Today, Ricoh has announced the Ricoh GRD IV. The GRD IV is more a evolution than the expected revolution from the GRD III. This by itself is not a bad thing since the GRD III stillremains one of the best serious compacts out there but I guess a lot of people were expecting something more revolutionary in light of very strong competition.
The headline features of the GRD IV are certainly the (much welcome) return of the phase detection AF sensors, the in body image stabilizer, the improved electronic leveler, higher resolution LCD, further enhancements to the controls and shooting modes and last but not least there will be a limited edition white version available.
Overall it might not sound like much but it's a solid upgrade for people who are looking to get one of the best small sensor compacts available.
While I, too, would have liked to see something more revolutionary in this upgrade, like the custom b&w sensor I kept wishing for, it will be interesting to see how the enhancements and refinements work compared to the previous versions.
Read on for the full press release and specs.
Tokyo, Japan, September 15, 2011—Ricoh Co., Ltd. (President and CEO: Shiro Kondo) today announces the development and release of the GR DIGITAL IV digital camera, the successor model to the GR DIGITAL III, which offers enhanced Quick Shooting capability and image quality.
The GR DIGITAL III (released in August 2009) was a compact digital camera with high image quality that came with a 28mm/F1.9 GR Lens, the GR ENGINE III, and a high-sensitivity CCD that continued the evolution of the concepts originally introduced in the first GR DIGITAL model (released in October 2005). In the two years since its release, it has been enthusiastically received by a broad range of customers including professional and amateur photographers.
The new GR DIGITAL IV, featuring a new image engine and a refined optical filter, exceeds the GR DIGITAL III and achieves the highest level of image quality in the history of the GR series.
Additionally, for the advancement of the Quick Shooting capabilities required to make sure you never miss a shot when out shooting, Ricoh has introduced a Hybrid AF System and an Image-sensor-shift Image Stabilization Function, which makes use of Ricoh's independently developed external AF sensor, and a 3-inch, approximately 1.23 million-dot VGA LCD monitor for heightened outdoor visibility. The addition of an electronic level that can detect inclination in the tilt direction, as well as the conventional horizontal direction also improves operability. Moreover, the inclusion of Dynamic Range Compensation makes it possible to shoot subjects in backlit or high-contrast scenes in the way the eye sees them, and Interval Composite, which can combine images shot at a certain shooting interval, advances the camera's expressive capabilities.
Ricoh will also continue to provide the highly praised function-expansion firmware.
Main Features of the GR DIGITAL IV
1. Improved AF speed and accuracy due to the introduction of the Hybrid AF system
The camera comes newly equipped with Ricoh's independently developed external AF sensor, which has a maximum of 190 AF points. Through the Hybrid AF System, which is used in parallel with the conventional CCD contrast AF, Ricoh has realized an AF focusing time as short as 0.2 seconds, as much as half that of the GR DIGITAL III.
Also, algorithm refinements have led to improvements in the AF speed for macro shots that are taken using only the CCD contrast AF method for a maximum reduction of half the time of the previous model.
In shooting with a single press of the shutter-release button, the high focusing accuracy required for snapshot shooting has been added to the camera's Quick Shooting capabilities by performing the metering with only the external AF sensor. The metering information from the external AF sensor can be displayed on the LCD monitor as necessary.
2. Even higher image quality achieved
Through refinements to the optical filter and optimization of the image processing from the previous model, the GR DIGITAL III, the SFR* characteristics have been improved.
With the new image processing engine, the GR ENGINE IV, color reproduction enhancement and color noise reductions are achieved when taking high-sensitivity photographs.
Ricoh's signature 28mm/F1.9 GR lens demonstrates its high resolution while suppressing chromatic aberration and distortion. The approximately 10 million-pixel, 1/1.7-inch CCD shows off its high-sensitivity characteristics. These are the elements through which the GR DIGITAL IV achieves the highest image quality in GR DIGITAL history.
*Spatial Frequency Response (SFR): One of the indicators of a digital camera's resolution characteristics, including everything from the optical system to the image processing.
3. Comes with the first image-sensor shift image stabilization function in the GR DIGITAL series
With the image-sensor shift image stabilization function, the GR DIGITAL IV achieves a stabilization effect equivalent to a shutter speed increase of a maximum of 3.2 stops*, which combined with the fast F1.9 GR lens further increases the camera's ability to capture dark scenes.
