Ricoh GR Digital 3 vs. Ricoh GR Digital 4

Even on the outside the Ricoh GR Digital 4 will be almost identical to the GR Digital 3 (which dropped in price to $419). Take a look at the front of both cameras:

Ricoh GR Digital 3 front

Ricoh GR Digital 4 front

and the the back of both cameras:

Ricoh GR Digital 3 back

Ricoh GR Digital 4 back

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  • lynn

    classic ricoh ugliness!

    • pooh

      Classic Ricoh ugliness for people who want an unobtrusive camera over something to brag about.

      All it lacks are more electrical tapes.

      • Hoang

        I think it’s pretty!

    • ace

      Well, built probably better than a lot of the plasticky entry level DSLRs

  • Paul

    If it ain’t broke?

    • Carlos R B

      Yep, but ricoh still need to release a 35-40mm EQ lens camera..or module….1.4?

  • Melvin Tan

    I still don’t understand the novelty of fixed focal length P&S cameras. For my uses, it is too restrictive. From a marketing perspective, it is targeting a very niche audience. Can they sell enough to this niche group to make money? I guess so…

    • Hoang

      DSLRs are a niche product too! Anyhow, since Ricoh is still in business and even recently bought Pentax, I am sure they are doing fine

      • Ronan

        DSLRs aren’t a niche product… a tilt shift lens is a niche product though.

        • LGO

          Not for long as Samyang will soon be selling these by the thousands to Canon, Nikon and even m4/3 users once it releases theirs for less than $500.

    • Matt

      It is a niche market, very much so, but the cameras are very well made and Ricoh pretty much rules that niche market at the moment. It’s not a novelty.

    • big_glass

      Why is it a novelty? If you find a prime lens too restrictive, don’t buy it! There are plenty of me-too P&S zooms out there. Try the X10 for starters.

      The GR range has been around for, what, 15 years? And it has proven itself to be very popular with various audiences. Yes, it’s expensive, but it’s well made, very high quality and that helps make up for the low sales numbers.

      I don’t own a GRD but I used to own a GR1v and I regret selling it. However, I might trade my Sigma DP for one of these.

    • ZDP-189

      I don’t quite get why some people insist all compact cameras should have zoom lenses. If it’s your only camera I can imagine it’d be a bit limiting, but for 90% of the photos that I take when out and about the 28mm would do the trick. Rare is the shot where I’d need to zoom in rather than crop. For most of those shots, I’d prefer a system camear or at least a bridge camera. The GRD is intended for grabbing quick, emotive photos. It’s the camera I always have with me because it’s small and competant.

      If you add a zoom you have to compromise somewhere, in aperture, optical quality or size. If your priorities are different, buy another camrera.

    • pooh

      You have pretty much got it right.

      It is a camera of limited use (especially street works) targeting a niche segment of the market. People who know its strength use it; those who don’t go for the zooms.

      At least it sells very well in Japan, good enough to keep Ricoh releasing these crazy niche products. Technically there’s no competitors, hence the high MSRP of the GR series.

    • El Aura

      I very often walk around with my DSLR or m43 camera with a single prime only. But I guess you don’t understand the novelty of releasing a prime lens.
      You can argue that if Canon can built a zoom with almost the same f-stop and physical size in the form of the S90/95, this prime-lens camera does not have any advantage anymore, but unfortunately the S90/95 is harder to hold (no grip, no rubber), is less robust and has a UI that is still a bit behind the GR series. And the GR D lens is likely a bit better optically as well.

  • Bogus

    watever it is, believe it or not they sell out almost every piece they make of the GR 1,2 and 3. you can say all you want but its the result that counts!

  • Too little, too late!

  • Wow… 28mm and f/8.8-like images are to die for :P…

    $400 for this?

