Ricoh GR II Review – Still the Best Choice for 28-Millimeter Devotees

The Ricoh GR II comes from a family that dates back to nearly 20 years in the days of the 35-millimeter film. As the years have passed and film has steadily took a backseat in the photography world, the digital trend soon came to be. But when it comes to the RIcoh name, it has maintained the classic wide-angle 28-millimeter (equivalent) field of view. This is what makes the GR a GR.

Ricoh GR II Review - Still the Best Choice for 28-Millimeter Devotees

The Ricoh GR II is Still a GR

Upon first glance at the Ricoh GR II, you will find that it is one tiny camera. In fact, it is so small that you may find it hard to believe that its image sensor is the same size as that of the Canon Rebel T6s. Its dimensions are a miniscule 2.5 x 4.6 x 1.4-inches and it weighs only 8.9-ounces.It is so portable that it can even fit most back pockets found on a pair of jeans.

The lens of the GR II is not a true 28-millimeter design like that of the Leica Q, but this is an APS-C sensor that is not quite as large as that of a film frame. It uses a 18.3-millimeter f/2.8 prime that captures the same angle of view. While the Q is able to capture images that have a shallower depth of field, and it can do better at low light environments with its f/1.7 lens, but Ricoh’s contender is no pushover either especially when you are working on its macro focusing range. It can lock onto targets as close as 4-inches from the sensor.

Its main system is primarily text-based and it is quite lengthy. There are a lot of things to do to customize the camera to your liking by taking a look and fiddling around with the menu. For instance, there is an Interval shooting mode (for time lapses), and you can even control the strength of the in-lens neutral density filter. Users are even able to customize the camera’s control buttons, and also imprint the date and time into the JPG images like the good old days of film.

When it comes to its performance, it will start, locks in focus, and will fire in just 1.3-seconds. Its autofocusing system is quick as it will lock in just 0.1-second when under bright light. In dim conditions, that can slow the focus down to about 0.3 to 0.4-seconds, but then again, that it is still pretty quick. And as for its 16-megapixel image sensor, it can deliver pleasantly sharp images.

The Ricoh GR II puts the image quality of an SLR into a pocket-sized body with an excellent wide-angle prime lens. It has a control scheme that is solid and very customizable. There are features like a leaf shutter and an in-camera ND filter which are a boon for shooting in really bright environments. Those who are seasoned SLR owners will feel right at home with this pocket-friendly camera.


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