Ricoh GRD IV Conflicted


Nov 29, 2011
San Diego
I own the GXR with the A12 50mm and I really like it. I was also interested in the A12 28mm or the GRD III leaning more towards the III so I could have a second take anywhere camera. At the time I did not have the funds for either.

I ended up buying a used Sigma DP1 even though I read how hard it was to use but the IQ was really good, it was a lot less than a used GRD III at the time too.

The IQ of the DP1 is amazing when you get a good shot. All the other gripes about it are true.

I recently sold off my remaining DSLR lenses and now I had money burning a hole in my camera bag.The GRD was calling again this time it was the IV.

I ordered one and received it last Friday. Everything about the GRD is better than the DP1 except the IQ in my opinion. I know the sensor size is different but I was planning to sell the DP1 since I don't need two fixed 28mm pocket cams. The GRD is smaller but not that much so pocket-ability or jacket-abilty is the same to me.

So here I am packing up the GRD wondering if it's the right decision to send it back and get something else like the X100 or NEX.

The DP1 is a keeper for me.

Thoughts and opinions appreciated


Jul 15, 2010
The GRD is a small sensor camera, the X100 and Nex are not depends on what you want, The X100 has amazing IQ at even fairly high ISO, is bigger, less stealth, if you main focus is color I would get the X100, is you like shooting B&W on the street with a really fun stealth camera keep the GRD, the cheaper compromise for you might be just getting the GXR 28 module


Jul 8, 2010
Do you need another camera? My favorite all-time camera is the GRD line. I also own the GXR with the two A12s and the GXR-M. I recently sold off both of my Sigma cameras (and Fuji X100) and I don't miss them (out of sight out of mind).


Jul 7, 2010
betwixt and between
I have to confess that I have just been trying out the GRD IV. It's a wonderfully small camera and has what seem like "millions" of customizable controls, however it is not going to be a keeper for me due to the image quality. This is merely my opinion and response to your post, f12. I am used to the X100 which has sublime image quality, as I am sure the GXR does with its various modules.

For me, right now, if I needed a smaller camera with a wider angle lens (and if you want an added zoom), I'd opt for the Fuji X10...but that's just me.

When one is coming from the Foevon sensor, it's got to be difficult to go down in sensor size too far.

P.S. I just want to reiterate that I do think the GRD IV is a great camera and if I didn't need to concern myself with spending money, I'd keep it! It's very fast.:thumbsup:


Oct 28, 2011
seattle WA
I don't think it's fair comparing camera with such a different sensor size. When it comes to street photography, the grd iv is the best as you're not having to lose time with thin DOF. It's just not having any. But once again, you just don't do the same type of photography with these cameras. The dp1 is a more static camera, super slow AF, great IQ but not adapted to snappy situations where you need to catch the instant.
At the very end, it all depends of your phographic style.

BBW: that's the thing! :) When it comes to the GRDiv, i don't think you should focus on IQ at all. It will never compare to the x100 anyway. Not the same class of product.
I've been using my GRDiv a lot lately, leaving my m9 in the bag. It changed my ways of shooting, and i think i gained a lot at going back to a small sensor.
For example, i used to consider highlights as horrible no data zones, sinful patches of limbo on images, things to eradicate. Well, now i think the opposite and i play with it. No DOF? Not a problem, play with overexposing your shots, and you'll obtain insane results, specifically taking advantage of the narrower dynamic range, making it yours.

F12: the grdiv is a reportage and field camera, stealthy, small, snappy. You can shoot straight in the middle of people without them caring or seeing you're having a finger on the shutter.
None of these apply to the x100 or the nex, no matter how good these cameras are. :)

Good luck at chosing though.
Oh, and the only reason i'm not having a x100 is because i already have the x1.
I'm still jealous at times though. Hehe


Jul 24, 2010
From your post I assume IQ and size are very important in your camera selection. The highest IQ in the smallest package you get with the Leica X1, Samsung NX200 with 30mm (or 16 and 20mm) pancakes, Ricoh GXR 28mm module. If AF speed matters and some IQ compromises are ok, the next group to look at would be the smaller mft bodies, Olympus or Panasonic, with mft prime lenses or, as an alternative, Nikon J1 or V1 with the best AF system of the group.
If it it can be bigger than pocket size, the X100 delivers IQ in loads.
The ones which stand out, in my opinion:
- the IQ monster NX200
- the AF champion Nikon N1.
Not mainstream, I know, and both have some quirks and warts but also outshine competiton in some areas. As a DP1 shooter, I'm sure you understand what I'm talking about.


Hall of Famer
Dec 6, 2011
I was going to toss in my two cents being a recent GRD buyer but it sounds like you've already made your decision which is fine. I do want to say though that which camera you reach for most will determine which camera is a true keeper, IF you are still feeling guilt after your purchase. If you find yourself using one less or rarely if at all you can always sell it. Otherwise you have a good range of cameras for varying situations of use. Have fun!

Hm, I do have a question though.. for anyone that can answer. Is there a smaller camera that does have good DOF?


Jul 15, 2010
I am not sure what you mean by good DOF, if you mean a deep DOF then yes small chip cameras tend to have that, you also control depth, with your distance to the subject(closer less depth), the focal length(longer les depth) and the aperture(larger opening/smaller number less depth), if what you mean is shallow DOF then the larger chip camera is what you want, I hope that helps


Hall of Famer
Nov 12, 2010
I'm assuming you mean shallow DOF? Of the fixed-lens, small sensor cameras I think the Olympus XZ1 is the best for that, its lens is the fastest of all the "enthusiast compacts" across its entire focal length range if I'm not mistaken...


Hall of Famer
Dec 6, 2011
Yes BB, I love Bokeh, specular highlights, all of that shallow dof stuff, sorry I was fighting internet signal and in frustration couldn't get my words out. So a larger chip but I want it in a smaller camera lol for p&s.. I will look into the Oly though, thanks guys
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