Saturday, 28 February 2009

GR1 Week 2 - Day 1

"Imagine" - GR1, ISO 200

I have decided that I need another break from daily digital photography and go back to some more film photography with the GR1. This means I need to find alternatives to post so I decided to post older GR1 pictures.

Friday, 27 February 2009

Breaking the Law

GRD, f2.4, 1/100, ISO 400, JPG

On my way to catch the train I saw this at Cannon Street Station. I found it quite funny that the police guy was taking pictures with a big and heavy dSLR camera and external flash. Seemed quite odd to me and I could not resist taking a few pictures myself, even when it (maybe) meant breaking the law.
I am not writing this post from a jail cell so good thing the police here was busy dealing with real criminals ;).
If you are wondering what I am on about read here for more details.

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Boats on the Thames

GRD, f5, 1/1000, ISO 400, JPG

Took a few pictures on my way home today, wanted to generate a HDR picture but it id not work as expected. This picture would have been part of the HDR image but it works well on it's own.

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Focus on Imaging 2009

This year the 'Focus on Imaging' exhibition celebrated it's 20th year. It was not quite as glamorous though since there was little new to see from the manufacturers. It was a good opportunity to get some hands-on with some cameras but overall there was nothing very exciting.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009


GRD, f2.4, 1/50, ISO 400, JPG

I went for a walk after work today and took a few pictures near London Bridge. This is like best, like how the GRD I rendered the scene. The antenna is almost 3D and the picture is very crisp. This is what I like about the GRD I and I haven't seen any other camera coming close to this image quality.

Monday, 23 February 2009

Phone Call

GRD, f4.5, 1/320, ISO 400, JPG

Took this picture while on my way to the cinema today. I had two other pictures I really liked but I was not happy with he composition so need to try and re-take them at some point.

Sunday, 22 February 2009

12:20pm Pancakealympics

After my long walk yesterday, I decided to take it easy and just went out to take some pictures at the Blackheath Farmers Market today. They had the first Pancakealympics in London. The kids had a lot of fun and especially the kid in the green t-shirt really went for it, he was constantly racing along.

All pictures are taken with the LC1.

Saturday, 21 February 2009


LC1, f2.5, 1/15, ISO 400, RAW, 41mm

The weather was great so perfect for a nice walk. I decided to walk all the way from Greenwich to Covent Garden and stop by the Wapping Project to take some pictures and have a coffee. Took this picture there and like it best from the day.

Friday, 20 February 2009

Fallen Chair

GRD II, f2.4, 1/30, ISO 800, RAW, 21mm

Been walking from Bank to Charing Cross after work and tried to take all the small streets an lanes possible to get there. This is how I found this scene leading to the old Roman baths near King's College. Nearby is also an old abandoned tube station but unfortunatelly I could not go in and take some pictures.

Thursday, 19 February 2009


R10, f4.8, 1/470, ISO 80, JPG 1:1

Today Ricoh has announced the new Ricoh CX1 camera. This is a new camera series that seems to follow the R10 and is aimed at consumers. It has some interesting specs with a 9.29MP 1/2.3″ CMOS sensor and a new high resolution LCD screen offering 920,000 pixels at VGA resolution (!!), 4 fps continuous shooting and in-camera HDR.
I was disapointed to see that there are no manual modes or RAW though. It looks very interesting though and will be worth a look. Need to ask Ricoh if I can get a review model.
I did not have time to take pictures but looking through Rui's photos on Flickr and with the CX1 looking like a R10 successor I ´went along and took a few abstract pictures with the R10. This is the one I like best because it's simple, although it is not really as good as Rui's work.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Ricoh GX200 Review

Today, I have finished my GX200 review. As you might know, I had the GX200 for a while now and had the chance to compare it to all my other cameras. It took me a while to finish the review since I have been quite busy recently but I wanted to do a very comprehensive review.
I can only say that the GX200 is a fantastic camera and for me together with the GRD I, the best camera that Ricoh has released so far. Head over here to read the full review.

Ricoh GX200 Review – Part 8


Read on for the conclusion and to find a link to more sample images.

Ricoh GX200 Review – Part 7

Long Exposure Comparison

Let's see how the GX200, GRD I, GRD II and R10 compare at long exposures.

Ricoh GX200 Review – Part 6

High ISO Comparison

This part will compare the GX200 to the GX100, GX, GRD I and GRD II at ISO 400 and 1600. The LC1 only goes up to ISO 400 and has therefore been excluded from this test.

Ricoh GX200 Review – Part 5

Part 5 - Image Comparison GX200 vs. LC1, GRD II and GX100

This part focuses on the GX200 and the LC1. I also included the GX100 and the GRD II. The pictures as before are taken at ISO 100 in RAW.

