Ricoh GR Review: Hands-on with the world’s smallest APS-C camera


posted Wednesday, April 17, 2013 at 1:00 AM EDT

For the best part of the last decade, there's been something of a dark horse in the enthusiast camera market in the form of Ricoh's GR Digital series. With the launch of the new Ricoh GR, the status quo could be about to change. Now that Ricoh finally has a foot in the door in both the United States and Europe -- thanks to its acquisition of the Pentax camera business -- the company is boldly putting forward a camera that's going to attract a lot of attention. Better still, we've already been hands-on with a production-level camera, and are proud to bring you our Ricoh GR review, complete with first impressions and a raft of Ricoh GR test images.

The Ricoh GR isn't just the smallest APS-C camera yet -- it's also the most affordable in its class.

Not only is the pocket-friendly GR the smallest camera so far to feature a large APS-C image sensor -- the resolution is 16 megapixels -- it also sports a bright, sharp 28mm-equivalent f/2.8 prime lens, and a price tag that is significantly more affordable than its closest rivals. Fans of the earlier GR Digital-series cameras (and the film cameras which preceded them) will be thrilled to find that the Ricoh GR retains the same combination of thoughtful ergonomics and good image quality for which the series developed an enthusiastic following in Asia. Its sensor might have over eight times the light-gathering area as those in past GR Digital models, but the Ricoh GR's body is remarkably similar to those cameras, with only a slight increase in width and a couple of tweaks to the control layout.

An abbreviated introduction to the Ricoh GR, with IR founder and publisher Dave Etchells. See the hands-on video in its entirety in our Ricoh GR review.

The Ricoh GR digital camera will be available in the U.S. market from mid-May 2013. List pricing is set at just US$800 or thereabouts. That's a pretty aggressive price, given that it's only US$200 more than the small-sensor GR Digital IV, and well below the list price of any other APS-C compact on the market.

For the full and in-depth story on the Ricoh GR, plus our insights into the camera's handling, performance and image quality, read our Ricoh GR review!