On September 15 2011, Ricoh announced the development and release of GR DIGITAL IV
, which is a high-end compact camera with a fixed focal length 28mm/F1.9 GR lens. Successor to the two-year-old GR DIGITAL III (released in August 2009), the GR IV offers enhanced Quick Shooting capability, quicker autofocusing thanks to the Hybrid AF System, Image-sensor-shift Image Stabilization Function, a new image engine and a refined optical filter.
It comes with a 3-inch, approximately 1.23 million-dot VGA LCD monitor, Dynamic Range Compensation function for shooting subjects in backlit or high-contrast scenes, and Interval Composite for combining images shot at a certain shooting interval. Available in black and limited edition white, the Ricoh GR DIGITAL IV costs $599 and $649 respectively. Here's the summary of review by PhotographyBLOG, giving the camera a rating of 4.5 out of 5:
"The new GR Digital IV further refines Ricoh's most specialized camera, principally adding a much faster auto-focus system, built-in image stabilisation and an even better LCD screen to what was already a very likeable and responsive package. A large number of smaller but still very welcome improvements make this the best GR Digital model yet, although it still does suffer from having a sky-high price-tag that will probably put off all but the most hardcore of users. The previous GR Digital III model made some big changes, including a new lens, sensor, image processing engine and LCD screen. 2011's revision doesn't go that far, but the new features that it does improve or introduce collectively add up to an even better camera. The clever auto-focusing system in particular is almost worth upgrading for, turning an already quick camera into one that is even more responsive, even in low-light. We also appreciated the 3 stops of compensation, faster ISO 3200 setting, and the brighter, higher-resolution screen when shooting in darker environments.
As Ricoh claim, image quality is improved, with an expanded ISO range with reduced colour desaturation at faster speeds, less distortion and reduced chromatic aberrations. Noise doesn't really appear until ISO 800, with some artifacts, blurring of detail and slight colour desaturation, but we'd be happy to use almost the full ISO range of 80-800, with 1600 and 3200 as an emergency standby. Not bad for a compact camera with such a tiny sensor! The only real fly in the ointment is still the eyewatering price. £499 / $599 is a lot of money to pay for a 28mm fixed-focal length compact camera with a comparatively small sensor - you could buy a mid-level DSLR camera or one of the new breed of compact system cameras for that kind of cash. Still, if the unashamedly specific Ricoh GR Digital IV matches your photographic aspirations, there are few other alternatives that are as compact, intuitive, customisable and fun to use. Highly Recommended."
Photo Album: Ricoh Announces 10.4 Megapixels GR DIGITAL IV With 28mm F1.9 Fixed Lens
|photo.net - Oct 28 2012|
"Would I buy a Ricoh GR Digital IV, even knowing the Sony RX100 will be a game changer? Yeah, I probably would. It provides most of the features I'd want in a discrete snapshot camera. It's quiet. It's quick and responsive when the appropriate settings are selected. The JPEGs look great right out of the camera. For one thing, the smaller sensor suits my styl..." More »
|TechRadar - Mar 21 2012|
"In a world of plain vanilla compact cameras with 'me too' spec sheets, the Ricoh GR Digital IV stands out as a camera that feels as if it's been designed by photographers for photographers. The level of customisation possible on the camera is nothing short of stunning, and the creative options, such as multi-exposures, time interval shooting and retro image..." More »
|Pocket-lint - Feb 27 2012|
"The 10-megapixel, 1/1.7in sensor at the GRD IV's core partners the quality lens. The shots we took resolved enough detail throughout the ISO range, despite some processing revealing painterly-like edges that don't always hold bags of detail. The ISO 80-3200 range is usable to at least some degree though. There's also plenty of extra control on offer -..." More »
|ePhotoZine - Feb 24 2012|
"The camera is capable of taking very pleasing photos with good detail and bright saturated colours, although the instant review image or live view shown on the screen isn't as colourful as the playback view of the photo. Macro performance is excellent with the camera able to focus on subject that are extremely close to the camera ISO Noise Performance - The..." More »