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Thread: Goodbye DL4, hello GRDIII

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    Senior Member markwon's Avatar
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    Goodbye DL4, hello GRDIII

    I can't believe I hesitated so long in trying out the Ricoh. It was mainly due to the 28mm FL, which I find a bit too wide for normal use. But the lens, UI, and sheer pleasure of the colors and tones makes up for it. The images from the GRDIII make the dlux4 shots look so "digital" and coarse IMO (yes, I have shot with the dlux4 since the camera was first introduced, and gotten many keepers with it).

    The GRDIII images look very film-like, and reminds me of the Sigma DP images, without the color issues and sluggish speed, all in a 1/1.7" sensor. The Ricoh folks really hit a home run with this camera. I am so impressed that now the GRX/A12 is getting tempting...


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    Re: Goodbye DL4, hello GRDIII

    Indeed, the GRD3 is a great camera! The GRDs are my all-around favorite cameras. And in fact I agree that it moves closer to DP territory. I'm very anxious for the GRX with the 50mm.

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    Re: Goodbye DL4, hello GRDIII

    Mark, lovely shot! My GRD first gen was quite my favorite camers till it died.
    I am very tempted by the the GRD III, far less so (due to cost) by the GRX.
    I feel the GR's have the best user interface of any camera, big or small, I've ever used.

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    Re: Goodbye DL4, hello GRDIII

    knowing you, Lili my love, the GRDIII would be perfect... then again, the GRX is a total gem! but it takes a lot more work... is it worth it? yes! it all depends on what you're looking for it to do.

    i am going through the same ordeal... i can tell you truly i am madly in love with the GXR/A12. but, with my M8 and various lenses, it makes it difficult to justify... sigh.

    i most likely will end up with a GRDIII (the true successor to the original) but the GXR will always haunt me. it is the closest thing to rangefinder photography without being an actual rangefinder.... the time spent creating the magic of this lens and bokeh shows. it is stunning and everything the X1 should have been.

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    Re: Goodbye DL4, hello GRDIII

    Lili, thanks for the comment.

    It looks like we are all pretty much feel the same about the GRX. Like Cam, I am torn about the GRX, since I am also currently using the M system as my main and the GRDIII as a pocket camera. I just can't seem to fit the GRX in my setup, unless it actually replaces the M--still don't know about this yet.

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    Re: Goodbye DL4, hello GRDIII

    Mark, anytime

    Cam, I find the concept of the GRX/A12 to be wonderful in some ways. But it looks...cumbersome and the price is not that far off an M8.
    I think you are correct and the GRD III would suit me best. But I so miss the GRD's B&W jpegs

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    Senior Member ShiroKuro's Avatar
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    Re: Goodbye DL4, hello GRDIII

    Cam, I must of missed something .... you have this camera ??? ; )
    I am in Japan at the moment so I am patiently waiting for its release ..... I am really looking forward to this camera ... so I can finally decide between the GRD 3 or fix my GRD 2 and get the GRX/A12...meanwhile I just picked up a Hexar AF to play with ... ; )

    Lili, I think you would do great with any camera you got your hands on . Why not fix you GRD if you miss it so much ?

    Mark, enjoyed your flikr page ....

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    GXR

    Quote Originally Posted by markwon View Post
    Like Cam, I am torn about the GRX, since I am also currently using the M system as my main and the GRDIII as a pocket camera. I just can't seem to fit the GRX in my setup, unless it actually replaces the M--still don't know about this yet.
    the GXR will not replace my M. period. i have too much invested in glass i love... (that doesn't mean that it doesn't complement the M perfectly, IMO. and would be wonderful for when you don't want to lug the M around.)

    for some, though, i imagine this would be a perfect replacement as shooting with it can be a very rangefinderish experience, but you have many DSLRish pluses as well.

    i can say that the japanese took a lot of time to make the specular highlights (is that the right term?) perfectly round and the lens is just sweet. it is very classic and the bokeh/OOF areas are creamy and smooth. it is also possible to get separation of a subject which i love!

    Quote Originally Posted by Lili View Post
    Cam, I find the concept of the GRX/A12 to be wonderful in some ways. But it looks...cumbersome and the price is not that far off an M8. I think you are correct and the GRD III would suit me best. But I so miss the GRD's B&W jpegs
    i spoke with the head of Ricoh France and requested a module with b/w only, based on the original GRD tonalities

    Quote Originally Posted by ShiroKuro View Post
    Cam, I must of missed something .... you have this camera ??? ; )

    I am in Japan at the moment so I am patiently waiting for its release ..... I am really looking forward to this camera ... so I can finally decide between the GRD 3 or fix my GRD 2 and get the GRX/A12...meanwhile I just picked up a Hexar AF to play with ... ; )
    i have a pre-production unit with firmware that is still being sorted out (but you know how good Ricoh is about that)... i am sharing this camera with another and, it seems, we are kind of beta-testing it and giving feedback to Ricoh... so my "review" will be more impressions rather than technically oriented.

    as an FYI, i also requested a wide angle module, sooner rather later (though even that will likely be at least six months down the line) -- essentially a GRDIII with a larger sensor.

    your dilemma, btw, is exactly my own... i keep on changing my mind i honestly, truly, love this camera more and more each time i use it. it is addictive, irresistible, and gets into your blood.

    have fun with the Hexar AF -- another huge lust of mine!!! i believe i mentioned that camera to the Ricoh guy as well, saying a digital version would be my dream. if anybody can do it, i believe, Ricoh can

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    Senior Member markwon's Avatar
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    Re: Goodbye DL4, hello GRDIII

    ShiroKuro, thanks for the comment!

    Lili, While I have not shot long with the GRDI, I have tried it out for a few days before picking up my GRDIII. From what I can tell, the b&w jpegs on the GRDIII are much improved from the II, and look more film-like again. Others have done technical comparisons where the GRDIII showed less noise but a bit more smear than the GRDI, but nothing to be concerned about. Overall, I think the improvements on the GRDIII (lens speed, ISO performance, quiet operation, LCD,etc), and it being a very nice Jpeg or RAW camera, will make it a nice replacement for you. I don't think you will be disappointed by it.

