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Ricoh GR V Review

The Ricoh GR is the World's smallest compact with an APS-C sensor, and features a wide-angle 28mm equivalent lens. Find out how this camera performs in our review.

| Ricoh GR in Compact Cameras

Ricoh GR V Review: Ricoh Gr (5)

The Ricoh GR is the latest Ricoh GR digital camera, the 5th version of the compact "street" camera. Designed to fit easily into your pocket, the camera has a fixed focal length equivalent to 28mm, with this latest version featuring a much larger 16 megapixel APS-C sensor, without dramatically increasing the size of the camera.

Ricoh GR V Features

Ricoh GR V Review: Ricoh Gr (8)

The Ricoh GR is the first Ricoh branded camera from Pentax since Ricoh bought Pentax, and the camera has incorporated Tav mode, and raw processing in camera, both features found on Pentax cameras. A new addition to the Ricoh GR series, apart from the larger APS-C CMOS sensor, is a new Preview / Effect button on the left side of the camera. Ricoh GR cameras have previously received regular firmware updates to both fix problems as well as introduce new features, and Ricoh say this will continue with this model.

Ricoh GR V Review: Ricoh Gr With Wide Adapter (3)
Ricoh GR with optional wide adapter and optional OVF - the adapter turns the 28mm equivalent lens into a 21mm equivalent lens. The OVF has framing for both 21 and 28mm focal lengths. The wide-angle adapter has been specifically designed for this new Ricoh GR.

Designed to offer the best value as the smallest and lightest APS-C sensor compact camera, the Ricoh GR has an RRP of £599. An optional GV-1 21/28 OVF is available for £220, and an optional 21mm wide-angle conversion lens is available, as shown above. 

Key Features

  • 16.2 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor
  • No Optical Low Pass Filter - built in moire correction option in playback
  • 28mm equivalent f/2.8 7 element, 5 group, 9 blade lens
  • 3inch 1230k (RGBW) dot resolution
  • ISO100 - ISO25600
  • 4fps continuous shooting (JPEG 999 shots)
  • 1/4000 - 300sec
  • Magnesium body
  • 35mm equivalent crop mode
  • In camera raw processing
  • ND filter built in
  • Full HD video with stereo sound, 30/25/24fps
  • 290 shot battery life

Ricoh GR V Handling

Ricoh GR V Review: Ricoh Gr (10)

The camera has a compact metal body finished in black, and feels extremely well built with a high resolution 3 inch screen on the back. The mode dial on the top locks, meaning you need to press the button before turning, and features three custom modes. There are strap loop holes for attaching a neck strap in portrait or landscape modes, and the camera has a flat edge on the left letting you shoot portrait photos with the camera resting on a flat surface. There is surprisingly little difference in size between the GR Digital with a compact sensor and the GR with APS-C sensor.

On top the On/Off button lights up green, this can be switched off to make the camera more subtle in operation. This is a nice touch, and this would be a nice option to have on other cameras where they have a bright blue light. There is a large rubberised grip on the front as well as a rear thumb grip that extends from the top to the bottom of the camera. The controls and buttons are all well placed within easy reach of you right hand. A new switchable focus lock has been added to the back, letting you choose between focus lock or continuous focus when the button is held.

Ricoh GR V Review: Ricoh Gr With Ovf (5)

Menus are clear and easy to read, however the settings feel a little bit unorganised at times, as you can set the ISO setting and NR options in the first shooting menus, but you'll also find additional ISO settings in the setup menu, including the ISO Auto-High settings. The middle "Key Custom" options is where you'll find all the customisable settings, and you can set the ADJ button to directly set the ISO speed, as well as customise the two function buttons. The effect button can also be customised, giving a third function button. Pressing the ADJ button in, on the back of the camera it's easy to adjust a number of settings quickly such as ISO, Image quality, Aspect ratio, Focus and metering.

Ricoh GR V Review: Ricoh Gr (13)

Battery life is rated at 290 shots according to Ricoh / CIPA test results, so we would recommend a spare battery if you plan on spending time away from a charger. The GR uses the same battery as GR Digital.

