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")|
|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"|