    Cam, could you please elaborate on how you feel the GXR can compliment the M? Do you think its a size and weight advantage for certain situations, or something else? Is the focusing experience like the GRD? Moderate AF speed, with quick snap options or better?

    My normal on the M is the 35 lux asph, and with the crop factor, it comes pretty close to the 50 on the GXR. That's my personal dilemma. If the GXR had a large sensor wide angle, it could certainly serve as a wide angle option body I take along with the M on shooting days. But as you have noted, this will probably be something to come later, since the demand will be pretty high for it.

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    Re: Goodbye DL4, hello GRDIII

    Quote Originally Posted by ShiroKuro View Post
    Cam, I must of missed something .... you have this camera ??? ; )
    I am in Japan at the moment so I am patiently waiting for its release ..... I am really looking forward to this camera ... so I can finally decide between the GRD 3 or fix my GRD 2 and get the GRX/A12...meanwhile I just picked up a Hexar AF to play with ... ; )

    Lili, I think you would do great with any camera you got your hands on . Why not fix you GRD if you miss it so much ?

    Mark, enjoyed your flikr page ....
    I can't comment on the GXR but as far as upgrading for the GRD2 to the 3 goes, its worth it! The GRD3 trumps the 2 in both operational speed, convenience and IQ and the new lens is even more gorgeous in its rendering than the original...

    To be honest, as much as I loved the original GRD I never really warmed up to the 2 but the 3 takes care of all my issues with the 2.

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    Senior Member helenhill's Avatar
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    Re: Goodbye DL4, hello GRDIII

    I'm going to put up for SALE my GRD2
    recently purchased here
    EXC condt.... $250.00
    includes paypal & shipping

    Charles . if you are Interested Please PM...

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    Re: Goodbye DL4, hello GRDIII

    Quote Originally Posted by markwon View Post
    Cam, could you please elaborate on how you feel the GXR can compliment the M? Do you think its a size and weight advantage for certain situations, or something else? Is the focusing experience like the GRD? Moderate AF speed, with quick snap options or better?

    My normal on the M is the 35 lux asph, and with the crop factor, it comes pretty close to the 50 on the GXR. That's my personal dilemma. If the GXR had a large sensor wide angle, it could certainly serve as a wide angle option body I take along with the M on shooting days. But as you have noted, this will probably be something to come later, since the demand will be pretty high for it.
    moi aussi -- same set up... and i'd be an a$$ if i didn't say the M's images are better. for the price, they damned well better be! (the bokeh, though, can sometimes be more pleasing on the Ricoh)

    more will be in the "review" but in a nutshell: there are times i do not want to take the Leica with me -- weight, size, cost (fear of theft), rain, whatever -- but i would still like to have a quality cam on me.... with the EVF and/or live view, there is a whole other dimension to shooting which is quite fun, including the cameras ability to see and focus when my eyes just can't.

    also, sometimes, i want to get closer than the .7m near focus and the ability for macro is an added bonus... and last, but certainly not least, is it's silent. dead quiet. no one will ever know you took a shot. i am not a stealth shooter, but sometimes i really hate hearing that clack on the Leica (even in discreet) when everyone stares at you -- there is then never a chance for a second shot.

    AF, at this point, is acceptable but i believe it is still being worked on. SNAP didn't do it for me, but manual focus and control (the ability to see and adjust shutter speed, EV, ISO, aperture -- all without taking your eyes off the subject) are fantastic (remember, all manual focus is done on the lens).

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    Re: Goodbye DL4, hello GRDIII

    Cam, thank you...very helpful, and now even more tempted

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    Re: Goodbye DL4, hello GRDIII

    Quote Originally Posted by ShiroKuro View Post
    Cam, I must of missed something .... you have this camera ??? ; )
    I am in Japan at the moment so I am patiently waiting for its release ..... I am really looking forward to this camera ... so I can finally decide between the GRD 3 or fix my GRD 2 and get the GRX/A12...meanwhile I just picked up a Hexar AF to play with ... ; )

    Lili, I think you would do great with any camera you got your hands on . Why not fix you GRD if you miss it so much ?

    Mark, enjoyed your flikr page ....

    Charley, thanks so much. BTW my Hexar AF is sitting on the shelf before me now. It is the Gold Standard by which I would judge all Street-Shooting Cameras

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    Re: Goodbye DL4, hello GRDIII

    Cam, I envy you your chance to try out this Ricoh. Tell me, just how much larger than the GRD is it? I know the a12 lens does not retract, so it cannot be as svelte. Also how sturdy does the connection to lens module feel?
    Recall I gave away 40mm adapter for my GRD away because it made the camera so bulky and the 40 was so exposed and felt so fragile out there.

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    Re: Goodbye DL4, hello GRDIII

    Quote Originally Posted by markwon View Post
    Cam, thank you...very helpful, and now even more tempted
    welcome to my world!

    Quote Originally Posted by Lili View Post
    Cam, I envy you your chance to try out this Ricoh. Tell me, just how much larger than the GRD is it? I know the a12 lens does not retract, so it cannot be as svelte. Also how sturdy does the connection to lens module feel?
    Recall I gave away 40mm adapter for my GRD away because it made the camera so bulky and the 40 was so exposed and felt so fragile out there.
    it really isn't that much larger (the base unit) and the grip is fantastic. i actually may like the way it feels in the hand more (and so do people with larger hands).

    the module connection is rock solid. i've never had a worry about it at all.

    there's no way around it, the 50mm does add bulk. however, the design of the lens is such that it feels a lot less vulnerable. i have thrown it in both my winter coat and purse without a problem. it honestly needs a little bulk or you'd be shaking like crazy when you shot with it.

