According to schedule, CP+ (Camera & Imaging Show, Japan January 31th to February 3rd) is time for Ricoh to announce a new Ricoh GRD V. Ricoh GR Digital has been first started in 2005 and updated every two years. Ricoh GRD is a unique compact camera in the market. It is small, but tough camera with programmable buttons and settings.
Ricoh GRD IV uses relatively small CCD type sensor (1/1.7 inch sensor), and a 28mm f/1.9 stabilized fast lens. Using small sensor has its plus and minus. Small sensor means it is easier to achieve large depth of field even with large aperture. Paired with fast, stabilized prime lens means it can shoot in a very low light condition. The disadvantage is the image won’t record as detail as bigger sensor such as APS-C or full frame. Dynamic range will suffer in high ISO setting, and yield less desirable result beyond ISO 400.
Street photographers has long love this camera. It is pocketable, fast (almost no shutter lag) and you can bypass autofocus operation if you want to. In addition, it has plenty of programmable buttons and dials.
Looking back, GRD IV adds built-in body stabilization and significantly faster phase detection autofocus.
The question is what will Ricoh improves in GRD V?
Most people will point to its sensor. Until now, GRD always use a relatively small CCD sensor, but many compacts camera is using larger sensor now, such as 1 inch sensor (like Nikon 1 system/Sony RX100) and a host of mirrorless system camera that is not a lot larger than compact camera.
CCD sensor is also outdated because it is less eficient. On the other hand, CMOS sensor design is now faster (in continuous shooting), cleaner in high ISO setting, and capable to record HD video.
In my opinion, 1 inch sensor will be ideal. It will give image quality a boost (very clean ISO 400, and smooth ISO 800). Ricoh GRD also need a faster processor to process smoother image and noise, and speed up startup and shutdown times. Trending features such as WiFi and GPS connectivity will be cool.
Contrary to my opinion, the rumor says that GRD V will have APS-C sized sensor into it. I am not keen about it because APS-C sized sensor means that there will be significant increase on camera body and lens size. Street shooters will also get less depth of field when shooting wide open. Furthermore, they are many compact with APS-C sensor already out there (ie: Fuji X100s, Sigma DP series, mirrorless system and Ricoh’s own GXR system.
We might know the result in a few days.Related Post: