New Year, New Camera!
When I heard about the imminent release of the upgrade to the Ricoh GRD, I was really excited. I am a great fan of the GRD, despite a couple of significant issues with the camera. The .dng write time is well documented and is probably the most frustrating problem. Excessive noise, especially at 400 asa is also disappointing, but can be dealt with adequately in ACR. Two quite major problems spoil an otherwise excellent camera. The slow write speed you learn to live with, the noise you learn to deal with in PP. I was very interested to see the increased resolution of the GRD11 (10mp against 8mp of the GRD) and how improved processing engine of the GRD11 has addressed these problems to improve upon the image quality. On Christmas Eve, I went to Jacobs in Leicester, played with the only GRD11 in stock for 15 minutes and bought it! Despite it being the Season of Goodwill to All Men, Jacobs (or rather, the person on the other side of the counter) could not bring themselves to throw in an SD card! It was a reminder of why I dislike Jacobs as a dealer and why I normally never buy from them or any other high street outlet. Anyhow, I liked the camera and it was available. I am not disappointed, the firmware is superior to that of the GRD and overall the upgrade makes the GRD11 worthwhile for anyone who is using a compact camera seriously. The write time has been addressed. I am now shooting RAW at around 4 seconds write speed, fine for landscapes! The noise issue has been improved. The GRD11 is a seamless upgrade for an existing GRD user and capable of producing superior images to the GRD. The accessories that came with my GRD, 21mm converter, lenshoods, viewfinder etc., are fully compatible with the GRD11. Another advantage is that the battery seems to last longer. I took the camera with me to the Peak District today for a walk up Higger Tor and Carl Wark from Grindleford. The weather was cold with sleet showers and a moderate easterly wind, the ground was frozen. The camera performed very well and I am very happy with my purchase. The shots above were all taken at 200 asa, aperture priority set at f8 and centre weighted metering.