The next Ricoh GR

Discussion about Ricoh GR

Re: The next Ricoh GR

Postby paulgiguere » Thu Dec 26, 2013 4:38 am

I think if I had to make up my list of enhancements and new features that I would like to see for the next Ricoh, it would be:

HIGHLY DESIRED
- Phase detection in combination with contrast detection would speed up autofocus in low light (a hybrid approach like the GRD4 would work well). This would really help move the GR past it's one big issue/problem.
- A weather-sealed body/lens would be great too.
- A monochrome sensor version of the GR would also be great however, I would not spring for a new GR if this was the only enhancement added over the current model.
- Improve the LCD so that it can actually display high resolution images in playback (I can't stand the quality of the images in playback even though I'm using RAW+JPEG).

WOULD BE NICE
- Swivel (or at least tilt out) LCD
- Get rid of the flash (I have never, ever used the flash with GRD 3, 4 or GR). Use the space for something else (maybe a built-in EVF. . . on second thought that would make the body larger so forget that).

NOT NEEDED
- No full-frame sensor. A full-frame sensor would necessitate a larger camera and lens assembly (think something along the size of the Sony RX1). The APS-C sensor now is awesome and delivers the goods).
- Keep the size exactly where it is now. The slight increase over the GRD4 et al was acceptable but any larger and it just won't be the same camera any longer.
- No zoom. Again, this would make the GR not a GR any longer due to the dramatic increase in size. Also, the image quality would drop in the wide and telephoto extremes of the lens to accommodate the zoom range. Also, the f-stop would have to start at something higher (think f3.5 or f4).

Unlike most camera makers, Ricoh seems and make iterative changes (both in the firmware and with each release of the camera) that really shows they listen to the users of the GR line.

Paul

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Re: The next Ricoh GR

Postby jsrockit » Thu Dec 26, 2013 2:58 pm

HawkeyX wrote:The compact zoom world is pretty competitive and flooded.


Besides the RX100 (which has a sensor smaller than m4/3) and the Leica Vario X, where is this flood you speak of? There are no truly compact APSC cameras out there. If Ricoh can pull it off, it will still be niche.
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Re: The next Ricoh GR

Postby Tom Caldwell » Fri Dec 27, 2013 4:57 am

thelps wrote:
jsrockit wrote:According to this rumor, there may be a zoom GR in the works:

http://photorumors.com/2013/12/23/2014- ... -holidays/


Interesting, a RX100 competitor perhaps :?:


More like the GX was to the GRD? "Everybody" loved it but it was always going to be a scaled back camera compared to the GRD as fitting a comparable lens that zoomed was and is always an issue. It cannot have sold that well despite "everybody's" love. In fact many still pine for the mythical GX300 even today.

But to get a GR-zoom is to accept some minus points to offset the plus factors.

I still have a GX100, nice little camera but I hardly used it when I had "king" GRD to play with.

Some like the versatility of a zoom, I have no doubt that they would buy a zoom version of the GR, myself I think that I would "pass" as I would rather a new GXR which might be hardly bigger and truly more generally useful.

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Re: The next Ricoh GR

Postby thelps » Fri Dec 27, 2013 5:11 am

Tom Caldwell wrote:In fact many still pine for the mythical GX300 even today.


I was/am one of them

Tom Caldwell wrote:myself I think that I would "pass" as I would rather a new GXR which might be hardly bigger and truly more generally useful.


Not sure I would pass until I see its specs. Remember that the GR is APS-C and that the APS-C zoom lensors for the GXR don't make it a compact.
So a compact APS-C something the size of GR could be interesting.

You make a good point that it could be more a GX300. I'd prefer they call it that.
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Re: The next Ricoh GR

Postby HawkeyX » Fri Dec 27, 2013 12:57 pm

jsrockit wrote:
HawkeyX wrote:The compact zoom world is pretty competitive and flooded.


Besides the RX100 (which has a sensor smaller than m4/3) and the Leica Vario X, where is this flood you speak of? There are no truly compact APSC cameras out there. If Ricoh can pull it off, it will still be niche.


If they managed to make it a truey compact (as in current size) APSC with zoom, I agree completely - that is niche (for now). I was really meaning the more rudimentary 'compact zoom' market which granted is overwhelmingly smaller sensor models. Current sixe and like the RX100 would be cool. If it was anything like the Vario X I'd keep a mile away - it offers nothing over a interchangeable lens camera (not even size) and has a pretty slow lens to match. Things like Sony's NEX line with their 16-50mm lens are a pretty small and cheap package with the option to change to a faster lens.

Unless we see some big design changes, a zoom compact GR would have a slower lens than the current prime.

Not knocking the idea though - I'm just a prime lens purist when it comes to the GR series. If its not 28mm, its not a real GR - 28mm or nothing ;)
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Re: The next Ricoh GR

Postby m.davidtaub » Fri Dec 27, 2013 6:36 pm

I have no clue about the tech involved, so forgive me if this sounds naive, but like sigma is doing, I'd love to see several gr's with different focal lengths...35mm would be good, low 40's, a 50...even something portrait oriented...not sure how size would be affected, but some choice would be nice...

