Nikon A / Ricoh GR / Fuji X70 with the RX100 just to confuse things

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by davidzvi, Aug 1, 2016.

  1. davidzvi

    davidzvi Veteran

    Apr 18, 2014
    With the introduction of the X70 I'm looking at these again.
    I have Nikon FX gear and a Panasonic GX85. I'd like something smaller than the GX85. Grab and go, stick in my jacket / cargo pants pocket. But not really street shooting grabs so AF is important but I think any of these should work.

    Options I'm looking at:

    Nikon A - Right size, AF OK but not great and gets worse as the light goes does according to reviews. But since I shoot Nikon I know the menus, files, etc. Actually owned a D7000 with the 16mp sensor. And they can be found for under $300 it you take your time.

    Ricoh GR - Good reviews here and everywhere. Though as with everything there are compromises. But it's built a following the Nikon A was not really able to so prices are notably higher.

    X100s - To big I think, while thinner the overall size is just too big.

    X70 - Not as sharp as the Nikon and Ricoh based on reports. Is it really noticeable on screen? Full screen 2K 25"/27" monitor, not taking 100% pixel peeping. Tilting and touch screen are really big pluses to me. But since it's the newest, it's the most expensive. And since I'm not 100% how much I'll end up using it I'm not sure I want to spend this much.

    The RX100 mkI / II would also work and probably in the same price range. I've owned the RX100 mkI before. It was fine, it would do the job. In some respects it would probably work better for me with the zoom. But I'm REALLY not a fan of power zooms. I've owned 2 LX100s and sold them both. But I think in the end I was expecting more from them then just a quick snap camera.
  2. Lightmancer

    Lightmancer Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2011
    Sunny Frimley
    Bill Palmer
    My ten cents, from a position of having a significant investment in Fuji bodies and lenses?

    Ricoh GR.

    There is just something about the GR that sets it apart. It trounced the Nikon head to head, and is still capable of seeing off the young pretender X70. In 16mp fixed lens 28mm equivalent-land it is the daddy.

    Mine goes along with me wherever and whenever I don't want to weigh myself down with a camera. It is light, discreet, and capable and works like an extension of my hand and eye, thereby getting around the lack of viewfinder. It is robust - I drove over my GRD III and it was put back in action by Ricoh for less than 60 Euros.

    What's not to like? Go GR.
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  3. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Out of all those, I prefer the feel and the output of the GR. But 28mm is a bit wide for me in a single focal length camera so I'd take the Sony. Just my 2 cents. I still use and prefer my old X100 to most other "compact" digital cameras. No, you can't stuff it your pants pocket. But I think cameras stuffed into pants pockets look ridiculous. Again, that's just my 2 cents.....YMMV
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  4. davidzvi

    davidzvi Veteran

    Apr 18, 2014
    Jacket or Cargo pants pocket, so something I could put my GX85 and 12-32 in if I really wanted. I have an OpTech Soft Pouchâ„¢ - Zippeez that will probably be this cameras primary home.

    Yes I think I would jump faster if any of these were 35mm eq and not 28mm. When I first got into m4/3 one of the first lenses I got was the 14mm and I shot it quite a bit. But I'm not 100% sure it was because it was cheap and I had it or if I "wanted" to shoot it. If you know what I mean.
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  5. ggweci

    ggweci Regular

    Feb 2, 2013
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Haven't had the X70, but currently own the A and had the GR previously. To be honest, I preferred the GR by a fair bit. The only benefit to the A is the jpeg colours (GR does B&W better) and much lower price. Everything else goes to the GR, particularly the handling - all settings can be done with one hand. But if your used to the Nikon layout, shouldn't be hard to work with the A.

    The X70 does seem like a nice option with its feature set and manual controls, but it's getting a bit larger due to that. You could throw the Panny 14mm on your GX85 and have a camera not much larger, that will fit in a jacket pocket or cargo shorts, plus have a viewfinder to boot.

    For my compact needs, I'm hoping Ricoh launches a 24mp GR. Would be perfect for an everyday carry around, with cropping abilities to somewhat offset its fixed 28mm lens.
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  6. davidzvi

    davidzvi Veteran

    Apr 18, 2014
    The 14mm is actually the same size as the 12-32 I have and I have considered just using that. I had been looking at picking up a GM1 but they are starting their upward price swing as the supply seems to be finally getting low (unless I want a blue or orange version).
  7. Biro

    Biro Super Moderator

    Aug 7, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    I have the GR and love it. In addition to the 28mm field of view, the camera has both 35mm and 47mm crop modes. Both work quite well and are surprisingly useful - even if resolution is about 11 and 6 mp respectively.

    But a GM1 would work nicely (I have one of those too). Both the Panasonic 14mm and 20mm pancakes are a great match with the GM1 - as they probably are on the GM5 and GX85.
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  8. Livnius

    Livnius Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jun 3, 2012
    Melbourne. Australia
    I have a similar setup of cameras....a D750 as my big rig, a newly acquired GX85 with 20/1.7 and a tele zoom (I prefer m43 for telephoto) and at some stage either the GR or the Nikon A.