Speed - We took a number of shots to test the camera's responsiveness, from switch on to first photo, shot to shot, focusing speed etc. We take a number of shots and then use the average to ensure accurate and consistent tests, making it easy to compare with other cameras.

  Ricoh GR
Shutter Response <0.05
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response 0.25
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response N/A
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo 1.3
Shot to Shot without Flash 0.45
Shot to Shot with Flash 0.75
Continuous Shooting - JPEG
(shots before slow down)
4fps (14 shots)
Continuous Shooting - Flash N/A
Continuous Shooting - Raw 8fps (4 shots)

Raw images are recorded in AdobeDNG file format. Shooting raw the camera will shoot at roughly 8fps, but for just 4 shots. Shooting JPEG the camera will shoot at 4fps. Focus, shutter, shot-to-shot and switch on times are all excellent with the camera reponding quickly to controls. Playback is also very quick with the camera scrolling through photos with little or no delay.

Ricoh GR V Performance

Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.

Ricoh GR Sample Photos

Sample Photos - Images have excellent levels of detail, and very good colour reproduction, with the standard setting giving good results. Some may want to increase the saturation, and the Vivid colour setting certainly does this, giving more saturated greens and blues, although it also boost contrast noticeably. Photos taken with flash are well illuminated, with very little to no red-eye visible in portrait shots.

Ricoh GR Lens test images

Lens Performance - Exposure is reliable with good dynamic range, which can be expanded using the dynamic range options which include off, auto, low, medium and high. Detail is excellent throughout the image, with sharp images right to the corners of the image. The camera has a 10cm macro focus distance, although using manual focus can help get closer focus, as the AF can struggle when the subject is this close. Barrel / pincushion distortion is minimal, with the JPEG images showing slight correction over the raw images. Vignetting was not noticed, and purple fringing was well controlled. The camera has a 35mm equivalent crop mode, and we've shown examples of this above, as well as shots taken with the optional wide-angle converter that gives the equivalent of 21mm.

Ricoh GR ISO test images

ISO Noise Performance - The ISO range is ISO100-25600. The camera has advanced noise reduction options that can be customised based on the ISO setting, for example on default settings: Weak noise reduction is applied to images taken between ISO100 and ISO800; Medium noise reduction is applied to images taken at ISO1600, and Strong noise reduction is applied when shooting at ISO3200 and above.

Noise is very low at ISO100, ISO200, ISO400, and ISO800. It's not until ISO1600 where there is a slight reduction in detail as medium noise reduction is applied. Again at ISO3200 there is a further reduction in detail, however noise is extremely well controlled, with usable images at ISO6400 as well. Noise is quite strong at ISO12800 with a further reduction in detail, with ISO25600 best avoided, unless further image processing is used, or the images are resized. Depending on how you prefer your images to look, we think that using the low or medium noise reduction settings are preferable in order to increase the level of detail captured in images.

Ricoh GR White-balance test images

White Balance Performance - Auto White Balance (AWB) and AWB Multi-area give similar results under tungsten lighting, with a warm colour cast. The tungsten preset gives a more neutral result. AWB and AWB Multi-area give images with a slight colour cast, and the fluorescent preset gives better results.

Ricoh GR Digital filters

Digital Filters - There are a number of digital filters including: Black and White, Black and White toned, hi contrast bnw, cross process, positive film, bleach bypass, retro, miniature, and high key, as well as colour options let you set vividness, contrast, sharpness as well as vignetting. The camera records both the JPEG and raw image when shooting using the effect or colour options.

Video - Effects can be used on video, with the camera recording full HD at 30/25 or 24fps with stereo sound. Unfortunately there is no option for a wind filter. Quality is reasonable however the lack of image stabilisation does make a tripod recommended. We've uploaded a video recorded with the wide-angle converter to the ePHOTOzine YouTube channel.