  • EnPassant

    This is the same niche product as Pentax Q. No wonder Pentax and Ricoh found each other and married! Most people looking at specs would rather choose one of the several compacts with the same (1.8-2) aperture at the wideangle end of a zoom. Why limit oneself to a single lens when a similar compact with a zoom using the same SMALL sensor is not or only marginally bigger? Surely IQ is not that much better as it could be with a bigger sensor. Even if the aperture for size reason was limited to 2.8 or 3.5 it would both have less DOF and be much better using high ISO. But I guess there are enough niche people in the world, especially in Japan, to sell this and Pentax Q!
    To be interesting for others they should put in an APS-C sensor and an optical finder (showing about 90%) and make sure focus is fast and sell it for $ 800,-!

    • I presume you’ve owned one at some point, or are you merely commenting on the spec sheet? I’ve owned two GR Digitals, two GRD II’s and a GRD III (plus also a GX100 and a GX200 along with several other contemporaneous top-tier compact cameras) and I’m waiting to put my name of the waitlist for a GRD IV. Why? Because it does the job, and it does it better than the alternatives.

      You describe the camera you want as an APS-C with a 28mm equivalent f/3.5 or faster lens. Do you realise that this has a hyperfocal distance of about 14 feet, so everything from 7 feet away to the horizon will be in focus?

      The closest (only) match to your specification and price target is the Sigma DP1x. I am not sure I’d recommend you buy it. It is relatively bulky, has a build quality reminiscent of a Holga, operates like with the speed of an abacus and which is notoriously tricky to shoot unless you have good daylight or both a tripod and a static subject.

      • EnPassant

        I comment on the specs and compare those with todays digital compacts as with the original GR-1 for film. For those seeing slim size, and subjective feel and handling of a camera being the most important I can very well see the attraction of the GR-series. It’s a sweet little camera with nice add-ons. And a few years ago when most compacts were bigger, slow in operation and aperture, and had no wideangle to speak of it cleary filled a niche of its own. But today with several compacts starting with a 24 or 28 mm wideangle with f/1.8-2.0 for about the same price there is much less reason for most to buy Ricoh’s GR Digital. Yes, it’s still the slimmest at one inch, 25,5 mm. But a few mm (28 mm for Canon’s new S100) or even 16 mm more (Olympus XZ-1) doesn’t matter so much as long as it is mostly because of the lens protrusion and is a small price to pay for the added convenience having a zoom-lens. I was at the time intrigued by the small size of the GR-1. But it was just a too pricey toy to throw my money at. I kept on using my Olympus XA and XA4 cameras. Just set the latter at 3 meter and forget about AF-lag!

        I didn’t say I wanted f/3.5. It was just an example as how to make the lens small without increasing the size when using a bigger APS-C sensor. Besides the original GR-1 had a 28/2.8 lens covering full-frame but still was only one inch thick! Therefore I think it could be possible to make a f/2-2.4 lens for a DX-sensor having the same size! You do realise a 6 mm lens even at f/1.9 doesn’t have less DOF than a 18.5 mm lens at f/ 2.8 or even 3.5? ūüėČ

        Well the Sigma compacts are almost the opposite of Ricoh what I understand from reading the reviews! I rather was thinking Ricoh could build a competitor for Fujifilms X100 without the hybrid finder, but with smaller size, same as now or at least not bigger than the original GR-1, faster AF and built in optical finder just like in GR-1. I bet you would love to have that one, even if it was more expensive! But now as Ricoh perfected the GR Digital concept with a small compact sensor, how are they going to improve it without increasing the size of the sensor? Maybe we will know 2013? Or not, because Ricoh don’t want to compete with their own, in comparance bulky (56 mm thick with the 28 mm lens) GXR?

  • OM

    Hands down the best compact of my choice. Note: its purely subjective.

    two thumbs up!

  • Jordan

    the first rumor of this had an optical viewfinder in the hotshoe and i’ve seen no other evidence of this even existing. if i had that, and perhaps manual focus, this thing would unquestionably be mine.

    • hcm

      the current GRD model already comes with manual focus?

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