Ricoh My Wishlist for the Next GR

agentlossing

Regular
Mar 23, 2015
69
What if Ricoh incorporated a pop-up viewfinder that could sidestep the extra cost, possible Sony patents, and extra space requirements for an EVF by simply making it an optical finder with framelines only? They probably would not, but it seems close enough to the vision of the original GR film cameras with their small optical finders to be something they might try. Personally I'd quite enjoy it, if only for very bright daylight where I prefer to use my Olympus VF1 finder in the hot shoe (especially if you use snap focus, which foregoes worry about focus points).
 
I probably don't get to contribute to this conversation since I am a former GR (not GR II) user only, but thinking back about the things I loved and then didn't love so much about the camera, I can only echo one or two of the previously and nicely articulated posters' comments -

An upgraded sensor probably would be a good thing. As Ming Thein commented, the GR's sensor is getting a little long in the tooth these days (or is it, these years?)

PD-AF would be cool. Not necessary, but cool.

Weathersealing also would be cool. Once again, not necessary, but definitely cool.

Saving the best - or rather the worst - for the last - the one thing that bothered me the most about my GR (which I quite loved in many ways) was trying to compose on those horribly bright sunny days when you couldn't see the screen. But wait, you say! What about the cool little clip-on 28mm analog finder? Ahhhh, what about it? Well, of course, I bought one, and tried to use it on those same aforementioned ultra-bright washed-out sunny days. And, yes, I could see the frame through it - sort of, anyway. Not precisely, not the exact frame, but something sort of close to it. And --- that really bugged the hell out of me - mainly I think because I had been spoiled by the relatively tiny but extremely high-quality clip-on EVF which mated with my former LX7 - and which was, all things considered, a truly fine viewfinder. Being able to see and compose and frame through a good viewfinder - not all the time necessarily, but when one wishes - is more than a boon, more than an item on a 'wish list', for me --- it's close to a Holy Grail, a sine qua non - an indefinable tool which transforms the photographer's experience. An earlier poster said he wished it might have a good external EVF like the one on his GX200; I'm not familiar with that one, alas, but the LVF-2 on my LX7 was the bees knees. (So, for that matter, was the similar external EVF which Olympus used to make to hot-shoe-mate to its earlier PL models: a fine, accurate, viewable and usable digital viewfinder.)

And not a dinky little one like the one on my old GM5 which was horribly frustrating. Nor a tiny dinky little pop-up one. But a 'real' (whatever that means? and I admit it's a subjective definition for each of us) EVF-viewfinder. If it had one of those, I think I would stand in line for a GR3...

Except - wait a minute! I just bought an extremely compact weathersealed camera with a superb (24mp) sensor, astoundingly efficient PD-AF focusing, and a very small but remarkably useful (and borderline excellent) EVF which, though it's built into the camera body (in the form of a small fake pentaprism hump) hardly adds to the compact dimensions of the camera in choice....the Canon G1x Mark III. (The same camera Magnum photographer Alex Majoli is now using for many of his personal documentary projects.)

But - wait! No - it doesn't have a relatively fast prime...but a slightly slower zoom. And it doesn't have a distinguished pedigree of fine photographers who have adopted it. And, being closer to the size of my old LX7 instead of my old GR, it's just not small enough for a jeans pocket. Damn, I blew it ;)

But that EVF...ohhhh, that EVF :)
 
Dec 29, 2013
124
Switzerland
I probably don't get to contribute to this conversation since I am a former GR (not GR II) user only, but thinking back about the things I loved and then didn't love so much about the camera, I can only echo one or two of the previously and nicely articulated posters' comments -

An upgraded sensor probably would be a good thing. As Ming Thein commented, the GR's sensor is getting a little long in the tooth these days (or is it, these years?)

PD-AF would be cool. Not necessary, but cool.

Weathersealing also would be cool. Once again, not necessary, but definitely cool.

Saving the best - or rather the worst - for the last - the one thing that bothered me the most about my GR (which I quite loved in many ways) was trying to compose on those horribly bright sunny days when you couldn't see the screen. But wait, you say! What about the cool little clip-on 28mm analog finder? Ahhhh, what about it? Well, of course, I bought one, and tried to use it on those same aforementioned ultra-bright washed-out sunny days. And, yes, I could see the frame through it - sort of, anyway. Not precisely, not the exact frame, but something sort of close to it. And --- that really bugged the hell out of me - mainly I think because I had been spoiled by the relatively tiny but extremely high-quality clip-on EVF which mated with my former LX7 - and which was, all things considered, a truly fine viewfinder. Being able to see and compose and frame through a good viewfinder - not all the time necessarily, but when one wishes - is more than a boon, more than an item on a 'wish list', for me --- it's close to a Holy Grail, a sine qua non - an indefinable tool which transforms the photographer's experience. An earlier poster said he wished it might have a good external EVF like the one on his GX200; I'm not familiar with that one, alas, but the LVF-2 on my LX7 was the bees knees. (So, for that matter, was the similar external EVF which Olympus used to make to hot-shoe-mate to its earlier PL models: a fine, accurate, viewable and usable digital viewfinder.)

And not a dinky little one like the one on my old GM5 which was horribly frustrating. Nor a tiny dinky little pop-up one. But a 'real' (whatever that means? and I admit it's a subjective definition for each of us) EVF-viewfinder. If it had one of those, I think I would stand in line for a GR3...