    Marcel was showing me a picture he took of the clouds in the sky and there was such detail in them! you'd never get that in a small sensor camera.... perhaps, maybe, this could be for you... not sure about your quick out the car window shots though

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    Re: Goodbye DL4, hello GRDIII

    Quote Originally Posted by cam View Post
    welcome to my world!


    it really isn't that much larger (the base unit) and the grip is fantastic. i actually may like the way it feels in the hand more (and so do people with larger hands).

    Being able to feel secure while shooting can be more important that tiny size, IMHO

    the module connection is rock solid. i've never had a worry about it at all.

    That is all to the good, love

    there's no way around it, the 50mm does add bulk. however, the design of the lens is such that it feels a lot less vulnerable. i have thrown it in both my winter coat and purse without a problem. it honestly needs a little bulk or you'd be shaking like crazy when you shot with it.

    My biggest pet peeves with any digi-cam are dust and fragility. My Hexar, not that I abuse it, is built like a tank. The lens Barrel is effectively sealed with the B&W filter in place. This design of the GRX does appear to address many of these concerns, altho the extending and exposed barrel of the lens is a possible dust ingress point, albeit no more so than virtually any of my DSLR lenses! Currently, my larger-sensor carry-camera is my e410 or 510 with the 25mm pancake. I suspect the footprint, if not the bulk, of the 410 and GRX/A12 combo may be close but from what you say the GRX shutter is dead quiet. This is a very good thing.

    Marcel was showing me a picture he took of the clouds in the sky and there was such detail in them! you'd never get that in a small sensor camera.... perhaps, maybe, this could be for you... not sure about your quick out the car window shots though

    Ah yes, the bigger sensor, tech not withstanding , do have a delicacy of draw that smaller ones cannot match; a HUGE reason I have my Pentax K100 still


    Last edited by Lili; 21st November 2009 at 09:59.

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    Senior Member Amin's Avatar
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    Re: Goodbye DL4, hello GRDIII

    I thought the II was a worthy upgrade to the original, and I think the III is a worthy upgrade to the II.

    The GRD III is the perfect size for me. The build and controls are absolutely class leading, and the lens is excellent. One from today with the III:

    -Amin Sabet

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    Re: Goodbye DL4, hello GRDIII

    Thats really beautiful Amin.

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    Re: Goodbye DL4, hello GRDIII

    Lovely view Amin

    paul
    "I ruined my health by drinking to everyone else's." Brendan Behan
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  21. #21
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    Cam....Hello GRX Maybe

    Wow, what a great thread.

    I'm exploring X1 vs. GRD III vs GRX 50mm for one purpose only, street shooting (both candids and city scapes).

    The GRD III sounds perfect...except for my desire for a larger sensor and strong preference for 35mm and 50mm lenses.

    The X1 sounds perfect....except for early reports re ease of manual use and slowness of the auto focus.

    But Cam your enthusiasm is contagious re the GRX.

    Three additional questions:
    a) ease of setting it up for zone focusing?
    b) manual focusing process for someone who is used to a lens which includes easy depth of field reading, aperture setting, etc...like any of the Leica M lenses? I have never liked being dependent on primarily using menus (my roots years ago in rangefinder land before I wandered into the strange new DSLR world!)
    c) general ease of use for street shooting?

    I expect Sean Reid will eventually answer all these questions..but here you are...now.. with your very helpful insights.

    Thanks.

    Mark

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    Senior Member Amin's Avatar
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    Re: Goodbye DL4, hello GRDIII

    Thanks Will and Paul!

    Mark, the GRD III is dead easy to zone focus. In addition to choosing a custom manual focus distance, one can choose among three "snap focus" distances: 1m, 2.5m, 5m. One can assign custom settings to the MY1, MY2, and MY3 settings on the mode dial.

    I think that the great majority of street photography shots can be easily made at a snap focus of 1m or 2.5m with this small sensor, so I imagine one very simple way to go would be to use 1m snap focus with the MY1 custom settings for close encounters and 2.5m snap focus with MY2 when there is greater subject distance. A flick of the mode dial, and one is ready for capture.
    -Amin Sabet

  23. #23
    markpsf
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    Thanks Amin...but

    That reinforces my sense of the GRD III being "almost" perfect for street shooting. The small sensor puts me off just a little. The 28mm lens somewhat more only because of my preferred way of doing street shooting.
    I don't like needing to be quite that close. But I haven't ruled it out because it is so sweet in so many other ways.

    But my questions are about the GRX. I'm sure that a GRX that operated like that, with the 50mm lens and larger sensor, would be a no brainer for me.
    The question for me is whether that GRX can at least come close to that ease of set up for street shooting.

    Of course I could always get both!

    Mark



    Quote Originally Posted by Amin View Post
    Thanks Will and Paul!

    Mark, the GRD III is dead easy to zone focus. In addition to choosing a custom manual focus distance, one can choose among three "snap focus" distances: 1m, 2.5m, 5m. One can assign custom settings to the MY1, MY2, and MY3 settings on the mode dial.

    I think that the great majority of street photography shots can be easily made at a snap focus of 1m or 2.5m with this small sensor, so I imagine one very simple way to go would be to use 1m snap focus with the MY1 custom settings for close encounters and 2.5m snap focus with MY2 when there is greater subject distance. A flick of the mode dial, and one is ready for capture.

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    Re: Cam....Hello GRX Maybe

    Quote Originally Posted by markpsf View Post
    Wow, what a great thread.

    I'm exploring X1 vs. GRD III vs GRX 50mm for one purpose only, street shooting (both candids and city scapes).

    The GRD III sounds perfect...except for my desire for a larger sensor and strong preference for 35mm and 50mm lenses.

    The X1 sounds perfect....except for early reports re ease of manual use and slowness of the auto focus.

    But Cam your enthusiasm is contagious re the GRX.

    Three additional questions:
    a) ease of setting it up for zone focusing?
    b) manual focusing process for someone who is used to a lens which includes easy depth of field reading, aperture setting, etc...like any of the Leica M lenses? I have never liked being dependent on primarily using menus (my roots years ago in rangefinder land before I wandered into the strange new DSLR world!)
    c) general ease of use for street shooting?

