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Thread: GRDII or GX200???

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    Member jminor's Avatar
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    GRDII or GX200???

    Last year after exhaustive research I purchased a GRD. It was a wonderful camera and I happily snapped away for several months before I thought I may be too limited by the fixed lens and sold it. Big mistake. I recently bought a Pentax K10D. It is a great camera and takes tremendous pictures but is a bundle to take out and about with lenses, batteries ect, and somehow it's not as much FUN as the GRD was to use. So I had decided to sell a lens and get the GRDII, but after some reading I wonder if the GX200 might be the better camera for me. It would be my all around camera, snapshots, social events, trips, concerts, all different lighting situations, ect.... and bottom line is the best possible image quality. I may be wrong here but the GX200 almost sounds like a GRDII with a zoom lens????? It seems like the lenses on the two cameras produce similar quality pictures..... Build, feature set on both must be close to equal so based on image quality, if you could only buy one, which would it be????? Thanks, 9fingers

  2. #2
    Prognathous
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    Re: GRDII or GX200???

    I would certainly prefer the GX200. Here are my reasons:

    - A 24-72mm zoom lens is much more versatile than a 28mm prime lens. I'm not convinced that the differences in optical quality (distortion, contrast) are that significant, but I know for a fact that the differences in focal length range are.
    - Image stabilization, giving at least a stop advantage, maybe two stops. f/2.5-f/4.4 is a reasonable range to begin with, but with IS it's as if the range becomes f/1.4-f/2.8, at least when shooting static subjects, and when DOF is sufficient (and when *isn't* it sufficient outside macro shooting? we are talking small-sensor cameras after all)
    - EVF is more useful than OVF (100% coverage, no parallax, full technical details)
    - 5 frame RAW buffer vs. 2 frame in the GR-D2

    Prog.

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    Member jminor's Avatar
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    Re: GRDII or GX200???

    Opps, I signed off with my other handle, johnny9fingers. Thanks Prognathous, using IS will negate any difference in low light performance between the two cameras. Another feature I was wondering about is the resize function on the GRDII. Would this produce similar results as the zoom on the GX200????

    John

  4. #4
    Prognathous
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    Re: GRDII or GX200???

    Quote Originally Posted by jminor View Post
    using IS will negate any difference in low light performance between the two cameras.
    Even without IS, there isn't much difference to talk about at the wide-end - f/2.4 vs f/2.5. Enter IS, and the GX200 should have a lead of at least one stop.

    Another feature I was wondering about is the resize function on the GRDII. Would this produce similar results as the zoom on the GX200????
    In terms of composition, this "feature" would provide the same result, but so would cropping. In terms of image quality, it definitely won't. There's no way cropping a 28mm lens shot could deliver the same level of detail that a 72mm lens can capture.

    Prog.

  5. #5
    Chuck A
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    Re: GRDII or GX200???

    Quote Originally Posted by Prognathous View Post
    I would certainly prefer the GX200. Here are my reasons:

    - A 24-72mm zoom lens is much more versatile than a 28mm prime lens. I'm not convinced that the differences in optical quality (distortion, contrast) are that significant, but I know for a fact that the differences in focal length range are.
    - Image stabilization, giving at least a stop advantage, maybe two stops. f/2.5-f/4.4 is a reasonable range to begin with, but with IS it's as if the range becomes f/1.4-f/2.8, at least when shooting static subjects, and when DOF is sufficient (and when *isn't* it sufficient outside macro shooting? we are talking small-sensor cameras after all)
    - EVF is more useful than OVF (100% coverage, no parallax, full technical details)
    - 5 frame RAW buffer vs. 2 frame in the GR-D2

    Prog.
    I have to agree with the majority of your points here. My main exception is the EVF vs OVF comment. Having used a GX100 with the EVF I must say that it is one of the worst EVFs I have tried. While it sounds great in theory, it is not very usable in practice. It does give you info and 100% view but there is no detail and very poor dynamic range and it is hard to see in sunlight. The subjects get muddled and lost.

    Not so with an OVF. You don't get the info and viewfinder accuracy but you get a great view of the subject with all of the nuances and detail. I have been using my GX100 with a Leica Imarect viewfinder and it is really slick giving me 35, 50 and 72mm views. There are even some Russian models that give a 28mm view as well but I haven't tried them yet. I used it in full sun yesterday and it was a joy. You will not know how wonderful using the GX100 can be until you use it with an OVF. I also have a brightline 35mm and that works great also and am looking for brightlines to use with 28 and 50mm when I want to work with one focal length for a time. Using an OVF in conjuction with the step zoom is great way of working with a small compact. I want to try the VL 28 and 35mm brightline. Anybody here us it?

