Ricoh GR Stuffs a DSLR-Caliber Sensor Into a Tiny Point-and-Shoot Body


One of the big trends in the digital camera industry right now is the stuffing of large sensors into tiny cameras. Today Ricoh became the latest camera company to join in on the action. It has officially announced the Ricoh GR, a compact camera that features a beastly APS-C-sized sensor at its core.

The new 16-megapixel CMOS sensor is a huge step up from the 1/1.77-inch CCD sensors that were previously used in GR Digital cameras. The new sensor should be a welcome upgrade for photographers looking for portability without having to sacrifice image quality.


Portability is something you’ll definitely get with this camera. The body is made of durable magnesium alloy but weighs just 8.6 ounces. It’s built to feel like a point-and-shoot camera, and the entire interface is designed for easy one-handed shooting.

On the back of the camera is a 3-inch 1.23-million-dot LCD screen. On the front of the camera is a fixed 18.3mm f/2.8 lens that is equivalent to 28mm in 35mm terms — an appropriate focal length for everyday shots and street photography (something GR Digital cameras have long been used for).


There’s a new GR Engine V image processor that helps minimize noise, even when the sensitivity of the camera is boosted up to its max of ISO 25600.

The camera also focuses on speed, both in handling and in shooting. A new lens driving mechanism and autofocus algorithm allows the camera to focus in 0.2 seconds. The startup time stands at just one second, allowing the camera to be at the ready for when you need to capture a fleeting shot.


Other features include in-body RAW development, a dedicated depth-of-field preview button, 4 frame per second continuous shooting, a crop mode that gives you an apparent focal length of 35mm instead of 28mm, Eye-Fi compatibility for wireless data transferring, a pop-up flash, a dedicated button for 9 image effects, and 1080p H.264 HD video recording with continuous AF.



The new Ricoh GR will be available starting in May 2013 with a price tag of $800 (it’s available for preorder over at B&H). It’s a bit pricey as far as high-end compact cameras go, but is a bargain compared to the $1,100 Nikon is charging for its own APS-C compact, the Coolpix A.

  • madmax

    Tiny body indeed, but:
    -no viewfinder nor articulated or tiltable screen (MUST buy an external finder and then it´s not so tiny nor so “cheap”).
    -no focus ring.
    I´d better put my money elsewhere instead.

  • FerSch

    Mad Max: You are right, at this price, better spend a little more for a Sony Nex 6. In the meantime my “old” Pany G3 serves me very well, sadly little bigger cam, and the EVF is protuberant for my taste. This Ricoh must sport the good 16Mpx Sony sensor for sure. Nice but pricy.

  • Igor Ken

    I love the design!

    My gf has a Sony RX 100 and I love the image quality that comes out of such a tiny camera. Can’t wait to shoot with APS-C Ricoh!

  • haaaaaiii

    how many do you know p&s have viewfinders, tiltable screens, or focus rings? not many?

  • Paul

    Does anyone know if the optical viewfinder from the previous GR-series camera will be compatible with this interesting prospect?

  • CoffeeWithChris

    Meh… it’s an ugly plastic Ricoh & 28mm is just too wide for practical everyday use.

  • Richard

    This is a spectacular camera and will give the Sony RX100 a real run for its money. I just tried the (similar) Nikon Coolpix A and it felt like a dog to me: very slow AF and many annoying details. I’ve used a GRD IV and it’s a wonderfully designed camera made for photographers. This V will be a huge hit.

  • G

    It is still a 28mm equivalent so I don’t see why not. As far as I remember there is no electric connections for focus confirmation or any other feedback in the viewfinder so all you need is any viewfinder with the right frameline.

  • G

    Keep in mind that some viewfinders might not go clear of the pop-up flash though.

  • Richard Ford

    28 is perfect. It had a use. 35 can do a 50 but not 28. 28 is best for normal scene candids. 50 is too tight and 35 is no mans land.

  • Richard Ford

    You never shot with an original (film) GR in the 90’s did you?

  • CoffeeWithChris

    I guess I just disagree. I always have a 35L on one of my cameras and I absolutely love my my new x100s.

