My Ricoh GR Review – An awesome compact camera that simply works

Fractals - Ricoh GR Review


“The best camera is the one you have with you”

This will not be a technical Ricoh GR review, but a review from the point of view of a hobbyist. There are more technical and established reviews out there in the web, but these are the key issues and pain points that I adore and dislike with this camera.

In short, the virtues…

It’s light.

It’s compact.

It fits into your pockets, which makes it easy for you to carry it out.

It looks discreet.

It makes me look more like a tourist than a professional, which makes it great for taking street photography.

It takes quality pictures (APS-C Sensor).

The lens give you tack sharp pictures.

It has intuitive ergonomics. Everything about this camera is set up for you to just do one thing – taking shots. You don’t spend too much time fiddling with the settings.

It has snap focus. Preset a distance (0.5, 1, 1.5 etc) for focus, snap, and you get a clear shot at the predetermined distance. This is huge for street photography!

It has a fixed prime 28mm lens. You walk a lot with it, and get lots of exercise. It also helps you train your composition and framing.

It has cool filters from the get go (black and white, black and white high contrast, sepia, etc) and you can review them immediately with these filters. You can also save a RAW file along with the jpeg files for future post processing.

The bad

It’s not a DSLR that takes huge megapixels for super large prints. If you are a professional who have such needs for large prints, you will need a solid performing gear – ie. DSLRs. As a hobbyist, this camera serves me extremely well.

It has a fixed prime lens. If you are lazy, or have a strong need for zoom lens, this camera is not for you.

There are potential issues with dust entering the sensor due to the extension and retraction of the fixed lens during operation. This equates to time out for servicing or additional time in post-processing removing dust spots. I see this as an opportunity costs of using this camera.

Battery life is short. It lasts about 200-300 shots. Spare batteries are a must if you plan to shoot all day. If you do plenty of long exposure shots, then you will need to carry more spare batteries.

On Why you should get this

Honestly, I was just tired of lugging my heavy DSLR around to take pictures. I enjoy taking pictures, I just don’t enjoy carrying stuff that makes it troublesome for me. In a typical shooting day, I could take over 500 pictures and more. To do that with a DSLR, bringing your camera up to your eye and down, slinging this heavy machinery around your neck and walking around all day equates to a tired photographer.

The Ricoh GR is just a great product that allowed me to do what I enjoy – focused on taking shots. On another note, if you love taking street photography, this is one product that fits the bill due to its compact and discreet nature.

Price wise, the Ricoh GR is one of the cheaper models compared to similar cameras that produces quality images within this “compact but excellent images” category.

If you are a new photographer looking to venture into more semi-professional shots, do consider this camera as a good starting choice!

What are your thoughts from using the Ricoh GR? Leave your comments below to share your opinions!

If you are interested to purchase one, check out the Ricoh GR from Amazon at the link below here:
Ricoh GR 16.2 MP Digital Camera with 3.0-Inch LED Backlit (Black)

*Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links to products listed in Amazon online retail store. Your purchases through these affiliate links will earn me a small commission to keep the site running. Thank you!

This entry was posted in Reviews.


  1. Jan Isachsen September 24, 2015 at 8:16 pm #

    Nice review. As a freelance photographer I carry small mirror less Samsung and Olympus cameras for work. I also have a tiny Sony TX pocket camera plus a little bit bigger Samsung pocket camera. The Ricoh GR has been on my radar for a while and it especially the overall Ricoh quality, the 28mm lens, APS-C and DNG RAW that attracts me. I can see the Ricoh aa a back-up camera or the times I do not want to carry much gear.

    • Leslie Chua October 3, 2015 at 12:23 pm #

      Yes, the GR can be a very useful back companion sidekick camera, if the limitations of the file sizes (mostly used for top-end professional work) can be ignored. I have not tried other mirrorless cameras to comment though, but I suppose the trend of photography is driving towards smaller and more mobile setups. It’s cool to see freelance photographers working with mirrorless cams!

  2. Sunny October 3, 2015 at 10:14 am #

    Agree on the part where lugging huge camera and lens sometime just take the fun away from photography. I have been empraising mirrorless technology. It really make photography fun again. I am in love with prime lens. 28 mm lens is very versatile. I brought a few prime lens with me fortrip to Taiwan. I realised I have the 28 mm attached more then 90% of the time.

    I am still trying to get my hand on the Ricoh.

    • Leslie Chua October 3, 2015 at 12:26 pm #

      Nice to see another mirrorsless fan. Photography should be fun and easy to do! I too have mostly shot with primes (previously with my DSLR at 35mm, and now Ricoh at 28mm), and have found that it helps with my framing of shots in an intuitive sense.
      Great benefit is of course the lightness and the quality of prime lens!

  3. georg April 27, 2016 at 10:16 pm #

    nice review of that small gem!

    you mention, that one of it’s limitations is megapixels and filesize for large prints – it is worth noting, that it is surpassed by full-frame DSLR’s only, and that it is on level with an APS-C DSLR.

    • Leslie Chua April 28, 2016 at 8:58 pm #

      yep, agree with that. This camera doesn’t lose out on image quality when compared with APS-C based sensors across DSLRs. What an amazing pocket rocket =)

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