    Don't get me wrong, I am not a purist who is against the EVF. If it is a decent one they can be usable. I wish that Ricoh would have given us a better EVF. The one in the Digilux 2/Pan LC1 was better. The one in my Pan FZ7 is better. I am sure that a high res one like the old Minolta A2 would be much better. Perhaps Ricoh could make an upgraded EVF for those who want one. Wishful thinking I suppose.
    Last edited by Chuck A; 13th July 2008 at 18:08.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Tim's Avatar
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    Re: GRDII or GX200???

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck A View Post
    Perhaps Ricoh could make an upgraded EVF for those who want one. Wishful thinking I suppose.
    Chuck,

    I wish Ricoh would also include a small powerful dedicated TTL flash as part of the GRD/GX200 system. I dont always use flash but it would be a welcome addition.

    More wishful thinking.

    Tim

  7. #7
    VladimirV
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    Re: GRDII or GX200???

    Quote Originally Posted by jminor View Post
    ...if you could only buy one, which would it be?????
    It would be the GRD I without hesitating. Here my post from DP Review.

    The GRD I offers the best jpgs from Ricoh cameras and has a distinct look and feel to the images, the wheel at the back is better than the rocker switch, the AF is good light is one of the fastest in any compact cameras and the camera feels more solid.

    The GRD II is nice and improves in a lot of areas but is disapointing when you use jpgs, try to focus fast in good light, the rocker switch is not fast enough to use and the flash feels flimsy. It gives you better AF in low light, faster RAW, leveler and better display plus the My modes on the dial.

    The GX100 is somewhere in between but does not feel as solid, is bigger and you don't have that many options over the b&w processing.

    The GX200 offers everything that the GRD II has plus a zoom lens and better RAW buffer, unfortunatelly it also offers the horrible jpgs, screen freeze when focusing in natural light and adjust rocker switch instead of the wheel.

    My recommendation would be to either get a GRD I at bargain prices right now or go for the GX200 since it offers the best package.

    You can have a look at my blog for pictures and impressions of both cameras (and some of the Panasonic LC1).

  8. #8
    VladimirV
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    Re: GRDII or GX200???

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck A View Post
    The one in the Digilux 2/Pan LC1 was better.
    The LC1 EVF is better but has a fairly high lag that the Ricoh EVF does not have.

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    Member jminor's Avatar
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    Re: GRDII or GX200???

    Thanks for everyones insight. To make sure I am completely happy I am going to get both the GRD & GX200. Thus, I have the best of the original and all the enhancements of the new. Now to sell off some gear so I can make this happen..... John

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    Senior Member Tim's Avatar
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    Re: GRDII or GX200???

    Quote Originally Posted by VladimirV View Post
    My recommendation would be to either get a GRD I at bargain prices right now or go for the GX200 since it offers the best package.
    Where are all the bargain priced GRD I's? None on "thebay" at the moment?

    Any online shops with some?

    Tim

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    Re: GRDII or GX200???

    PopFlash has 10 GRD's, opps I mean 9 (I just bought one) new ones for sale at $399.00. You can probably find them used for less, but at that price, and the new camera smell, you can't go wrong. One thing for sure, I learned my lesson and won't be letting this little gem go.....

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    Re: GRDII or GX200???

    jminor, I've got both GRDI and II, and now the II is being repaired. This was posted in the other thread, thought it might be useful for your decision.

    I couldn't part with the GRDI, even though I really needed to sell it in order to get the II. Both are great though. Just couldn't let go of the I because it really is a very special camera.

    Before I never shot raw with it until now (all of the above are raw), and somehow assumed that the look is due to the jpeg engine. But it's not.

    On the technical side, I do notice a lot of minuses with it: a lot more noise, the raw files can be pushed a lot less, bad flash. The 12 sec raw write can be fun though, as it forces the shots to be a lot more deliberate.

  13. #13
    Chuck A
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    Re: GRDII or GX200???

    Quote Originally Posted by sizifo View Post
    The 12 sec raw write can be fun though, as it forces the shots to be a lot more deliberate.
    I never quite heard it put that way and calling it "fun" is probably not the way I would describe it. But, I did get a chuckle out of your cheerful description of the GRD RAW write time.

    Good luck and great shooting!

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    Re: GRDII or GX200???

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck A View Post
    I never quite heard it put that way and calling it "fun" is probably not the way I would describe it. But, I did get a chuckle out of your cheerful description of the GRD RAW write time.

    Good luck and great shooting!
    Yes. Looking on the bright side of things... to the extreme. But seriously, it did make me realize how much I pump the shutter on the GRDII.

