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Thread: Conclusions on GRD2 vs GX100

  1. #1
    Mitch Alland
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    Conclusions on GRD2 vs GX100

    There have been several questions here of which one to get, and the choice is not that easy. I posted a few months ago on dpreview conclusions on the original GRD vs the GX100 in which I wrote that the differences between these cameras was much larger than had been indicated in most postings there — it's the same with the GRD2 vs the GX100: the differences are significant. But please note that I have not made any A-B tests but have only drawn these conclusions from using these cameras and making prints from their files. I am as eager as anyone else to see what Sean Reid concludes in his now imminent review, as I find his reviews to be balanced, always from the point of view of an experienced photographer, and the best either on the web or in magazines.

    The GX100 is a very capable camera and the "stepped" zoom a very good facility for experienced photographers, who can work with is the way they would with five prime lenses by "stepping" through EFOV focal lengths that they are familier with, 24, 28, 35, 50 and 72. Hence, the first question a prospective buyer needs to decide is whether he or she can live with a fixed focal length 28mm lens or really wants the convenience of a zoom lens. But keep in mind that the GRD2 has the flexibility of adding a 21mm wide-converter, which is of excellent quality and a 40mm tele-converter, which, according to a posting by Sean Reid, is of a quality that will not disappoint those who have used the 21mm converter: this means a very high quality indeed.

    As for the lens of the GRD2 and GX100 it is no doubt that the former, as a prime lens, is substantially better, with much less barrel distortion and better sharpness and contrast.

    In terms of the pictures produced by the two cameras — speaking only of RAW files — I find those of the GX100 substantially softer than those of the GRD2, although I don't know the degree to which this softness is due to less contrast as opposed to less sharpness. I suspect it's both. However, I must hasten to say that the GX100 files take very well even to aggressive sharpening; and, therefore, the ultimate result in terms of image sharpness and contrast between the two cameras differs less than one would have initially expected. Nevertheless, I find it substantially easier to work with the GRD2 files to get the look that I want than with the GX100.

    In terms of noise, which I like to call grain in the positive sense, the GRD2 has substantially smaller grain than the GX100: my impression is that a GRD2 file at ISO 400 may have the grain of a GX100 file at ISO 200 or even of 100. It is clear that Ricoh has made a major step forward in terms of image quality with the GRD2. Actually, this surprises me because the two cameras apparently use the same sensor, although other electronic components are different, as are the lenses.

    At first, like some other people that have posted here and on other forums, I thought that the GRD2 might have lost the look of the original GRD. But after using the new camera for about a month I've now concluded that what Ricoh has done is substantially to improve the signal to noise ratio, so that the new camera produces much better RAW files at all ISO speeds. This means that I can get what I want, which is a relatively grainy look, by shooting at ISO 400 and using sharpening and contrast increase to heighten the grain effect. I can do a similar thing shooting at ISO100 and 200. As for ISO 800 I find that it is much better than on the GX100 so that I can have a higher proportion of usable pictures at this speed, not losing some of them to excessive grain in key areas of the image.

    The bottom line is that I would generally rather use the GRD2 rather than the GX100, although I can get very good pictures from the latter as well. You can look at a series of 32 GRD2 shots here:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/1026877...44012922/show/

    ...and a series of 20 GX100 shots here:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/1026877...89594785/show/

    —Mitch/Bangkok
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

  2. #2
    Sean_Reid
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    Re: Conclusions on GRD2 vs GX100

    Hi Mitch,

    Each time I think just about ready to wrap up that review, I find one more thing I need to tweak. But, yes, as we discussed yesterday, the GR2 is able to deliver a S/N beyond that of many small sensor cameras, including the GR and the GX100.

    Throughout this review that I hope to finish very soon, I compare the GR2 and the GX100 as well as the Canon G9. To me, the most interesting current small sensor cameras, for the serious photographer, are the D-Lux 3, the GR2 and the GX100. I'm partial to the Ricohs because I like the option of working: A) at fixed and known focal lengths and B) with external optical finders but the D-Lux cameras, undeniably, have real strengths.

    I may be able to wrap this up and publish by tomorrow but this isn't a good review to publish as a draft so I've got to make sure its really ready. Being a reviewer is like having a major term paper due every day. <G>

    Cheers,

    Sean

  3. #3
    lucridders
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    Re: Conclusions on GRD2 vs GX100

    After also months of using the GX100 and now GRDII, I have to say that you need to be blind when you still buy one of those cams. I call those cameras "guessing cameras" as you never know in advance what result your picture will have when you use it for daily shots. My conclusion is that those are made only for people who likes PP a lot and hours of work to make every image usable.
    I was buying those also because on the forums they tell that they are superb. Well, in real they are good at the baiscs, but needs still a long way to go. Using it as carry around cam is not an option as even for my carry around pictures, I need more quality. So, when I read that pro-people are using this next to their DSLR, I have my doubts about those users.
    I give the GX100 and GRDII a "not recommended" and this for daily use and also buold quality.