    WRT the GR vs A, the margins of difference are fine, yet those small differences can also be huge, just depending on what you want/need. IMO, nothing comes close to the GR in terms of use, that camera is just an absolute joy to hold and shoot with, for me, everything is exactly where it should be and its textures/contours are sublime. I also really dig the 'snap' focus thing it has going on...the files it produces are bitingly sharp and allows for some pretty awesome b&w conversions. The Nikon A however, I feel has better colours, it's ISO/min SS implementation is perfect, it is equally sharp and has a menu system that rests well with me given my use of Nikon FF gear.

    It's a trade off, everything is. I loved everything about the GR whilst I had it, everything except for its less than ideal ISO/min SS implementation, so I sold it on that basis and picked up the Nikon A.....enjoyed it's more pleasing (to my eye) colours and loved its management of ISO/min SS. But alas, I went back to the much as I like the very tangible strengths of the 'A'...I came to realise that there was so much more about the GR that I liked a lot more, so much so that I was prepared to look past its one main flaw.

    GR....body, button layout, snap focus, b&w., ISO logic, custom dial, colors.

    If only it was possible to cherry pick the strengths of each and combine them into the one body !
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  9. donlaw

    donlaw All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Sep 14, 2012
    I switched from the Sony RX100 to the Nikon A and have never regretted it. The is for me the perfect size for a compact pocket camera, and I like the 28mm no zoom. Had a GR once and got really unacceptable results (poor focus and sharpness). But from what I have read here and other places, I feel that I must have had a bad copy.
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  10. nickthetasmaniac

    nickthetasmaniac Veteran

    Jan 20, 2014
    Launceston & Sydney
    Nick Clark
    Are you in a position to handle them?

    In terms of IQ they're all going to do the trick unless you're peaking pixels, so I think it will really come down to the user interface and ergonomics - ie. personal preference.

    If you can, go to a store, play with all three for an hour, buy the one that feels best.
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  11. MoonMind

    MoonMind All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Dec 29, 2013
    I'll add my vote for the GR - while I've never used the A or the X70 for any meaningful period of time, the GR handles great and delivers fantastic image quality. I shoot Nikon FF and APS-C as well as :mu43: and can appreciate the differences and respective merits - the GR is so good that in spite of regular bouts of GAS, I've simply not felt the need to get another 28mm-e solution. And as a street cam, it's more or less ideal, very compact, fluid in operation and with nice tricks up its sleeves (like Snap Fokus). It's got a very quiet and well-behaved shutter, too - if I take some care, I can hand-hold 1/15s.

    I rediscovered how much I like using this camera only recently - funnily enough, during the time I was test-driving the GX80. Those two cameras now make up my travel/light carry kit. And it's not as if I didn't have alternatives...

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  12. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    The RX100 is clearly the outlier of the bunch, so if you want a zoom, that's the ticket. Unless of course you want to look at the LX100 or one of the little Canons (G7X, G9X, etc). But if you want a 28mm fixed lens, each of the other three has pluses and minuses that may matter more or less to you depending on personal preference. I've shot extensively with the GR and A and enough with the X70 to know it's tradeoffs. For me, the Coolpix A is the winner, but I'd be happy with the X70 and if the GR would just fix it's auto-ISO / minimum shutter speed options, I'd very possibly prefer it. In terms of the GR, it's menus and options give you SOOOO much control that I find them almost too fiddly for how I shoot. That said, I shot with similarly set up Ricoh's for years and did fine with them, so that's just a matter of how you like it. The only real fatal (for ME) flaw with the GR is the inability to set the minimum shutter speed higher than 1/250 when shooting in Av mode with auto ISO. For some people this isn't a big deal, for me it's a make or break deal given the other options. Both the Coolpix A and Fuji have good implementations of this feature. The strongest points of the GR (again, for me) are the snap focus and the way the camera feels in your hand - just kind of perfect in that respect. To me, the downside of the X70 is that the traditional controls, which I like for a lot of things, don't work for me in moving quickly between custom setups on this camera. When I'm walking around with one of these, I tend to switch back and forth between street shooting and more general shooting quite a bit. The X70 really slows me down here. The Coolpix A is much quicker in this regard and the GR the quickest yet. I wouldn't say the sharpness "issues" with the X70 amount to much - you can see it when you pixel peep, but at any normal viewing size, the lens is more than sharp enough. And, of course you get that great Fuji rendering / colors. To me, the Coolpix A just does everything I want it to do and basically gets out of the way. There isn't a best or worst of these three cameras, they're so close to identical cousins it's kind of wonderful, given that up until about three years ago no such camera existed and now there's an embarrassment of riches...

    For my peculiar likes and wants, the Coolpix A is the best of the bunch, but that's all about personal preference and all of them are great little cameras... If I was buying today, given that the Coolpix seems to be dead going forward, I'd buy the X70, but if Ricoh ever increases the minimum shutter speed that can be used with auto-ISO in Av mode, I'd buy a GR in a New York minute...