    One thing I forgot: a big plus or the grd II is the manual focusing which is implemented quite well, and I use it almost all the time in order to get no AF delay. On the GRD I find the manual useless, without the distance indicator. I also often use the AE lock, which doesn't exist on the I.

    Actually, I should check whether any of this has been implemented in a firmware update.

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    Re: GRDII or GX200???

    Quote Originally Posted by sizifo View Post

    Actually, I should check whether any of this has been implemented in a firmware update.
    To answer my on query: no. And it won't be, probably because it can't work for some hardware reason.

    Also, I noticed that Sein Reid has the GX200 review more or less done. Seems to compare very favorably with the GRD2. Personally, I've looked at the GX200 raw files, and believe the prime advantage is significant. They simply don't look as good as the GRD2 files.

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    Senior Member nostatic's Avatar
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    Re: GRDII or GX200???

    I agree. I was ready to jump on the GX200 having played with the GRD2 for awhile and liking some aspects while not liking others. In Sean's review, I liked a few of the GX200 shots better, but overall the GRD2 just looked "better" to me.

    ymmv, offer void where prohibited.

  17. #17
    RobertE
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    Re: GRDII or GX200???

    Quote Originally Posted by jminor View Post
    ... so based on image quality, if you could only buy one, which would it be????? Thanks, jminor
    Quote Originally Posted by VladimirV View Post
    It would be the GRD I without hesitating.
    I sometimes still wonder whether I made the right purchasing decision, but truly, I've no regrets about buying the GRDI (from Tony @ Popflash). I really enjoy using it. I'll probably never be anything more than an enthusiastic amateur, but I've gotten a lot of inspiration from viewing the posts here and at a few other sites. The GRDI 'fits' my needs perfectly. I feel validated when I read posts like this. Thank you!

    Regards,
    Rob

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    Super Duper
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    Re: GRDII or GX200???

    Quote Originally Posted by RobertE View Post
    I sometimes still wonder whether I made the right purchasing decision, but truly, I've no regrets about buying the GRDI (from Tony @ Popflash). I really enjoy using it. I'll probably never be anything more than an enthusiastic amateur, but I've gotten a lot of inspiration from viewing the posts here and at a few other sites. The GRDI 'fits' my needs perfectly. I feel validated when I read posts like this. Thank you!

    Regards,
    Rob
    Hear hear!!!
    Loving my GRD First Gen!!!

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    Re: GRDII or GX200???

    Quote Originally Posted by nostatic View Post
    I agree. I was ready to jump on the GX200 having played with the GRD2 for awhile and liking some aspects while not liking others. In Sean's review, I liked a few of the GX200 shots better, but overall the GRD2 just looked "better" to me.

    ymmv, offer void where prohibited.
    Yes. I for example liked the fruit and veg photo better with the GX. However, I think that when the difference is so small it's difficult to draw any conclusions, since there are so many factors. Eg. maybe adjusting the whitebalance, or this that or the other, would make things go the other way. While Sean's reviews are great, I find that it's difficult to get a real grip of what he's talking about without looking at the raw files (this is not specific to his review but any review). So what I'm saying about the GRD looking better really comes from messing with the files from both cameras in aperture, where I have some sense of how much they can be pushed, and what their real content is. Yes, I think, since having started to use raw, I've developed (a limited) feeling for the real content of the files, independent of the modifications that the raw converter adds to them.

    Here's one impression. I read in some posting, totally forgot where, that when compared with a large sensor, objects on a small sensor photo look like they are cut out of cardboard. I tend to agree with this. The prime lens of the GRDII just make this cardboard cutout look good - while the GX ones don't quite cut it for me (no pun intended).

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    Re: GRDII or GX200???

    To me, the images of the fruit, the GX ones seem to have a fine line drawn about the edges giving an impression of greater crispness.
    Those of the GRD II have the detail, just not oulined.
    Hard to explain, i've not go the vocabulary.
    As it stand, given the OP choice, I personally would choose the GRD @
    Pixel peeping I prefer the prime.
    For myself, given the fact that I have and adore my GRD I the GX200 would get 'the nod'

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    Member jminor's Avatar
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    Re: GRDII or GX200???

    The GRD arrived last Monday. It was nice to get a new camera and be able to use it right out of the box without pouring through the manual. It felt as good in my hands as I remembered and when the battery had charged I was happilly snapping away. I will probably want a camera with some zoom, but that can wait while I get reaquainted with this little beauty. I will put in the time needed to learn everything the camera can do, this is gonna be fun. Then, when I'm ready to find a zoom companion for the GRD, I think I will take a good look at the Panny TZ5, FX150, or LX3. It will all come down to weather I want the reach of the TZ5, or the raw capability of the other two. Now to go take some pictures. Thanks again for your insight and advice........ John

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