    I expect Sean Reid will eventually answer all these questions..but here you are...now.. with your very helpful insights.

    Thanks.

    Mark
    Mark,

    i know your dilemma -- i've seen you on DPR and LUF (my name: wildeone and coup de foudre, respectively -- "cam" was taken)...

    honestly, i need to know more about your criteria before i can advise. day? night? lots of DOF? shallow DOF? nice bokeh, bokeh doesn't matter? etc? colour? b/w? documentary? artistic?

    the easiest and fastest AF of the three you mention is the GRDIII, plus the nearly unlimited DOF. that's a no brainer. i am a huge fan of the whole GRD line for street photography if you want quick and loose and something to always have with you.

    with the X1 and GXR you will get much better high ISO but lower DOF, respectively, making proper focus more important (due to the sensor size and FOV) and AF slower.

    in regards to your questions and the GXR:
    a) incredibly easy.
    b) it is easy to set up everything and see it on the screen or EVF -- no need to go through endless menus (a pet peeve of mine), especially in full manual mode. is it as elegant as setting it on an M lens? no. but really, really close.
    c) it's a 50mm, not a point and shoot. you can street shoot, but it will have to be much more deliberate and/or plan on learning the camera really intimately. for pure street, this is probably the most difficult of the bunch....

    okay, just saw your previous post... if you don't have an RF anymore, i would consider getting the GRDIII and the GXR/A12 module -- or go all the way and buy the S10 module instead of the GRDIII... either way, it cost the same or less than the X1 and leaves you room to expand.

    as an FYI, the X1 did tempt me. along with price, there were other reasons it didn't rock my boat. i think Leica got a little arrogant and didn't consider the needs of the photographer. i am hoping, with the next incarnation, they get it right. for that price, though, i'm not holding my breath.

    (if you loved RF photography, btw, you will adore the GXR/A12. but again, it is a lot more work for street.)

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    Re: Goodbye DL4, hello GRDIII

    Quote Originally Posted by Amin View Post
    I thought the II was a worthy upgrade to the original, and I think the III is a worthy upgrade to the II.

    The GRD III is the perfect size for me. The build and controls are absolutely class leading, and the lens is excellent. One from today with the III:

    Awesome shot Amin, love the Red!

  26. #26
    Senior Member Amin's Avatar
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    Re: Goodbye DL4, hello GRDIII

    Thanks Lili!
    -Amin Sabet

  27. #27
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    Thanks Cam...Plus

    Thanks Cam and yeh you've entered my neurotic photographer brain in motion, transcending forums in a single leap!

    I left out the part about considering selling some of my gear and getting an M9. I grew up with a rangefinder camera and loved it and then left photography for years before returning and entering the SLR world. But the M9 is a huge monetary leap and although I plan to rent and play with an M8.2 to see how it feels for me, the Ricoh or X1 path would be a lot smaller risk.

    The GXR/A12 sounds great though I'd like to hear more about your take on the challenges of the 50mm for street shooting. The fact is that most of my shooting has been in the 35mm to 40mm range and I haven't done much at 50mm in many years. The GXR/S10 is a bigger question for me as compared to the GRDIII, though having a whole integrated system is tempting.

    As to your questions.
    Rarely shoot at night...not a consideration
    Happy with shallow or lots of DOF ...flexible
    Nice bokeh a plus but not at all fixated on that.
    Lots of black and white but again varied. Sometimes black and white fits.
    Sometimes what I see is color. I admire color street photography despite my Cartier-Bresson fan club membership. I'm as much a fan of William Eggleston's work.
    And at the age of 70 I most enjoy the process of shooting, posting my photos on Flickr and printing out a few larger prints when I just hit something right.
    I have no illusions of doing pro work.
    I'm just trying to recapture the joy of shooting and connection to a camera that I had with my rangefinder many years ago.

    Again, I'd like to hear more about your take on the challenge of working with the 50mm lens. I'm still not clear why you think it's a lot more work.

    And, I haven't ruled out the X1 or GRD III yet. I've seen too much good work with the latter posted from some of the users and Mitch Alland almost sold me on it. I agree with you on the X1 but still hold out hope that some of the kinks are firmware fixable, tho the odds seem a bit long.

    Mark



    Quote Originally Posted by cam View Post
    Mark,

    i know your dilemma -- i've seen you on DPR and LUF (my name: wildeone and coup de foudre, respectively -- "cam" was taken)...

    honestly, i need to know more about your criteria before i can advise. day? night? lots of DOF? shallow DOF? nice bokeh, bokeh doesn't matter? etc? colour? b/w? documentary? artistic?

    the easiest and fastest AF of the three you mention is the GRDIII, plus the nearly unlimited DOF. that's a no brainer. i am a huge fan of the whole GRD line for street photography if you want quick and loose and something to always have with you.

    with the X1 and GXR you will get much better high ISO but lower DOF, respectively, making proper focus more important (due to the sensor size and FOV) and AF slower.

    in regards to your questions and the GXR:
    a) incredibly easy.
    b) it is easy to set up everything and see it on the screen or EVF -- no need to go through endless menus (a pet peeve of mine), especially in full manual mode. is it as elegant as setting it on an M lens? no. but really, really close.
    c) it's a 50mm, not a point and shoot. you can street shoot, but it will have to be much more deliberate and/or plan on learning the camera really intimately. for pure street, this is probably the most difficult of the bunch....

    okay, just saw your previous post... if you don't have an RF anymore, i would consider getting the GRDIII and the GXR/A12 module -- or go all the way and buy the S10 module instead of the GRDIII... either way, it cost the same or less than the X1 and leaves you room to expand.

    as an FYI, the X1 did tempt me. along with price, there were other reasons it didn't rock my boat. i think Leica got a little arrogant and didn't consider the needs of the photographer. i am hoping, with the next incarnation, they get it right. for that price, though, i'm not holding my breath.

    (if you loved RF photography, btw, you will adore the GXR/A12. but again, it is a lot more work for street.)
    Last edited by markpsf; 22nd November 2009 at 14:04.

