Ricoh has announced the follow up to its much loved GR fixed lens compact camera – and we have to say we’re feeling mightily disappointed.
The GR has been our camera of choice for two years now – it really is a wonderful camera – and we had high hopes that the update might provide something to get us excited.
Sadly, the sum total of new features seems to be the addition of wi-fi. And that’s about it.
So what’s missing?
Although there’s not much wrong with the existing model, there were a few things we would have loved to have seen in the Mark II version, namely:
- Some kind of weatherproofing/dustproofing (the GR is notorious for collecting dust on the sensor)
- Optical Image Stabilisation
- A faster lens (was f2 too much to hope for?)
- Better macro focusing
- Switching to a standard USB plug
- Articulated screen
Despite our griping, the GR – and the new GR II – remain our first choice of compact camera, with the APS-C 16MP sensor, pocketability and wealth of intuitive controls making this a real enthusiast’s cameras.
The Ricoh GR II will be available from July for $799/£599.
Ricoh Press Release
Introducing the RICOH GR II
Ricoh Imaging Unveils GR II, its Newest Premium Compact Camera, Featuring Wi-Fi and NFC Capabilities
DENVER, CO, June 17, 2015 – Ricoh Imaging Americas Corporation (Ricoh Imaging) today announced the newest camera in its GR series, the RICOH GR II, a premium compact camera with Wi-Fi and Near Field Communication (NFC) functionality. The GR II is the smallest premium compact with DSLR image quality, making it ideal for advanced photographers who want the quality of an SLR camera but the portability of a smart phone.
To manage the new built-in Wi-Fi and NFC functions, Ricoh Imaging also announced GR Remote, a web-based application which allows users to control camera settings virtually via any browser, as well as view and share images wirelessly. Image Sync, available on PENTAX DSLR models, is also supported on the new GR II. It enables GR users to easily browse and transfer images to accompanying mobile devices.
“With the introduction of the GR II, we are taking the premium compact camera to a new level, offering the key features desired by photo enthusiasts: high resolution, a wide angle lens, quick shoot time and portability,” said Jim Malcolm, President of Ricoh Imaging Americas Corporation. “With its new Wi-Fi and NFC capabilities, photographers can now easily share their exceptional street and travel shots more easily, benefiting from the best of both worlds.”
Features of the new GR II camera include:
- High-quality, high-resolution: The GR 18.3mm F2.8 lens is a compact, high-performance GR lens with a focal length of 28mm (in the 35mm format). The GR II also boasts a large, APS-C-size CMOS image sensor with approximately 16.2 effective megapixels. Equal in imaging area to the type used for most PENTAX digital SLR models, the sensor combined with the GR lens assures exceptional image quality.
- High-speed: The GR II’s high-speed AF system can focus in a mere 0.2 seconds, thanks to the optimization of its lens drive mechanism and AF algorithm, and it also has a one second start up and shut down time. Further, with the GR II users can go instantly from the play back mode to shooting by half pressing on the shutter release button.
- Pocket-sized: Even though it incorporates a host of Wi-Fi functions, the GR II comes in the same size as the previous GR model. Its exterior housing is made of lightweight, high-rigidity magnesium alloy, while its grip is shaped for easy, comfortable hold, and features a control button layout that enables simple one-hand operation.
- Expanded creative functionality: The GR II provides a total of 17 effect modes with six new modes added including: Clarity, Brilliance, Bright, Portrait, Vibrant and HDR Tone. The new GR II also includes a full range of shooting functions including an in-camera RAW data development function, full HD movie recording for high-quality, extended videos; and, wireless control of PENTAX AF360FGZII & AF540FGZII external flashes.