*Measured using RICOH measurement methods.
4. Introduction of a new, high-brightness LCD monitor and the addition of an automatic brightness adjustment function
Through the introduction of the new 3-inch, approximately 1.23 million-dot VGA LCD monitor, which adds white pixels to the RGB ones, the GR DIGITAL IV secures a maximum brightness of approximately 1.7 times that of the GR DIGITAL III, improving its visibility when outdoors.
A function in which the camera automatically adjusts the luminance to match the brightness of the subject has been added, which minimizes decreases in visibility due to changes in the shooting environment.
5. Shooting functions that heighten the photographer's expressive ability and enhanced scene modes
Comes with dynamic range compensation to minimize the effects of blown highlights in bright areas and crushed blacks in dark ones. For backlit or high-contrast scenes where exposure compensation alone is not enough, compensation is performed for each area, enabling the photographer to take pictures at a brightness that closely matches how the subject looked.
The Auto Bracket function has been enhanced. In addition to the conventional Exposure and White Balance, Contrast Bracket Setting and Dynamic Range Compensation bracketing have been newly added, of which any two can be selected for addition to the image settings to record a sequence of three shots with Image Setting Bracket.
Comes with an Interval Composite mode that will replace and combine only the high-brightness pixel data in images of the night sky taken at fixed intervals. This makes it possible to shoot distinctive landscape pictures that show the trails of light left by the stars.
Positive Film and Bleach Bypass, which lowers saturation and increases contrast, have been added to the image settings. Along with settings like the existing High Contrast B&W and Cross Process, these can be used in each of the shooting modes (Auto/P/A/S/M).
Multiple exposure shooting, which makes it possible to shoot up to five overlapping shots, and bulb exposure functions have also been included.
6. Already high operability heightened even further
Included since the GR DIGITAL II, the electronic level function has been enhanced. Now it can detect inclination in not only the horizontal direction, but also the tilt direction as well.
The function combinations that can be used with the Fn1/Fn2 buttons have been expanded to four settings that can be registered with the Fn Button Pair Setting. Because the user can switch between functions registered in the Fn Button Pair Setting without going into the menu screens, they serve as an easy shortcut, making it possible to change functions in an instant to match the scene being shot.
The My Settings function, which enables the user to register their preferred camera settings, have been expanded from types to 12 types. Better still, because the settings can be registered on an SD card, users can share their favorite settings amongst themselves.
Includes a function for working with Eye-Fi cards. Images taken can be wirelessly transferred to a computer or uploaded to a photo-sharing site. When these functions are in use, the transmission information will be displayed on the shooting and playback screens.
7. An even broader range of expandability with new options
A genuine leather hand strap for excellent portability and handling and a metal lens cap that works with the lock function of the power button will be available as new options.
8. Implementation of function expansions through firmware
The provision of function-expansion firmware, which has been highly praised from the GR DIGITAL to the GR DIGITAL III models, will continue with the GR DIGITAL IV. By updating the firmware, the camera can always use the latest functions.
Tokyo, Japan, September 15, 2011—Ricoh Co., Ltd (President and CEO: Shiro Kondo) today announces the release of a limited-edition color model, the GR DIGITAL IV White Edition, along with the announcement of the new GR DIGITAL IV. The details are as follows:
GR DIGITAL IV White Edition
Limited sales volume
10,000 units worldwide
* Accessories include a rechargeable battery, a battery charger, a USB cable, a genuine leather hand strap, a hand strap, and a metal lens cap.
The GR DIGITAL IV White Edition offers the same performance as the GR DIGITAL IV in a white-colored body. A total of 10,000 units will be sold worldwide. The metal lens cap (which has a function for locking the power button) and genuine leather hand strap included in the package are also white. The package design also has a unified white finish befitting the name GR DIGITAL IV White Edition.
For those who purchase the GR Digital IV, the following customizing services are available.
Grip replacement service
You can change the grip to one of your own choosing by paying a fee; options include wood grain, carbon, and leather-styled grips (all synthetic resin products).
*This service is only available in some areas, with a limited supply of replacement grips.
Information on when the service will become available as well as the countries and regions where it will be available will be announced on Ricoh’s web site.
