Ricoh Advice: GXR or GRD

CMG

Regular
Aug 31, 2012
Washington State, USA
Can anyone discuss their experience using an OVF with their GRD please? Which OVF do you use and why did you choose it? Also, what is your composition technique when using an OVF with your GRD particularly with regard to exposure settings since I believe the OVF does not display your exposure settings as an EVF would. Thanks!
 

Crsnydertx

Top Veteran
Jan 21, 2011
Houston, TX
Chuck
CMG said:
Can anyone discuss their experience using an OVF with their GRD please? Which OVF do you use and why did you choose it? Also, what is your composition technique when using an OVF with your GRD particularly with regard to exposure settings since I believe the OVF does not display your exposure settings as an EVF would. Thanks!
I can only say that I've never used an OVF with my GRD3, as the OVF's are both rare and IMHO very expensive. If I did use one, it would be for framing in situations where the LCD was too difficult to read, e.g. strong direct sunlight. I primarily use Aperture Priority metering, so the issue would be whether the shutter speed would be in range to achieve desired EV. In bright light, I suppose that would be insuring that too fast a shutter speed wasn't being called for. Experience and experimentation...
 
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CMG

Regular
Aug 31, 2012
Washington State, USA
It seems that most do not use the OVF on their GRD. Can someone explain why someone would use an OVF on the GRD? I mean, no exposure information is displayed in the OVF, it does not show whether your subject is in focus (I think Snap will work around this) and it does not fully frame the subject image (I realize that one does get used to this). So, why and/or under what circumstances would one use the OVF on a GRD? Is it just a "last resort" to get the shot if lighting conditions are such that you cannot use the LCD? Thanks.
 

jhowell39

Veteran
Jun 23, 2011
norcal
Jim
Looks like I'm with the majority in not using an OVF either. I'd guess that 20% or so of my outdoor shots have crummy light on the LCD, but I guess my eyes are getting used to the medium wide lens as things seem to just work out. I've only felt the need for minor cropping on just a couple of posts here. This probably going to sound a little weird, but along with being a nice little grit machine, the grd iii is also a nice little zen machine in the way it can shoot off-hand. It really fits into my minimalist way of doing things. Regardless of whatever hardware I may end up accumulating, the Ricoh will always be in my pocket.
 
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Biro

Hall of Famer
Aug 7, 2011
Jersey Shore
Steve
I won't argue with any GRD owners here. But there are very strong rumors that Ricoh will soon be introducing an APS-C model with K mount for the GXR. If that's the case then the OP can use some of his Pentax lenses on it. If that happens I'll be all over the GXR myself.
 

Lili

Hall of Famer
Oct 17, 2010
Dallas, TX
Lili
I have used a Cosina-Voigtlander OVF with mine. Usually in places where sunlight renders the LCD unusable or in dark places where the LCD would spotlight me...it can be turned off and one can still see the AF lock light while using the OVF.
 
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CMG

Regular
Aug 31, 2012
Washington State, USA
Would anyone be unhappy to see a major change to the GRD IV, for example, if the GRD V, if any and whenever it may arrive, does include the 1" Sony sensor, or a relatively fast zoom, or a longer focal length GR prime? Do you see any potential downsides if one or more of these changes were to occur based upon what it is that you love about the current GRD and its ethos? Thanks!
 

krugorg

All-Pro
Sep 26, 2011
Minnesota USA
Kyle Krug
Would anyone be unhappy to see a major change to the GRD IV, for example, if the GRD V, if any and whenever it may arrive, does include the 1" Sony sensor, or a relatively fast zoom, or a longer focal length GR prime? Do you see any potential downsides if one or more of these changes were to occur based upon what it is that you love about the current GRD and its ethos? Thanks!
Not that there is anything wrong with the current GRD, but, oh man, I would be all over a 1" sensor based GRD V. :biggrin:
 

CMG

Regular
Aug 31, 2012
Washington State, USA
Any GRD IV shooters have any opinion (seriously) about the Samsung EX2F? The more I research the more it seems that I will go with either the GRD IV or the EX2F. The EX2F thankfully lacks a touch screen and seems to have a good setup for manual control (though not as good as the GRD IV). I am now officially an ex-Pentax K-5 shooter and currently I am using my Canon SD870 IS which actually pretty decent and makes me wonder about discussions of sensor size in the abstract, but that's another story. My concern about the GRD IV is that it will be my only camera (well, other than the aforesaid Canon) and while I preferred primes on my K-5, I had several primes and could switch focal lengths if necessary. My concern with the EX2F is whether the quality of the lens is up the level of the GR Lens. Thanks!
 

