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October 29, 2011


I was reading Kirk Tuck's article in Online Photographer and realized I owe you an apology. I read everyting you write and I have never said thank you. So, thank you. I will not buy the GR Digital IV because I do not do much street photography and what I do I do with my 5DMKII and a 50mm 1.8 lens. It is a camera and lens I already have and I do not have to climb a new learning curve. What I liked about your postings is your analysis of what constitutes a good street camera. It, like your other articles, raises issues I have not thought about. Please keep writing.


No apology is necessary. Nevertheless, thank you for taking the time to write and let me know my efforts are appreciated. You and others might also be interested to know that I myself have used an EOS 5D Mark II for street photography, although in my case I prefer either a 35mm f/2 or 50mm f/1.4 EF. This 5DMkII is not my ideal choice--I find it a lot more camera than I need to get the job done--but any inconveniences associated with carrying such a large camera are well-rewarded by the quality of the images it produces.


Thanks for a great review and analysis of the GR and tips on street photography. Very honest and insightful. Much- appreciated.

Dear Gordon,
Thank you for so many worthwhile posts on your blog. Discovered you a year ago and look forward to each post. I know that each one requires thought and then action - all eating up minutes and hours. Please keep it up.

I shoot a G12, mainly to downsize from a Rebel. Get tempted every once in a while to try the latest greatest. Limited retirement income keeps things in balance.

And, iPhone G4 is just simply fun and always ready.

BTW, in the mid 80s I was pastor of a church in Glenolden, PA and rode the trolley to Philly and Wannamakers many times - especially for the organ and lights at Christmas.

This just reinforced my desire for the GRD IV. I also use a GXR and think it's a fantastic camera even give its shutter speed limitations at maximum aperture (I just use a neutral density filter). The GXR along with the Fuji X100 have basically retired my K5. That said, as a long-time Pentax user, I am very happy with Ricoh's purchase of Pentax. My experience with the GXR has shown they fully understand cameras and photographers.

Thanks for the great review.


Thanks for sharing your impressions of the GRD IV and its capabilities. Did you capture the Chinatown produce vendor image with the GRD's square aspect ratio?

The top picture of the GRD IV at first puzzled me — Ricoh made the grip curve inward, rather than outward? That's strange. Then, the left side of the image flipped and the protruding grip appeared.
A neat optical illusion!

"Did you capture the Chinatown produce vendor image with the GRD's square aspect ratio?"

I could have, but in this case I simply cropped the image in Lightroom.

In line with Jerry's comment, many, many thanks for the review, Gordon. Long time lurker and admirer of the site and I almost always take away valuable insight.

The GRD is a fabulous series of cameras and for anyone that has not tried one, you really ought to. As for me, it enhances my photography and makes me think in a different way. For street photography stick it in snap mode, turn the shutter to silent and it's the stealthiest camera anyone could ever use. The build quality of these is superb too and it just fits in my hand like it belongs.

Sold my old GRD II a few months back in readiness for the release of the GRD IV and almost ... almost have enough cash to get mine in a few weeks time. I'm salivating for it already after your excellent review, so a big thanks from me!

The Ricoh GRD lll is a fabulous camera that I have hammered for general work as well as macro and landscape, producing calendars and good-sized prints for framing. It is when it is in the hands of the street photographer though that this pocket rocket really comes alive. It is clearly built by photographers for photographers and the GRD series is certainly the neatest bit of street kit in town. I carry mine with me literally everywhere I go, and that's the whole point - because you never miss the shot.

Thanks so much for the review. The camera undoubtedly seems expensive for a fixed lens compact, so will I upgrade my GRD III for the IV? Of course I will. It's a bit of clever, reliable and brilliant magic in a world of mediocrity.

You missed that the GR IV is significantly thicker than its predecessor. It is not just 25 mms deep. It's 33mms deep. Admittedly not much when comparing battleships, but signifantly bigger when comparing tiny cameras. Didn't it feel different to you?


I didn't have a GRD III to compare it to. Although a 25% increase in thickness is significant, the GRD IV by no means felt thick to me. It felt sturdy.

I want a small camera to carry with me everywhere for street shooting and mostly at night and indoors without flash. I'm between the GRD IV and Canon Powershot S100. Canon's high ISO performance look better from what I've seen so far but I don't know how it feels shooting with it. How big is the shutter lag, for example. Any thoughts?


I have never used the Powershot S100. Based on the fact that the S100 has an f/2.0-5.6 lens, however, I can tell you that if you zoom you'll get a lot less light to the sensor than with the GRD IV, which has a fixed maximum aperture of f/1.9. That means you're forced to use higher ISOs, otherwise the shutter speed will be too slow to stop motion. Frankly, neither camera is ideal for shooting at ISOs above 400. If strong performance at high ISOs is what you're looking for, you has best look for a camera with a larger sensor.

Thank you for posting sir: I've been in search of a "professional" compact in order to resume a simpler style of shooting now that I have sold-off my DSLR. Over the decades I've had some great gear; but it got heavier & grew in size. Now is the time to regroup, start shooting on the street once again and returning to B&W.

Have a great Thanksgiving!

I just bought myself a GRD4, fantastic camera. And then I came across your website, brilliant and down to earth review that I can't agree more. Thank you for the article!

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