  4. #4
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    Re: Conclusions on GRD2 vs GX100

    Quote Originally Posted by Sean_Reid View Post
    Hi Mitch,

    snip... To me, the most interesting current small sensor cameras, for the serious photographer, are the D-Lux 3, the GR2 and the GX100. I'm partial to the Ricohs because I like the option of working: A) at fixed and known focal lengths and B) with external optical finders but the D-Lux cameras, undeniably, have real strengths.
    ...snip

    Cheers,

    Sean

    Sean, would you include the LX2 with the D-Lux 3 as they are really one in the same?

    Good shooting,
    Otto...

  5. #5
    Mitch Alland
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    Re: Conclusions on GRD2 vs GX100

    Otto, I think that you've answered your own question.

    —Mitch/Bangkok
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

  6. #6
    KJB
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    Re: Conclusions on GRD2 vs GX100

    Quote Originally Posted by lucridders View Post
    After also months of using the GX100 and now GRDII, I have to say that you need to be blind when you still buy one of those cams. I call those cameras "guessing cameras" as you never know in advance what result your picture will have when you use it for daily shots. My conclusion is that those are made only for people who likes PP a lot and hours of work to make every image usable.
    I was buying those also because on the forums they tell that they are superb. Well, in real they are good at the baiscs, but needs still a long way to go. Using it as carry around cam is not an option as even for my carry around pictures, I need more quality. So, when I read that pro-people are using this next to their DSLR, I have my doubts about those users.
    I give the GX100 and GRDII a "not recommended" and this for daily use and also buold quality.
    Mitch,
    I enjoyed your photos very much. The Ricoh's image quality and functionality seem remarkable given its is a compact camera. The GX100 images seem to have a bit more bite to them and more contrast which may be a product of post processing. Overall I think one can't really go wrong with either of them when one considers the benefits of using such a small form factor for street/people photography. I have seen similar benefits in using my M8 over my DSLRs but these Richos take the compact concept to a whole other level.
    Ken

  7. #7
    jorgeAD
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    Re: Conclusions on GRD2 vs GX100

    Quote Originally Posted by lucridders View Post
    I call those cameras "guessing cameras" as you never know in advance what result your picture will have when you use it for daily shots. My conclusion is that those are made only for people who likes PP a lot and hours of work to make every image usable (...) I give the GX100 and GRDII a "not recommended" and this for daily use and also buold quality.
    Oh dear,

    Falacious unfounded statements like these got you in trouble at the ricoh forum. It all seems to no avail since you are still carrying on and havent shown a single picture to prove your points, yet always claim months of experience and numerous tests and comparisons...

    To me the GRD II practical RAW writing times make all the difference. The GRD I great lens, fantastic handling and amazing form factor are all still there. So you must actually know what you are doing...What a drag! Fortunately this is one of very few small sensor cameras that actually lets you apply what you know !!

    It comes down to perfecting your technique and working towards your own standards, instead of endlessly trying out one camera after another (or software) at default settings and shooting JPG, looking for a magic bullet...

    Would these two pictures, taken minutes apart, work equally well with the same out-of-camera settings? I used no hand coloring, no selections, not even a curves adjustment! Three minutes per photo can make the content so much stronger... Why give that up if you really care about photography?



    30 seconds exposure, F5.6, ISO 80 with a GRD II synced to an external Sunpak 383super Flash. After flash exposure the camera was pointed towards the beds edge and left there for the remaining exposure.



    1/60 of a sec. F5.6 , ISO 80 with a GRD II, synced to a Canon 580 EX using the MicroSync trigger and Wein HSH adapter. The following two-minute Russell Brown faux IR conversion variation did the "coloring" trick (just apply -180Master, -70saturation instead of -100saturation to the second Hue & Saturation Adjustment Layer):

    http://public.fotki.com/JorgeAD/digi...nfrax4red.html

    FYI: just returned from a night out (its 3 AM in Costa Rica as I write). Took tons of usable, tack sharp, well exposed photos... The GRD2 is no point-and-shoot, but a very reliable little camera if you know what you are doing !