Andrewteee

All-Pro
Jul 8, 2010
Would anyone be unhappy to see a major change to the GRD IV, for example, if the GRD V, if any and whenever it may arrive, does include the 1" Sony sensor, or a relatively fast zoom, or a longer focal length GR prime? Do you see any potential downsides if one or more of these changes were to occur based upon what it is that you love about the current GRD and its ethos? Thanks!
You would lose some DoF advantage of the smaller sensor, something a lot of street shooters prefer.
 

Ray Sachs

Legend
Sep 21, 2010
Not too far from Philly
you should be able to figure it out...
I don't know much about the Samsung (other than what I heard about the previous model), but why are you limiting yourself to those two models? Have you checked out the Panasonic LX7? Olympus XZ2? Sony RX100? Fuji X10 or XF1? The LX7 is fairly similar to the Samsung and has great manual controls. And except for the lens range, the XZ2 is also. And the Fujis and the Sony have better/best image quality relative to any of the others, if that matters to you. If you have your heart set on those two, I'm sure someone can weigh in on the Samsung, but there are a number of fine cameras in this category that may be worth your consideration unless you have a specific reason not to consider them...

-Ray
 

CMG

Regular
Aug 31, 2012
Washington State, USA
I don't know much about the Samsung (other than what I heard about the previous model), but why are you limiting yourself to those two models? Have you checked out the Panasonic LX7? Olympus XZ2? Sony RX100? Fuji X10 or XF1? The LX7 is fairly similar to the Samsung and has great manual controls. And except for the lens range, the XZ2 is also. And the Fujis and the Sony have better/best image quality relative to any of the others, if that matters to you. If you have your heart set on those two, I'm sure someone can weigh in on the Samsung, but there are a number of fine cameras in this category that may be worth your consideration unless you have a specific reason not to consider them...

-Ray
Thanks for your response Ray! Well, as I'm sure you can tell I'm really trying to figure out which compact is right for me. Truthfully, I hadn't even heard of the GRD until a few weeks ago and I'm pretty amazed at what I've read about it. Fact is, I prefer to shoot (or convert) to B&W and on occasion do color. If I do color, I don't like the over-saturated approaching neon look. I want full manual control without having to menu-dive. When I first saw the GRD IV it was like looking at my K-5 embodied in a compact (a bit of hyperbole, but you know what I'm getting at). Then I explored the high-end compact market, which I'd never done before, and was amazing at what's out there. So, that made what I thought was an easy decision, namely to just get the GRD IV, a bit more complicated. I know that I want excellent, fast glass. In a dslr, I'd usually stay away from zooms because they are often slow at telephoto and not too fast wide. So, I like primes for speed and quality that would cost a fortune in a zoom. But I had various focal length primes for my K-5 so I wasn't limited except in terms of lugging all of the gear around, which is one of the several reasons that I sold my dslr.

As far a the choices other than the GRD IV:

LX7: The function ring around the lens doesn't seem like a great concept to me. Lens seems great. Manual controls seem OK.

XZ-2: Again, the function ring doesn't really appeal to me. I don't want a touch screen with all the touch screen functionality. Lens seems great.

XF-1: Seems like a lack of manual control as far as I can tell, maybe I'm wrong. Lens is rather slow at telephoto.

X-10: Seems like a very good option. Has OVF. Lens is a hair slower than GRD IV and quite a bit slower than Samsung, etc. Don't know too much about it except that everyone's x-10 seems to be in the shop getting or new sensor or they are seeing "orbs". Don't know if that's been resolved by Fuji.

Samsung: Seems like a great lens. Good UI when in manual mode and, from what I read, very good manual controls.

Sony: I'm not ready to jump in there yet. "RX200" perhaps.

GRD IV: Great controls. Can use OVF. Great UI. Only issue, which may be a non-issue in practice, is the fixed focal length. But for that, I'd have purchased it already. As I said, it's not that I prefer a zoom, it's that I'm concerned about being limited to 1 prime.
 

