Ricoh GR II Brief Review


REVIEW SUMMARY

Specifications

  • 16.2 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor
  • F/2.8-f/16 fixed prime 18.3mm lens (no zoom)
  • ISO 100-25600
  • Maximum shutter speed 1/4000
  • Manual modes
  • RAW
  • 4 fps burst mode
  • External optical viewfinder sold separately
  • 3” LCD
  • Magnesium alloy construction
  • Wi-fi and NFC
  • 1080p HD video at 30 fps
  • Li-ion battery rated at 320 images
  • Weighs 8.9 oz (251g)
  • Release Date: 2015-06-17
  • Final Grade: 96 4.8 Star Rating: Recommended


Ricoh GR II packs DSLR sensor into a compact camera
Ricoh is putting a big DSLR sensor into a camera small enough to take anywhere.
By Hillary Grigonis, Last updated on: 4/27/2016

Nothing quite predicts the image quality like the size and quality of the sensor. Ricoh has managed to pack an APS-C sensor (the size found in entry-level DSLRs) into a camera that weighs about half a pound. The advanced compact category is quite crowded, but the Ricoh GR II has a sensor that's even larger then the popular Sony RX100 line.

In front of that big sensor, Ricoh has places a lens with a bright f/2.8 maximum aperture. The lens is fixed at a wide angle though, which means there is no zoom on this camera. The bright aperture will allow for excellent depth of field and solid low-light performance, but the lack of a zoom limits the versatility some.

The shutter speed is a respectable 1/4000, and the processor allows for ISOs as high as 25600. There's a flash built-in, or a hot shoe slot to add one. Wireless flash capability is built in--so Pentax flashes can be triggered without any extra accessories.

Speed-wise, the GR II can capture bursts at 4 fps, but that's for large RAW files as well. Autofocus locks on as quick as .02 seconds, according to the manufacturer.

All of that imaging power is wrapped up in a small magnesium alloy body. Dual control wheels make using manual modes a bit faster. There's a large 3" LCD screen, or a viewfinder can be added through the hot shoe slot, though that will cost extra.

The Ricoh GR II is on the same price range as the Sony RX100 IV, and offers a bigger sensor. The RX100 IV does have an optical zoom, brighter lens and much faster burst, however. The Fujifilm X100T is the closest competitor, with a similar sensor. The X100T has a built-in viewfinder and is slightly faster, but is also listed for $400 more.

Overall, the Ricoh GR II looks to be a solid camera. The fixed lens limits the versatility some, but it fits in closely with the likes of the X100T for a better price. It's a solid option for street photography and enthusiasts, or anyone looking for big resolution in a small, more affordable compact.


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Pentax/Ricoh Reviews

Pentax, who just recently merged with Ricoh, has long been a sort of underdog—but not necessarily in performance or quality. Pentax/Ricoh offers some quirky cameras, but for the most part, we've found that to be a good thing.

The Pentax/Ricoh DSLR’s are mostly weather-sealed, giving them a unique advantage over competing manufacturers that don't offer anything similar. When we tried out models like the K-50, we were quite impressed with the image quality. The autofocus was a bit noisier than a Nikon, but the weather-sealing and often better price is hard to resist when the image quality is so good. Pentax continued to add in innovations by adding an anti-aliasing filter that can be turned on and off to the 2013 K-3.

Pentax hasn't jumped into the mirrorless battle too much, but they do offer the tiny and colorful Q7. With a smaller sensor and a smaller price point, the Q7 and similar models are more of a consumer mirrorless than one for the enthusiasts, but it's an extremely small camera with a whole lot of color options.

Pentax has a few solid compact models out too. The Pentax MX-1 earned our Best Budget Advanced Compact for 2013 for its advanced features yet small price tag. They offer a waterproof line that includes macro ring lights built in, something unique to the WG cameras.

Pentax/Ricoh may be a bit quirky, but many of their cameras are well worth a look and offer excellent image quality for the price.

We here at Digital Camera HQ offer unbiased, informative reviews and recommendations to guide you to the right camera. We're not an actual store; we're just here to help you find the perfect camera at the best price possible by using our camera grades. Let us know if you have any problems or questions, we're happy to help.