  8. #8
    stnami
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    Re: Conclusions on GRD2 vs GX100

    lucridders statement is not too far off the mark nor is it ludicrious........ the Ricohs do require a fair amount of PP work and due to that they really are not for the masses who want images straight out of the box.
    Having written that............. yes they are the best of the small P&S's as far as tools for creating interesting images in B&W, others do a better job in colour (though with a limited colour pallette they can produce the goods).
    Mitch your GX100 series works a lot better than the other work..........maybe you are becoming too familiar with the streets of home and the idle image has crept in............

  9. #9
    Mitch Alland
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    Re: Conclusions on GRD2 vs GX100

    Quote Originally Posted by stnami View Post
    ...Mitch your GX100 series works a lot better than the other work..........maybe you are becoming too familiar with the streets of home and the idle image has crept in............
    Good point, Imants. Have to give some thought to the direction that I'm going in the Thai photos, so that it doesn't become circles.

    —Mitch/Bangkok
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

  10. #10
    Drafi
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    Re: Conclusions on GRD2 vs GX100

    Quote Originally Posted by stnami View Post
    lucridders statement is not too far off the mark nor is it ludicrious........ the Ricohs do require a fair amount of PP work and due to that they really are not for the masses who want images straight out of the box.
    I am sorry but I don't agree at all. I have been using the GX100 for a while now, and I can use most of the pictures I am taking "straight out of the box", no problem. I can also use some PP to improve some of the pictures, but that's optional, just like in other cameras, e.g. the Canon Ixus I had before. I am still using the large majority of my photos without any PP.

    I know you are not alone with your impression that the GX100 and GRD are not so good for P+S. But to be honest, I could never quite see what actually gives people this impression. What do they actually mean?

    I am of course very happy about the control and the good ergonomics the GX100 gives me while photographing, and this was one of the reasons why I bought the camera. But these possibilities of customization and manual control are additional benefits for me and do not diminish its capabilities as P+S camera, if I want to use it as such. It gives me the same reasonable results as other cameras, if I take pictures without touching any controls at all.

  11. #11
    stnami
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    Re: Conclusions on GRD2 vs GX100

    I owned a GRD for some time, did a heap of stuff with it. There are a truck load of cameras that produce acceptable images straight out of the box as the ricoh does, but that's it they are pictures.
    If you want to get the best out of the camera you have to PP, the same went with film you either went to the drug store or for better results processed yourself (if you knew how) or sent them to a pro lab.
    But you are happy so be it, I guess it depends on one's expectations..........

  12. #12
    Drafi
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    Re: Conclusions on GRD2 vs GX100

    Quote Originally Posted by stnami View Post
    If you want to get the best out of the camera you have to PP, the same went with film you either went to the drug store or for better results processed yourself (if you knew how) or sent them to a pro lab.
    That's true - not only for the Ricohs but for all cameras. It does not mean the Ricohs are worse or more difficult to use for point and shoot photography than any other camera. So, I still cannot quite see the logic in the argumentation.

  13. #13
    Sean_Reid
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    Re: Conclusions on GRD2 vs GX100

    Quote Originally Posted by Otto View Post
    Sean, would you include the LX2 with the D-Lux 3 as they are really one in the same?

    Good shooting,
    Otto...
    Absolutely.

    Cheers,

    Sean

  14. #14
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    Re: Conclusions on GRD2 vs GX100

    Stnami or others,

    Could you say which P/S do a better job in color? I'm a color guy and would love to know.

    Thanks,

    Mitchell

  15. #15
    Sean_Reid
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    Re: Conclusions on GRD2 vs GX100

    Just a reminder...Above all, civility is essential in these forums. Differences in point of view are worth discussing but I want to be sure that the sorts of personal arguments that have developed on another Ricoh forum are not replicated here. That hasn't quite happened yet but this thread could drift that way.

    My own experience is that many files from the GR II could go straight to print with no Photoshop work at all. But I never work that way myself, no matter what the camera is, there are always changes I want to make to the file. I don't see the Ricohs as particularly needing any more post-work than any other camera.

    Keep it civil please.

    Cheers,

    Sean

  16. #16
    Sean_Reid
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    Re: Conclusions on GRD2 vs GX100

    Quote Originally Posted by stnami View Post
    I owned a GRD for some time, did a heap of stuff with it. There are a truck load of cameras that produce acceptable images straight out of the box as the ricoh does, but that's it they are pictures.
    If you want to get the best out of the camera you have to PP, the same went with film you either went to the drug store or for better results processed yourself (if you knew how) or sent them to a pro lab.
    But you are happy so be it, I guess it depends on one's expectations..........
    I think it depends on expectations, yes, but also on what kind of pictures one wants to make. I know that you use post-processing a lot in your work but I also know photographers who do strong work with very little post processing.

