A&P Just Bought a Ricoh GR Digital II - Mini Review

Discussion in 'Lifestyle' started by aCab, Jul 22, 2008.

  1. aCab

    aCab New Member

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    So I picked up a GRD2 off of Craigslist here in Atlanta yesterday for $350. I have to admit, I am quite impressed with the camera. I have a Canon 30d with grip and a few L series lenses that I just got tired of carrying around and subsequently put me without a camera a majority of the time. And my camera phone can only do so much. For the longest time I was on the DSLR high horse and refused to buy a small camera. Finally I broke down because I kept missing so many great shots due to not having a camera with me.

    In searching for a solution, I came to the conclusion that I needed something compact (more so than a DSLR w/ grip), with great image quality, that would give me the control that the 30d gives me - control was the reason I bought a DSLR in the first place, and at the same time not costing too much - I had pretty much decided on the Canon G9

    The G9's ISO dial and build quality had me convinced I needed one. Plus the fact that I am a Canon sack rider didn't help much either. I was so so so close to getting one and was even in some negotiations with some people on other forums for one.

    Then, In searching on Atlanta Craigslist for a G9, I found my GRD2. The guy (college kid, like me, actually) was asking a very very reasonable price for it. At that point I hadn't even considered it. I remembered seeing a GRD in a JPG magizine article last summer - less than 6 months after buying my first camera - and had thought it looked cool with the external viewfinder, but had never considered it - at the time it seemed too high priced and besides - I was on my DSLR high horse. I remembered the author saying that it had opened his eyes to photography all over again - something that I now needed desperately. Taking pictures with my 30d for fun and not work had become more of a chore than a pleasure. It attracted too much attention and was just too dang impractical to take on trips with me. The GRD2 seemed like a good alternative to the G9.

    Then I started my research.

    I found that the GRD2 was a very nice camera offering great image quality and lots and lots of manual controls and that customizable User Interface. People even liked it more than the G9. As I researched, I also stumbled upon the Sigma DP1 :shock: . Now this looked like my camera. Supposedly great Image quality and manual control all in a nice little package. Then I saw the price. :o More than twice what the kid was asking for the 3 month old GRD2.

    I called the kid and asked If i could meet him tomorrow to look the camera over. In talking to him, I learned that he had had a G9 before the GRD2. He had found the GRD2 to be a lot less bulky and really liked the control the GRD2 gave him as well as the 1:1 shooting mode - medium format guy I guess.

    So the next day, as I sat in the car waiting to look at the camera, I was very anxious to say the least - almost like a kid on Christmas Eve. When he unboxed the camera, I was surprised to find how small it was.

    I expected a G9 with a little extra length. No no. This little gem was small and sleek. Not as small as my girlfriends Sony P&S, but a lot smaller than I expected. I took a couple test shots and was surprised at how well it felt in my hand for a smaller camera. The shutter response was very fast after it had focused - which is fine for me because I focus and recompose. I paid him and went off on my little way. I had my girlfriend drive back because I couldn't keep my hands off the thing.

    I customized my ADJ button settings right then and there on the way home - the result of reading what the camera could do. Set things up the way I liked them - big plus for me. I wish my Canon DSLR had this much adjustability in the UI. When I got home, I put the new 2.04 firmware on it that I had already downloaded the night before - I guess I had already made up my mind when I got off the phone with the seller. :lol:

    The Image quality is what I expected. Nothing amazing amazing, but very very nice images none the less. Here are a few of the quick images I have taken in the past 24 hours:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    As you can see, I really enjoy the macro abilities of the GRD2. Most of my images are either landscapes, perspective shots or macro-like. The 28 mm lens is great for what I do. I had some reservations about not having a zoom, but the clarity of the GR lens more than makes up for it.

    As I said earlier, I love how I can set the ADJ button to quickly access the settings I change the most.

    The camera feels well built and fits in my hand really well. I can easily make my adjustments and take a picture with one hand. Having two dials (one for the aperture and one for the shutter speed) is just like my 30d and a very welcome addition to the camera controls. The shutter is super responsive and the AF without the AF aux. light at night in almost complete darkness is very accurate. I've found a new camera to take out to the bars. :?

    Overall, the camera was a great deal at the price I paid for it. If i was buying it brand new from Adorama for $700, I probably would have gotten the G9 instead. The Sigma DP1 looks like a great camera, although expensive. The GRD2 has already in a day changed my mind about small cameras and broken the bias I had to DSLRs. Though the image quality is not quite the same, I don't think I could really easily tell a difference in the same image taken on my 30d and my GRD2.

    I'm very happy with the camera and don't think it's going anywhere soon. Finally a camera I can keep by my side at all times and be proud of the images it produces. I think this is the beginning of a beautiful love affair between me and my GRD2.


    Oh, and I just might have to buy an external viewfinder like the guy in the JPG magazine article - I just looks to cool - but shit, it's expensive.

    iballthatshitbyyou
     
  2. Girth

    Girth ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ OT Supporter

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    Ricoh Suave :naughty:
     
  3. aCab

    aCab New Member

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    Or Ricoh LAAAAAAA - like those damn cough drop commercials. That's all I could think about when I first bought it. :mamoru:
     
  4. Bloke

    Bloke Banned

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    god damn thats a screaming killer deal.
    i found a viewfinder for 80 but someone beat me to it
     
  5. aCab

    aCab New Member

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    u have one too?
     
  6. Bloke

    Bloke Banned

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    no i just saw the finder. let me know if you see any more for that price
     
  7. aCab

    aCab New Member

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    Will do, but I'll probably pick it up first. :mamoru:

    I paid about what the original GR Digital sells for now. You can find them (still a great camera) for around $250-300 used.

    check out www.ricohforum.com

    Adorama sells a demo model of the GRD2 for $599. :dunno:
     

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