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  13. dougpayne

    dougpayne Veteran Subscribing Member

    Oct 17, 2012
    Sebastopol, CA
    C.D. Payne
    Canon G9X or Fuji XQ1 fit much better in a pants pocket than the other cameras mentioned. Both can produce stellar images. The Fuji is quite cheap these days.
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  14. davidzvi

    davidzvi Veteran

    Apr 18, 2014
    Sadly no, the only one I've had a chance to hold is the X70. Interesting thought, if I've not tried the GR, will I miss things I've not tried?

    I've heard a lot of reviews that mention one handed operation. I know I tend to hold a camera with two hands when changing pretty much anything. So I'm not sure one handed operation would make that much difference for me.
  15. davidzvi

    davidzvi Veteran

    Apr 18, 2014
    Just can't do the LX100 for a third time. Any it's really the same size as the GX85 & 12-32 anyway. As for the Canon options, I've considered them, but they really offer no more than RX100 would.

    @Ray Sachs@Ray Sachs , I've read you're reviews and comments about these three and understand your issues with Auto ISO / Shutter speed. Not sure that would be a problem for me and I've also never really gotten into using custom setups. I'm pretty sure I'd enjoy using the X70, I'm just not sure on the price. And as with most things price is a factor.
  16. davidzvi

    davidzvi Veteran

    Apr 18, 2014
    Snap Focus is something everyone seems to mention. I understand how big a plus it would be for street shooting, but other uses? Just curious about uses other times?
  17. davidzvi

    davidzvi Veteran

    Apr 18, 2014
    The XF1 / XQ1 / XQ2 are interesting I'd probably skip the XQ1 though. The reviews of the XQ2 say the AF is one of the improvements. The XF1 is interesting because I do prefer a manual lens.
  18. grillec

    grillec Veteran

    Jan 16, 2014
    I don't think there will be much more development of Fuji cameras with a 2/3" sensor. The X30 was the last one and is discontinued. If there are no expectations for a new firmware with more enhancements like faster AF or so these could be a cheap choice of cameras.
  19. Casey

    Casey Veteran

    Mar 31, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    I will throw in my 2 pennies worth just since I've owned most of the above.

    For starters, I am completely in love with the Fuji products, colors, and designs. I've had the x100s, x100, and x100t as well as the xt1. They are lovely, but in the end, not small enough in size when thinking about pocket carry. At that point, even the x70 isn't small enough in reality. All lovely cameras, but they will cause you to carry them in a bag or pack or something other than a pocket.

    The Sony RX1 was about the same size as all of my x100's but full frame. If I was going to have to carry something daily in a back but I still wanted it to be slightly compact...the RX1 handled that very well. Then again, way different price market as well.

    Before any of the Fuji's were had, I owned the Sony rx100 first gen. Cool little camera, which proved to be TOO small for my hands to really operate. All I ever really managed to do was drop it while trying to fiddle with the buttons. Nice images from a small sensor, and a decent option when zoom is needed, but I hated the menus and functionality of the tiny little camera.

    ** edit to add ** My rx100 also had the zoom mechanism fail on me. Forgot to mention that during the initial post. There was a known issue with a component back when I had it, but I forgot about that. I would think all current production versions would have it remedied by now.

    In the past I owned a LUMIX LX3 and the LX7 with EVF addition. My daughter actually still uses the LX3 for fun, but I tried the LX100 just recently. I owned it all of about 24hrs before saying no thanks. Too big, too small of a sensor, not getting any jpeg colors that were pleasing me and in the end it just really wasn't something I needed. M43 just wasn't something I felt I needed to play with.

    Throughout all of these cameras I have always had a full frame DSLR in the bag as well, so I had that IQ and range covered. I had zooms and primes at my disposal, so I was really hunting for that perfect EDC pocket carry camera, that wouldn't be too big for a real pocket, but that also has at least a aps-c sized sensor. I needed one camera when it really came down to it...

    The Ricoh GR II.

    I bit the bullet a few months ago and bought a new GR II online and it has been on me every single day since then. It has blown me away with how sharp the lens is, how one-hand user friendly it is, how assignable the buttons are, how ergonomic it is and it yields some great jpegs as well. I don't care for the wifi app all that much, but it's nice to have it when needed and traveling with just the GR and my iPad.

    This thing could only be better for me, if it had fuji's jpeg engine but that's a minor personal preference. It is sitting beside me currently as I type this while stuck in bed with a destroyed lower back. I still have it on me though I can barely walk outside to find anything worth taking a picture of. The GR simple does B&W beyond well, and for everything else I find myself either shooting Positive Film, or just with filters off completely. I use the RAW's only when needed. I went through the GR forum on here and every single page of pictures before I bought mine as I was already loving all that I was seeing.

    So, for me and my search for the ultimate small compact camera, the GR was the best answer I could hope for. I'm still figuring out tricks with it and trying new settings, but I feel like not many other cameras have held my intense interest for this long.
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2016
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  20. Casey

    Casey Veteran

    Mar 31, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    It is pretty street driven, but the snap or infinity setting works great for me at night when shooting night skies and not trying to lock AF onto something or deal with MF. I can set it to infinity and get some amazing star trails, or snap in low light around f11 for some sunset landscape work. I wouldn't say I use it a ton, but it does come in handy at times.
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