・Hood and adapter GH-2
・Wide conversion lens GW-2 *2
・External TTL flash GF-1
・External viewfinder GV-1
・External mini viewfinder GV-2
・Cable switch CA-2 *1
・Soft case GC-3
・Soft case (GV-2 compatible) GC-4
・Neck strap (GR DIGITAL logo) GS-1
・Neck strap (Ricoh logo) ST-2
・AC adapter AC-4c
・Rechargeable battery DB-65
・Battery charger BJ-6
・Metal lens cap
(with function for locking the power button) GL-1*1,3
・Hand strap (genuine leather, with GR logo) GS-2*1
・HDMI cable HC-1
GR DIGITAL/GR DIGITAL II options GH-1, GW-1, GT-1, GC-1, and GC-2 cannot be used.
*1 Newly introduced option.
*2 Hood and adapter is required when using wide conversion lens.
When the wide-angle conversion lens is mounted, only the CCD contrast AF method will be used.
*3 When the metal lens cap is mounted, the GC-3/GC-4 cannot be used.
GR DIGITAL IV – Major Specifications
No. of Effective Pixels (Camera):
Approximately 10.00 million pixels
1/1.7-inch CCD (total pixels: approx. 10.40 million pixels)
Focal length: f=6.0 mm (equivalent to 28 mm for 35 mm ﬁlm cameras)
F-aperture: F1.9 – F9 (exposure control with both aperture and ND filter when F8.0-F11 displays in auto shooting mode)
Shooting Distance (from the front of the lens): Approx. 30 cm - infinity; Macro (from the front of the lens): Approx. 1 cm – infinity
Lens Construction: 8 elements in 6 groups (aspheric lens: 2 elements and 2 surfaces)
Digital Zoom Magniﬁcation:
Digital Zoom: Approx. 4.0x; Auto Resize Zoom: Approx. 5.7x (VGA images)
Multi AF (Hybrid AF) / Spot AF (Hybrid AF) /Subj. Tracking/ Manual Focus / Snap / Infinity (Focus lock and AF auxiliary light available. For Multi AF and Spot AF, full-press snap and pre-AF are possible.)
Image sensor shift-type image stabilization function
Shutter Speed: *1
Still image: Bulb, Time ,180, 120, 60, 30, 15, 13, 10, 8, 6, 5, 4, 3.2, 2.5, 2, 1.6, 1.3, 1 - 1/2000 sec. (maximum and minimum shutter speeds vary depending on shooting mode and flash mode)
Movie: 1/30 - 1/2000 sec.
Continuous shooting speed*11 Approximately 1.54 frames/second
Maximum continuous shots 999
Exposure Metering Mode: Multi (256 segments), Centre Weighted Light Metering, Spot Metering (TTL-CCD metering method, AE lock possible)
Exposure Modes: Program shift AE/Aperture priority AE/ Manual Exposure /Shutter priority AE
Exposure Compensation: Manual Exposure Compensation +/-2.0EV (1/3EV Steps), Auto Bracket Function (-0.5EV, ±0, +0.5EV / -0.3EV, ±0, +0.3EV)
ISO Sensitivity (Standard Output Sensitivity):
AUTO, AUTO-HI, ISO80 – 3200 (1EV, 1/3EV, selectable steps)
White Balance Mode:
AUTO / Multi-Pattern AUTO / Outdoors / Cloudy / Incandescent / Fluorescent 1 / Fluorescent 2 / Manual / Detail, White Balance Bracket Function
Built-in ﬂash mode: Flash On, Auto, Red-eye-Reduction, Flash On, Slow Synchro, Manual Flash, Flash Off
Built-in ﬂash range: Approx. 20 cm - 3.0 m (ISO Auto)
Flash compensation: +/-2.0EV (1/3EV Steps)
Charging time*12: Approximately 5 seconds
3.0-inch Transparent LCD (approx. 1,230,000 dots)
Auto Shooting Mode / Program Shift Mode / Aperture Priority Mode / Shutter Speed Priority Mode / Manual Exposure Mode / Scene Modes (Dynamic Range / Movie / Skew Correction / Interval Composite) / My Settings Mode
Vivid, Standard, Setting1/Setting2, B&W, B&W (TE), High Contrast B&W, Cross Process, Positive Film, Bleach Bypass
Picture Quality Mode: *2
F (Fine) / N (Normal) / RAW (DNG file format) *3
No. of Pixels Recorded:
Still image: 3648×2736, 3648×2432, 2736×2736, 3648×2048, 3264×2448, 2592×1944, 2048×1536, 1280×960, 640×480
Movie: 640x480, 320x240
SD memory card, SDHC memory card, Internal memory (approx. 40MB)
Eye-Fi cards (X2 series) can be used
Storage Capacity (Pictures/Time):*4 (internal memory approx.40MB)
Still image: 3648×2736 (RAW: 2, F: 10, N: 17) / 3648×2432 (RAW: 2, F: 11, N: 19) / 2736×2736 (RAW: 2, F: 13, N: 23) / 3648×2048 (RAW: 2, F: 13, N: 23 ) /3264×2448 (F: 12) / 2592×1944 (F: 15) / 2048×1536 (F: 24) / 1280×960 (F:43) / 640×480 (F: 158)
Movie*5: 640×480: 30 frames/sec. (22 sec.), 640×480: 15 frames/sec. (43 sec.), 320×240: 30 frames/sec. (54 sec.), 320×240: 15 frames/sec. (1 min. 38 sec.)
