Ricoh GR II – Still worth buying in 2020?

I’v wondered which camera I was probably the most creative with during the last 10 years. I realised it was a Canon S100. A very small black compact camera with a small sensor. But because it was that small I would take it anywhere. There was never an excuse to leave it at home. I took it for my several photographic projects and it was just fun to use and walk around with.

So now, as my photographic journey continues and after exploring so much digital and analogue camera’s I needed a reset. I had to think about what gives me the greatest joy in photography and what holds me back. What holds me back obviously is to carry a big camera to shoot just a few shots. I needed something small and I could carry without be aware of size and weight. So I checked the usual youtube channels and came across the Ricoh GR. It’s small in size and weight and has an 16 Mp APS-C sensor, a fixed focal length of 28 mm and a F2.8 max aperture. Because of the lack of an anti-aliasing filter the images are damn sharp. Thought about the Ricoh GRIII or his predecessor the GRII. The GRIII has a 24 Mp sensor, image stabilization and was € 300,– more expensive. In the end I went for a GRII, cause I don’t think you need image stabilization at 28 mm unless you are planning to photograph a lot in low light situations. It also reduces battery life a lot. Maybe the best thing about it is the possibility to get rid of sensor dust.

So I chose the GRII and was really surprised by the image quality it produces. My conclusion so far is you don’t need the extra Mp of the GRIII and battery life is great. Just go and shoot the whole day and there is no need for a spare battery. I started out by programming user settings as my quick-go-to settings. But now, I am almost ashamed to tell, I mostly use the P mode and let the Ricoh decide which shutter speed and aperture to get the best exposure. I only switch to Av mode if I want the biggest aperture to create a small depth of field. And all setting are so easy to change on the fly. And yes, its still a great camera in 2020. Very pleased with the results and really motivated to get back in the creative part of my photographic journey.

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