Saturday, June 10, 2006

"Ricoh GR Digital Camera"

I recently began using a Ricoh GR Digital camera (the model name "GR Digital" is a reference to Ricoh's well-regarded GR film cameras) and it's an interesting design.  It falls right between the low end of the digital SLR market and the top end of the compact fits-in-a-pocket digital market - or more precisely, it is the top end of the fits-in-a-pocket digital market (based on my observation of what's for sale at Yodobashi Camera in Shinjuku - not on extensive Internet research).  What makes it worth considering as something worth shelling out your hard-earned cash on, is the quality of the lens.  Being a fixed focal length (thus avoiding the tradeoffs inherent in variable focal length lenses), Ricoh was able to design a lens that is more akin to a quality SLR lens than a typical cheap and fuzzy compact 5X (or whatever) zoom lens.

I don't have any photos from it posted to the site yet, but when I get some up, I'll make a mention of them so you can see for yourself how pictures from the camera look.  The camera name and exact specs are:

Ricoh GR Digital
CCD: 8.1 million pixels
GR Lens 5.9mm f2.4

The 5.9mm lens is comparable to a 28mm lens on a 35mm film camera.  I only put in a limited amount of time using the camera to date, but I'm very impressed so far - enough to recommend buying one if you're at all interested in taking quality pictures with a pocketable camera.

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

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