  28. #28
    Senior Member Robert Campbell's Avatar
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    Re: Goodbye DL4, hello GRDIII

    Quote Originally Posted by Amin View Post
    I thought the II was a worthy upgrade to the original, and I think the III is a worthy upgrade to the II.

    The GRD III is the perfect size for me. The build and controls are absolutely class leading, and the lens is excellent. One from today with the III:

    Very nice, Amin.
    Slßinte

    Robert.

  29. #29
    Senior Member Amin's Avatar
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    Re: Goodbye DL4, hello GRDIII

    Thanks Robert!
    -Amin Sabet

  30. #30
    markpsf
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    Afterthoughts

    Amin: If I knew that I might be able to get a shot that close to perfection in street photography with the GRD III I'd be a fool not to get one. UI'd have no problem with the 28mm lens if I knew I could effectively crop my photos when I needed to and still have a sharp image, when a sharp image is what I want.

    On camera decisions. I realize more and more that all of the help on these forums is still just better maps. The map not being the territory, if I only had a camera store where I could spend a few hours playing with the different cameras a decision would be easy. Buying a DSLR some years ago I found a store that carried all four I was thinking about. It took me less than a half hour to know which one felt right. So then, much of asking and listening is trying to get as good a feel as possible through verbal representations of reality.

    I'm getting to the point where I can almost "feel" the GRD III. I'm not there yet with the GRX but Cam you helped. And other than Sean Reid's report, the X1 is still sort of vague for me. At least I'll get to handle an M Leica for the first time.

    Mark

  31. #31
    Senior Member Amin's Avatar
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    Re: Goodbye DL4, hello GRDIII

    Thanks Mark! Any reason in particular why you aren't considering the Micro Four Thirds options?
    -Amin Sabet

  32. #32
    markpsf
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    Amin...

    Well I am using a GF1 and have used the GH1. I also use a Nikon D90 for very limited purposes.

    I plan to continue to use the GF1 and with the fast 20mm lens it works well for me.

    When I consider the GRD III it's to have a true pocket camera. The GF1 doesn't quite make it in that respect. Nor does the GF1 lend itself easily to manual focusing.

    When I consider the Leicas (x1 or M9) or the GRX, it's to operate with a larger sensor.

    There is one other element in all of this which I've alluded to and which may sound more romantic than rational.

    These cameras feel like good tools to me. In one sense that's all cameras are. But I once had a connection with a camera, the Voigtlander years ago, in which the camera felt like an easy extension of my eyes and my intuition. I know some of that just comes with familiarity and time. But some really does have to do with my intuitive and not easily verbalized connection to the camera. For me this has never been related to appearance (the way some have fallen in love with the Olympus EP-1) but it has been related to feel and the degree to which the operation and my intuition linked. This may sound a bit "airy fairy" but it's the best way I can describe it.

    There is a small element of that for me with the GF1 but doesn't feel like enough. The way some of you describe your enjoyment of the GRD III seems to fit. And for some the M9 is like that. And clearly it is the idiosyncratic match of photographer and camera.

    Enough rambling.

    There's also pleasure in the search and meanwhile tomorrow I'll get to go out and do some shooting with the GF1...

    Mark


    Quote Originally Posted by Amin View Post
    Thanks Mark! Any reason in particular why you aren't considering the Micro Four Thirds options?

  33. #33
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    Re: Mark

    Mark,

    I think the points you made about "fit" and communication between the tool and the user being much more intuitive and organic than technical/mechanical, is why so many love the GRDIII and Leica rangefinders, including myself. From what Cam has written, it seems the GRX is also similar in this respect.

    I currently use an M8 with lenses and the GRDIII for when I don't have room for a camera bag. I have also had the GF1 for a few months, but it was the "ugly duckling" between the two camera systems, it was neither compact, nor full sized, both its ergonomics and sensor. While I did enjoy the fast AF performance and very competent 20 f1.7 pancake, the GF1 is not designed to give the same type of manual driven controls to the user as the GRD or the M bodies.

    Based on your response, I don't think you will be taking much of risk trying out the GRDIII. What amazes me about the camera is also the noise handling. To my eyes, ISO 800 performance is GF1 level, and ISO1600 is pleasant in certain lighting. Above all, its a camera that just feels right and doesn't get in the way of the shooter and the subject!

    BTW--just in case you didin't see the original photo in this post:

    Cropped


    Quote Originally Posted by markpsf View Post
    Well I am using a GF1 and have used the GH1. I also use a Nikon D90 for very limited purposes.

    I plan to continue to use the GF1 and with the fast 20mm lens it works well for me.

    When I consider the GRD III it's to have a true pocket camera. The GF1 doesn't quite make it in that respect. Nor does the GF1 lend itself easily to manual focusing.

    When I consider the Leicas (x1 or M9) or the GRX, it's to operate with a larger sensor.

    There is one other element in all of this which I've alluded to and which may sound more romantic than rational.

    These cameras feel like good tools to me. In one sense that's all cameras are. But I once had a connection with a camera, the Voigtlander years ago, in which the camera felt like an easy extension of my eyes and my intuition. I know some of that just comes with familiarity and time. But some really does have to do with my intuitive and not easily verbalized connection to the camera. For me this has never been related to appearance (the way some have fallen in love with the Olympus EP-1) but it has been related to feel and the degree to which the operation and my intuition linked. This may sound a bit "airy fairy" but it's the best way I can describe it.

    There is a small element of that for me with the GF1 but doesn't feel like enough. The way some of you describe your enjoyment of the GRD III seems to fit. And for some the M9 is like that. And clearly it is the idiosyncratic match of photographer and camera.

    Enough rambling.

    There's also pleasure in the search and meanwhile tomorrow I'll get to go out and do some shooting with the GF1...

    Mark

  34. #34
    markpsf
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    Re: Goodbye DL4, hello GRDIII

    Thanks Mark. Too late here for a full response, but very helpful. And both your photo and the subject are wonderful.


    Mark

  35. #35
    Senior Member Amin's Avatar
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    Re: Amin...