  • AntonyShepherd

    Did you not read the bit about it having a magnesium alloy body?

  • Dean Forbes

    No viewfinder. No serious photographer can be seen holding a camera at arm’s length like some amateur. DOA.

  • G

    I agree, a 35mm is the perfect one lens setup. It’s flexible. For two lenses I feel a 50 and a 28 works. Just a 28 however.. not for me. But I suppose it depends on how wide you like it.

  • Uncle Ricoh

    Uncle Ricoh: Back in ’82, I used to be able to throw a pigskin a quarter mile.

    Kip: Are you serious?

    Uncle Ricoh: I’m dead serious.

  • madmax

    No need being so “radical”. A tiltable screen for waist level shooting could also be a very good option.

  • madmax

    No. In the 90´s I had:

    A Minolta X3 reflex camera with 28, 50 and 135 mm lenses. Also my good old Leica M3 Elmar 50mm f/2.8 and an Olympusmju (stylus) film zoom compact. What is wrong with me for not having had a Ricoh GR film camera?

  • madmax

    Read a little before writing. And first define a p&s camera. Is this GR a p&s then?

  • horse

    Well, yeah. It is. It’s even in the article title.

  • miiiiiiike

    Cause you are the authority on what serious photos can do?

  • aa

    we will have to get used to external optical viewfinders!

  • junyo

    Serious, darn near a grand enthusiat P&S’s? Lots. The Canon G series, the Oly XZ series, the Panasonic LX series, the Samsung EX series, and the Fuji X series, all have either an articulated LCD, an OVF, and/or provision for an EVF. And that’s not getting into the small APSC cams.

  • Duke Shin

    Kinda like having lived through the 80’s without ever having tried LSD.

  • Duke Shin

    Nothing. It’s just that an M3 won’t wit in your pocket.

  • Erik Lauri Kulo

    This is exactly what I’m looking for. But that price makes me cringe, even if it’s probably worth it in the end.

  • Ahlihver

    lol, do you know who daido moriyama is? he didnt even use a viewfinder on the original film grs.. he’s basically the reason why these cameras are so popular.

  • AntonyShepherd

    Oh no! Quick, someone phone Ricoh and tell them that seven years and four generations of GRDs were all failures according to some guy on the internet…

  • haaiiiiiii

    Wait, why in the world would you talk about an attachable evf , that as never the point of the original gr series. How is the x series a point nd shoot? Does thinking of the phrase ‘point and shoot’ make you think of a camera with a viewfinder?? I don’t think so

  • dikaiosune01

    I was quite enthuastic when I first heard about the Coolpix A. However, when I first held the coolpix A in my hand I noticed quite a few serious problems. 1) The dials were awkardly placed such that when I begin to lose my grip when I modify my shutter / aperture. A wrist strap is a must! 2) Maximum shutter speed is a terrible 1/2000th of a second. 3) The flash doesn’t fully cover the 28mm field of view. The fall off with the flash is quite severe. 4) start up time is adaquate but not great.
    It is great to know I now have options. I hope this will knock my socks off!

  • madmax

    Great. I was just going to reply the same.

  • madmax

    Don´t understand. Maybe people on drugs like Ricoh´s GR?

  • junyo

    Considering that Ricoh makes attachable OVFs for the camera (the GV-1 and GV-2) it would – in fact – seem to be the point. They make an attachable eye level viewfinder, only a not particularly advanced one.

    Not sure why you don’t think of a camera with a viewfinder when you think of a P&S, since I’ve just pointed out several examples. There are more things in heaven and earth… Thinking of the phrase ‘serious camera’ makes me – or anyone who actually uses a camera – think of a camera with some other means of composition than a fixed LCD.

  • madmax

    and so I bought my Olympus…

  • aa

    had it in my hands, behave nice!

  • Bill E. Lytton

    What a great time to try and sell GRD IV.

  • Tom Bryan

    It’s clear to me that the key to saving point and shoot is APS-C sensors. In turn, eventually all DSLRs will eventually become full-frame