Ricoh GX200 Review – Part 4

Part 4 - Image Comparison GX200 vs. GX100, GRD I and GRD II

This part will compare the GX200 with the GX100, GRD I and GRD II in JPG and RAW at ISO 100.

Ricoh GX200 Review – Part 3

Image Comparison GX200 vs. GX100, GX and R10

This part will focus on the image quality at ISO 100 between the GX200, GX100, GX and R10.

Ricoh GX200 Review – Part 2

Operation and Image Quality

In Part 1 I have looked at the build and controls and found both to be excellent. This is very good indeed but what about the actual picture taking operation. Having great controls is not enough if the camera does not perform otherwise and is slow to respond. So how does the GX200 perform when you're out taking pictures?

Ricoh GX200 Review – Part 1

If you are looking to purchase a camera that offers you full manual functions, a wide angle zoom lens starting at 24mm, RAW, offers the option to use a removable EVF and allows you to use AAA batteries in emergency situations you will have only two options, the Ricoh GX100 and GX200.
This review will look in-depth at the GX200, it is split in 8 parts and will cover the following:

Part 1 - Introduction, Build, Controls and Accessories
Part 2 - Operation and Picture Quality
Part 3 - Image Comparison GX200 vs. GX100, GX and R10
Part 4 - Image Comparison GX200 vs. GX100, GRD I and GRD II
Part 5 - Image Comparison GX200 vs. GX100, GRD II and Panasonic LC1
Part 6 - High Iso Comparison
Part 7 - Long Exposure Comparison
Part 8 - Conclusion & Samples

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

New World Odor

GRD II, f2.8, 1/100, ISO 100, RAW, 40mm

Had the GRD II along with me today. Took this picture while out for a walk near Brick Lane. I took a picture of the poster but was about to delete it when the guy came out and this made the picture for me so I chose it as the picture for today.

Monday, 16 February 2009

"I am a Photographer...NOT a Terrorist"

I took my lunch break early today, to be able to attend and document a protest by british photographers. The protest was called up by the National Union of Journalists and the British Journal of Photography.

It was a protest against a new law coming into force today, it is Section 76 of the Counter Terrorism Act. Under this new law anyone "eliciting, publishing or communicating information" about members of the armed forces, intelligence services or police officers, which is "likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism", can be arrested and imprissoned. This has caused controversy, especially with press photographers, since there have been numerous run-ins between the ploice and photographers in the past.
I know this since I also had a few run-ins with them but it was mostly with ill informed Police Community Support Officers and only once with the police for taking pictures of the Greenwich Power Station.

The protest saw around 400 people gather in front of New Scotland Yard taking pictures of the building, the ploce and each other. It was a nice protest and everyone was in good spirits, the ploice was nice and even had chats with the protesters.

You can read more about this here, here and here.

Although I decided to publish only one picture a day this year and the rest on Dropbox, I think it makes sense to make an exception for series or articles that benefit from more pictures. This is why I have uploaded 5 pictures for today. You can find more pictures here.

Sunday, 15 February 2009

The Reader

GX200, f4.4, 1/10, ISO 200, RAW, 72mm

For low light work the GX200 is really not good unless you can get away with using a low ISO and can rely on steady hands and the image stabilizer.
Took a few pictures while having some drinks in a pub this evening and this I liked best. I did have to underexpose the picture to get a good result out of the GX200, unlike the GRD I where you have to slightly overexpose. Also you need to desaturate the blue channel quite a lot so as not to get blotchy noise after using Noise Ninja or other noise reduction methods.
I do hope the next GX camera will have at least a faster lens and better high ISO to make these shots easier.

Saturday, 14 February 2009


GRD, f2.4, 1/60, ISO 1600, JPG

This year it's a slightly different Valentine's Day picture. Not the usual roses you would see. I did take a picture of a rose but I already had one last year so could not do the same again.
Hope you all had a nice Valentine's Day!

Friday, 13 February 2009


GRD, f2.4, 1/13, ISO 400, JPG

This is the first picture I took today and my favorite from today. It was early morning at London Bridge and at first I did not even notice this scene but when I did, I took a few pictures with the GRD. The funny thing sometimes is that the first picture is always the best and the later pictures don't work as well or have other problems. But since the first picture was good enough it is here now for you to see.
By the way, I did not notice the socks until later when I was about to get off the train.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Woman in the Painting

GRD, f5, 1/35, ISO 400, JPG

On my way home I decided to take a longer way and stop over in Greenwich. This was a good idea since I came upon a gallery opening and a Q&A session with the artists. I snapped a few pictures and this is my favorite picture for today.
It really pays off to always have a camera with you at all times. There was a thread in the DP Review forum what the best camera is. THe best camera is the one you have with you today. No other camera is or will every be better than the one you have with you.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