    Got it. Makes perfect sense to me! The type of connection you had with the Voigtlander would make a great subject for a thread all its own.

    Quote Originally Posted by markpsf View Post
    Well I am using a GF1 and have used the GH1. I also use a Nikon D90 for very limited purposes.

    I plan to continue to use the GF1 and with the fast 20mm lens it works well for me.

    When I consider the GRD III it's to have a true pocket camera. The GF1 doesn't quite make it in that respect. Nor does the GF1 lend itself easily to manual focusing.

    When I consider the Leicas (x1 or M9) or the GRX, it's to operate with a larger sensor.

    There is one other element in all of this which I've alluded to and which may sound more romantic than rational.

    These cameras feel like good tools to me. In one sense that's all cameras are. But I once had a connection with a camera, the Voigtlander years ago, in which the camera felt like an easy extension of my eyes and my intuition. I know some of that just comes with familiarity and time. But some really does have to do with my intuitive and not easily verbalized connection to the camera. For me this has never been related to appearance (the way some have fallen in love with the Olympus EP-1) but it has been related to feel and the degree to which the operation and my intuition linked. This may sound a bit "airy fairy" but it's the best way I can describe it.

    There is a small element of that for me with the GF1 but doesn't feel like enough. The way some of you describe your enjoyment of the GRD III seems to fit. And for some the M9 is like that. And clearly it is the idiosyncratic match of photographer and camera.

    Enough rambling.

    There's also pleasure in the search and meanwhile tomorrow I'll get to go out and do some shooting with the GF1...

    Mark
    -Amin Sabet

  36. #36
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    Re: Thanks Cam...Plus

    Quote Originally Posted by markpsf View Post
    I left out the part about considering selling some of my gear and getting an M9. I grew up with a rangefinder camera and loved it and then left photography for years before returning and entering the SLR world. But the M9 is a huge monetary leap and although I plan to rent and play with an M8.2 to see how it feels for me, the Ricoh or X1 path would be a lot smaller risk.
    ...
    The GXR/A12 sounds great though I'd like to hear more about your take on the challenges of the 50mm for street shooting. The fact is that most of my shooting has been in the 35mm to 40mm range and I haven't done much at 50mm in many years. The GXR/S10 is a bigger question for me as compared to the GRDIII, though having a whole integrated system is tempting. Again, I'd like to hear more about your take on the challenge of working with the 50mm lens. I'm still not clear why you think it's a lot more work.
    Mark,

    this will be short and sweet as i'm seriously knackered right now...

    first things first -- if you want to go back to rangefinders and had a Voightlander you loved, one of my all time favourite cameras in the world is the Epson R-D1.

    as amazing as the GXR/A12 is, it is NOT a rangefinder (no matter how much it does appeal to us rangefinder users out here).

    the more i use the GXR, the more i love it and see the possibilities of it. unfortunately, my time with it has been short and in bad weather but every time it is in my hands and see the images, i swear i'm going to buy it! as i own an M8 with fantastic glass, though, my practical side is still warring with my heart as i don't really need it. arggggggggggh!

    i would personally consider the S10 module only if you're going to buy both lenses. otherwise, the faster fixed lens on the GRDIII would be a much better match with an R-D1, M8.2, M9. a camera you can easily slip in your pocket when discreetness and/or huge DOF is needed.

    as for the focal length: 50mm is a chameleon lens, but takes a lot of learning. i have been shooting at this effective FOV for over a year and a half with the R-D1 and the M8. by stepping forward or back, you can make it look like a longer or wider lens with no distortion. it is very deceptive in this way, but it takes a lot of work and practice to be comfortable with, especially when shooting wide open. it is a focal length that still amazes me. i read somewhere that this was a photographer's lens...

    it honestly takes a lot of work to master, but once you do -- ooh la la!

    on the plus side, i think you'd probably bond with this camera in the learning process

  37. #37
    markpsf
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    Thanks Cam....and Question re the Missing 35mm Option

    Thanks Cam especially considering how "knackered" you are!
    I'm getting very clear re the attractiveness of the A12

    One last question. As someone who especially likes working with a 35mm lens (one reason the X1 interested me ...before all the particulars started undercutting my fantasy). My choice seems to be either going with the obviously excellent GRDIII and relying on cropping, or with either the GX200 or the GXR S10 where I could set the zoom for that length. The key question is whether the tradeoff given the quality of the GRDIII would be worth it. One option is obviously to wait for more user reviews of the A12 since I do have other cameras to use right now.

    I would imagine the missing 35mm piece is also a consideration for others here, especially those who don't have one of the Leica M cameras.

    (BTW, I did think about the Epson, just have gotten very mixed feedback on it.)

    Thanks again.

    Mark

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    Re: Goodbye DL4, hello GRDIII

    honestly?

    i'm a fixed lens girl, period. no ifs ands or buts.

    i have always thought the GRD's to be far above the GX range. i also think people underestimate how much they will enjoy the 28mm once it is in such a small package. it practically begs you to step closer... screw cropping! learn to get what you want with a 28mm -- it's a blast!

    if you insist on the 35mm (rather stodgy, sir ), the S10 is the way to go -- in regards to Ricoh, that is.

    i've always been amused by people doggedly sticking to an FOV, saying they must have a whatever lens... i've learned to adapt to whatever lens i have by using my feet and often try to break all the rules of any given focal length. that's half the fun of photography!

    if time is on your side, though, do wait for more reviews and examples (once RAWs can be processed). or maybe the X1 will come through in the end?

    and, truly, if want to bring the joy back to photography and aren't fussed about the newest and the shiniest, my two favourite cameras of all time are the Epson R-D1 and the original GRD.

    i will use them until they cannot be resuscitated.

  39. #39
    markpsf
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    Re: Goodbye DL4, hello GRDIII

    Well the reality Cam is that I'm not really as stodgy as I guess I that made me sound, far more mercurial and neurotic!

