Ricoh GR Compact With Big Ol’ APS-C Sensor

Back in the 1980s and 1990s, all compact cameras looked like the Ricoh GR. they might not have been as sleek-looking, but they had big finger grips, a giant full-frame sensor (35mm) film and a fixed wideangle lens.

Now, proving that large sensors are the new black, the GR is packing a DSLR-sized APS-C sensor into its tiny body.

I love this trend of large sensors in small cameras. This, along with improved shooting speed (lack of shutter lag is what I mean) and good manual controls have meant that many people have been able to ditch giant DSLRs.

The GR was the OG fixed-lens digital compact, and now has a 28mm equivalent lens, with ƒ2.8 maximum aperture and a 1.2-million dot electronic finder. There’s also a dedicated button for depth-of-field preview, and a reasonable price increase over the GRD 1V, bringing the GR to $800.

Unlike the megapixel madness of the mid-to-late aughts, the sensor wars have a) a clear limit (nobody will go over 35mm full-frame in a consumer camera – will they) and clear benefits to your pictures: better low-light performance and shallower depth of field (blurred background, sharp subject).

The irony? The big SLR makers – Canon and Nikon – are the only ones not making great cameras of this type. Maybe they need to do an Apple and start cannibalizing their own market before someone else does.

About the author

Charlie Sorrel Charlie Sorrel is the Reviews Editor here on Cult of Mac. Follow Charlie  on Twitter at @mistercharlie.

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