Has anyone else had/seen/heard of this issue? Especially with an early production unit.
I have had the Ricoh GR since it was released, have only ever used it for a few shots most days never using it hard or as a premium camera could and should be. I went on a trip recently and decided to take GR as sole camera – mistake! Ruined half my trips work! At least now I know this camera(or at least mine) is not designed to be used as a camera should. The GR has been babied for and only used at a fraction of what this camera should be capable of.
The issue started after using it for about half of a day – upwards of perhaps 100 shots, nothing huge and nothing rapid, all spread out. The screen started to distort with random purple patterns – so thought the lcd was perhaps on its way out. Wasn't impressed, then super not impressed once I reviewed images(raw+jpeg) to find out that they had been ruined and taken on a weird pattern too – essentially showing me that the issue was not lcd but something more serious – assumedly the sensor or related. Woke up next morning and issue was still there, until it decided to vanish soon after. I have had it happen a few more times, and it occurs after a slightly extended period of use. Not a huge period of use, nothing a camera of this calibre should have problems with – it essentially renders my GR useless, unproductive and unreliable for anything more than a few shots. Upon further observation I notice that when the disturbance is occurring, if I apply light twisting torsion to the GR body I can get the malfunction to shift on and off at my discretion. So I have concluded that there is probably some kind of overheating/warping of some componentry that leads to a sensor failure. If anyone knows if there might be something low level I can do, if it might be even something as simple as a connector or contact being out perhaps – unlikely.
My contact with ricoh was nothing special. Was in contact with the online technical department, a person named Willem who sounded more like a ricoh GR forum user than an actual engineer. Response time was tediously slow, never had my questions answered and had the ticket closed abruptly which was charming. Had much better experience in contact with the UK Ricoh repair partner photopia / Joanne Roper. They would have to forward my camera to Germany for inspection and repair. Having worked in technical/electronic repair facilities – I was hesitant in wanting to send it away. And concluded not to when I got the response of “We have received a response from the repair agents to advise that they may need to replace the optical unit where the sensor is included. They have advised a worse case charge of about 240 Euro plus shipping (subject to inspection).” > That cost is not worth it considering the value of the camera(not much), I would rather just buy a new one – rather than risk it going through a repair facility - where likely it will come back with something else wrong with it, or end up with another fault later on anyway. Interestingly I had to push for the potential cause of the issue, and asked if there is a known manufacturing fault even if just on early production units. Apparently there is no known fault, though somehow they could offer a potential repair solution after they had asked for my cameras serial number – suggesting there must be, I hadn't even sent them the picture or video of the fault, nor asked. Though the brief description and serial number was enough info to give a suspected cause/repair suggesting I must not be the only one!
The GR line is my favourite camera, going back to the film series too, love em. But back there too I was plagued with a lovely camera that annoyingly would just seemingly fall to pieces and functionality too after not much use. Great cameras but something gives in there design or manufacturing of photographic tools that can be used seriously without knowing that eventually something is going to go wrong. Only my experience of course, but it has been my experience with 3 of there cameras, the film GR1+GR1v and GR > as in every GR camera I have owned and used has faulted way before it had ever been used up to what its life span should be. And of course the only cameras I have ever had issues with too, shame indeed. Certainly love-hate.
So I am left with a GR I can not rely on for more than a few shots, unless I wanna play torsion with it (or smash it as my partner thought I was about to do with it-was close for sure). Not too impressed with the response I had. Of course out of warranty, of course I am not going to get them admitting to a manufacturing-design fault but still, I reckon there is and having to foot the bill on such is a bit sour. In my opinion there is no alternative that compares though...the ricoh GR is that good.