    I use a variety of prime lenses, just have a preference for the 35mm for whatever reason. The prime variables for me, apart from trying to become more skilled, are lens quality and speed, and the degree to which the camera lends itself to intuitive use.

    As for breaking the rules, I like to get as close as I can when the photo warrants that but like the option of shooting from different distances.
    One of my clearest memories from my youth is of being chased two blocks by a street vendor in NY at the age of 13 or 14 while doing street shooting with my Voigtlander. I clearly got too close!

    The GRD III is still in my foreground, the A12 in my radar, and while I haven't given up on the X 1 I'm getting close. Playing with an M8.2 next week but that's in my "probably a foolish fantasy" category. And now I at least have to take a peak at the RD-1. Like the Panasonic LC1, it's a camera that has been trashed by most reviewers and yet is loved by some excellent photographers.

    Thanks again.

    Mark



    Quote Originally Posted by cam View Post
    honestly?

    i'm a fixed lens girl, period. no ifs ands or buts.

    i have always thought the GRD's to be far above the GX range. i also think people underestimate how much they will enjoy the 28mm once it is in such a small package. it practically begs you to step closer... screw cropping! learn to get what you want with a 28mm -- it's a blast!

    if you insist on the 35mm (rather stodgy, sir ), the S10 is the way to go -- in regards to Ricoh, that is.

    i've always been amused by people doggedly sticking to an FOV, saying they must have a whatever lens... i've learned to adapt to whatever lens i have by using my feet and often try to break all the rules of any given focal length. that's half the fun of photography!

    if time is on your side, though, do wait for more reviews and examples (once RAWs can be processed). or maybe the X1 will come through in the end?

    and, truly, if want to bring the joy back to photography and aren't fussed about the newest and the shiniest, my two favourite cameras of all time are the Epson R-D1 and the original GRD.

    i will use them until they cannot be resuscitated.

  40. #40
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    Re: Goodbye DL4, hello GRDIII

    mercurial and neurotic -- sounds like me

    seriously, though, the size of the GRDIII truly makes you want to gt closer and i highly doubt you'll have issues with it being a 28mm (well apart from the tricky portrait aspect). it's small enough to always have with you and that counts for a lot.

    you made me laugh, thinking of old New York... i know it's cleaner and safer now (i was living there mid seventies, early eighties), but it has lost a lot of it's charm... i mean, what happened to Little Italy? grrrrrrrrr! i know i was there when things were going downhill, but still, i loved it.

    as for the M8, it was not at first sight for me. not even close to the R-D1 in that regard. it is so bleeping stunning at 160 that it's easy to become obsessed with the technical, rather than the image. am i still shooting on it? but, of course! it just took me a while to adjust.

    the R-D1 was just more filmic, simple, and elegant (if not nearly as attractive) -- and truly a joy to use. i will defend that camera to the death.

    as for the fun factor in the others, i believe the GXR wins. it is so easy to become obsessed and engrossed. you will have fun even as you learn to become a better photographer -- you know what i mean here

  41. #41
    markpsf
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    Re: Goodbye DL4, hello GRDIII

    Cam....

    So how can I pass on the A12 when I can almost feel your pleasure with it?! And how will you possibly not buy it?

    And a few of you are so in love with the GRD III that think I will have to at least try it...I do well on Craig's List sales here so I always have that option.

    I wish I knew someone here who had the Epson so I could at least give it a look.

    Yeh, Little Italy is now filled with boutiques and feels more like Vogue Village.

    But I just noticed that you live in my other favorite city. We had an apartment in the Marais for a week last year that just happened to be the time of the Fete de la Musique. I just didn't want to leave.

    Til next...and thanks again.

    Mark

    Quote Originally Posted by cam View Post
    mercurial and neurotic -- sounds like me

    seriously, though, the size of the GRDIII truly makes you want to gt closer and i highly doubt you'll have issues with it being a 28mm (well apart from the tricky portrait aspect). it's small enough to always have with you and that counts for a lot.

    you made me laugh, thinking of old New York... i know it's cleaner and safer now (i was living there mid seventies, early eighties), but it has lost a lot of it's charm... i mean, what happened to Little Italy? grrrrrrrrr! i know i was there when things were going downhill, but still, i loved it.

    as for the M8, it was not at first sight for me. not even close to the R-D1 in that regard. it is so bleeping stunning at 160 that it's easy to become obsessed with the technical, rather than the image. am i still shooting on it? but, of course! it just took me a while to adjust.

    the R-D1 was just more filmic, simple, and elegant (if not nearly as attractive) -- and truly a joy to use. i will defend that camera to the death.

    as for the fun factor in the others, i believe the GXR wins. it is so easy to become obsessed and engrossed. you will have fun even as you learn to become a better photographer -- you know what i mean here

  42. #42
    emyyl
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    Re: Goodbye DL4, hello GRDIII

    This is a great post! The GRD1 is still the camera I use the most. The camera is special because the package has got so many things right. UI, colors, IQ. I have been waiting for a larger sensor successor.

    I passed on the GRD2 primarily because IQ seemed to have taken a step backwards (being a jpeg only shooter). The pictures I see on the net seemed to be more "wooden".

    Now the pictures I see from the GRD3 have that additional sparkle over GRD1. Plus more detail and less noise. The extra f-stop is definitely a plus in night photos. I am really impressed. My question is how much better (subjectively)? Is the whole package "special"?

    The GXR throws in another twist. The A12 makes the camera clumsy. I have the 21mm adapter and that is one great lens. But I hardly bring it out. Ideally, the GXR should have a 28mm prime and a 35mm prime optional lens/sensor units. Then I can skip the GRD3 and go straight for the GXR.

    Gary

  43. #43
    markpsf
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    Re: Goodbye DL4, hello GRDIII

    Gary:
    You indicate that "the A12 makes the camera clumsy." I'm curious whether you've handled it or just think it looks clumsy or whether you're just referring to the size.
    Cam and a couple of other people who've handled it don't appear to think it's clumsy.