Recording File Format:
Still Image: JPEG (Exif ver. 2.3) *6 , RAW (DNG)
Movie: AVI (Open DML Motion JPEG Format compliant)
Compression method: JPEG Baseline method compliant (still images, movies)
Other Major Shooting Functions:
Continuous / AF-Cont / S-Cont / M-Cont / Self-Timer (operation time: approx. 2 sec. / custom) / Interval Shooting (shooting interval: 5 sec. to 1 hour, in 5-second increments)*7 / Image Setting Bracket / Dynamic Range Compensation Bracketing / Contrast Bracketing / Color Space Setting / AE/AF Target Movement / Camera Shake Correction / Dynamic Range Compensation / Multiple Exposure Shooting / Noise Reduction / Histogram / Grid Guide / Depth of Field / Electronic Level / Hot Shoe
Other Major Playback Functions:
Auto Rotate / Grid View / Enlarged Display (maximum 16x) / Slideshow / Resize / Trim / DPOF settings
USB and AV output terminal: USB 2.0 compliant, mass storage compliant*8 / HDMI micro output terminal: Type D
Video Signal Format:
NTSC, PAL switchable
Rechargeable Battery: DB-65 (3.6V) x1, AAA Dry Alkaline Battery x2, AAA Nickel-Metal Hydride Battery x 2, AC adapter (AC-4c option) 3.8V
Battery Consumption: *9
Based on CIPA Standard: Using the DB-65, approx. 390 pictures / Using AAA Dry Alkaline Battery x2, approx. 30 pictures*10
108.6 mm (W) x 59.8 mm (H) x 32.5mm (D) (CIPA-conformant)
Approx. 190 g (excluding battery, SD memory card, strap), Accessories approx. 30 g (battery, strap)
Operating Temperature Range:
*1. Shutter speed upper and lower limits vary depending on Shooting Mode and Flash Mode.
*2. The picture quality modes which can be set vary depending on the image size.
*3. The DNG file format is a RAW image file format and is the standard format of Adobe Systems.
*4. Estimated number of still images it is possible to record and estimated amount of movie recording time.
*5. The maximum length for one instance of movie recording is 29 minutes or the ﬁle size upper limit of 4GB.
*6. Compatible with DCF and DPOF. DCF is the abbreviation of the JEITA standard “Design rule for Camera
File system.” (Full compatibility with other devices is not guaranteed.)
*7. With ﬂash off.
*8. Mass storage driver is compatible with Windows (R) XP, Windows Vista(R), Windows(R) 7; Mac OS X 10.4 -10.6.7.
*9. Shooting capacity was measured using CIPA-standard parameters. This is only an estimate, and
performance may vary according to usage conditions.
*10. Using Panasonic AAA alkaline batteries.
*11. Measurement values obtained under Ricoh measurement conditions using Panasonic Pro High Speed 2G Class 6 cards. Results may differ depending on the speed and/or number of continuous shots, shooting conditions, and recording media, or on the condition of the recording media.
*12. When using rechargeable batteries
・Windows and Windows Vista are registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the U.S.A. and other countries.
・Mac OS is a registered trademark of Apple Inc. in the U.S.A. and other countries.
・Eye-Fi, Eye-Fi connected, and the Eye-Fi logo are registered trademarks of Eye-Fi Japan Co., Ltd.