Monday, 31 August 2009

On The War Path

GRD III, f6.3, 1/45, ISO 64, RAW

Although ths picture is blurry and noisy, after adding extra noise, I really like it. There is something that draws me in to this picture. When I took it I visualized it different but although I made a mistake when taking it, I think it works great as it came out.

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Late Night Snack

GRD III, f5.6, 1/50, ISO 1600, RAW

The weather has not been that great and I have not been very inspired. I just went for a walk in the evening to check out the fun fair nearby.
I set the GRD III to ISO 1600, Snap AF at 5m and S-mode to keep a shuter speed of 1/50. I walked around and took a few picture but ended up deleting most of them, this is the one I like best because of the colors.

There were questions by some if the GRD III has problems with banding and after doing some more tests I can confirm that it has and almost all pictures I took today at ISO 1600 show this problem. I hope this is something Ricoh can fix in firmware.

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Hever Castle and Gardens

The weather was great so I decided to go for a daytrip somewhere ad see a caste. The choice fell on Hever Castle and after last week I got yet another display of Jousting.
Took the same cameras like last week but the GRD III stayed in my pocket and the LC1 got used more today, it has been neglected somewhat recently and it needed a workout.

Friday, 28 August 2009

Feeding the Pigeons

GRD III, f4.5, 1/400, ISO 64, RAW

Took this picture during lunch and really like it. Again the new full-press Snap AF mode is what made it possible.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Walk The Dog

GRD III, f1.9, 1/1000, ISO 248, RAW

Took this while out for a quick walk today.
I like how both look at me with a similar expression. What is gear about digital cameras is that you don't need to raise the camera to your eye to compose a shot.
This has three advantages, first is that you are faster to take the picture, second is that you get a much nicer perspective and don't look down on people and third, it is more intimate since you can make eye contact with the people and they can look at you and not your camera. I bet all the old master street photographers would have gladly traded their rangefinders in for a smple digital compact camera with a decent LCD screen so they can shoot easy from the hip.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Two Almost Good Pictures

"Grumpy Old Men" - GRD III, f1.9, 1/140, ISO 1600, RAW

"Looking Back" - GRD III, f1.9, 1/90, ISO 1600, RAW

After work I went on to take a few pictures and decided to see how the GRD III fares when using ISO 1600 in low light for street photography.
I got some blurry pictures and some ok pictures but these two pictures I have posted are my favorites, yet neither is perfect.
The first picture is slightly blurry although the shutter speed is high enough but would have been great otherwise.
The 2nd picture is again one I really like and not blurry, the Snap AF set to 1m worked great, unfortunately I did not notice two raindrops on the lens which kind of ruin this picture.
Guess the lesson is that you can have the perfect opportunity for a picture and nail the decisive moment to take the shot but the picture can still fail.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009


GRD III, f6.3, 1/84, ISO 64, RAW

Took a few pictures as usual on my way to and from work today. While this is not my best picture it's my first picture and one where I like the colors best.
Early mornings are great for photography, there are not many people and cars around and it is fairly quiet even in London. As I posted some time before, early mornings feel like it's a different world out there.

What I like about the GRDs is that you can always have them along without noticing but want to use them as much as possible at the same time. AT least for me it's like that, as soon as I hold the camera I want to go out and take pictures.

Monday, 24 August 2009

Bird on a Rope

GRD III, f4.5, 1/190, ISO 64, RAW

Did not have much time for photography today. Took some pictures on my way home and really liked this one.
I will not write much today, if you want to read more head over to AlphaMountWorld and read Carl's excellent Ricoh GRD III review.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Late Afternoon

GRD III, f1.9, 1/90, ISO 64, RAW

Ther weather has been great today. I did not get much chance to take pictures or enjoy the sun since I wanted to get a project done but still manage to get out and enjoy the sun.

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Royal Gunpowder Mills

The LPMG has organised another day out today. This time it was a trip to the Royal Gunpowder Mills where they also had a Jouting tournament.
It was a great day out, the weather was really nice without being too hot and there were some clouds in the sky which made the ligt much nicer for taing pictures.
I decided to take the GRD III and Panasonic LC1 with me. The GRD III with the 21mm lens and the LC1 to complement it with the extra zoom. Both camareas peformed very well and the GRD III got used a lot for the excellent macro capability where the zoom of the LC1 came in handy a few times.
I decided to post a series instead of only one picture which should serve as kind of a 2nd sample gallery for the GRD III. You can find more pictures from the GRD III and LC1 in the Dropbox gallery.
All GRD III pictures are RAW files and the LC1 are JPG but I processed almost all of them.

