Tags: Ricoh GRD2.
One (actually, so far the only) thing that’s mildly exciting me today is news of the forthcoming Ricoh GR Digital II (ooh – now with a quoted price), the third Ricoh compact which will be touted as the spiritual successor to the GR1 (which I have, and love, though it’s not been used for five or six years now). The previous GR Digital and GX100 have both been close but not quite there, and mainly for one reason: Whilst you could drop a roll of Velvia into a GR1 and get near enough SLR-quality results, digital compacts are restricted by their sensors. And, like just about everyone else (the main exceptions being Fuji and of course Sigma) Ricoh have so far relied on small, noisy sensors.
So part of me (the part that chooses not to look at the state of my bank account) is waiting with bated breath to see if the noise is going to even approach SLR quality, whilst the rest of me has already given up hope: The sensor in the GRDII is the same size as that in the GRD, yet it’s packing another 2 million pixels. This doesn’t sound like a noise-beating combination.
Still, the rest of it sounds utterly splendid: raw (DNG) support, great 28mm f/2.4 (yup – faster than the GR1) fixed lens, square-format option (I’m digging square these days), add-on optical viewfinder, a hard switch for the pop-up flash, two custom shooting modes, 1.5cm macro, manual exposure, aperture priority, fixed focus modes; and if those last two features can go hand-in-hand (possibly relaying on the ability to up the ISO a bit) then we have the possibility of a hyperfocal fixed-focus setup, which is pretty cool. If the image quality is up to scratch, maybe we’re finally pretty close to the ideal pocketable compact – or at the very least, the one I’ve been waiting for.
Or to put it another way, if the image quality is up to scratch, I’m going to have to put the GR1 and anything else I can find onto eBay…