Ricoh GR Announcement

Today, Pentax-Ricoh announced a new high-end compact camera. Not someone you’d call a conventional camera manufacturer (neither Ricoh nor Pentax, for that matter), the new camera seems extremely tempting, especially considering its price. Ricoh GR features a 16.2 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor and a fixed 18.3mm f/2.8 lens (equivalent to 28mm on a full-frame camera), and will set you back around $800. At least on paper, it seems to be targeting potential Fujifilm X100s buyers, only with a couple of features missing and at a considerably lower price. Another (even more) direct competitor is the Nikon Coolpix A, which is also much more expensive.

Ricoh GR Announced

Specifications and Commentary

As I have already mentioned, a 16.2 megapixel APS-C sensor is at the heart of this new compact camera, which is in line with its closest competition, the Fujifilm X100s and Nikon Coolpix A. Following the same decision made by several other manufacturers so far, the camera does not have an AA filter. While I strongly believe 35mm (full-frame equivalent) focal length to be the most flexible when it comes to prime lenses, 28mm (full-frame equivalent) focal length in the case of Ricoh GR is likely to be appreciated by street photographers just as much. You may find f/2.8 to be somewhat slow for a fixed lens, but the Ricoh GR compensates by being very small and potentially capable in low light thanks to the ISO range of 100-25600. Even though you should take “paper” specs with a grain of salt, modern sensors, even smaller ones, seem to do rather well up to very high sensitivities in noise department. There’s no reason to think Ricoh GR will be sub-par in this regard or, at least, one can’t be blamed for hoping.

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Nikon Coolpix A Compact Camera with APS-C Sensor Announced

We were most surprised by the launch of Nikkor 80-400mm lens, but surprised in a very good way. The first thought I had was – “Finally!” And not just because it’s a long awaited lens, but because it was a lens in the first place and not yet another mildly refreshed camera. I admit that, at first, I didn’t really pay much attention to other products Nikon announced. Perhaps I should have (let me tell you a secret – I’m just trying not to be judgmental in advance). Say hello to Nikon’s first APS-C compact camera, the Coolpix A.

Nikon Coolpix A

Nikon is, obviously, not exactly the first to launch a compact camera with such a large sensor. Sigma have their DP1 with slightly smaller sensors, Leica has its luxurious X1 and X2 and Sony had a go with a full-frame RX-1. And then, of course, there’s the equally loved as it is hated, Fujifilm with X100 and, more recently, X100s. In other words, Coolpix A has no room for mistakes if it is to beat all that competition led by Fujifilm’s excellent cameras. So what exactly does the Nikon offer? Well, it kicks off with a 16.2 megapixel APS-C sensor with ISO range of 100-6400 and 1080p Full HD video. Judging by the specs, it is likely the same unit used in Nikon D7000 camera, as well as some Sony SLT and Pentax cameras. Now, if D7000 is of any indication, that sensor is amazing. It may be several years old and, today, at the lower resolution scale of current sensors of this size, but great high ISO performance and dynamic range are a given. More than that, let’s be fair, 16 megapixels is more than enough for most situations, especially in a compact camera you’re unlikely to use for work that requires large printing. The biggest plus point Coolpix A offers, however, is it’s minuscule size. Measuring 111x64x40mm, it’s not that much bigger than other higher-end compacts, and much smaller than Fujifilm X100s. Take a look at this comparison at – it really is tiny!

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