Friday, 21 August 2009

Steaming Down the Street

GRD III, f3.5, 1/350, ISO 64, RAW

Took this while out for lunch, the Snap Af mode really pays off in these instances as it eliminates any focus lag.

One thing about the GRD III that I am very happy about is the new battery. At first I did not see the point in why Ricoh would introduce a new DB-65 battery which is compatible with the old battery, chargers and even the old GRDs and GX100/200 cameras. After using it for a while now I have to say the new batery is great, it lasts forever, I did take quite a lot of pictures this week and played around with the camera and it lasted till today. The battery life has been improved a lot and while I always carry a spare battery or two with me, it is not necessary for the GRD III.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Welcome to the Matrix

While on my way to meet friends for drinks I saw the Canary Wharf security running towards the main square. Since I was heading in the same direction I decided to have a look what all the fuss was about.
There were two people with megaphones and another three people with signs. At first I thought they were demonstrating against something but they basicaly had a laugh and made jokes about where our society is these days and the security in general. It was very entertaining and a really funny scene so I decided to stay around and started taking pictures.

While taking pictures around I got told off a few times by the security guys and been told that I should be lucky we are in Britain to be able to take pictures of them. He was right, only in Britain do you get hassled that much for taking pictures so I consider myself very lucky.

All pictures are right out of the camera and some are only cropped to 3:2 format. The GRD III performed very well and the new snap focus mode was really helpful since the normal AF is not overly fast or reliable enough for these kind of shots. For this the phase detection AF from the GRD I is much better or at least the faster AF from the CX1.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Lines & Shadows

GRD III, f2.2, 1/1600, ISO 64, RAW

I like the harsh shadows in the afternoon. I have boosted the contrast to get very deep shadows.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Two By Two

GRD III, f2.8, 1/2000, ISO 64, RAW

Took this picture while walking around Canary Wharf today. I liked the two by two people theme although I had to crop it to get the desired composition.

Monday, 17 August 2009

Nobody's Fool

GRD III, f2.8, 1/290, ISO 64, RAW

Took this picture while out for a walk during lunch, I liked the colors and inscription. Here it would have been good to have a 40mm lens as I could not get the composition I wanted with the 28mm lens and had to crop. Again I have decided to add some noise, I find some pictures just work better with some noise in them and do not like if they are too clean.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Painshill Park

The weather has been nice so I decided to go for a daytrip outside London. Painshill Park is not too far and a nice visit. It has a bit of everything so it makes for some nice photo opportunities.
At first I thought about taking the GRD III and Panasonic LC1 with me but I decided to just take the GRD III with the 21mm lens. It was very good and it performed great but I did wish at times to have the extra zoom of the LC1 to take some portraits.

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Fed Up

GRD III, f4.0, 1/320, ISO 64, RAW

Today's picture should not be taken as a sample of the GRD III but more of an experiment. I processed it quite heavily and wanted to give it a HDR look. I also cropped it and added some noise. It was more to see how far I can push the RAW files from the GRD III.

Friday, 14 August 2009

Cigarette Break

GRD III, f4.0, 1/250, ISO 64, RAW

Took this picture while on my way home. I have to say the new Snap mode makes a huge difference for me and is enough to make me upgrade to a GRD III. This together with the very usefull Auto-High ISO and other improvements make the GRD III a great camera for people and street photography.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Into The Light

GRD III, f1.9, 1/140, ISO 64, RAW

I always wanted to take a picture like this but never got the right time or scene for it so when I got the opportunity this morning I had to take the picture. It is not exactly what I wanted but unless I stage it it will be difficult to get it and staging it is fake and not real so I won't bother.
I have oversharpened it a bit because I wanted the harsh edges in there and even tought of adding some noise to it but decided against it so the picture is smoother overall.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Watching Over Us

GRD III, F1.9, 1/50, ISO 64, JPG b&w

Today's picture shows how good the new Snap AF mode realy is. I set it to 1m before taking this picture, it is at f1.9 so there is not much DOF at this distance even with a small sensor so the focus had to be quite accurate. It worked very well and even gives a nice shallow DOF but not overly blury so you can't recognize anything as you get with too big sensors.
This is also an out of camera JPG without any processing done to it at all.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009


GRD III, f4.5, 1/400, ISO 100, RAW

While walking around during lunch I had an idea for a shot. So I went to the location and waited and took pictures that I thought come close to what I had in mind. This is almost exactly what I had in mind.

