Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Unofficial Review of Ricoh GR II

Holy shit. That is all I have to say about the Ricoh GR II. And no, I am not a corporate shill for the Ricoh company. I bought this camera with my own money and moved from a DSLR (Pentax K10D) to a more pocketable premium compact camera. Some people call this the "Ninja" camera and I didn't know what they meant until I actually used this thing.

Nobody, and I mean absolutely nobody will pay any attention to you holding this thing. I've had a few people actually look and glance, but nobody really gives a shit when you're holding a non-descript black camera with no large lens.

I can literally come up on anybody and almost get an instant portrait without any problems. I've never had anyone confront me on that, although I am careful not to take pictures of people who are visibly angry. I'm not that crazy.

The huge APS-C sensor on this camera is what makes it such a big deal. You're holding a D5 in the pocket of your hands. There is no other camera this small that takes better, crisper pictures than the Ricoh GR. Period.

I'm sure Leica and the fancy RX100 can take slightly better pictures (although I still think the Ricoh owns the RX100 on sharpness). You won't have to carry any lenses. You zoom with your feet. This won't be a camera for everybody. If you like wildlife photography, do NOT buy this camera. Get a mirrorless camera instead. If you want to take pictures of sports and need close-up shots, this is NOT the camera for you. Get a Canon 70D or Nikon equivalent.

I was this close || to buying a Nikon D3300 with the kit lens a few months ago until I realized how often I took my Pentax out for photo trips. With the GR, I can take this bitch out anywhere. Sure, I can take great photos with the iPhone6s, but it really lacks low light sensitivity. The small sensor on the iphone6 makes it terrible in low light.

If there is one thing I hate about the Ricoh is the video and audio quality. It shoots 1920x1080 at 30fps, which isn't bad. But the audio sucks and there is no line in jack. You hear pops and wind noise when shooting outside. Really though, I didn't buy this camera for video shooting. If I want to do that I'll use the iphone 6s with it's native 4K video.

The ease of portability sold me on the camera. And the fact that all the buttons are customizable and located on the right side of the camera making shooting pictures very easy. I literally don't have to line up the shot most of the time. I usually end up shooting "From the hip" or "aim by the hand" which gives me equally good shots.

Do you know how many times my nose greased up my old Pentax K10D's LCD screen? Never happens with my camera because there is NO viewfinder - only the LCD. For people who absolutely need a viewfinder, forget about this camera. You wont' be happy. For me, I love it. People who know about this camera are like "Hey, that's a GR... cool, never see many of these". Be different... but the best camera is the one you always keep with you and use.

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