Ricoh Advice: GXR or GRD

CMG

Regular
Aug 31, 2012
Washington State, USA
I'm a soon to be former Pentax K-5 shooter intending to become a Rich shooter after Photokina 2012. Yes, the K-5 is a great DSLR but it's size, weight (body and FA primes), etc., is all "getting in the way" of the more traditional, less complicated, purer, if you will, experience that I'm looking. I like to shoot manual most of the time except when subject matter is better suited to aperture priority or shutter priority. I've been reading quite a bit about the GRD IV and GXR (28mm module). One of the great aspects of photography is actually shooting (lol!), what I mean is that most of the time I would leave my K-5 at home because it's just too much to carry everywhere and therefore I spend much less time shooting than I could if I had a more readily portable kit. What I'm looking for is advice from users of the GRD IV and GXR (28mm module)....which to choose and why? Pros and cons of each? I'm not looking to shoot portraits, rather I'm looking for something close to the elusive "all around - walk around" camera that I can always have with me with great IQ. From what I read, both of these Ricoh cameras have that, thought the GXR is a bit larger. I'd likely want the flexibility of an OVF or EVF on the hotshoe. Thanks!
 

Ray Sachs

Legend
Sep 21, 2010
Not too far from Philly
you should be able to figure it out...
Well, the GRD and the GXR with the 28mm "lensor" are nearly identical in operation. The GRD is smaller but neither are big. The GXR fits in a coat pocket - the GRD in most pants pockets. The GRD has more DOF and a naturally grittier look and is a great street camera. The GXR has better ultimate image quality, more potential for narrow DOF, and better low light performance. And it gives you the capability to switch "lenses" if you'd like. I've owned both, preferred each in their own way. As a primary camera I'd prefer the GXR but for a tiny little stealth shooter, the GRD is a pretty nice addition to anyone's bag. They both have great controls, the wonderful "snap focus" feature, and are just ergonomically a pleasure to shoot with. You can use a tiny OVF with either, but if you want an EVF, it'll only work with the GXR.

Good luck,

-Ray
 

krugorg

All-Pro
Sep 26, 2011
Minnesota USA
Kyle Krug
Steve is selling a PAIR of GXRs in the classifieds. I REALLY want them, but need to be fiscally responsible. https://www.photographerslounge.org/f27/ricoh-gxr-28-50mm-modules-10879/
Great tip on Steve's kit for sale, Luke. I don't know how you can go wrong on that price - crazy good deal. I am totally tempted myself and I need more gear like I need a hole in my head.

I never did any street stuff with the GXR, but I loved using both the 28 and 50mm modules for my rural landscape stuff.

GXR 28:
View attachment 58825

 

krugorg

All-Pro
Sep 26, 2011
Minnesota USA
Kyle Krug
Kyle, how can you do that to me.......after I talked myself off the ledge about buying Steve's kit. Must be strong!
Oh, you should definitely buy his kit (I can't believe it is still available)! Just think, you could then buy the GXR M lens module! muhahahahahahahaha [evil laugh]
 

ayewing

New Member
Feb 4, 2012
Peterborough, UK
Archie Ewing
As a former Pentax K-5 user, I can give my impressions of the GXR. I have the GXR body, the P10 and A12 M mount. With the P10 unit it is extremely compact, very versatile and can be used like a point and shoot or with foll control of aperture, shutter speed and ISO. Its main limitation is the small sensor so ISO above 400 becomes increasingly unuseable but at low ISO the results are very acceptable and it does have shake reduction.

For serious use I find the A12 M mount superb when used with my Leica lenses and the lack of shake reduction is not a problem. I did try the A16 zoom unit but did not get on with it very well. It has an excellent sensor but the lens is an ugly brute, quite large though very light and the lack of a zoom ring makes the handling awkward. AF is good but manual focus is very awkward.

The optional EVF is useful both in bright sunlight and I find it easier to hold the camera steady with a viewfinder rather than at arms length.

I would not regard the GXR as a satisfactory replacement for a fully featured DSLR such as the K-5 but complementary to it. Its small size and weight and delightful ergonomics make it a pleasure to use and if you do not need longer zooms but stick to the excellent camera units and/or the A12 M mount which can accept a wide range of lenses used manually you might be very happy with it.
 

