Ricoh The (original) GRD


Bangalore, India
Real Name
I picked up a GRD on this forum (thanks Oliver!) and have been playing around for the last couple of days. Here are a few first impressions and pictures.

The reason I bought the camera (and no it wasn't just GAS, well not entirely anyway) -

I have an X100 (which I love) and coupled with an LX5 it satisfies pretty much all the shooting situations I usually find myself in. Mostly travel, people, and a bit of street. I have been reading about the lovely shooting interface on the Ricohs on this forum and elsewhere, and obviously wanted to experience it first hand. It's as good as everyone says it is. Its really refreshing to being able to dig deep using just one hand with minimum click-throughs. It reminds me of the reasons why I love my Blackberry after having gone through HTCs and iPhones, etc. Back again to why I bought this thing, instead of say, the GRD3 or 4...

I wanted a 'dirty' camera. Like a fat marker or a broad palette knife instead of a sable hair fine-line brush. A camera that would keep me from processing my images. Something that didn't feel 'precious' like the X100 (and to a large extent even the LX5) in use. Also a camera one didn't need to think about. Something that's just there which one doesn't need to pay any attention to, till you hold it up in front of your face and click intuitively. I also wanted something that didn't compete with the X100, which arguably, is as refined and genteel as it gets in the small compacts world. Which ruled out the GRD3s and 4s (though I might change my mind and get one of those later).

First impressions -

It does all that in spades.

Not to say it's perfect, far far far from it. It's a 2006 vintage after all. No dynamic range to speak of, it's either blown out or underexposed, no middle ground here. One has to dig into the shutter button with the tip of one's finger, risking camera shake, for it to fire. The AF motor makes a whiny buzzy noise while it hunts around. The ISO performance is a joke. The shutter speeds it throws up aren't adequate to freeze paint drying on walls. The LCD shows a negative of the scene if you're off by more than 10 degrees off the perpendicular. It's also too low-res for focus manually. RAW capture! Ha! It took the camera more than 30 seconds to write a single file to a 2GB Kingston Tech card that I had to steal off my office boy!

And I love it.

I have a sneaking suspicion I will get more keepers out of this camera than the rest of my cameras combined. This ancient relic is, whats the word I want... salubrious to my photographic odyssey. A "red letter" camera. I just wish I had it with me a few years ago, but back then I'd have probably hated it because I'd want clarity and sharpness. Oh well, back then I was an ass.

Enough talk, here are a few pictures I made. SOOC jpegs. Less me and more the camera perhaps, because it has a mind of it's own.

View attachment 56940

View attachment 56941

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It also does colour well enough in good even lighting conditions, but its not why I bought the camera.
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Real Name
My only camera right now is a grd iii and I just love it. Its in my pocket w/ spare battery pretty much 24/7. Just the fact that it is there and at hand gets it past 90% of other cameras. The fact that it makes good images is truly icing.

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