    I, personally, almost always work with important files to some extent in post just as I always spent a good amount of time in the dark room with final prints. I tend to handle different passages in a picture in different ways and some of that variation comes from local changes in make in PS. That said, I can often get a lot of the way there with a versatile RAW conversion program.

    It might be interesting for us to discuss the ways in which we do or do not use PS to modify or transform pictures, not matter what camera they came from. My film camera negatives were rarely printed straight either; there were always individual development variations with sheet film, paper contrast decisions, burning, dodging, sometimes flashing, sometimes warm developer applied locally to certain parts of the print before it went to the stopbath, etc.

    Cheers,

    Sean

  17. #17
    Sean_Reid
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    Re: Conclusions on GRD2 vs GX100

    Quote Originally Posted by lucridders View Post
    After also months of using the GX100 and now GRDII, I have to say that you need to be blind when you still buy one of those cams.
    Luc,

    That's the kind of comment that just tends to inflame and doesn't advance the discussion at all.

    Sean

  18. #18
    Senior Member Will's Avatar
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    Re: Conclusions on GRD2 vs GX100

    I have also wondered why there is the impression that the GRD and GX cameras are not so good for point and shoot pictures. I have never had any trouble with them in that regard. I'm beginning to think it may be a consequence of people seeing the stunning images that these cameras can produce in the right hands. These pictures are so good that perhaps they make casual photographers have higher expectations of the ricoh cameras than they do for the other small sensor cameras. They aren't actually comparing like with like.
    I do agree though that there really is no point in buying a Ricoh unless you are intending to make use of the controls. For snaps of your holiday with the kids or a drunken party with your friends then a Canon Ixus or the like is a cheaper, and perfectly good alternative. Printed at 4 x 6 it is probably impossible to see a difference anyway.

  19. #19
    Drafi
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    Re: Conclusions on GRD2 vs GX100

    Quote Originally Posted by Sean_Reid View Post
    My own experience is that many files from the GR II could go straight to print with no Photoshop work at all. But I never work that way myself, no matter what the camera is, there are always changes I want to make to the file. I don't see the Ricohs as particularly needing any more post-work than any other camera.
    That's what I mean, Sean. When people say, the GX100/GRD is no point and shoot, it often sounds as if the pictures need more PP than those of other cameras. That's not my impression. Maybe it would be better to say that the Ricohs can be more than point and shoot cameras, namely serious tools for the enthusiast. Then I could agree wholeheartedly.

  20. #20
    Sean_Reid
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    Re: Conclusions on GRD2 vs GX100

    What's a point and shoot?

    Cheers,

    Sean

  21. #21
    Mitch Alland
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    Re: Conclusions on GRD2 vs GX100

    Thanks, Sean, for your intervention to keep this thread from becoming nasty. It has, however, gone quite a bit off-topic on the non-remarkable issue that one can improve pictures, or get them the to be the way that one wants, by post-processing; or that alternatively one can use the JPGs straight out of the camera.

    Perhaps we can get back to discussing the comparative qualities of the GX100 and GRD2. Actually, I don't mind off-topic discussions at all as long as they are not baby-talk.

    —Mitch/Bangkok
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

  22. #22
    Sean_Reid
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    Re: Conclusions on GRD2 vs GX100

    I'll have a lot to say about that question as soon as I can wrap up this article. Still plugging away with RAW files cookin' in the oven right now.

    Cheers,

    Sean

  23. #23
    Drafi
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    Re: Conclusions on GRD2 vs GX100

    Quote Originally Posted by Sean_Reid View Post
    What's a point and shoot?
    Sorry, my English may be not so exact at times. I am talking about a point and shoot camera, I have seen some using the abbreviation P/S.

  24. #24
    Sean_Reid
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    Re: Conclusions on GRD2 vs GX100

    Hi Drafi,

    Its not your English at all. I'm just steadily trying to bury that term because it never made sense. So my post was a joke.

    Best,

    Sean

  25. #25
    Drafi
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    Re: Conclusions on GRD2 vs GX100

    Quote Originally Posted by Mitch Alland View Post
    Actually, I don't mind off-topic discussions at all as long as they are not baby-talk.
    As an answer to this sentence, may I quote Sean?:

    "That's the kind of comment that just tends to inflame and doesn't advance the discussion at all."

  26. #26
    Sean_Reid
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    Re: Conclusions on GRD2 vs GX100

    Quote Originally Posted by Drafi View Post
    As an answer to this sentence, may I quote Sean?:

    "That's the kind of comment that just tends to inflame and doesn't advance the discussion at all."
    I agree and I imagine that Mitch may also, upon reflection, agree as well. The rules have to apply to all of us, myself included.

