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Ricoh's GR Digital IV digital camera. Photo provided by Ricoh Co. Ltd. Ricoh GR Digital IV: Prime-lensed compact gets an update
(Friday, September 16, 2011 - 03:06 EDT)

Japan's Ricoh Co. Ltd. has announced the latest camera in its long-running GR series, the Ricoh GR Digital IV.

The GR Digital IV looks very much like its predecessor, retaining much the same body, lens and image sensor, but has a number of important upgrades in other areas. Most importantly, it now sports a hybrid autofocus system said to be capable of achieving a focus lock in just 0.2 seconds. There's also a new sensor shift image stabilization system, and a high brightness / low power consumption LCD panel that uses an RGBW subpixel array as seen in Sony's recent WhiteMagic LCD panel design.

Other changes include support for Eye-Fi Connected cards, a Micro HDMI video output, an increase in effective sensitivity (now 80 to 3,200 equivalents), a reduction in available built-in memory to 40MB, a slight improvement in battery life, and a raft of firmware tweaks.

Pricing and availability for the Ricoh GR Digital IV haven't been disclosed at this time, but we do know that the company will be offering a limited-edition white variant of the camera, with only 10,000 units to be sold worldwide. This version will also include a special leather hand strap, and a metal lens cap which also locks the power button, preventing accidental power-up.

More details can be found in our Ricoh GR Digital IV preview.

Ricoh GR Digital IV
Ricoh's GR Digital IV digital camera. Photo provided by Ricoh Co. Ltd. Click for a bigger picture!
Camera TypeCompact
Model NumberNorth America: GR Digital IV
Dimensions4.3 x 2.4 x 1.0 in.
(109 x 60 x 26 mm)
Weight6.7 oz (190 g)
Image Capture
Sensor TypeCCD
1/1.7" (approx. 0.59 in. diagonal)
10.40 megapixels (total)
10.00 megapixels (effective)
Filter TypeRGBG
Aspect Ratio4:3, 3:2
Image Dimensions3648 x 2736 (10.0 megapixels)
3648 x 2432 (8.9 megapixels)
2736 x 2736 (7.5 megapixels)
3648 x 2048 (7.5 megapixels)
3264 x 2448 (8.0 megapixels)
2592 x 1944 (5.0 megapixels)
2048 x 1536 (3.1 megapixels)
1280 x 960 (1.2 megapixels)
640 x 480 (0.3 megapixels)
Capture SpeedContinuous: 1.5 frames per second for 999 frames
Image Quality2 levels
Image Preview / Review
LCD3.0 in. diagonal
1,230,000 dots (approx. 410,000 pixels)
Playback Zoom16.0x max
Lens TypeGR Lens, 8 elements in 6 groups including 2 aspheric elements
Body threads w/ adapter, thread size unknown
Image StabilizationYes
Focal Length6.0mm (actual)
28mm (35mm equivalent)
Aperture Rangef/1.9 - f/9 (up to f/11 with ND filter)
Focusing SystemMulti AF (Hybrid AF) / Spot AF (Hybrid AF) /Subj. Tracking/ Manual Focus / Snap / Infinity
Has AF assist lamp
Manual focus possible
Focusing RangeNormal: 12" - infinity (30 cm - infinity)
Macro: 0.4" - 4,082" (1 cm - 10,000 cm)
ISO SensitivityAuto, Auto-Hi, ISO80 -- 3200 (1EV, 1/3EV, selectable steps)
Shutter Speed180 - 1/2000 second
Exposure ModesAperture, Shutter, Manual
Metering ModesMulti (256 segments), Centre Weighted Light Metering, Spot Metering
Exposure Compensation+/- 2.0EV in 1/3EV increments
White BalanceImage Sensor - Auto, Multi-Pattern Auto, Outdoors, Cloudy, Incandescent, Fluorescent 1, Fluorescent 2, Manual, Detail; White Balance Bracket Function
Internal FlashModes: Flash On, Auto, Red-eye-Reduction, Flash On, Slow Synchro, Manual Flash, Flash Off
Range: 20 cm - 3.0 m (ISO Auto)
Flash Exposure Compensation+/- 2.0EV in 0.3EV increments
Scene ModesScene Modes (Dynamic Range, Movie, Skew Correction, Interval Composite), My Settings Mode
Digital ZoomUp to 4.0x
Self TimerYes, 2, Custom seconds
Time LapseYes
Movie FormatAVI (Open DML Motion JPEG) with audio
Recording MediumSD/MMC including SDHC, Built-in
File SystemFAT16, complies with Design Rule for Camera File System (DCF)
File FormatRAW (DNG),, JPEG (Exif Ver 2.3)
VideoHigh definition: Yes (HDMI)
Standard definition: Yes, NTSC / PAL switchable
ComputerUSB 2.0 High Speed
OtherHDMI out (Type D, Micro)
Battery TypeLithium-ion rechargeable or Alkaline disposable
Battery Form FactorProprietary DB-65 or 2 x AAA
Product Bundle
SoftwareGR Digital Software CD-ROM
Battery / Charger1 x Proprietary DB-65 Lithium-ion rechargeable battery and charger
Flash Memory40.0MB built-in memory
Digital Print Order Format (DPOF) compliantYes
Internal MicrophoneYes
Internal SpeakerYes
Tripod MountYes
Remote ControlYes, Optional cable release
NotesSensor-shift Image Stabilization, GR ENGINE IV, Hybrid AF System, RAW (DNG) Support, Dynamic Range Compensation, Auto Bracket, Interval Composite Mode, Multiple Exposure Mode, Electronic Level Function, Eye-Fi card Support. Available in black or white.
More Photos
Ricoh's GR Digital IV digital camera. Photo provided by Ricoh Co. Ltd. Click for a bigger picture!
Ricoh's GR Digital IV digital camera. Photo provided by Ricoh Co. Ltd. Click for a bigger picture!