I do admit, the current gr with the optional 21mm is a really nice package...

I currently use a dslr with 20/35/50 and 105 prime lenses...those four focal lengths are all I need, though I have been thinking of adding a 28, hence my interest in the gr...and for the longest time I've been interested in trying a focal length in the 40-45 range...something I've never used...
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Re: The next Ricoh GR

Postby cidereye » Fri Dec 27, 2013 6:59 pm

Yes I too was one that longed for a GX300 but we'll probably never see anything of it's type now I'm guessing.

I love the GR especially since the firmware upgrade and now having 28/35/47mm options of "a sort". But what if it was possible for Ricoh to produce a GR with a lens like the Leica Tri-Elmar lens giving us say 28/35/50mm at a click as opposed to cropped versions you get with the current system? Ooooh I'd be first in the queue for that one! :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
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Re: The next Ricoh GR

Postby Tom Caldwell » Fri Dec 27, 2013 11:36 pm

m.davidtaub wrote:I have no clue about the tech involved, so forgive me if this sounds naive, but like sigma is doing, I'd love to see several gr's with different focal lengths...35mm would be good, low 40's, a 50...even something portrait oriented...not sure how size would be affected, but some choice would be nice...

I do admit, the current gr with the optional 21mm is a really nice package...

I currently use a dslr with 20/35/50 and 105 prime lenses...those four focal lengths are all I need, though I have been thinking of adding a 28, hence my interest in the gr...and for the longest time I've been interested in trying a focal length in the 40-45 range...something I've never used...


The GR with many (or even a few) different focal lengths is an argument often raised. But this misses the point that Ricoh did exactly that with the GXR. Each GXR is a complete camera with a different focal length prime lens and even includes an aps-c zoom and two compact zooms and also a mount module so that MF lenses can be used in a more direct and useful way than any kludge offered by other digital cameras.

The GXR proved two things - that once you get outside collapsing wide lenses and smallish sensors the resulting cameras are not small, also that the GXR is not pocketable and it got more than a little flaying over the two quite useful zoom models with smaller sensors.

In fact those that pined for the GX300 had the S10 module which effctively was "the GX300" complete with all the GXR firmware goodies. I believe that the S10 was no more of a success than either of the GX models and the excuse was that the package was physically too large for the size of the sensor incorporated. Maybe in truth the incorporation of slower zoom lowers the cutting edge of the Ricoh product and whilst valued for its convenience simply makes the "GX type" just another nice but slow zoom camera. There are many choices and far more cutting edge products about. Ricoh needs to sell enough product of any type to make producing it worth while.

By making multiple GR models is to throw away the entire GXR concept and effectively copy Sigma, hardly a runaway success story or a market worth infiltrating no matter how good the Sigma product might be. It also abandons existing GXR users and their investment in modules to the vagarities of just how long their GXR camera backs might last.

I have preached the possibility of a new smaller "GR sized" GXR camera back to the point of boring people. I believe that with some compromises a camera back this size for existing GXR modules is possible. This give the benefit of the continuing use of modules already in user's hands and the prospect of new modules. Of course every one of them is a complete and separate camera in itself.

Sony's introduction of a FF sensor and an even larger lcd screen sets a new precedent. The FF senosor in modules may well be possible but the larger lcd in a new GXR camera back would be harder. Unless Ricoh were to throw away the idea of ultra-compact modules are beautiful and give us a larger GXR camera back complete with built in evf and a possible tilt screen. Employ electronic contacts and a module that could host one or more modern lens systems (including but not necessarily exclusively the PK mount) - this would be a revolutionary concept in the true Ricoh manner but not the same as the first compact GR-size back that I envisioned. One or the other but not both. Certainly the multiple fixed lens GR cameras that have been otherwise envisioned are a bean counter's nightmare. Believe me, I counted beans for all my working life. I could list quite a few very obvious reasons why such a course of action might be a disaster for Ricoh and suggest with respect that such individual cameras would take sales away from the present GR model without adding enough sales to make each and every model a success in its own right. No matter how many of hese models were made there would always be someone yelling loudly for a lens configuration that Ricoh has not made.

Just like the "GX300" aks as the "GXR-S10". Ricoh did not make the GX300 and hedged their bets with the S10, luckily the 50mm and the M mount module seem to have saved some of the GXR bacon. But not enough to stop Rioch giving pause to the GXR line of camera and think deeply about its future.

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Re: The next Ricoh GR

Postby blue_quartz » Mon Dec 30, 2013 5:36 pm

blue_quartz wrote:I might have mentioned this somewhere before...

1) On-sensor phase detection: hopefully the technology to do this will mature to Ricoh's liking in two years, when the successor should be out...
2) Touchscreen, not to totally replace the awesome hardware controls on the body, but to assist it for features like focus selection and image playback.
3) EVF connector? I figured making an EVF connector will take up less space than trying to make the screen tilt-able.


Will like to add two more points after I gave some serious thought to the nifty in-camera USB charging feature and the clamouring for a manual focus ring/brighter lens, which are more controversial...