The Dragon's Eye

GRD, f2.4, 1/30, ISO 400, JPG

I was not really happy with any of the pictures I took today but then I had an idea for a picture I wanted to try so decided to see how it came out. It did came out almost as I imagined it and I am quite pleased with the result. A better result would have been with a real person but this was not possible to set up in the short time. Although I am not a big fan of portraits, since most people seem to think a photoshopped face in front of a very blurry background makes an interesting portrait. I do have some ideas for portraits I want to try and this was a test.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Blue Tunnel

GRD, f2.4, 1/10, ISO 400, JPG

Today I've had a first look at some of the comparison pictures I took and aside from tha fact that I need some extra high ISO pictures it was interesting to see how good the GX200 is at low ISO and how bad it really is at ISO 1600 where it is quite a lot worse than the R10. But more about this later.

The one thing I really like about small sensor cameras is the big DOF they give, this makes them a lot more usable in low light than any full frame dSLR. Sure, the dSLR will have clean files up to ISO 6400 but if a manufacturer manages to build a 2/3" or 1" sensor with only 8 MP and current technology it could deliver very good high ISO and coupled with a f1.2 lens would beat most dSLRs for low light shooting. When taking pictures like this is when I realize how good it is to have a big DOF.

Monday, 9 February 2009

Bus Stop 'C'

GRD, f2.4, 1/60, ISO 1600, JPG

After work I went to the British Museum to take some high ISO comparison pictures and with this the last batch for my upcoming GX200 review. I used all Ricoh cameras to take pictures at ISO 100, 400 and 1600. So far I did not manage to compare all yet but it should be very interesting.
This is a ISO 1600 picture I took while waiting for the bus. I saw a few Wong Kar Wai movies and liked the way he uses shots through windows with the reflections. This is my try at something similar, kind of inspired by WKW and Christopher Doyle.

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Stairway to Heaven

LC1, f2.2, 1/40, ISO 100, RAW, 28mm

The weather was very nice today so I went out to get my biggest shoot-out done. I packed all my digital cameras and went to shoot more comparison pictures for the GX200 review. This should have been done a while ago but the weather and other things meant I cold not get it done as I would have liked. It is coming along nicely though and will be done very soon. All I am missing now is a high ISO comparison between all Ricoh cameras but this will be done tomorrow.
This picture is not part of the comparison and I took it to post it on my blog. I stood right in front of a 'No Photography' sign but this was referring to the inside of the house and not the stairway so I took the picture. Not that I am well known for following 'no photography' signs anyway ;).

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Family Cafe

LC1, f2.5, 1/800, ISO 100, RAW, 28mm

I've been around taking some extra pictures for my GX200 review. I wanted to have more pictures for the comparison part. Unfortunately my GX died so there won't be many picture to compare the GX with the GX100 and GX200. The LC1 worked flawlessly though so it will have to do as a substitute.
This is a picture I took for the comparison but decided that it does not work well so I will use it for my pic for the day instead.

Friday, 6 February 2009


Everytime a new camera gets announced you will hear people complaining about the lack of built in OVF and if a camera has an EVF instead you will hear people still complaining that an EVF can't match the quality of an OVF.
While I think an LCD is superior to both and less conspicious for street photography I do want to share my views on the OVF vs. EVF debate.

First I think no compact camera should have an OVF or EVF integrated since it either makes the camera bigger and so defines the point of a compact camera (see Canon G10), means the OVF is dark, tiny and obstructed by the lens (Nikon P6000, any Canon Ixus) or both (Canon G10 is a perfect example). The OVF on compact cameras also does not show you any shooting information so is basically a hole through the camra and thus pointless. Now having an integrated EVF could be better but since there is no really compact camera with an EVF available it must mean it's not that easy to do, besides why have an EVF if you have a nice and big 3.0" LCD screen on a compact camera.

So it basically comes to this, any new compact camera should scrap the integrated OVF or EVF and instead offer both as external add-ons like on the Ricoh GRD or GX200 for example. This way you can have a high quality OVF although without shooting information or a good EVF if you need it and are prepared to live with a bigger camera. Only with external OVF/EVF add-ons can you get the quality needed to make this usefull and not just be a hole through the camera.

