Ricoh GR Digital IV

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There’s something inherently seductive about a compact camera with a fast, fixed, wide-angle lens and a top ISO of 3200, especially if you’ve got a thing for low-light street shooting or taking pictures in places where tripods and flash are frowned upon or downright prohibited. If I’ve caught your attention, you might want to read more about the new Ricoh GR Digital IV.

The Ricoh GR Digital IV has a lot going for it, starting with its fixed 6.0mm f/1.9 lens, which approximates the field of view of a 28mm lens on a full-frame 35mm camera. Featuring eight elements in six groups including dual aspheric elements and surfaces, the GR Digital IV’s fixed focal length, wide-angle lens can focus down to as close as 1 cm from the front lens element, which can make for extremely dramatic macro imaging. The GR Digital IV also offers the option of a 4x digital zoom for times you want to get a bit tighter than the 74° angle of view afforded by the camera’s fixed focal length lens.

The 10MP (1/1.7") CCD imaging sensor in the Ricoh GR Digital IV captures JPEG (Fine & Normal) and RAW (DNG) stills, as well as 640 x 480 and 320 x 240 video clips onto SD/SDHC and Eye-Fi (X2) memory cards. The GR Digital IV also contains about 40MB of internal memory.

The Ricoh GR Digital IV features an advanced hybrid autofocus system that relies on a combination of internal and external AF sensors which, depending on what’s going on in front of the camera, maintains continuous focus for single frame, continuous still capture at burst rates up to 1.54 frames per second, and video clips. There’s also a Snap AF mode in which the camera lens automatically sets itself to a predetermined focus point as soon as you press the shutter button, which all but eliminates shutter-lag issues. Even in non-Snap mode, the GR Digital IV boasts AF response times as quick as 0.2-second.

For composing and reviewing stills and video, the GR Digital IV features a truly high-fidelity 1,230,000-dot, 3.0" LCD, which is a great improvement over the LCD found on the Digital IV’s predecessor, the Ricoh GR Digital III.

Cosmetically speaking, the Ricoh GR Digital IV is as inconspicuous looking as a low-light shooting machine should be. Clad in an all-black exterior, the surface panels are a handsome-looking mixture of leatherette with textured metal top and bottom plates. The camera’s lens retracts nearly flush to the front plate when not in use, and when in action, extends about an inch from its resting place. The lens itself is slightly recessed from the front of the barrel, which allows a decent measure of protection for the front lens element. To facilitate a secure grip on the camera, the GR Digital IV features a molded grip on the right side of the camera chassis, topped with one of several fingertip-controlled command dials.

To smooth out the bumps in the road, the GR Digital IV makes use of a sensor shift image stabilization system, which allows for about a 3.2 steps’ advantage beyond the set shutter speed. Combined with a fast f/1.9 maximum aperture and a top ISO sensitivity of 3200, the Ricoh GR Digital IV is about as good as it gets in the world of pocket sized, low-light shooters.

Sensor 10MP CCD (1/1.7")
Lens 28mm f/1.9
File Formats JPEG, RAW, AVI, MJPEG
Display 3.0" LCD (1,230,000-dots)
ISO Range ISO 80 - 3200
Connectivity AV out, HDMI, USB 2.0
Dimensions 4.28 x 2.35 x 1.28"
Weight 0.42 lb

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Well just ordered Fujifilm X10. How does Richard GR pitch against X10? There is an advantage of sensor size but GR's ISO is big. Any more insights?

Hello,

The Ricoh GR Digital IV has a fixed focal-length 28mm ( 35mm equivalent ) lens.  It uses a 10MP 1/1.7" CCD sensor with sensor-shift image stabilization. Another feature is 'Hybrid AF' which uses 2 CMOS AF sensors allowing the camera to focus in as little as 0.2 seconds. The Ricoh GR Digital IV also has a high-resolution RGBW 1.23M dot LCD.  The camera has no built in viewfinder.

The Fujifilm X10 has a F2.0-2.8, 28-112mm-equivalent zoom lens & zooming viewfinder with image stabilization. It uses a 2/3" (6.6 x 8.8mm) CMOS sensor that uses Fujifilm's EXR pixel arrangement. The 12MP sensor can produce either 12MP images in high resolution mode, under-expose half its pixels to provide 6MP images with greater dynamic range, or combine neighboring pixels for a 6MP high sensitivity mode. This allows for the wide ISO range. The camera can both shoot and process RAW files in camera. It can capture • 1920 x 1080 Full HD, 30fps + • 1280 x 720 HD, 30fps video.

Thank you. Only real life pictures can tell us how they both perform. To me they are very similar (enthusiast) cameras. I would be much interested to compare the IQ which is the most important factor for me. Viewfinder is definitely a plus on fuji. Can't wait to try the X10 out myself and then compare them with Ricoh's.

I've used the the original GR-D quite a bit and will add that with the high quality LCD you don't really need a viewfinder.

Well I have been using X10 for couple of weeks now and I am extremely happy with the camera. It just takes amazingly sharp and vibrant pictures. For a P&S look no further type camera. Viewfinder though is limited in usage since its just optical. But it still comes handy in very bright day and composition.

Hi. I have both the fuji x10 and the grd 4. I have compared the imagequality on many shots (JPG). My conclusion about the cameras are as follow. They are both very very good build quality, nothing more to wish for here. The fuji is beautifully retro styled, the richo looks like a mix between old and new and is also absolutely lovely to look at and to hold and handle. About theese questions - looks, build and handling I think You could choose either, the fuji has the VF but the ricoh is smaller and more pocketeble. But when it comes to Imagequality, (JPG) there is a big difference. Almost all photos produced by the fuji are so much nicer, so much more punch, contrast, vividnes etc... even when I crank the contrast and sharpness on the ricoh to its maximum, there is still no compare, Fuji x10 wins every time. I really wanted the ricoh to produce better jpgs because i like that camera more than the fuji (bczs its smaller size) but the jpgs are not good to tell the truth - flat, boring..... 
If You choose to buy the Ricoh GRD 4, You simply have to be prepered to postprocess rawfiles, the jpgs are so much worse than the Fuji x10´s.

So - if you just want to use the jpgs straight out of the camera - you simply have to buy the x10, if you are prepared to postprocess every photo and want a really small and pocketable camere - the ricoh should be Your choize.

/Gustav from sweden