough but pleasing results. Here are two flower shots to show how it performs.
I am soon going to have two Ricoh compacts: The GR and GRD IV. Here are few of my ponderings why it might be wise to keep them both
The GRD IV has a small compact camera sensor which is handy in some situations. I can easily achieve lots of DoF and that way the shots are sharp. This camera has a fantastic macro feature where you can shoot 1 cm from the subject. With the small sensor this is possible because the DoF will remain wide enough. But with this kind of macro it is possible to get nice blurred background even if that will be quite tricky with the GRD IV in normal shooting situations. GRD series cameras are very well known for their suitability for street shooting. I do not do any street photography but I love the gritty JPEG options (like the high-contrast B&W) these cameras have. Bleach bypass option is also very cool.
Ricoh GR has, instead, an APS-C sized large sensor. With the GR you are able to get lots of details in the shots and also very narrow DoF is possible. Lens is slower than in GRD IV (f/2.8 vs. f/1.9) but that is okay even in indoor shooting because the GR has very clean high-ISO shots up to ISO 6400.
What the all above then means? Well, I think I have use for both Ricoh’s. The GRD IV will be my gritty stuff camera. I will shoot JPEGs with it. I have three different JPEG options saved into camera’s MY1, 2, and 3 positions, namely positive film, bleach bypass, and high-contrast B&W. I use square format for all of those as I really like 1×1 aspect ratio at the moment. HC B&W and bleach bypass I am going to keep but not totally sure yet which in-camera processing option to save into the third My position. I have noticed that if you want to have clean photos (without noise grain) you really have to be at ISO 100 zone, not much above that. With ISO 400 or 800 you will get quite much noise.
With the GR I will shoot only RAWs. I want to use GRs full potential for maximum image quality. And if I want to have high-contrast B&Ws for example, I have my own Lightroom presets for that. With the GR I am able to obtain my loved narrow DoF and nice bokeh in regular shooting much more easily than with the GRD IV.
So, it really seems that these two cameras which look like almost the same and have also many common photographic properties, complement each other nicely.