Crsnydertx

Top Veteran
Jan 21, 2011
Houston, TX
Chuck
I use two of the cameras on your list: the X10 and the GRD3.

The X10 is my versatility camera owing to the zoom. Very nice controls and overall handling. Note that the OVF does not have any exposure information, unlike its senior cousin, the X100. But most OVFs are just for framing anyway. Nice all-around moderately compact camera.

The GRD3 is pretty much always on my belt. While I'm not a street photographer, I do like to experiment with the controls and creative modes of the camera. It's not for snapshots; it's for "seeing" and trying to capture what I see.
 

CMG

Regular
Aug 31, 2012
Washington State, USA
I use two of the cameras on your list: the X10 and the GRD3.

The X10 is my versatility camera owing to the zoom. Very nice controls and overall handling. Note that the OVF does not have any exposure information, unlike its senior cousin, the X100. But most OVFs are just for framing anyway. Nice all-around moderately compact camera.

The GRD3 is pretty much always on my belt. While I'm not a street photographer, I do like to experiment with the controls and creative modes of the camera. It's not for snapshots; it's for "seeing" and trying to capture what I see.
Thanks Chuck! If I understand you correctly, it sounds like the GRD is your everyday, always with you camera and the X-10 comes out when you know you will need the zoom? How would you compare the IQ of the GR lens/CCD setup in the GRD to the Fujinon lens/EXR set up in the X-10?

Also, has Fuji solve the "white orbs" problem? How does the OVF work when you are zooming, its it basically trial and error until you figure out how the camera frames?
 

Ray Sachs

Legend
Sep 21, 2010
Not too far from Philly
you should be able to figure it out...
Thanks for your response Ray! Well, as I'm sure you can tell I'm really trying to figure out which compact is right for me. Truthfully, I hadn't even heard of the GRD until a few weeks ago and I'm pretty amazed at what I've read about it. Fact is, I prefer to shoot (or convert) to B&W and on occasion do color. If I do color, I don't like the over-saturated approaching neon look. I want full manual control without having to menu-dive. When I first saw the GRD IV it was like looking at my K-5 embodied in a compact (a bit of hyperbole, but you know what I'm getting at). Then I explored the high-end compact market, which I'd never done before, and was amazing at what's out there. So, that made what I thought was an easy decision, namely to just get the GRD IV, a bit more complicated. I know that I want excellent, fast glass. In a dslr, I'd usually stay away from zooms because they are often slow at telephoto and not too fast wide. So, I like primes for speed and quality that would cost a fortune in a zoom. But I had various focal length primes for my K-5 so I wasn't limited except in terms of lugging all of the gear around, which is one of the several reasons that I sold my dslr.

As far a the choices other than the GRD IV:

LX7: The function ring around the lens doesn't seem like a great concept to me. Lens seems great. Manual controls seem OK.

XZ-2: Again, the function ring doesn't really appeal to me. I don't want a touch screen with all the touch screen functionality. Lens seems great.

XF-1: Seems like a lack of manual control as far as I can tell, maybe I'm wrong. Lens is rather slow at telephoto.

X-10: Seems like a very good option. Has OVF. Lens is a hair slower than GRD IV and quite a bit slower than Samsung, etc. Don't know too much about it except that everyone's x-10 seems to be in the shop getting or new sensor or they are seeing "orbs". Don't know if that's been resolved by Fuji.

Samsung: Seems like a great lens. Good UI when in manual mode and, from what I read, very good manual controls.

Sony: I'm not ready to jump in there yet. "RX200" perhaps.

GRD IV: Great controls. Can use OVF. Great UI. Only issue, which may be a non-issue in practice, is the fixed focal length. But for that, I'd have purchased it already. As I said, it's not that I prefer a zoom, it's that I'm concerned about being limited to 1 prime.
I don't have first hand experience with the Olympus or Samsung. The XF1 seems to me only to beat the X10 if small size or pretty styling is the priority. As for the others....

LX7 - the "function ring" is just an "aperture ring". That combined with the new MF/ND control wheel and the old clickable control wheel makes for amazing controls without going near the menus. Not to mention the aspect ratio switch right on top of the lens and a true multi-aspect sensor to take advantage of it... This would be my choice if the sensor could compete with the RX100 but, alas, its not close...