    Cheers,

    Sean

  27. #27
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    Re: Conclusions on GRD2 vs GX100

    In regards to P&S, post process, and all that.
    NO digital camera I have used has ever produced perfect results every time without input on my part.
    I have owned and used a Nikon Coolpix S5, Fuji Finepix S5200 and F31FD, Pentax K100D and my GRD.
    ALL of them require effort on the part of the photographer to produce the best possible image, either by in-camera controls or in post.
    One great thing about the Gr series and GX100 is that the degree of in-camera control matches or exceeds some DLSR's (ie my k100D) and the fact that these controls are so easily accessible.
    My images are passable at best, but I am pleased with them and the GR suits me perfectly.
    Mitch and others produce absoutely stunning work.
    The camera they use does not concieve the images for them.
    But the cameras control and quality certainly helps.
    Last edited by Lili; 11th January 2008 at 07:39.

  28. #28
    Sean_Reid
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    Re: Conclusions on GRD2 vs GX100

    Quote Originally Posted by Lili View Post
    The camera they use does not make the images for them.
    But the cameras control and quality certainly helps.
    That's a good summary that balances the perpetual debate between "equipment makes the picture" and "equipment doesn't matter". I'm of the same mind as you on this.

    Cheers,

    Sean

  29. #29
    Senior Member Will's Avatar
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    Wink Re: Conclusions on GRD2 vs GX100

    Quote Originally Posted by Sean_Reid View Post
    What's a point and shoot?

    Cheers,

    Sean
    It's a camera that you point at a subject and when you see the result you say, 'shoot, I wish I had used my GRD2!'


  30. #30
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Conclusions on GRD2 vs GX100

    Admin Note: We've recieved a few reports on this post... Just want to compliment you all on self-managing this thread BACK on topic, and for not letting it cross all the way over the line into another forum spite-fest, seeing who can out-insult whom... Thanks for continuing to express differences of opinion politely!

    Cheers,
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

  31. #31
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Conclusions on GRD2 vs GX100

    Morning folks I have received a few reports on this thread and not going to go in and edit everything out due to time constraints on my end but did want to bring something up to calm things down just a tad. Opinions and discussions from everyone are certainly welcome but certain phrases or words do tend to inflame sometimes. Just like we don't want to upset a dinner guest at your home we sometimes need to avoid generalizing and what we like to call flame bait words . Lucridders comments like this "I have to say that you need to be blind when you still buy one of those cams" are and do by many folks tend to be flame bait. Let's be careful how we word our posts and there intent is. We come from all over the world and language sometimes between cultures is confusing but just like we don't discriminate on culture, race, religion and so on let's be a little careful how we word our posts. Honestly Jack and I are so happy this forum is truly a place for friends and conversation that promotes learning and sharing it is that spirit that we all want here. Let's keep it on that track. Thank You very much for your time and for those that made the reports we would like to thank you for keeping us alert on the threads and how they are going in the direction they should go. We have no limits on topics and discussion except to keep it friendly at all times.

    From a personal level i see these camera's as another tool in the bag to get certain looks to your style of shooting. I love some of the images that have been posted here and also has opened my eyes to these small sensor camera's. Thanks Guy
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  32. #32
    Senior Member Robert Campbell's Avatar
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    Re: Conclusions on GRD2 vs GX100

    Quote Originally Posted by Sean_Reid View Post
    What's a point and shoot?
    It is a camera that no enthusiast would be seen with

    But, then, what is an enthusiast?

    Bertie

  33. #33
    7ian7
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    Re: Conclusions on GRD2 vs GX100

    Pretty much every single image from every camera benefits from some level of post-processing (XS70, maybe not, but Pola negs, definitely). Isn't "post-processing" really a digital term anyway? Processing is intrinsic to all film camera work. Whether it's done by Chuck Kelton or PhotoMat, it's still processing, still happening after the fact of shooting the picture. Nothing happening inside any camera I've ever used, and nothing delivered by the — admittedly remarkable — range of amazing software presets available today, comes close to the nuanced accuracy of working a file in a custom fashion, both in the darkroom and especially on the computer. Sean (and David Paul Carr, in his adamant posts) are both right on; the advancements of the RAW conversion programs are definitely getting us closer to the accuracy and appeal of contact sheets. Historically, my photographer friends who've claimed "not doing much" after the fact of taking a picture have generally created prints that haven't done much for me.

    I agree with those that say there are many frustrations or annoyances when using the GX100 as a social camera. Some, such as flash exposure compensation, may be correctible, and some, such as the coversion hood — which I use with a neutral B+W filter instead of a lens cap — blocking the flash, can not. Focus delay and RAW write time result in tons of missed moments, too. But those erratic social photography situations benefit tremendously from shooting RAW and using ... post-processing. : ) So maybe the GX100's positives outweigh its annoyances, even as a social camera.