Except - wait a minute! I just bought an extremely compact weathersealed camera with a superb (24mp) sensor, astoundingly efficient PD-AF focusing, and a very small but remarkably useful (and borderline excellent) EVF which, though it's built into the camera body (in the form of a small fake pentaprism hump) hardly adds to the compact dimensions of the camera in choice....the Canon G1x Mark III. (The same camera Magnum photographer Alex Majoli is now using for many of his personal documentary projects.)

But - wait! No - it doesn't have a relatively fast prime...but a slightly slower zoom. And it doesn't have a distinguished pedigree of fine photographers who have adopted it. And, being closer to the size of my old LX7 instead of my old GR, it's just not small enough for a jeans pocket. Damn, I blew it ;)

But that EVF...ohhhh, that EVF :)
Spot on, Miguel. In fact, the old Panasonic LVF1, in spite of its decidedly low resolution, remains glued to the GF1 I keep around - because it makes a huge difference to the shooting experience. The G1X III is smaller, has a much, much better EVF (the best small EVF in any camera I own) and is a lot more versatile; so if it wasn't for the still lovely Panasonic 20mm f/1.7, the GF1 - which, by the way, is an impressively nice camera to shoot, better than many cameras that came after it - wouldn't stand a chance. The GR - I have kept the original APS-C model and use it regularily, mostly while travelling and for street photography - offers an even better shooting experience than the GF1, but the optical viewfinder (the small one, GV-2) just doesn't cut it, and besides, it tends to scratch my glasses - not good!

Still, the images coming from the GR and the joy of carrying something so small and yet so competent is simply unmatched. The G1X III is a fantastic achievement and my compact camera of choice, period. It's the first time I own a camera that's so small that could (and probably will) make me leave my bigger gear at home when travelling. However, the GR remains the compact I'm most fascinated by to this day - it's so small that you hardly notice it's there until you whip it out and take an image, and more often than not, the results are uniquely enjoyable.

So, a GR with a good EVF with the same general gestalt (preferrably the same body depth) and updated electronics would be hard to resist. However, I'm not so sure if and how they can achieve this.

One of the guys at the shop where I tried the Z7 urged me to also handle the RX100 VI. I don't like the RX100 series' handling much, but I did so, anyway. Apart from this thing being laggy as hell on switch on (and even worse at switch off - what gives?), the new EVF is said to be the best version Sony has produced of its pop-up model yet - but after using the G1X III, it felt pretty claustrophobic. Of course, it's certainly better than nothing, and it is quite detailed, but at the price, I'd really like to see better performance (for instance, less of an eye-sore when it comes to colours ...).

So, to sum up, Canon have got a lot of things right by simply putting together a sensible product - not a collection of superlatives like the RX100 VI, but an eminently usable camera, at least for stills shooters like me. Just like the GR - but unfortunately for the latter, I fear it's just too small/thin to accommodate a really good EVF. I still hope to be proven wrong, though.

Or maybe they are daring enough to integrate a decent optical viewfinder (with parallax correction and solid optics, like in the old days ...). But I guess that's too much to hope for (and/or too expensive nowadays).

M.
 

Ripleysbaby

supernatural anesthetist
Sep 9, 2011
123
Cumbria UK
Well I'm back with another GRii. Thanks EBay. After using the xpro2 exclusively for about 14 months I missed the size of the GR, EVF or not.
And to be honest I found I much preferred the GR jpegs the GR menus the GR in body raw processing __________ I could go on.
The XPro2 is a fantastic camera, But I actually prefer the GR and can live with it's shortcomings.
Fuji XPro will be going on ebay shortly. If the GRiii turns up this year I will buy. If it doesn't ? well, I'll continue with the MKii.
I find shooting with the GR fun. I've always felt with the XPro, and in the past the Sony A7r. That every capture had to be worthy of the camera.
But they are both capable of results a lot better than i can get out of them. I don't feel like that with the GR.
I also think the GR makes me experiment more. Whatever it is with the GR I like it. This is body number 5, I think I should Stick with it !

GG022287 by Garry, on Flickr
 

rayvonn

All-Pro
Jan 19, 2015
124
Never really had a wish list for this camera. I like it so much (it's been with me every day for over 3 years). I mean, there's bound to be something not quite as good in the new one as the current one isn't there?
 

agentlossing

Regular
Mar 23, 2015
69
I think an add-on EVF like the aforementioned LVF1/LVF2 would probably be the most ideal solution to the viewfinder problem. I really enjoyed the LVF2 with my Panasonic GX1. It would be an added expense but for a fixed-lens camera we do tend to run out of accessories to purchase, don't we? I think an add-on finder or a small pop-up glass optical finder would be my favorite solutions.

Never really had a wish list for this camera. I like it so much (it's been with me every day for over 3 years). I mean, there's bound to be something not quite as good in the new one as the current one isn't there?
There's always the chance, but doesn't Ricoh's track record with the GR series from its inception lend at least some confidence on that front? I mean, there has never really been a bad model. As long as they stay true to the philosophy behind it, which they have, stubbornly, almost to a fault, then I think I'll be happy... even if the lens isn't quite as sharp or some other phenomenal aspect of the current model is gone! Of course, I want it all, though...
 
Jan 7, 2013
124
Cheshire, England
It comes back to the idea of a fixed lens compact with a m43 sensor, really. A few people in the Olympus forums have been talking about a digital Trip, or digital XA with a m43 sensor. I'd totally go for that, and I suspect there's a reasonable market for it. The m43 sensor in a Ricoh GR type body would be incredibly cool. This is really pie in the sky, but imagine a GR style compact with the Panasonic GH5S / Sony STARVIS sensor in it. Only 10mp, but with ridiculously high ISO capability, 10bit colour, and multi aspect ratio.
A digital XA with a m43 sensor...sign me up!
 

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