The LCD screen on the GRD III is fantastic and can be seen at every angle so it's easy to take shot from the hip or hold the camera lower to get the angle I want. This is why for me using an OVF would be out of the question as it limits the way you can take pictures.

Monday, 10 August 2009

Take a Peek

GRD III, f3.5, 1/320, ISO 400, RAW

The new Snap AF mode with customizable distances and new full-press mode are great and make a big difference. For me these are the best new featues of the GRD III and, even more than the faster lens or better IQ, worth the upgrade alone.
One warning though if you get the new GRD III or look at RAW samples, do no use it with ACR as the quality is not very good and the noise appears blotchy instead of fine. Best for now is to use RAW Therapee. This picture is edited with ACR and if you compare it with the ones from yesterday, which have been developed using RT, you can see that it does not look as good.

Sunday, 9 August 2009

First GRD III Impressions

Instead of posting my last text mode picture I decided to post a few first impressions of the GRD III and some pictures. Actually most of the text pictures from this week have been taken with the GRD III so you've all seen pictures from it already. ;)

First, the build is fantastic. It is probably the best built compact camera at the moment, nothing feels flimsy on it. The feel is more like the GR21 with the protruding lens but it still fits in the same case and in practice it does not make a lot of diffrence.

The controls are as usual excellent but the best feature is the ability to quickly chose the Snap focus distance by pressing the Up button and using the front wheel. This makes a massive difference and is great for street photography. It is a shame that this does not work for MF in the same way.

The new S-mode is also great and a big help in certain situations so it's about time Ricoh implemented it.

There have been concerns from people about using the old adpater lenses on the GRD III due to the different adapter and filter size. The bad news is you can't use the old adapter on the GRD III but you can use the lenses with the new adapter and step-down filter if yu are prepared to live with some vignetting.

Now most are probably insterested in the image quality. This is a massive improved from the GRD II and is the best in any Ricoh camera so far. Extremely detailed with very good and accurate colors and low noise. I still think the GRD I JPGs had their own unique character and prefer them especialy for b&w but the IQ here is great.

High ISO image quality is very good and the pictures retain a lot of detail without having too much noise.

All pictures are developed RAW files and aside from the first have been taken at ISO between 1000 and ISO 1600.
More in the upcoming reviews.

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Tonbridge Castle

While visiting friends I went to take a few pictures of the castle. The text mode works very well and gives a look like it has been pencil drawn.

Friday, 7 August 2009

Travel Information

What I find interesting about the text mode is that even with the little bit of detail it actually captures, it is always esasy to know what is going on in the picture. Taking pictures of people it is always possible to see their expression and enough of what they are doing.
This is interesting as most people want their camera to capture more and more details because they think it will improve their pictures. In the end if you did not capture the decisive moment it does not matter how many tiny details are visible as it will never make a picture any better.
Using the text mode can be very rewarding as it makes one focus more on the composition and less on other things, at least this is what I found by using it so far.

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Waiting Room

Took this while waiting for the bus after work.
There has been an interesting rumor about the next Ricoh camera here. While it is fake, it is interesting and shows what people expect from the next Ricoh camera. There have been a few rumors about the new camera and I guess we might see more in the upcoming months until Ricoh will announce it officially.
More concrete is the new Panasonic GF-1 which will compete with the Olympus E-P1. I find it very interesting and more appealing than the E-P1, the Panasonic lenses should also deliver much better quality than the rather poor Olympus offerings. It is a shame though that Panasonic has decided to make the GF-1 look like the LX3 instead of the excellent LC-1.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009


Took this picture while out for a walk during lunch with the 21mm lens but found it a bit too far away so I cropped it to the 16:9 format. I like to use 16:9 sometimes so it's a shame that Ricoh has not adapted this format yet.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Text Cranes

The weather has been again dull and grey today. This is not good when trying to use the text mode which needs a bit more contrast for best results. I took this picture on my way home and had a similar picture in my mind when I started the text mode week.

Monday, 3 August 2009

In My Head

This week will be all about the text mode. The text mode is one of the unique features in Ricoh cameras but not really advertised with by Ricoh and unknown to most people using Ricoh cameras. I will try to use the text mode for my usual pictures and see how it works and what results one can get out of it.
I will not provide any Exif information since it will be more or less useless here but if you want to see it let me know and I will add it.