Ricoh GR vs. Sony RX1

Discussion in 'Sony' started by DHart, Sep 22, 2013.

  1. DHart

    DHart Regular

    Feb 28, 2011
    I recently received a new Ricoh GR camera which did not recognize my media cards, nor would it charge the battery....

    I liked the feel of the camera and other features, from what I could determine in a single evening of toying with it... but it must be returned due to the stated issues.

    Which brings me to my question. Since I'm returning the GR, I have the opportunity to choose a replacement GR or... to choose a Sony RX1.

    Setting aside the (considerable) cost difference and the (moderate) difference in focal length, for this discussion, I would greatly appreciate hearing your viewpoints on how these two cameras compare as compact, fixed-lens "cameras of convenience" intended to capture images with very high image quality with minimal burden of size or weight. I don't need exceptional focus speed nor exceptionally tiny size... just very compact but still yielding very good IQ and a joy to use.

    Should I go for the gusto (RX1) or stick with getting a replacement GR?
  2. stillshunter

    stillshunter Super Moderator Emeritus

    Nov 5, 2010
    Down Under
    Depends on your stated or intended purpose. I have both the GR and the X100s. Got to say they are very different propositions and I won't ever let go the GR. So handy and so capable.
  3. Chrisnmn

    Chrisnmn Veteran

    Jul 8, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Chris Leskovsek
    Hey Don,

    sucks about your GR luckily i havent got any problems with mine at all. But I think you are comparing an APSC with a FF camera, which obviously might have some difference specially in the DOF department. Maybe Joe (Livnius) can help you out better, as he own both.

    sorry if i cant be of any help. Since i dont own the RX1 but i do own the GR I can only tell you, the GR is for me, the perfect compact camera. im really loving everything about it. size, iq, speed, handling and operation.
  4. DHart

    DHart Regular

    Feb 28, 2011
    Thanks, guys. Yes, I know that the comparison is between cameras with APS-C and FF sensors, thus the expected DOF will be shallower with the FF sensor. And the FF sensor is likely to offer up a bit of a bump over the APS-C camera in IQ and dynamic range, as well.

    If it helps, I much prefer RAW capture with final tweaking of images in LR, which I don't consider bothersome in the least. It is a joy to fine tune RAW captures in LR. Thus, the quality of OOC JPGs is of no importance to me.

    I'm wondering about such things as camera feel-in-the-hand, ease/joy of operation, features, and other factors that may be best pointed out by those who use these cameras.

    This would be a camera which I may take with me at times when I don't want to be bothered with carrying much in the way of camera gear, yet still want very good quality images. I may well use this camera to capture images which I would want to print at large sizes... that's why the choice of cameras with larger sensor sizes of APS-C and FF vs. cameras with smaller sensors.

    I would imagine that the RX1 would get the nod, especially when considering IQ, so I'm wondering if the GR might offer some other other redeeming qualities/benefits that the RX1 does not, which might compensate for its having a slightly smaller sensor size/IQ.
  5. retow

    retow All-Pro

    Jul 24, 2010
    Carrying a GR is like carrying no camera. 200 grams of unmatched user interface, very good aps-c sensor and excellent lens. Once familiar with the Ricoh UI it has no equal among the compacts, as far as ease/joy of operation and feel in the hand is concerned. The RX1 imo requires the EVF and thus is quite a bit more bulky in direct comparison and not as "fluid in operation" . However, the files produced by the RX1 as a result of the sensor and superb Sonnar lens combination are probably the best of any 35mm digital camera. If portability matters most, the Ricoh is hard to beat and if ultimate IQ is priority, the Sony is the gold standard. I`m lucky to have both and have to admit, that I use the Ricoh (and before the Nikon Coolpix A) quite a bit more than the RX1, as it covers both, my jacket pocket/belt pouch as well as my wide angle solution in the travel bag.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. christilou

    christilou Legend

    Jul 13, 2010
    Sunny Frimley
    I have both and used them recently on my trip to Spain. The GR was nearly always in my hand on a wrist strap whilst the RX1 I kept in a bag until needed. If I did put the RX1 around my neck on a strap, I needed to hold the lens at all times to keep it still. The GR definitely got used more simply by way of it's convenient form factor. When I look at the output from the two cameras, the RX1 still has that wow factor every time I open a file. I think I had more keepers with it because I used a more considered approach whenever I used it (I use the vf), the GR with no vf was much more of a point and shoot and hope for the best kind of experience for me :).
  7. stillshunter

    stillshunter Super Moderator Emeritus

    Nov 5, 2010
    Down Under
    Agree with every single word here. So well said. :clap2:
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Lightmancer

    Lightmancer Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2011
    Sunny Frimley
    Bill Palmer
    Hear hear!

    Sent from another Galaxy
  9. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    the RX1 images are without peer. But it is a pretty big chunk of machine. If small and discrete are important, the GR wins. I prefer the 35 FOV to the wider GR so for me, I'd lean towards the RX1. But at that price difference, I might pick up the GR and a DP2M (and put the extra ash towards a vacation to use them on).
  10. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    If you had to choose between a Miata and a Maserati, which would you choose? It's kind of a similar impossible question. Both are two seater sports cars. One is clearly faster and more powerful and capable of much much more, and is pretty rare in the wilds. And much more expensive. The other can be had for a fraction of the price and isn't near the car of the first, but it also has its undeniable charms and pleasures that the first one can't match. And, for what it's worth, can be driven closer to its limits more often.

    I think all of these things are sort if similarly true of these cameras. I have the Nikon A rather than the GR, but I think it's a reasonable stand in for purposes of this question, since they're near twins in some of the key ways (other than interface, where the Nikon is a bit more straight forward but less overwhelmingly customizable than the Ricoh). On recent trips (a short one to New York and a loooong one to Italy), the Nikon was with me nearly always because it's soooo handy and fits in basically any pocket. And is quick and easy to pull out and shoot with. I had it at times I didn't and wouldn't have had the RX1. And for street shooting, the Nikon / GR is just plain better, at least for how I shoot.

    But when I went out with photography in mind, I usually took the RX1 because it's just so incredibly good in pretty much every way that matters to me. I'd often take the Nikon too, but when I had both I'd shoot about 90% of the time with the RX1 unless I was specifically doing street shooting. The low light is better, the lens is sublime, the DR is insane, and the raw files are just crazy fun to work with. The Ricoh and Nikon are also both very very good in all of these same ways, but the RX1 is way way better than that. I enjoy everything about it and think the interface and level of customizability and just plain usability is easily the match of the Ricoh, although it goes about it differently.

    I usually use the RX1 with the EVF, but I disagree with Retow that you NEED the EVF with it - it's just such a good viewfinder that I end up using it a lot. With the Ricoh/Nikon, any viewfinder gets in the way if the size and pocket-ability and the only available viewfinders are just dumb OVFs with no information in them, which I just don't enjoy shooting with. So the EVF on the RX1 offers a benefit that I don't think any viewfinder on the Ricoh/Nikon does. But I sometimes leave the EVF off if the RX1 and it's still a great shooting experience without it.

    I think you should get both and try them. If you can buy the RX1 and the EVF, adding the GR is almost pocket change on top of it. If you find you like one MORE than the other you should be able to sell either, but my guess is you'll find you like them both equally, but differently, and you'll probably keep both.

  11. DHart

    DHart Regular

    Feb 28, 2011
    Great analogy, Ray.

    Hmmmm. Yes. I think I do see a future of having both. That's the only "easy" answer (aside from $$$$$).

    Thanks for your input, everyone. Such exciting options for image making we have!