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Ricoh GRII compact camera mixes convenience with premium image quality

June 22 2015

by Philip Northeast

Ricoh’s new compact camera offers mobile device connectivity with  the photo quality of a DSLR.

The Ricoh GRII  compact camera aims to meet the challenge from smart phones by providing high image quality in a  a pocket size camera with mobile connectivity for instant photo  sharing.

The Ricoh GRII’s  Wi-Fi and Near Field Communication (NFC) functionality is enhanced with 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.

Ricoh GRII

Ricoh GRII

“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.”

The Ricoh acquisition of Pentax shows in the GRII’s use of a APS-C-size CMOS image sensor with approximately 16.2 effective megapixels. This sensor proved an outstanding performer in the Pentax K5 DSLR .

The compact wide lens may have also benefited from Pentax’s design experience. Pentax has a history of high performance pancake lenses for SLR and now DSLR cameras. Pancake lenses are much thinner than normal lenses making the design perfect for compact cameras such as the Ricoh GRII.

The new camera has an18.3mm F2.8 lens compact high-performance lens with a focal length of 28mm (in the 35mm format).  This is a popular wide angle focal length because of its versatility, it is useful for scenic landscapes as well as groups of friends. It is not the ideal focal length for single portraits, but the focal length is not too short for creating a reasonable portrait.

Included in all the usual array of functions the GRII is in camera raw processing. This should allow photographers to share a smaller size photo while saving the full image data for more complete post-processing.

The bottom view of the Ricoh GRII with lens cover closed, showing how compact the camera can be

The bottom view of the Ricoh GRII with lens cover closed, showing how compact the camera can be

Smart phone cameras can produce reasonable quality photos when the conditions are right. However when the light gets low or the action speeds up they struggle to cope.  Many times it is not practical or convenient to carry a DSLR  for those chance opportunities in challenging conditions. The immediacy of the smart phone camera is important because sometimes the value of the photograph, or video clip,  is in the timing. The trend of improving connectivity of compact cameras gives photographers a convenient tool for capturing and sharing those unexpected gems.

The Ricoh GR II will be available for purchase July 2015, you can pre-order from Adorama for  $US799.95 with Free Shipping for some markets.

 

 

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