    Mark

  44. #44
    emyyl
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    Re: Goodbye DL4, hello GRDIII

    Hi Mark, I have not handled one as it's not available here in Malaysia yet. I was coming from the angle of portability. For example, the GX200 or DL4, just because of the protruding lens, means you need a larger belt pouch. I have recommended friends to the GX200 and I find them still bringing along their little Sony P&S everywhere instead of the GX200, even though they recognise that the IQ of the GX200 is much better. I guess it would also depend on your body size.

    Gary

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    Re: Goodbye DL4, hello GRDIII

    the GXR with the 50mm is not clumsy. at first, i had a wee bit of an issue with the balance, but quickly adapted. there is a spirit level on the screen as well, to tell you if it's level (not that i ever think to pay attention to it -- god forbid i ever shoot straight). it really does feel good in the hands. though!

    as far as pocketable, well, big pockets... not so much an issue if you tend to always have your camera in hand, as i do.

    on my way back to return the camera, i took some fantastic metro shots that i never would have with the M8. it made me lust for it again... sigh.

    Gary -- there is a wider prime in the works, but it will not be their next module release. however, i did stress the importance of sooner rather than later... fingers crossed!

  46. #46
    markpsf
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    Re: Goodbye DL4, hello GRDIII

    I hear a lot of sighing around this one Cam! Remember, life is short, and it's only money! I'll get one if you will.

    The only remaining question for me is GRD III or GXR S10.

    Mark

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    Re: Goodbye DL4, hello GRDIII

    LOL!

    remember, i have the M8 and the R-D1 with favourite lenses make them 50mm equivalents... makes it a lot harder for me to justify (especially as i have gone quite mad with glass purchases). if i had neither, i would buy the GXR in a heartbeat!

    just being able to use it for a few days has gotten me out of the doldrums and helped me see again... it is all quite odd.

    Ricoh magic?

    i believe i read somewhere that Popflash has a try before you buy program... i doubt the GXR will be on it for a bit of time, but i think the GRDIII will be.

    although both the GXR and the GRDIII are a little more complex (read: more options), it might be good to check out how it feels in your large hands and whether or not you like the interface.

    i personally love the UI and thinks it's brilliant as do many rangefinder users. my boyfriend, on the other hand (used to Canon and Oly's), thinks it's crap.

  48. #48
    Oxide Blu
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    Re: Goodbye DL4, hello GRDIII

    Quote Originally Posted by cam View Post

    i personally love the UI and thinks it's brilliant as do many rangefinder users. my boyfriend, on the other hand (used to Canon and Oly's), thinks it's crap.

    Cam -- this is a no-brainer -- get a new boyfriend.

    I agree with you, the Ricoh cameras have a bunch of options crammed into them, but the menu structure and button functions/layout make it very very very simple and intuitive to use. I used to think Canon's PowerShot/Ixy line was easiest to use, used them for years. But it only one time out with my first Ricoh to become comfortable with it.

  49. #49
    markpsf
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    Re: Goodbye DL4, hello GRDIII

    Cam:

    As far as your boyfriend goes...well even tho you're not married...my wife's favorite message to couples in counseling is worth noting...."Would you rather be right or be married?"

    I'm beginning to think my message about my large hands was misleading.
    They are not mutant-like and I'm not 6 feet tall. Long fingers yes but I handled the GRII with ease a few years ago. The S90 is really tiny and, equally important, by placing the lens more or less in the middle has left almost no room on either side. Then there's no grip at all plus a very smooth finish.
    People are now talking about what added grips will work with it. That should be an option and not a necessity for a significant number of users.

    I also think that I'll be very comfortable holding and handling either the GRD III or S10. The decision there will be based on other differences between them, with the differences in sizes also not a significant variable. The key questions for me still relate to what the tradeoffs are re the zoom lens vs. the faster prime,the processing engine differences, the image stabilization, and the EVF.

    As to your boyfriend again...It's too bad he's so equivocal.


    Mark



    Quote Originally Posted by cam View Post
    LOL!

    remember, i have the M8 and the R-D1 with favourite lenses make them 50mm equivalents... makes it a lot harder for me to justify (especially as i have gone quite mad with glass purchases). if i had neither, i would buy the GXR in a heartbeat!

    just being able to use it for a few days has gotten me out of the doldrums and helped me see again... it is all quite odd.

    Ricoh magic?

    i believe i read somewhere that Popflash has a try before you buy program... i doubt the GXR will be on it for a bit of time, but i think the GRDIII will be.

    although both the GXR and the GRDIII are a little more complex (read: more options), it might be good to check out how it feels in your large hands and whether or not you like the interface.

    i personally love the UI and thinks it's brilliant as do many rangefinder users. my boyfriend, on the other hand (used to Canon and Oly's), thinks it's crap.

  50. #50
    Senior Member ShiroKuro's Avatar
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    Re: Goodbye DL4, hello GRDIII


    GRDII

    great thread ...

    Cam thanks for taking the time to write all your thoughts . Ricoh did right by giving you one of these cameras to use ... By far the most interesting thread i have read on the GXR .... The fact that the users here have such a passion for photography and willingness to share from their experiences is invaluable ......
    From my user experience with Ricoh, the GXR / GRX (Not sure if Ricoh can keep it straight .....; ) ) is my next camera ...with the 50 ,I am certainly up for the challenge .
    If for the fact I did not destroy my GRDII I would not be looking for a new digital camera as I was completely satisfied with it. Shooting mostly film this camera was sort of a digital notebook for me and I grew to love the wide angle and its ease of use ... the only camera I have ever used that was so intuitive ... became very natural to use ... The GXR with the 50 will be really interesting for me as I usually shoot a 50 on my M6 .... the fact that other modules are not readily available is not really a concern .Ricoh seems to put a lot of effort into making amazing photographic tools for their customers ,I have no doubt that some interesting things are to come in the future and they won't disappoint . I for one am glad that the 50 was one of their first focal lengths .

    Cam I just now realized you are je ne suis pas on flikr ... ; ) Love your work
    Last edited by ShiroKuro; 24th November 2009 at 15:23.

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