Pentax Ricoh announced a new compact digital APS-C sensor camera : the Ricoh GR. It receives an APS-C CMOS sensor (16-megapixel), a fixed lens of 28mm equivalent and pretty fast ( f/2.8) and the new GR Engine V image processor.
Here is a new player in the segment of compact cameras equipped with an SLR sensor and a fixed lens. Alongside the Leica X2, Nikon Coolpix A or the Sigma DP3 Merrill, Pentax unveils its new camera and today announces the Ricoh GR. It is equipped with an APS-C CMOS sensor of 16 megapixels, certainly the one that equips the Pentax K5 K-5 II and IIs, the Sony sensor which was the heyday of photographers since its arrival on the Nikon D7000 . This sensor is among my favorite for its excellent response in high sensitivity and a record high dynamic range. The signal from the sensor is processed by the new GR Engine V processor which drives the sensor to the maximum sensitivity of ISO 25,600. The GR can shoot Full HD video but its built-in microphone is mono only.
The Ricoh GR offers a fixed focus lens giving a 28mm equivalent and relatively fast, wide open at f/2.8. The optical built of this lens uses two aspherical lenses in an optical formula which gathers 7 elements splitted into 5 groups. A wide-angle converter 21 mm will also be available as an optional lens.
Pentax communicates on the velocity of the Ricoh GR. Its start-up time is approximately one second. It is said to focus in as little as 0.2s and provide an intermediate time between two photos of only 0.03 s which is nothing … In burst mode, the GR can shoot up to 4 fps (but for 4 continuous shots only) and its maximum shutter speed is of 1/4000s.
The Ricoh GR autofocus system is by contrast detection. You can set the autofocus on multiview, spot, accurate, enable subject tracking, manual focus, set the focus to infinity or rely on face detection which allows to detect up to 10 different faces on the same photo. The closest focus distance is 30 cm in normal mode and can be lowered to 10 cm in macro mode as well as in manual focus.
Its UI gets the PASM creative modes. Many shortcuts are customizable to turn the camera at your taste. On the Ricoh GR, you can activate bracketing, intervalometer, choose different image ratios and apply creative effects. Pentax has added to the Ricoh GR a genuine depth-of-field tester, which is really handsome. Finally, Raw format is available.
Made of magnesium alloy, the Ricoh GR is compact and light enough with a weight of only 215 grs on the scales, without battery nor memory card. It measures 11.7 x 6.1 x 3.47 cm and once loaded with battery and memory card, it weighs 245 grams which is very decent for an APS-C camera. It is compatible with Eye-Fi cards and its lithium battery allows a 290 images per charge.
Connectivity wise, the Ricoh GR has a video output (NTSC / PAL), high-speed USB port and micro HDMI type D, but no mic in …
Pentax told me the Ricoh GR will be available mid-May at a suggested retail price of €749.