From film to digital, Ricoh’s GR series of cameras has been highly regarded by enthusiast photographers. We find out how the latest 10-million-pixel model and its AF system compares
Noise resolution and sensitivity
Of all the 10-million-pixel compact cameras we have tested, the Ricoh GR Digital IV stands out as one of the best in terms of resolution. Having a fixed lens that is designed specifically for the sensor (and vice versa) means that images are sharp, even at the edges. At the lowest ISO 80-400 sensitivities, images have a great deal of detail, although there is a hint of luminance noise above ISO 200 and colour noise is visible in shadow areas if these areas are lightened.
I wasn’t too impressed with the in-camera JPEGs, but I would recommend to those photographers who shoot JPEGs that they turn the noise reduction to at least its lowest setting, and ideally switch it off completely and stick to ISO 80-200. Reducing colour noise from the DNG raw files is straightforward, and adding a hint of luminance noise reduction and careful edge sharpening can help higher-sensitivity images.
The maximum sensitivities are what you would expect from a compact camera. They really are too extreme to be of any use for detailed images. Instead, use the luminance noise to your advance by switching to black & white or the bleach bypass mode and be creative with your images – you will still have the raw files should you wish to attempt to edit the images further.
Resolution, Noise & Dynamic Range: These images show 72ppi (100% on a computer screen) sections of images of a resolution chart, captured using the fixed 28mm equivalent lens . We show the section of the resolution chart where the camera starts to fail to reproduce the lines separately. The higher the number visible in these images, the better the camera’s detail resolution at the specified sensitivity setting.