Most cameras reviews are based on a simple though misleading logic to write a review shortly after a new camera is released. While there is some logic to it, it is generally not the best way to go. Why ? Digital cameras have reached a level of maturity and one can say that there are not really bad cameras anymore. However, digital devices often tend to get more and more complex and are loaded with a bounty of features that tend to make them more counterintuitive to operate (at least at first). After all, how can one expect a journalist or a photographer who has been shooting, say, Nikon cameras for most of his life to be really objective and at ease when writing about, say, a Fuji or an Olympus camera that he, or she, had only for a few hours/days to test.
Back in the film days (for those of us who are old enough to remember them), this was a non-issue. Back then, most people would choose their camera system based on cost, lens choices and the availability of given accessories (such as close-up lenses for macro shooters or telephoto options for bird or wildlife shooters). People with smaller hands might have preferred OLYMPUS or PENTAX cameras which already were making a specialty of developing smaller bodies. But all of these factors were easy to grasp for any knowledgeable reviewer. Nowadays, digital cameras are like small computers and often differ more in their interface than the image quality they allow one user to achieve.
For today’s digital photographers, this translates into a simple truth : Reading the user’ s manual is a necessary step even for experienced photographers. And some time spent using the camera is really needed for a serious and unbiased review.
I have been using the Ricoh GR for almost two years since its launch in May 2013. I was already familiar with the Ricoh GR philosophy having used a GRDIII and a GRDIV. I was also very familiar with the Ricoh interface in general having used the now discontinued GXR (and GX100 prior to that).Therefore this “in-depth” review is going to be longer than my other reviews to allow a full understanding of the cameras specifics… [Read more…]