    Finally, to Mitch's original point, as a GX100 user with about two grand worth of other gear purchases in line ahead of a GRD2, I'm glad to hear that my camera is even vaguely in contention against the new flagship model.

    Cheers.

  34. #34
    stnami
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    Re: Conclusions on GRD2 vs GX100

    Mitchell the best colour cameras for colour have been the 5050,7070 Olympus series..but they have taken a new direction a long time ago
    Drafi I never singled out the Ricoh's as the only culprits in their in house processing but it was a ricoh thread so that is the camera mentioned........

    PP work is applied to most photo industries , with the exception of industries like journalism (well it should but not always the case}, probably the conceptual art scene when it is used as a information tool only, and even then the image is usually placed in a different context and gathering of pure information.
    Most social shooters want the best possible out of the box and small digitals are yet to catch up with the small film cameras of old.

    Back to the cameras..........in the wash up PP is important to these cameras in order to obtain the best possible results from their strengths which are the compressions in the dynamic range and the incredible depth of field

  35. #35
    Mitch Alland
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    Re: Conclusions on GRD2 vs GX100

    Quote Originally Posted by 7ian7 View Post
    ...I agree with those that say there are many frustrations or annoyances when using the GX100 as a social camera...Focus delay and RAW write time result in tons of missed moments, too. But those erratic social photography situations benefit tremendously from shooting RAW and using ... post-processing. : ) So maybe the GX100's positives outweigh its annoyances, even as a social camera.

    Finally, to Mitch's original point, as a GX100 user with about two grand worth of other gear purchases in line ahead of a GRD2, I'm glad to hear that my camera is even vaguely in contention against the new flagship model.
    Ian,

    For street photography, which I suppose is the same as social photography, both being basically equivalent to genre paining, as Sean writes in his excellent street photography article, the auto-focus delay is not really an impediment because, with the huge depth of field, one can use SNAP focus or manual focus set at one meter or so — this makes the camera even easier to use than pre-focusing with a Leica-M, again because of the huge DOF. The four second write speed hasn't bothered me because somehow my photography doesn't depend on shooting pictures in rapid succession: for the pictures that depend on timing if I haven't gotten on the first press of the shutter the picture is gone anyway, as the subject would have moved to another position or changed expression.

    As for the GX100 being even vaguely in contention with the GRD2, it's a lot more than that: after all, as Imants has observed, my GX100 series of Chartres and the chateaux of the Loire is better than my GRD2 series of Huahun Market, both linked in the original post. As I wrote above a lot of the quality differences between the two cameras can be equalized in post-processing by fairly aggressive sharpening and contrast increases of the GX100 files. I only realized how much the GX100 files needed to be sharpened when, working on a landscape photograph, I found that I couldn't get the RAW file to anywhere near the sharpness of the JPG produced by the camera until I applied USM at 100/5/20 — that middle 5 is very aggressive — so it looks like the GX100 applies very strong sharpening, at least to fine details. In any case, the GX100 is no slouch as a camera.

    —Mitch/Bangkok
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

  36. #36
    jorgeAD
    Guest

    Re: Conclusions on GRD2 vs GX100

    To me point-and-shoot is not really a piece of equiment but an attitude.

    It means treating cameras as gadgets instead of genuine photographic tools. Understanding a camera as a gadget puts power and control in the hands of the manufacturer... understanding it as a tool puts control and creativity back in the users hands !

    Despite Sean efforts I am afraid the term (and P/S mentality) is not just here to stay but spreading like wildfire... and likely the reason the GRD II wont get more than the ABOVE AVERAGE qualification (just like the GRD I did) at the Digital Purchasers... err I mean Photography Review site (which I find commendable in many other senses).

    Sorry Mitch, no more drifting off your original topic... but I consider this one of photography's most liberating aspects...

    Regards
    Jorge

  37. #37
    Mitch Alland
    Guest

    Re: Conclusions on GRD2 vs GX100

    Quote Originally Posted by jorgeAD View Post
    ...Despite Sean efforts I am afraid the term (and P/S mentality) is not just here to stay but spreading like wildfire... and likely the reason the GRD II wont get more than the ABOVE AVERAGE qualification (just like the GRD I did) at the Digital Purchasers... err I mean Photography Review site (which I find commendable in many other senses)...
    Jorge,

    While the reviews on dpreview are good in providing an inventory of a camera's features in comparison to other cameras, I wouldn't pay much attention to the judgments because they are meant for consumers rather than experienced photographers. For example, the dpreview conclusions on the GX100 don't even include the stepped zoom facility as a "Pro", that is, a desirable feature of the camera; and there is only one mention of this facility, which is characterised as and "unusual" feature: clearly the reviewer has not understood he significance of the stepped zoom, which is of significant value to most experienced photographers and whose significance is highlighted in Sean's review.

