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Ricoh GR II—my EDC camera?

What makes a camera great may vary from person to person. Ultimately, it comes down to whether the camera can effectively capture what you want to capture and when you want to capture it.

I’m a lifestyle photography hobbyistI shoot a bit of everything and a lot of nothing. I don’t get paid to do it. I don’t typically blow images up to billboard size and my photos don’t generally need to appeal to anyone except myself and, for the most part, my wife.

Photos from my Canon 5D mk3 and Olympus EM-5 mk2

That said, I do enjoy quality equipment and I use the following for most of my photography needs:

1.Canon 5D Mk3—a beast that I usually take with me for long trips and serious shoots.

2.Olympus EM-5 Mk2—My regular shooter for almost everything else.

3. My phone—when the above two are not present.

Where does the GRII come in?

I haven’t been shooting as much as I’d like to. I suspect it’s due to the burden of having to carry a camera. Even the Olympus EM-5, relatively smaller than the monstrous Canon 5D, seems too big of a camera for me.

GRII is pocketable, very light, and do so without compromising the image quality. I’d like to use the GRII as a daily carry and fill the gap right between my phone and the mirrorless to encourage myself to shoot more. The Ricoh GRII would be the EDC camera that offers better focus speed, image quality, and performance in low-light situations.

Amazingly compact and capable camera

I give myself 2 weeks to try the camera.

The Ricoh GRII, a solid, compact shooter despite the lack of updates since 2015.
It’s well built, lightweight and compact, and comes with surprisingly sharp image quality. It uses a much larger sensor than all the cameras in the same weight class, which means better bokeh and better low light.

A couple of shots from the Ricoh. Post-edit through Lightroom.

Dad and I refurnishing a shed

Crisp image detail. Not so crisp tshirts.

A look of my office. Most of the time.

Did I keep the camera? Nope.

The goal is to shoot more and “capture what I want to capture and when I want to capture it.” And the Ricoh GRII don’t quite achieve that.

The deal breaker isn’t a long list, but two key items:

-The lens is a fixed 35mm, which in some way makes one more creative for framing. I thought I’d overcome this, but I learn that I’m still ultimately a zoom lens guy. Running back and forth for the perfect composition often time makes me miss the shot.

-The focus isn’t exactly fast and the camera doesn’t support touch focus for quick area focus.

Great camera, just not for my specific needs.

The search continues..

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