X-10: Lens is a bit slower than others, but sensor is larger and better in low light - now that the orbs are solved I'd say this is a pretty great option with most of the IQ of the Sony and the controls as good or better than the others. And the lens is still pretty fast at the long end, which the LX7 and Samsung both are too, but with lesser sensors...

Sony: Controls are fine unless you have a specific application that they're not so fine for. I don't like it very much as a street camera, but for everything else, its more than adequate. And the IQ is simply amazing for a little compact like this. In another category completely, with only the Fuji even close to the same ballpark... Once someone comes out with a camera with this level of IQ in a body with controls I like more, this could literally become my primary camera - the IQ is that good.

GRD4 - if you're OK with the fixed focal length, its the best option among the smaller sensor options, IMHO. The Fuji and Sony have far better sensors to work with, but the GRD family are just a joy to shoot with....

Good luck,

-Ray
 
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Crsnydertx

Top Veteran
Jan 21, 2011
Houston, TX
Chuck
CMG said:
Thanks Chuck! If I understand you correctly, it sounds like the GRD is your everyday, always with you camera and the X-10 comes out when you know you will need the zoom? How would you compare the IQ of the GR lens/CCD setup in the GRD to the Fujinon lens/EXR set up in the X-10?

Also, has Fuji solve the "white orbs" problem? How does the OVF work when you are zooming, its it basically trial and error until you figure out how the camera frames?
YES, GRD is always with me, although if I'm going out with the primary purpose of taking photos, another camera - likely the X10 - will be primary. Unless, of course, I'm feeling creative and want to use the features of the GRD. Not sure that makes sense, but..

Re X-10, the optical viewfinder zooms with the lens, then presents an 85% or thereabouts view within your frame. Not bad at all. My camera went back for sensor and lens replacement - free of charge - to correct the problem. Situation was well handled by Fuji, who seem to be very customer-friendly.
 
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CMG

Regular
Aug 31, 2012
Washington State, USA
GRD4 - if you're OK with the fixed focal length, its the best option among the smaller sensor options, IMHO. The Fuji and Sony have far better sensors to work with, but the GRD family are just a joy to shoot with....

Good luck,

-Ray
Thanks alot Ray, I really appreciate your advice. This is the thing with the GRD IV...I'd likely be fine with the 28mm fixed. Your quote about the GRD IV is similar to what most GRD shooters say. The thing is it seems that there is this feeling, which perhaps I'm misinterpreting, that the IQ is very good but not great but there is a certain undefinable "something" that people love about shooting with the GRD and the images they make with it. I'm trying to understand what the "something" is about the GRD that makes it so beloved among it's users. I've never held a GRD, but from the pictures I've seen the controls are as close to optimal, both as to layout and number as you can get on a small camera, great grip, solid build. Some say the sensor could be larger, but at the same time say that the lens is perfectly paired with the sensor and, most importantly, the GR lens is simply superb from edge to edge. There is no perfect camera, but, as I said, I'm trying to understand that certain, special "something" that GRD shooters find in this camera that nobody seems to find in any other current camera with the exception perhaps of the Leica M. Thanks!
 

Lili

Hall of Famer
Oct 17, 2010
Dallas, TX
Lili
Thanks alot Ray, I really appreciate your advice. This is the thing with the GRD IV...I'd likely be fine with the 28mm fixed. Your quote about the GRD IV is similar to what most GRD shooters say. The thing is it seems that there is this feeling, which perhaps I'm misinterpreting, that the IQ is very good but not great but there is a certain undefinable "something" that people love about shooting with the GRD and the images they make with it. I'm trying to understand what the "something" is about the GRD that makes it so beloved among it's users. I've never held a GRD, but from the pictures I've seen the controls are as close to optimal, both as to layout and number as you can get on a small camera, great grip, solid build. Some say the sensor could be larger, but at the same time say that the lens is perfectly paired with the sensor and, most importantly, the GR lens is simply superb from edge to edge. There is no perfect camera, but, as I said, I'm trying to understand that certain, special "something" that GRD shooters find in this camera that nobody seems to find in any other current camera with the exception perhaps of the Leica M. Thanks!
the whole package of the GRD is superbly thought out, the user interface, the lens the little touches like the artificial horizon to level shots.
If you can live with no zoom, there is not much that beats this little camera.
if you wish to dabble see if you can get a GRD III for less.
Once you try it you might be hooked so be warned!
 
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