    —Mitch/Bangkok
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

  38. #38
    7ian7
    Guest

    Re: Conclusions on GRD2 vs GX100

    Coincidentally, I attended Peter and David Turnley's opening at the Leica gallery yesterday, and the prints hanging on those walls ... let's just say that those kinds of prints don't happen — ever — by simply hitting the start button on an enlarger light and walking away.

    Photojournalistic images involve as challenging and precise "post-process" manipulation as any other kind of work, and receive it, albeit in the name of representing "truth." There is a ton of historical evidence to support this claim.

    I get the sense that a lot of people associate "PP" with gimmicks or looks or cross-processing or special effects or heavy retouching, but in most cases, all it means is having the eye and the skill to achieve on paper, working with a negative or a file, an accurate representative balance between 1) what happened in front of the camera and 2) how the photographer experienced that event.

    You'd think that would just occur naturally, but beyond the initial feeling of looking at a 2.5 inch LCD or a fresh contact sheet, it really doesn't.

  39. #39
    7ian7
    Guest

    Re: Conclusions on GRD2 vs GX100

    Mitch,
    Social photography often occurs in living rooms with less distance between camera and subject than the 2.5 meter Snap mode on the Ricohs.

    To me, point & shoot is a term for the feeling I get when snapping away with whichever trendy little Canon or Fuji my (young adult) niece owns at any given moment. They're always tiny, they're always easy, and they're always .... there.

    What one can pull from those files after the fact is open to debate, but that may be entirely besides the point ... and shoot.

  40. #40
    Mitch Alland
    Guest

    What is a "fine print"?

    I have recommended these three books before and, although they deal with the darkroom, they are, I think, the best introduction to post-processing for anyone not familiar with darkroom work. They are Anselm Adams' "The Negative" and "The Print", and the following book by Bartlett and Tarrant:

    http://www.amazon.com/Black-White-Ph...0106773&sr=8-6

    Adams' books introduce you to his concept of visualization as well as the zone system and his concept of a "fine print", while the Bartlett and Tarrant book shows a series of "straight prints" without any manipulation and then details step by step the changes in overall contrast and selective burning and dodging, which transforms the initial photograph into an expressive print. Short of taking a good darkroom workshop, these books are the best way of learning the possibilities in B&W printing.

    —Mitch/Bangkok
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

  41. #41
    Mitch Alland
    Guest

    Re: Conclusions on GRD2 vs GX100

    Quote Originally Posted by 7ian7 View Post
    ...Social photography often occurs in living rooms with less distance between camera and subject than the 2.5 meter Snap mode on the Ricohs...
    Agreed, Ian, but then you can set your GX100 to MF and pre-focus to 1m or a little less or more. Still no need to use AF.

    —Mitch/Bangkok
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

  42. #42
    Mitch Alland
    Guest

    Not P/S but Small Sensor Cameras...

    Quote Originally Posted by jorgeAD View Post
    ...Despite Sean efforts I am afraid the term (and P/S mentality) is not just here to stay but spreading like wildfire...
    The term "point and shoot" is unfortunate for cameras such as the D-Lux-2/LX2 and the Ricoh GX100 and GRDs because, as Sean has pointed out in an article on his site, these are fine cameras that can be used for serious photography and represent a new format characterized by huge depth of field and a grainy look. To me this new format is as exciting as the 35mm film format was when the first Leica were introduced.

    Ever since I got the original GRD 18 months ago I've been shooting with small sensor cameras because they are closer than cameras with larger sensors to the "35mm aesthetic" that I like; and the huge DOF is useful for street photography, while the "live view" facility, which allows framing with the LCD monitor rather than a viewfinder, leads to a looser, more fluid shooting style that I like.

    —Mitch/Bangkok
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

  43. #43
    Sean_Reid
    Guest

    Re: Conclusions on GRD2 vs GX100

    Quote Originally Posted by jorgeAD View Post
    To me point-and-shoot is not really a piece of equiment but an attitude.

    It means treating cameras as gadgets instead of genuine photographic tools. Understanding a camera as a gadget puts power and control in the hands of the manufacturer... understanding it as a tool puts control and creativity back in the users hands !

    Despite Sean efforts I am afraid the term (and P/S mentality) is not just here to stay but spreading like wildfire... and likely the reason the GRD II wont get more than the ABOVE AVERAGE qualification (just like the GRD I did) at the Digital Purchasers... err I mean Photography Review site (which I find commendable in many other senses).

