Ricoh GRD IV

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I really love how my Ricoh GRD IV coped the tricky exposure and how nicely it rendered the bokeh in this shot. This was shot with ISO 1600 and I am quite happy with the result for a small sensor camera. I also like the in-camera bleach bypass effect which suits here very nicely. Bravo, GRD IV!

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Two latest shots with GRD IV

I have been testing many things and options with my Ricoh GRD IV and the situation is the same I have with every new camera – I do not know which shooting options to choose. Basically I would like to use this kind of a small camera in JPEG mode and just shoot and make only very minor post-processing in Lightroom. I am quite much into B&Ws at the moment but I do not know if I am pleased to in-camera high-contrast ones. I made some adjustments for the in-camera HC B&W effect and I feel it is now going into the better direction. I have also been testing the normal in-camera B&Ws but they still are too “mild” to my liking.

There is also a possibility to shoot image effect bracketing with Ricoh GRD IV and that is a very nice option which I tested out but in the end I didn’t like the multiple JPEGs from every shot. Too much to go through in LR and too many decision to make. I would like to keep things as simple as possible. Occasionally I like the bleach bypass effect a lot but the problem is that I will get bored with it quite easily.

The easiest answer to all above would be to shoot RAW but I do not shoot RAW anymore even with my Fujis. Well, with my Nikon 1 V1 I do shoot RAW because I do not like its JPEG output. It seems I have to test more options with my GRD IV. Here are two shots to show the JPEG output in HC B&W mode and in bleach bypass mode. I like them both.

Mute and shoot

X100 and lenses

Shine of aluminium

I tested the in-camera high-contrast B&W last evening with my Ricoh GRD IV and there were few good shots but mainly the shots were too dark and contrasty to my liking. In other hand, the normal in-camera B&W is too boring having no punch. I really like the idea that GRD IV would be my JPEG B&W camera but I am not sure yet.

The shot below is SOOC. I adjusted the contrast to -1 (there are Max, -1, and -2 to select with), and sharpness to 7 (max is 9) in-camera. Also the square format is done in-camera. The center weighted exposure was used here.

Shine of aluminium

Close-up with Ricoh GRD IV

I have had my Ricoh GRD IV camera now only few hours but I can already say that I really love its close-up capabilities. You can go as close as 1 cm to your subject and this camera will autofocus! Wow. And you can have some decent bokeh with this camera in this kind of a close-ups as can be seen in the shot below. More about other things later.

Close-up with Ricoh GRD IV

Towards classics and smaller sensors

Earlier digital days I was craving for full frame sensors. I thought they would provide some additional value for my photography. But FF mainly provided frustration. Well, of course I have to admit that I got some nice narrow DoF and bokeh shots but many times I was struggling.

If I now go through my present camera gear, it seems that I am going towards smaller sensors. Few years ago I would never believed this to happen. Now my cameras have the following sensor sizes: 1/1.7″, 2/3″, 1″, and APS-C.

And all of my present cameras are kind of classics or even cult devices. I have Leica Digilux 2 (introduced 2003), Fuji X100 (introduced 2010), Nikon 1 V1 (introduced 2011), and Fuji X-Pro1 (introduced 2012).

Oh, almost forgot that soon there will be Ricoh GRD IV too. ­čÖé

Which are my fixed prime lens camera options at the moment?

I am almost obsessed for cameras having a fixed prime lens. I have one of those at the moment – Fuji X100. And I love it. But there are also other nice options for me in addition to X100. Why I am posting this? Well, I am really tired to changing lenses and feeling that surplus of different lenses (as was the situation when I had Canon 5D Mk II) is limiting my creativity and giving me a feeling that I am suffocating in technical stuff. I want to have a simple┬áand great camera. This is not an easy question though. Those fixed prime┬álenses vary a lot in their focal length, maximum aperture and of course also in IQ-wise. Then there are very different sensor sizes. And many kind of usability.

Fuji X100 is a great camera as┬áI have stated earlier. So, what’s the problem, man? I think all this writing about these things reflects my difficulties with Fuji X-Pro1. It is a great camera too. But is it a great camera for me? I may consider selling my X-Pro1 if I can find a good fixed prime lens option to replace it. Wow, did I say that?! Well, anyways, here are few words about the options I know at the moment (if you know some else, please let me know):

Sigma DP1/2. I do not know much about these. Sensor is different than other’s but that’s it.┬áSomehow I feel that there are better ones at the moment. So, maybe┬ánot an option. About 1000 euros.

Ricoh GRD IV. I am quite much interested in this one. It has a small sensor and not so good ISO performance but it would nicely complement my X100. Very pocketable and fast focusing with its hybrid focus system. I have heard lots of positive comments on its “snap focusing” system too. Nice 28mm lens. Simple to use. About 450 euros.

Leica X2. Well, it is a Leica. Everybody loves Leica. APS-C sized sensor and very good Leica lens. Quite much in par with X100 in many respects but having no EVF/OVF. About 1750 euros. Expensive but it is a Leica. ­čÖé

Sony RX1. Full Frame, FF. WOW. I saw some shots at Steve Huff’s site. WOW. Just unbelievable ISO performance. Very nice Carl Zeiss lens. No EVF, that’s a minus.┬áAbout 2800 euros. Sigh. For this one I should sell my X100 too.

You can freely guess which one of those I want to have. Just crazy…