A painting of me

Ricoh GR Digital II

   4 March 2009, mid-morning

Ricoh GR Digital 2

I sold my Olympus XA2 and my Vivitar Ultra Wide and Slim yesterday, and bought a Ricoh GR Digital II instead. In terms of cash-money, I didn’t come out ahead. I’ve wanted a GRD for a while now, in particular because (Toronto’s own) moonwire on Flickr takes incredible photos with the camera. Now, obviously you can’t buy a camera with the hope of taking photos like someone else. (I know, because my Leica hasn’t made my photos any more awesome.) That said, you can get a good sense of what the camera is capable of by looking at what other people have managed to produce. In moonwire’s stream I often find myself checking to see whether a shot was done with film or digitally on her GRD. And more often than not, her killer shots are from the small point and shoot.

Adorama is stupid fast when it comes to shipping. I ordered the camera Sunday night, and it arrived at my office Tuesday morning. So, I’ve had the GRD for all of a day now. I still need to get a SD card, so day one of shooting was limited to what I could fit in the on-board memory of the camera. My first impressions of the camera are quite good. The GRD reminds me of a smaller, nicer, version of my Canon S30. The camera lets you tweak all the settings you would want to, and has the controls laid out well, so doing so is quite easy. So far, the only thing I’ve noticed that bugs me about the camera is its auto-focus, which is stupid slow. I may have been spoiled by using my Rebel all this time. The pictures the camera produces are quite nice. I think it will take me a little while to get a handle on how best to use it.

Hopefully next week i’ll have more to say about the camera.

My GR Digital II photographs on Flickr.



  1. Even though I’ve never owned a DSLR I do sometimes notice the slow AF (the GR1 is faster). But one thing that really helps is to have the focus options on the wheel menu, and switch between snap mode or infinite or spot focusing while you walk or when you have a chance. Weirdly I think I adjust this a lot more than the other settings.

    The other thing to keep in mind is that, unlike some other point and shoots, you can fire the shutter even before the camera is done focusing. so like in an emergency for a quick grab. Most of the time it does pretty good though, just like all cameras you get the rhythm down.

    I checked out Moonwire on flickr, and she really is a talented photographer.

  2. For most of my photos yesterday I used the snap focus mode. That makes the whole picture taking process so much faster. I don’t understand why the autofocus is so slow. I’ll need to muck around with Shima’s SD1000 to see how it compares. I have the Fn. button set so that it switches between snap and multi-focus right now. I haven’t tested to see if spot-focus is faster than multi-focus.

    The replaced the wheel on the back of the GRD with a lever on the GRDII. I’m not sure how the two compare, but people seem to like the wheel more.

    It turns out my camera is also not running the latest firmware, so I should probably upgrade that when I get home tonight.

  3. i am a bit disappointed with the size of the DP2 lens…GRDII looks even more tempting now..

  4. Where in Toronto do I purchase one of these
    GRDII’s I am tired of lunking around my big bulky Nikon.

    Cheers Dan

  5. From Adorama in the states. They don’t sell them in Canada. There is a shop in California that also sells them, though the name escapes me right now.

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