GRDII vs. GX100 comparison

Discussion about Ricoh GR Digital II

GRDII vs. GX100 comparison

Postby odklizec » Mon Dec 10, 2007 12:35 pm

GX100 arrived! I'm now at work, so I cannot start with thorough comparison right now ;) But I promise to post some test shots and thoughts about GX100/GRDII during this week.

At least few initial comments:
Better handling because of slightly larger grip and smaller LCD (which means better buttons layout for single handed use). However, for FN button is required second hand. So at this point, the GRD/GRDII is easier to control with one finger.

GX100 is noisier (in terms of sound). It's not that noisy as GRD, but it's definitely noisier than GRDII. So if you are looking for a silent camera, get the GRDII.

GX100 RAW writing is a bit slower than GRDII but still miles ahead of GRD RAW speed:
GX100
1GB Transcend 80x (4:3 RAW + Fine) ................................ 11-12/6.1-6.4 (n. of blinks/secs)
GRDII
1GB Transcend 80x (4:3 RAW + Fine) ..................................... 8/4.5-5 (n. of blinks/secs)

GX100 LCD is as good as GRDII LCD (though it's smaller - GX100 2.5/GRDII 2.7")

Menu font and graphics is the same as in GRD. GRDII font and graphics is noticeable smaller so it covers smaller part of LCD.

GX100 mode dial is not locked and the mode symbols are printed (GRD has the mode symbols engraved).

The body is plain without the small dots (which makes the GRD/GRDII body less slippery and more attractive).

GX100 really allows to select all shutter speeds for all available apertures (in M mode). I would really like to know why it's no longer possible with GRDII???

The GX100 lens is wobbly (front lens element), but nothing tragic. I would expect much higher wobbling after reading all these reports about how bad it is? In addition, the lens is centered. There is the same amount of tolerance if you move the lens up, down left or right and it always returns back to the center position. So if you do not intentionally move and hold the lens in off-centered position, the wobbling should not have any impact on the image quality. The "wobbling" happens only if you push the lens manually. Not if you move the camera up/down.

The EVF viewfinder is nice! It's much better than any other EVF I ever saw. It's clear, detailed, no delays even in dim lighted rooms. The only problem is visible if you point the camera directly to a light source, so you can expect the same light streaks as you can see on the LCD. The downside of this optional EVF is its size. With attached EVF is the camera no longer pocketable (without risk of ripping your pockets).
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Re: GRDII vs. GX100 comparison

Postby odklizec » Mon Dec 10, 2007 6:48 pm

GX100 continuous speed:
20shots 10MP JPEG Fine - 11.7 secs without writing - 1.7fps (after releasing the shutter, GX100 freezes for about 2.3secs to write the buffered shots)
First 4 shots are pretty fast, about 1.5sec - 2.6 fps. Then the continuous mode slows down to 1.6fps.

Here are data from GRD/GRDII (the same SD card):

GRD2:
20shots 10MP JPEG Fine - 8.8secs - 2.3fps (without slowing down and you can immediately take another shot after last one)

GRD:
20shots 8MP JPEG Fine - 24secs - 0.8fps (after releasing the shutter, GRD freezes for about next 5 secs to write the buffered shots)
First 4 shots with GRD are pretty fast (about 2.7fps) then slows down due to small writing buffer.
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Re: GRDII vs. GX100 comparison

Postby lucridders » Mon Dec 10, 2007 9:14 pm

Quite fair test, writing times of my second GX100 is also approx 6 to 6,3 seconds.
The wobling lens is really affecting the image quality. My first GX100, after a few time in use (few months) it was wobbling that much that I had vignetting in the wide angle lens and surely, when keeping first cam in different positions, I was able to make less sharp pictures. With the new GX100 vigneting is 0, but we have to see again after a while, as it was the same when my first GX100 was new.
EVF is indead not bad, but not good also. It is not because it is better than others, that it is good!!!
Regarding quality, for me the GRDII is as told before, the same as GX100 regarding sharpness and noise.
Flash is on both of them still not usable in a good way.
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Re: GRDII vs. GX100 comparison

Postby odklizec » Mon Dec 10, 2007 10:34 pm

Actually, the GX100 RAW writing speed can be even faster with fast card. My initial test was done with 1GB Transcend 80x to be able to compare the RAW writing speed with GRD and GRDII. I just tested it with 4GB Panasonic class 6 (gold one) and the writing speed is 9 blinks or measured in secs 5-5.5secs (RAW + Fine Jpeg).

