I recently had the opportunity to invest some money in new camera equipment. As you can see the majority of my work is taken with my Nikon D90, and with it approaching 5 years old I figured I should consider an upgrade. That said, and on reflection, I have been taking a lot more urban street photographs which often require something less obtrusive and more discrete.
I drew up a list of criteria that the new camera must be able to fulfill which looked something like this (in no order):
- Shoot RAW - A must when editing in Photoshop.
- A reasonably wide angle lens - Street photography is often about doorways and buildings, getting everything in is important.
- Fit into my pocket - There are certain neighbourhoods where getting out an expensive DSLR can be unadvisable, where not drawing attention to yourself is paramount!
- Picture quality - probably the most important on the list. I'd read a lot about the latest mirror less cameras with full size sensors. A lot of time would be spent pouring over the stats, reviews and photographs.
- Zoom? - I'd been using a fixed 35mm on the D90, and whilst a zoom can be handy, it wasn't going to be a deal breaker.
I finally settled on the Ricoh GR, promptly ordered and within a couple of days it was in my hands. I'd read a review which stated that when you pick the camera up for the first time, you can tell its been designed by a photographer - that reviewer was not wrong. It just sits perfectly in your hand, the grip and controls are all at just the right place.
Suffice to say I really really like this camera, and my D90 has not been used at all on the streets since I got my hands on the GR.
The resulting shots have given me an extended run on the Flickr Explore page with 9 of the 10 shots in Explore over the last week taken with the GR.
Photographs are clear and sharp, great colour reproduction and low light photograph is exceptional.
I can recommend this camera without hesitation and have yet to find something in it that I'm disappointed in. In a strange twist of fate, my very first digital camera was a Ricoh Caplio 3.5 megapixel compact......how things have changed since then!!