Original Source Press Release:

Ricoh announces the GR DIGITAL IV

A digital camera offering enhanced Quick Shooting capability and image quality with a Hybrid AF System and GR ENGINE IV

Tokyo, Japan, September 15, 2011—Ricoh Co., Ltd. (President and CEO: Shiro Kondo) today announces the development and release of the GR DIGITAL IV digital camera, the successor model to the GR DIGITAL III, which offers enhanced Quick Shooting capability and image quality.

The GR DIGITAL III (released in August 2009) was a compact digital camera with high image quality that came with a 28mm/F1.9 GR Lens, the GR ENGINE III, and a high-sensitivity CCD that continued the evolution of the concepts originally introduced in the first GR DIGITAL model (released in October 2005). In the two years since its release, it has been enthusiastically received by a broad range of customers including professional and amateur photographers.

The new GR DIGITAL IV, featuring a new image engine and a refined optical filter, exceeds the GR DIGITAL III and achieves the highest level of image quality in the history of the GR series.

Additionally, for the advancement of the Quick Shooting capabilities required to make sure you never miss a shot when out shooting, Ricoh has introduced a Hybrid AF System and an Image-sensor-shift Image Stabilization Function, which makes use of Ricoh's independently developed external AF sensor, and a 3-inch, approximately 1.23 million-dot VGA LCD monitor for heightened outdoor visibility. The addition of an electronic level that can detect inclination in the tilt direction, as well as the conventional horizontal direction also improves operability. Moreover, the inclusion of Dynamic Range Compensation makes it possible to shoot subjects in backlit or high-contrast scenes in the way the eye sees them, and Interval Composite, which can combine images shot at a certain shooting interval, advances the camera's expressive capabilities.

Ricoh will also continue to provide the highly praised function-expansion firmware.