A) Why not just get rid of removable batteries and install a higher-capacity non-removable battery? These days, it's common for people to attach power banks to their phones to recharge on-the-go (at least from where I come from). I reckon cutting away the battery slot/casing, coupled with any efficiency improvements in Li-Ion/Li-Po batteries, may increase the battery life to at least 400 shots thereabouts for the existing GR and also have a better hold of its charge over the presumed two-year product cycle. Then, why not bring the idea of power banks further by shaping one as a vertical grip for the GR, with twice the capacity of the internal one? Keep the in-camera USB charging and this vertical grip can connect to the USB/AV port of the GR (but please replace the door with a sturdier flap), and of course the vertical grip will be charged via USB too. Effectively, people who have lower battery requirements and prefer to travel light like me will be happy, while the same goes for people who wants the GR to last through 600 shots without having to swap batteries (or lug around an external charger).


B) I'm not sure if the physics works out or not, but based on my layman's appreciation of bright prime lens, affording the GR with a larger aperture than the current F2.8 will mean a larger piece of glass that has to protrude slightly more too. Even though I don't use the filter adapter on my GR (used to for my GX100), I also wouldn't like to sacrifice that versatility just for a manual focus ring. So, why not extend the lens protrusion behind the adapter thread by a few millimeters to slot in the focus ring, and give some extra room for a brighter lens at the same time? The two big questions are, how many users will actually warm up to this idea, and how much extra depth is too much? Whatever the case is, I like the fact that the GR only has to extend the lens out once, which means getting the first shot is slightly faster and the camera looks cleaner with the lens extended. I hope this will be the last thing that is affected, if the next GR can cough up more lens wizardry.
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Re: The next Ricoh GR

Postby Tom Caldwell » Mon Dec 30, 2013 9:53 pm

blue_quartz wrote:
blue_quartz wrote:I might have mentioned this somewhere before...

1) On-sensor phase detection: hopefully the technology to do this will mature to Ricoh's liking in two years, when the successor should be out...
2) Touchscreen, not to totally replace the awesome hardware controls on the body, but to assist it for features like focus selection and image playback.
3) EVF connector? I figured making an EVF connector will take up less space than trying to make the screen tilt-able.


Will like to add two more points after I gave some serious thought to the nifty in-camera USB charging feature and the clamouring for a manual focus ring/brighter lens, which are more controversial...

A) Why not just get rid of removable batteries and install a higher-capacity non-removable battery? These days, it's common for people to attach power banks to their phones to recharge on-the-go (at least from where I come from). I reckon cutting away the battery slot/casing, coupled with any efficiency improvements in Li-Ion/Li-Po batteries, may increase the battery life to at least 400 shots thereabouts for the existing GR and also have a better hold of its charge over the presumed two-year product cycle. Then, why not bring the idea of power banks further by shaping one as a vertical grip for the GR, with twice the capacity of the internal one? Keep the in-camera USB charging and this vertical grip can connect to the USB/AV port of the GR (but please replace the door with a sturdier flap), and of course the vertical grip will be charged via USB too. Effectively, people who have lower battery requirements and prefer to travel light like me will be happy, while the same goes for people who wants the GR to last through 600 shots without having to swap batteries (or lug around an external charger).


B) I'm not sure if the physics works out or not, but based on my layman's appreciation of bright prime lens, affording the GR with a larger aperture than the current F2.8 will mean a larger piece of glass that has to protrude slightly more too. Even though I don't use the filter adapter on my GR (used to for my GX100), I also wouldn't like to sacrifice that versatility just for a manual focus ring. So, why not extend the lens protrusion behind the adapter thread by a few millimeters to slot in the focus ring, and give some extra room for a brighter lens at the same time? The two big questions are, how many users will actually warm up to this idea, and how much extra depth is too much? Whatever the case is, I like the fact that the GR only has to extend the lens out once, which means getting the first shot is slightly faster and the camera looks cleaner with the lens extended. I hope this will be the last thing that is affected, if the next GR can cough up more lens wizardry.


Keep thinking, ideas are always useful.

A) When the battery is flat it is very flat and the camera is useless until it spends some time on the usb charger. I prefer to just pop in a spare charged one when the in-camera battery dies. They are now pretty cheap, manufacturers would £ove providing a service to replace non-replaceable batteries.

When camera get cheap enough then a non-replaceable battery might get more purchase but it will boil down to a replace or chuck the whole camera when the battery dies.

B) the GR has increased from the GRD size by stealth and I think it has about reached the maximum size for pocketing or wearing on the hip. Even millimetres make a huge difference on the borderline. I have used my original GRD extensively over the Christmas period in some sort of re-appreciation of the little wonder-box. It is duly smaller and I think a GR the same size as the GRD would be great but fairly confidently predict that a super fast lens and aps-c sensor is not going to fit no matter what battery is used.

Make the GR any bigger than we might as well be toting the GXR. Maybe surprisingly the "depth" and width are much the same as the GR and only the top plate is higher. Yet for some reason the GXR was "too large" when introduced - but perhaps the "stealthy" growth of the GR into a larger camera will merge into a shrinking GXR body?

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