For me I think mostly its that the GRD cameras just seem to disappear during the creative process of seeing and trying to capture an image, its almost like pointing your finger at something to say "look at that, isn't it beautiful" and then you get home and all those insights you pointed at have come home with you in that little technological marvel.
Here is the one you liked best. Thanks for your comments, they are much appreciated always.
Congratulations Will. I miss my GRDII on occasion. I love the Sigma DP2 - and will get me a DP1 in time - but the GRDs are simply razor sharp, highly responsive and super discreet! Can't wait to see more.
I'm curious about what the GRD brings to the table that the LX-5 doesn't when set to 28mm on the step zoom. The LX-5 is f2.1 at that length, so almost as fast. Its also crazy quick in operation, and very intuitive to use for either AF or hyperfocal shooting in MF. The sensor size is basically the same. Is the Ricoh lens better at that focal length by virtue of being fixed focal length rather than one stop in a zoom? Just curious - I've been intrigued by these cameras, but not enough to try one. I do like that classic 28mm field of view a lot, and its what I usually use on my gf1 and often enough on the LX5. But I'm not seeing a huge upside unless the IQ is all that much better and the LX5 is pretty good at ISO 400 and below.
The GRD III has the same 10mp CCD 1/1.7" sensor size as the Canon S95. The LX-5 is nearly the same - just a hair bigger but effectively the same size sensor. So that's not it. To the extent there's any advantage it would have to be the fixed lens I'm guessing. And maybe startup time since the camera doesn't have to be set to the proper zoom length (which can happen automatically on the LX-5 but takes an extra second or two. Not an issue if you leave the camera on during shoots though.
The GRD lens is very sharp and has very little distortion. I've generally found small sensor zooms to have distortion at the wide end. The camera is very fast and includes snap focus. It is compact, durable, beautiful, and can be fully customized via its "boxes" and My Settings. I absolutely love mine.
That's kind of what I figured - thanks. I have that focal length well covered with my gf1 14mm pancake and the LX-5, so I probably wouldn't consider one. But if I'd thought about it first, who knows? I like that focal length a lot and I seem to be gravitating to shooting with slightly wide to very wide primes almost exclusively lately. The 16 (24 equivalent) on the Nex, the 14, 17, and 20 on the gf1 (and sometimes gh2), and the LX-5 in step zoom mode that feels like three separate primes (six, but 3 at the wider end) - I seem to change the zoom setting about as often as I'd change the lens on the gf1. And I know I'm gonna end up with either the X-100 or the 24mm Zeiss for the Nex, So I'm probably set for a while (or will be soon). But it looks like a nice little rig...
Yes, they all do, but it works best on the small sensors. In snap focus the camera is set to a focus distance, meaning you just snap away and the camera does not have to focus for each shot; it's immediate with no shutter lag. You can adjust the snap focus distance on the fly. On the small sensor cameras the DoF is deep so most things are in focus anyway, hut with the APS-C sensors the DoF can be shallow, so snap focus requires more care in use.
Oh the size of the GRD compared to the LX5 is a real consideration. I had both, and granted my LX5 wasn't large (by dSLR standards) but compared to the GRD it was a beast! The GRD just feels right in the hand. Sorry can't describe it any better than that. Also the fixed lens is just a different style of shooting altogether. I went from a GRD to an LX5 and then to the DP2. I just couldn't warm to the zoom. I know, I know, it's just me! So I'd compare the GRD to the S95, but not the LX series.
Now having said ALL that! the S95 is an interesting proposition. Fits easily in a jeans pocket, just like my old GRD! Hmmmm.....