Main Features of the GR DIGITAL IV

  • Improved AF speed and accuracy due to the introduction of the Hybrid AF system

    • The camera comes newly equipped with Ricoh's independently developed external AF sensor, which has a maximum of 190 AF points. Through the Hybrid AF System, which is used in parallel with the conventional CCD contrast AF, Ricoh has realized an AF focusing time as short as 0.2 seconds, as much as half that of the GR DIGITAL III.

      Also, algorithm refinements have led to improvements in the AF speed for macro shots that are taken using only the CCD contrast AF method for a maximum reduction of half the time of the previous model.

    • In shooting with a single press of the shutter-release button, the high focusing accuracy required for snapshot shooting has been added to the camera's Quick Shooting capabilities by performing the metering with only the external AF sensor. The metering information from the external AF sensor can be displayed on the LCD monitor as necessary.

  • Even higher image quality achieved

    • Through refinements to the optical filter and optimization of the image processing from the previous model, the GR DIGITAL III, the SFR* characteristics have been improved.

    • With the new image processing engine, the GR ENGINE IV, color reproduction enhancement and color noise reductions are achieved when taking high-sensitivity photographs.

    • Ricoh's signature 28mm/F1.9 GR lens demonstrates its high resolution while suppressing chromatic aberration and distortion. The approximately 10 million-pixel, 1/1.7-inch CCD shows off its high-sensitivity characteristics. These are the elements through which the GR DIGITAL IV achieves the highest image quality in GR DIGITAL history.

      *Spatial Frequency Response (SFR): One of the indicators of a digital camera's resolution characteristics, including everything from the optical system to the image processing.

  • Comes with the first image-sensor shift image stabilization function in the GR DIGITAL series

    • With the image-sensor shift image stabilization function, the GR DIGITAL IV achieves a stabilization effect equivalent to a shutter speed increase of a maximum of 3.2 stops*, which combined with the fast F1.9 GR lens further increases the camera's ability to capture dark scenes.
      *Measured using RICOH measurement methods.

  • Introduction of a new, high-brightness LCD monitor and the addition of an automatic brightness adjustment function

    • Through the introduction of the new 3-inch, approximately 1.23 million-dot VGA LCD monitor, which adds white pixels to the RGB ones, the GR DIGITAL IV secures a maximum brightness of approximately 1.7 times that of the GR DIGITAL III, improving its visibility when outdoors.

    • A function in which the camera automatically adjusts the luminance to match the brightness of the subject has been added, which minimizes decreases in visibility due to changes in the shooting environment.

  • Shooting functions that heighten the photographer's expressive ability and enhanced scene modes

    • Comes with dynamic range compensation to minimize the effects of blown highlights in bright areas and crushed blacks in dark ones. For backlit or high-contrast scenes where exposure compensation alone is not enough, compensation is performed for each area, enabling the photographer to take pictures at a brightness that closely matches how the subject looked.

    • The Auto Bracket function has been enhanced. In addition to the conventional Exposure and White Balance, Contrast Bracket Setting and Dynamic Range Compensation bracketing have been newly added, of which any two can be selected for addition to the image settings to record a sequence of three shots with Image Setting Bracket.

    • Comes with an Interval Composite mode that will replace and combine only the high-brightness pixel data in images of the night sky taken at fixed intervals. This makes it possible to shoot distinctive landscape pictures that show the trails of light left by the stars.

    • Positive Film and Bleach Bypass, which lowers saturation and increases contrast, have been added to the image settings. Along with settings like the existing High Contrast B&W and Cross Process, these can be used in each of the shooting modes (Auto/P/A/S/M).

    • Multiple exposure shooting, which makes it possible to shoot up to five overlapping shots, and bulb exposure functions have also been included.

  • Already high operability heightened even further

    • Included since the GR DIGITAL II, the electronic level function has been enhanced. Now it can detect inclination in not only the horizontal direction, but also the tilt direction as well.