I cannot comment the Image quality yet, but I'm planning to do some RAW/JPEG comparisons at 28mm and with the same (if possible) aperture (sorry, not laser-measured distance and position). It would not be a fair test at all, because the GX100 at 28mm is not the same as GRDII at 28mm. But I'm sure the RAW will reveal the differences (if there are any).
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Re: GRDII vs. GX100 comparison

Postby grux » Tue Dec 11, 2007 1:46 am

hi odklizec, i look forward to more of your observations, comments, thoughts and pictures on this comparison between the gx100 and grdII . ever since the monthly photo contests on your site, i find myself drawn towards the grd for it's image qualities, and now possibly the grdII as a companion to my gx100 (and sony a100). thanks for taking the time to do this. cheers grux
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Re: GRDII vs. GX100 comparison

Postby lucridders » Tue Dec 11, 2007 4:21 pm

Just a question, why the 28mm is different. IMO 28 has to be 28mm. I was doing it with different cams already and when using the cross and at the 4 corners a spot with the laser system I use, it is quite correct. From the moment we used that, we realised that even a small move with a cam can create such lots of differences that nobody would believe when not seeing.
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Re: GRDII vs. GX100 comparison

Postby odklizec » Tue Dec 11, 2007 4:31 pm

Because 28mm is starting focal length for GRD and zoomed focal length for GX100. In addition, the closest aperture for GX100 at 28mm is f2.7 while in GRD you can select f2.8. Small, but considerable differences.
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Re: GRDII vs. GX100 comparison

Postby odklizec » Thu Dec 13, 2007 1:31 am

Some more findings and first comparison shots.

GX100 at 28mm is not exactly at 28mm. I set GX100 to "Step Zoom" mode and surprisingly, the EXIF says 6mm (about 28.5mm). It's a very small difference, but it's visible if you compare GRD at 28mm and GX100 at 28.5

The closest aperture for both GRD2 and GX100 at 28mm is f2.8 for GRD2 and 2.7 for GX100.

Some people says that the GRDII lens is sharper in DNG. Well, according of my initial (and very limited) tests, the GX100 lens at 28mm seems to be a bit sharper in DNG? Again, it's not fair to test the 28mm prime lens and lens zoomed to 28mm. GX100 seems to be oversharpened in JPEG. But surprisingly, it appears to be very sharp at 28mm (in DNG)! The chromatic aberration seems to be less visible too (not as surprising).

The amount of visible noise seems to be equal in DNG. But comparing the GRD2 and GX100 JPEG shows GX100 advantage over the GRD2! As mentioned and described in previous GRD2 tests, the GRD2 NR OFF switch does not mean that the NR is completely OFF. It's just less aggressive NR, but unfortunately, still much more aggressive than in case of GX100 or GRD.

And there is one more interesting (and unpleasant) find. GRD2 seems to be a bit more prone to highlight clipping than GX100? I will have to do some more tests. But it's clearly visible even in the below two samples. See the burned highlights in door glass and also the burned sky in antenna crop.

OK, here are the crops:
grd2_gx100_jpeg.jpg
JPEG crops
grd2_gx100_jpeg.jpg (506.34 KiB) Viewed 16970 times

grd2_gx100_dng.jpg
DNG crops
grd2_gx100_dng.jpg (680.24 KiB) Viewed 16887 times


grd2_gx100_jpeg_2.jpg
JPEG crops
grd2_gx100_jpeg_2.jpg (656.79 KiB) Viewed 16860 times

grd2_gx100_dng_2.jpg
DNG crops
grd2_gx100_dng_2.jpg (735.54 KiB) Viewed 17181 times


Here are the full size files (use 7zip to extract the files. MAC users should have to use one of >these< 7zip extractors)

GRD2 JPEG and DNG
http://kudrys.com/files/11_12_07/grd2.7z

GX100 JPEG and DNG
http://kudrys.com/files/11_12_07/gx100.7z
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Re: GRDII vs. GX100 comparison

Postby Gil » Thu Dec 13, 2007 2:56 am

I would have to say that from your tests, that the GX100 has a foot up on the GRD II. As with your initial tests with the
GRD II, highlight clipping was an issue. I solved this for ME by using the fn. as an exposure lock to take care of that
problem. This would not really be a help to those who use Snap or are street/candid photographers, although the AEL
will stay put after a picture is taken to be used for the next image.
Yes, the sharpness looks a bit better on the GX100 too, but the GRD II .dng files do sharpen fairly/very well.
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Re: GRDII vs. GX100 comparison

Postby jorgeAD » Thu Dec 13, 2007 3:05 am

Very interesting comparison Pavel, JPG noise reduction in the GRD2 is indeed unfortunately high (even when set to OFF). Hope Ricoh takes care of it in future firmware upgrades. I have no intention of shooting anything but DNGs, but It seems the film-like-grain JPG noise in the GRD1 has quite a following. I am just not for instant gratification. Guess I am old school but I want to "interpret" my DNGs the way I have interpreted my negatives for over two decades...

The GRD2 definitely has a narrower dynamic range than the GX100, perhaps 1/3 of a stop narrower. I recently became aware of High Dynamic Range processing from a single DNG file and I believe this technique could easily help overcome the dynamic range limitation of small sensor cameras (both GRD and GX100)... Has anyone out there already tried it.?.. its actually built into CS2!

I must disagree with your veredict as far as RAW resolution is concerned. There is finer detail in the GRD2 that is nowhere to be found in the GX100 RAWs. Take the top right corner in the clipped highlight DNG shot. There is a bent wire clearly visible in the GRD2 shot that's gone with the GX100. In the center DNG shot you can count the four wires under the door return mechanism in the GRD2 shot... they are just not there in the GX100...

Whether or not this small differences justify giving up the convenience of a zoom is a different issue. The GRD2 far left shot also displays less flare and distortion as it was to be expected from a prime (check the leftmost black edge on the clipped highlight shot)...

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