As most regular readers on this blog know, my “every-day- carry everywhere” camera is the Ricoh GR (or GRII). The GR is exceptional in many ways :It is very compact despite featuring an APS sensor; it comes with an 28mm equivalent fixed focal length. In addition to providing great image quality, its main asset, in my view, is the very-well thought-out user interface combined with a great layout of the camera controls and dials. The first digital version of the camera dates back to 2005 (at the time with a much smaller 1/1.7″ sensor). Since this first GRD, Ricoh has introduced an updated version every other year. Ultimately, in 2013, the GRD was renamed the GR and fitted with the much larger APS sensor. The camera has long been a favorite of street photographers and travelers alike wanting a small carry-everywhere camera capable of delivering high quality files. You can see my reviews of both models here,here and here on this blog.
Despite this success, there have been several reported issues of dust settling on the sensor. I have both GR models and did not notice any problems until recently when preparing my review of the GRII. I set up a test scene to compare the image quality between the GR and the GRII (by the way found a notable difference between the two-more on that in a future article). It is only then that I noticed some dust on my GR which, I had been using for about two & a half years without this issue.
As you will notice in the images, I got TWO dust particles on the sensor. One small round one, similar to dust spot I got on many of my other cameras (Panasonic LX 100 and Olympus Em1 for example) and a rather big “nail-shaped” dust spot. I suspect (without being 100% sure) that it had been recently stuck on my sensor. I thought this was almost a “study case” to show how a small or large dust spot on your sensor can affect your image file. [Read more…]