    • The function combinations that can be used with the Fn1/Fn2 buttons have been expanded to four settings that can be registered with the Fn Button Pair Setting. Because the user can switch between functions registered in the Fn Button Pair Setting without going into the menu screens, they serve as an easy shortcut, making it possible to change functions in an instant to match the scene being shot.

    • The My Settings function, which enables the user to register their preferred camera settings, have been expanded from types to 12 types. Better still, because the settings can be registered on an SD card, users can share their favorite settings amongst themselves.

    • Includes a function for working with Eye-Fi cards. Images taken can be wirelessly transferred to a computer or uploaded to a photo-sharing site. When these functions are in use, the transmission information will be displayed on the shooting and playback screens.

  • An even broader range of expandability with new options

    • A genuine leather hand strap for excellent portability and handling and a metal lens cap that works with the lock function of the power button will be available as new options.

  • Implementation of function expansions through firmware

    • The provision of function-expansion firmware, which has been highly praised from the GR DIGITAL to the GR DIGITAL III models, will continue with the GR DIGITAL IV. By updating the firmware, the camera can always use the latest functions.

<Customize service>

For those who purchase the GR Digital IV, the following customizing services are available.

Grip replacement service
You can change the grip to one of your own choosing by paying a fee; options include wood grain, carbon, and leather-styled grips (all synthetic resin products).
*This service is only available in some areas, with a limited supply of replacement grips.

Information on when the service will become available as well as the countries and regions where it will be available will be announced on Ricoh’s web site.

Product Model
Hood and adapter GH-2
Wide conversion lens GW-2 *2
External TTL flash GF-1
External viewfinder GV-1
External mini viewfinder GV-2
Cable switch CA-2 *1
Soft case GC-3
Soft case (GV-2 compatible) GC-4
Neck strap (GR DIGITAL logo) GS-1
Neck strap (Ricoh logo) ST-2
AC adapter AC-4c
Rechargeable battery DB-65
Battery charger BJ-6
Metal lens cap
(with function for locking the power button)
GL-1 *1,3
Hand strap (genuine leather, with GR logo) GS-2 *1
HDMI cable HC-1

GR DIGITAL/GR DIGITAL II options GH-1, GW-1, GT-1, GC-1, and GC-2 cannot be used.

  1. Newly introduced option.
  2. Hood and adapter is required when using wide conversion lens.
    When the wide-angle conversion lens is mounted, only the CCD contrast AF method will be used.
  3. When the metal lens cap is mounted, the GC-3/GC-4 cannot be used.
  • Windows, Windows2000, Windows XP and Windows Vista are registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and other countries.
  • Mac OS is a trademark of Apple, Inc. registered in the United States and other countries.
  • Adobe is a trademark of Adobe Systems Incorporated registered in the United States and other countries.
  • Eye-Fi, Eye-Fi connected, and the Eye-Fi logo are registered trademarks of Eye-Fi Japan, Inc.

GR DIGITAL IV Limited Edition Color Model

Announcing the GR DIGITAL White Edition

Tokyo, Japan, September 15, 2011—Ricoh Co., Ltd (President and CEO: Shiro Kondo) today announces the release of a limited-edition color model, the GR DIGITAL IV White Edition, along with the announcement of the new GR DIGITAL IV. The details are as follows:

Product Name

GR DIGITAL IV White Edition

Limited sales volume

10,000 units worldwide

* Accessories include a rechargeable battery, a battery charger, a USB cable, a genuine leather hand strap, a hand strap, and a metal lens cap.

The GR DIGITAL IV White Edition offers the same performance as the GR DIGITAL IV in a white-colored body. A total of 10,000 units will be sold worldwide. The metal lens cap (which has a function for locking the power button) and genuine leather hand strap included in the package are also white. The package design also has a unified white finish befitting the name GR DIGITAL IV White Edition.

* The camera specifications are the same as those for the GR DIGITAL IV. Please see the release announcement for the GR DIGITAL IV for details.

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