    Sorry Mitch, no more drifting off your original topic... but I consider this one of photography's most liberating aspects...

    Regards
    Jorge
    For millions of people the camera is a kind of vague recording appliance; they really do just point and shoot. For them, that's enough. It makes them happy, sometimes, and its useful to them.

    But this forum is an interesting place for photographers, who really think and care about what they're doing, to discuss these little camera based on what they really are. And most of what I could say about what these cameras really are I wrote about two years ago in that "On Small Sensor Cameras" essay.

    As my small ongoing statement of dissention, I'll continue to pretend to have no idea of what a Point N' Shoot is.

    Cheers,

    Sean
    Last edited by Sean_Reid; 11th January 2008 at 19:38.

  44. #44
    stnami
    Guest

    Re: Conclusions on GRD2 vs GX100

    P&S.........Punt and Speculate

  45. #45
    7ian7
    Guest

    Re: Conclusions on GRD2 vs GX100

    Mitch, I'll try that pre-focus method. Ideally, in those situations I'd like the camera to react smoothly and efficiently to the same moments that I am reacting to, without having to do much advance work other than turn the thing on.

    When I first purchased my Hexar, back in the day, I only used it on manual exposure. One day out in LA, I put it on aperture priority in order to photograph a friend's kids around his swimming pool. The results were so dead-on that I continued using it that way all the time. It was pure, hesitation-free-yet-no-compromise shooting. It'll be fun when these little cameras really get to that place.

    For the record, despite my stated annoyances and frustrations, I came away from that New Year's Eve dinner with many amazing (to my taste) photographs, all RAW and workable. I tend to complain on these pages in a way that may not give my joy in using this little camera it's due.

    There's a fun recent article on Luminous Landscape by James Russell about his hit-or-miss results yet thoroughly soulful and gratifying user experience with his M8. In fact it was his romantic relationship with the Leica Gallery that got me out to that Turnley opening the other night.

    I'm sure some of you have already seen this but here it is anyway (by the way, after reading this I thought Russell would really dig the Ricoh experience, so if anyone knows him they should point him in that direction!):

    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/re...evisited.shtml

    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/re...ed.shtml#focus

  46. #46
    hiro
    Guest

    Re: Conclusions on GRD2 vs GX100

    Quote Originally Posted by 7ian7 View Post
    Social photography often occurs in living rooms with less distance between camera and subject than the 2.5 meter Snap mode on the Ricohs.
    At the 2.5m focus point though, your depth of field runs from about 1 metre to infinity at the wide end of the zoom, so it should be fine unless you are doing extreme closeups of people.

  47. #47
    Mitch Alland
    Guest

    Re: Conclusions on GRD2 vs GX100

    Hiro,

    But for street photography in which you're photographing people as close as 1.0–1.5m you'll do substantially better in terms of getting the main subject to maximum sharpness if you use MF at 1m instead of SNAP. I've been lately keeping the camera on MF because it's so easy to change the MF from 1m to 2m or so.

    —Mitch/Bangkok
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

  48. #48
    Sean_Reid
    Guest

    Re: Conclusions on GRD2 vs GX100

    Quote Originally Posted by hiro View Post
    At the 2.5m focus point though, your depth of field runs from about 1 metre to infinity at the wide end of the zoom, so it should be fine unless you are doing extreme closeups of people.
    Theoretically - yes but, in practice, not always. Depth of field, of course, is a construct with many variables. And of course, in-focus and within depth of field are two different things and can involve quite different levels of resolution. In practice, working very close to the subject with the Ricohs at wide apertures, zone focus and DOF may sometimes not be enough to yield the results one is after.

    The suggestion I'm making to Ricoh is that manual focus be moved to a marked distance wheel on the camera so that it can be accessed quickly. The (proposed) Sigma DP1 uses just such a wheel.

    Cheers,

    SDean
    Last edited by Sean_Reid; 12th January 2008 at 17:11.

  49. #49
    Mitch Alland
    Guest

    Re: Conclusions on GRD2 vs GX100

    Quote Originally Posted by Sean_Reid View Post
    ...The suggestion I'm making to Ricoh is that manual focus be moved to marked distance wheel on the camera so that it can be accessed quickly. The (proposed) Sigma DP1 uses just such a wheel...
    Sean, that's a good idea for speeding up this important function for street photography, in which one is often very close to the subject.

    —Mitch/Bangkok
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

  50. #50
    Member gromitspapa's Avatar
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    Dec 2007
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    Re: Conclusions on GRD2 vs GX100

    What distance is "snap" set to?

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