Having an add-on option is good but what should it be, an OVF or rather an EVF?
The OVF has the advantage that it does not consume any power, will not have any lag, can be very bright (like the GV-1 OVF in the picture) and is good for low light. The downsides is that it won't show any shooting information, will have paralax errors and you still have to use the LCD to change any settings.
The EVF on the other hand will show you exactly what the camera sees with the full shooting information from the LCD, you can have a live histogram, see the scene in b&w and it will reflect any changes you make to the shooting parameters like the white balance. You can tilt it 90° (like the VF-1), simulate the shutter speed and depth of field effect (like the Panasonic G1), zoom into a section of your picture to help with the manual focus and even shoot into the sun without having to wory about your eyes. The downside is that it consumes power, it can have a serious lag (like the Panasonic LC1 EVF) and can become very dark or slow and grainy in low light rendering it useless.

Overall, for me a EVF is way superior to an OVF due to the flexibility it offers. Being able to see a scene in b&w is great for street photography where you want to capture the right moment and emotions without being distracted by the color in a scene. Another thing I find very usefull is to see the full shooting information at all times and see the changes to te white balance and exposure reflected on screen. An OVF can be nice and bright and better in low light but considering that one only really needs an OVF to frame a shot it is a bit pointless since this can be done faster and easier by looking at the screen to frame and afterwards at the scene to take the picture.
What I would like to see in the upcoming cameras from Ricoh is a refined version of the VF-1, that is bigger, faster and has a higher resolution. The option to tilt it in more directions would also be nice to have. Although I would prefer if the EVF could sit like on the Panasonic LC1 on the side of the camera and not in the middle.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Shadow of the Witch

GRD, f2.4, 1/6, ISO 1600, JPG b&w

Sometimes it's not easy to get the picture for the day, not because I am not motivated or inspired but because I have not much time for it. Then again, there is always a little bit of time for photography even if it's just on the way home. For this time of the year when it gets dark early the GRD I is the best camera I can really take along since none of the other cameras I have are good enough at ISO 1600.
I cropped the picture to 1:1, darkened the blacks and sharpened it. This is also one of the few pictures where I used the burning tool in Photoshop.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Parked Up Front

GRD, f2.4, 1/8, ISO 1600, JPG b&w

Took this on my way home today. It is a picture that does not really work as expected and is actually pretty boring. I still decided to post it since it helps to learn from failed attempts. Actualy, this could work well as a theme for one week. Posting pictures that didn't work as expected and trying to figure out what is missing if anything or are these just bad pictures and deserve to be deleted.
What remains is a ISO 1600 picture pushed one stop to ISO 3200 so it shows what the GRD can deliver under more difficult conditions. I cropped it to 1:1 since it works better like this.

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

No Trains

GX200, f4.1, 1/200, ISO 64, RAW, 28mm

Took the picture this morning while on my way to work. If you've ever wondered how snow gets cleared from railtracks in Britain, this is a old well kept just leave the snow on the tracks untill it melts by itself ;). A least this gave me the opportunity to take some pictures on my journey to work.
Unfortunately the snow melted so now we have slush or ice on the roads.

Monday, 2 February 2009

Snowed Under

GX200, f4.4, 1/250, ISO 64, RAW, 72mm

The great thing about living in one of the most unorganized and inefficient countries in the world is that you might get unexpected a day off to play in the snow. This happened to most Londoners today. It began snowing quite heavily yesterday evening and since no one ever bothers here to clean up the snow it was clear that busses and trains will have problems in the morning. It came as expected so my thanks to the "idiot" who decided that puttng the powerlines for trains on the ground is a good idea. He is in a big part responsible for giving everyone a day off :). The other part goes to whoever should be clearing the roads so that cars and busses can drive.
When it snows it's the perfect chance for adults to behave like children and go out playing in the snow, building snowmen, having snowball fights and sliding down a hill on whatever they can find. These were the scenes in and around Blackheath and Greenwich park today and probably most of London.
Took this picture on the heath today. The title for the picture would be "Tree of Love" but "Snowed Under" fits better to the theme for today. Took all pictures with the GX200 and while it has some problems with fringing and the focus gets confused by too much white snow it performed great and had no problems with the wet and cold conditions.

Sunday, 1 February 2009

The Web

GR1, ISO 200 color film - Taken 11/12/2007

My last post for this week where I have been looking back at my archives and posted some older pictures. I still have lots to go through but this might come at a later stage so from tomorrow I'll post my daily pictures again.
Since I have been using the GR1 in the last week but don't have yet anything to show, I decided to post a GR1 picture to finish off this week.
I took this picture while on holiday in New York and it is my favorite from the GR1 although I wish I could retake it with a b&w film instead of the color film I had in the camera. So I edited the low resolution scan to match my vision for now but need to get this scanned and printed in higher resolution.
This picture seems to have inspired at least one other photographer since two days after I posted it on Flickr I already had an "homage" done by a fellow photographer, he even chose the same name for his picture.