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.

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

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