CMG

Regular
Aug 31, 2012
Washington State, USA
I would not regard the GXR as a satisfactory replacement for a fully featured DSLR such as the K-5 but complementary to it. Its small size and weight and delightful ergonomics make it a pleasure to use and if you do not need longer zooms but stick to the excellent camera units and/or the A12 M mount which can accept a wide range of lenses used manually you might be very happy with it.

Thanks for your advice! I guess I'm not really looking to "replace" my DSLR, I'm really looking for a different experience. I don't have any legacy glass that I could use with the A12 M mount so that module would not justify choosing the GXR. The more I read, the more it seems that the real draw of the GXR is the A12 M mount which allows shooters with Leica glass to shoot it without purchasing a very expensive Leica digital body. Really, the only things that concerns me about the GRD IV is the sensor size and I'm not sure if my concerns are justified. Some seem to say that the GRD IV is strictly a street shooter because of its size and speed. Some seem to say that while it is a great street shooter, it is also a great all around camera once you adjust to shooting 28mm. I generally convert to B&W but occasionally do color. I also don't like to spend alot of time PP, I prefer to do as much as possible with in camera exposure. In that regard, I generally shoot JPEG and I've read that the JPEGs from the GXR are not great while the JPEGs from the GRD IV are excellent.
 

Andrewteee

All-Pro
Jul 8, 2010
I consider the GRD4 a must have camera no matter what other cameras I own. Regarding the GXR system, great cameras, but I would wait and see what's up next from Ricoh. A lot of speculation about the state of the GXR. But I'll add that the 50mm A12 is my favorite camera to shoot with.
 

CMG

Regular
Aug 31, 2012
Washington State, USA
I consider the GRD4 a must have camera no matter what other cameras I own. Regarding the GXR system, great cameras, but I would wait and see what's up next from Ricoh. A lot of speculation about the state of the GXR. But I'll add that the 50mm A12 is my favorite camera to shoot with.
Thanks! What do you shoot with your GRD IV? I'm wondering about its versatility in addition to being a great street shooter.
 

Andrewteee

All-Pro
Jul 8, 2010
Thanks! What do you shoot with your GRD IV? I'm wondering about its versatility in addition to being a great street shooter.
A lot of macros stuff (not flowers and bugs, more like twigs and dirt and rocks and abstract stuff). Kids, life, landscapes, dog walks. Whatever.
 
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Olivier Duong

Regular
Jul 16, 2012
I also had a Pentax... great camera! I had it with two sexy limited lenses. I sold it when I got my GXR 50mm. I loved it so much I had the GRD. Now I am surprised to say that I use the GRD so much, I will sell the GXR. The portability is irreplaceable.
 
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CMG

Regular
Aug 31, 2012
Washington State, USA
I also had a Pentax... great camera! I had it with two sexy limited lenses. I sold it when I got my GXR 50mm. I loved it so much I had the GRD. Now I am surprised to say that I use the GRD so much, I will sell the GXR. The portability is irreplaceable.
Sounds like we had virtually the same Pentax set up. So you prefer the GRD over the GXR. What sort ofof subjects do you generally shoot? Do you think the GRD is flexible enough to shoot various subjects in addition to street work? Thanks!
 

CMG

Regular
Aug 31, 2012
Washington State, USA

Petach

Hall of Famer
Oct 22, 2011
UK, Essex
Peter Tachauer
............how much pp?

The first 2........LR3 using basic sliders for exposure, fill light, black etc. The 3rd and 4th with Snapseed on Ipad.

These were tweaks to get the effect I wanted, not a nuts and bolts rebuild using layers etc. The basic photos still had to be a good foundation to build upon. Can't make a silk purse from a sows ear and all that.

I am a huge fan. Sure, I still use my 5d mk11.........but the GRD gets a lot of use as an every day tool

Best of luck.
 

Petach

Hall of Famer
Oct 22, 2011
UK, Essex
Peter Tachauer
This is a link to a slide show of my GRD3 shots on flickr.

I have landscaped with it, portraited with it, street shot with it, nightscaped with it. Even attached it to the wheel arch of a speeding car. Street stuff is mainly pp'd with SFX Pro for effect.

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