Now we seem to have finally put the megapixel debate to bed, the focus has switched to actual sensor size. It’s all about putting larger sensors in smaller cameras. Amongst other things, it allows us to indulge in our penchant for street photography with fixed-lens compact cameras. The Fujifilm X100S might be top of the tree in terms of price, spec, and looks, but others are getting in on the game, too. This includes Ricoh with its new GR compact, featuring a 16.2 megapixel APS-C sensor.
For some, the ƒ/2.8, 18.3mm (28mm in 35mm equivalent) lens won’t be bright enough and is maybe a bit too wide. These were common criticisms of the Nikon Coolpix A. But the GR does come with the rather nifty addition to show you a 35mm (in 35mm equivalent) angle of view in-camera. There’s also multi-segment white balancing, to try to adjust for different light temperatures across a scene, a manually adjustable ND filter, but no anti-aliasing filter.
Pentax developed the TAv mode for its dSLRs, which allows you select your shutter speed and aperture yourself, but implement what is effectively automatic ISO control. Now that Pentax is owned by Ricoh, they’re sharing some of their technology, and this is one of the cross-overs. As for the sensitivity, there’s a maximum ISO of 25,600.
If you really want, you can process your Raw images in-camera and export them as JPEGs, and of course there’s the usual gamut of in-camera effects. One of the toys that I do quite like, however, is the ability to create interval composites: shoot the same scene at given intervals to create a composite charting a period of motion. Think moonrise or star trails.
The camera’s maximum frames per second is around 4, it recods 1920 by 1080p video at 30 frames per second and it’ll be available next month.
So the question is, at £600 for the Ricoh GR (and £223 for the viewfinder), why would anyone spend £1,000 for a very similarly specced Nikon Coolpix A?