Value For Money

One of the key features of the Ricoh GR is it's price of £599, making it one of the cheapest compact cameras available with an APS-C sensor and fixed lens. In addition to this, there are a number of accessories available, with an equally competitive price, for example the GV-1 21/28mm optical viewfinder is available for £220.

Fujifilm X100s, 35mm equivalent, optical viewfinder, £999
Nikon Coolpix A, 28mm equivalent, £810
Sigma DP1 Merrill, 28mm equivalent, £800
Leica X2, 35mm equivalent, £1489

You'll also need to buy a memory card and a case or bag to keep your camera safe and protected - have a look at our complete guide to camera bags.

Ricoh GR V Verdict

The Ricoh GR (V) is an impressive upgrade to the previous GR Digital model, with a 16 megapixel APS-C sensor, the Ricoh GR suddently becomes much more attractive, with an extremely sharp 28mm equivalent lens, the camera delivers excellent image quality. It's also available for noticeably less than other APS-C sensor compact cameras, and would make a great pocket camera where image quality rather than zoom is of the highest importance. The Ricoh GR gives you a high level of customisable with 3 function buttons, as well as quick access to settings using the ADJ button.

With numerous focus options, including snap focus, the Ricoh GR can be used as the perfect street camera, with a subtle and compact design as well as an ultra quiet shutter we can't think of a more suitable camera. A 21/28mm equivalent optical viewfinder is available and the rear LCD screen can be switched off completely giving the camera the feel of using an 'old skool' film camera, which the original Ricoh GR was. With the new APS-C sensor and impressive image quality the new Ricoh GR lives up to the 'GR' name, and is highly recommended.

  Ricoh GR V Review:
  The Ricoh GR V is the best Ricoh camera to date, offering exceptional image quality at an excellent price.

Ricoh GR V Pros

Extremely sharp lens
Excellent noise performance
Quick performance
Very compact
Price compared to competition
3 customisable function buttons
AdobeDNG raw file format
8fps shooting when shooting raw
Interval shooting

Ricoh GR V Cons

Only 4 continuous shots when shooting raw
No 16:9 aspect ratio option
No scene modes, or panoramic mode
Short battery life


Ricoh GR Specifications

Max Aperturef/2.8 - f/16
35mm equivalent28mm
Optical Zoom0x
Image Sensor
Pixels16.2Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)4928
Pixels (H)3264
Sensor TypeCMOS
Sensor SizeAPS-C
Sensor Size (width)23.6mm
Sensor Size (height)15.7mm
Aspect Ratio
  • 4:3
  • 3:2
  • 1:1
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor3in
Screen resolution1230k dots
Touch ScreenNo
Min Focus10cm
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
  • Manual
  • Spot
  • Face Detection
  • AF Tracking
  • Multi
  • Snap
  • Infinity
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/4000sec
Shutter speeds longest300sec
Bulb modeYes
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Aperture-Priority
  • Shutter-Priority
  • Manual
  • Program Variable
  • Centre-weighted - Average
  • Multi Pattern
  • Spot
ISO sensitivity100 - 25600
White balance
  • Auto
  • Manual
  • Bracket
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Cloudy
  • Incandescent
  • Fluorescent
  • Shade
Exposure Comp+/-4
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting4fps
Movie modeYes
Video Resolution
  • 1920x1080 FullHD
Video FPS30/25/24
Stereo SoundYes
Optical Zoom with VideoNo
Other Features
Image StabilisationNo
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
File Type
  • RAW
  • JPG
  • RAW + JPG
Power Source
Battery TypeLithium-Ion
Battery Life (CIPA rating)290shots
Box Contents
Box ContentsRicoh GR, Rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery, USB power adapter, Power plug, USB cable, Cd, Hand strap, Hot shoe cover

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Photographs taken using the Ricoh GR

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nclark Avatar
nclark 14 11 2 United Kingdom
29 May 2013 9:17PM
Looks a great photographic tool. I'd hardly call the lack of scene modes a negative, quite the opposite!
PhilTheGeek Avatar
5 Jun 2013 7:34PM
Got mine this morning! Can't stop taking pictures! The results are simply brilliant. Enough said.

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