Using a Ricoh GRD III and a Nikon DSLR to photograph streets, people, architecture and anything else that catches my eye.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Greenwich Market... and more about the Ricoh GRD3

Last weekend, I met up with two fellow bloggers in London, for a gentle stroll around with our cameras.  We all met at Greenwich Market and wandered around, enjoying the crisp winter sunshine and the goings-on around the market stalls.  If I got a few nice pictures at the end of the day, then I would be happy. 

My two photography enthusiasts, Gerry and CC, were both using DSLRs; while I only took my GRD3 with me. Gerry has been aching to get a Ricoh GRD3 for a while, and CC has been also interested in a smaller capable camera.  We chatted about the pros and cons of the different camera types.

The biggest advantages of the Ricoh are:
  • Fits in the pocket
  • Prime lens (28mm equivalent)
  • Fully controllable (Shutter / Aperture /Manual)
  • It shoots RAW
  • It is almost invisible to public
  • Great build quality
  • It is FAST (focussing and lens properties)
  • Snap focus at pre set distance (FAST)
  • Highly customizable and quick access control system
  • User settings at a turn of a wheel.
  • Ricoh customer support and care

The disadvantages of the Ricoh are:
  • Price (debatable)
  • Small sensor = more noise than DSLR
  • Learning curve
  • Limited to certain types of photography due to fixed lens
  • Many other points that all DSLR owners will shout about
I mentioned 'learning curve' because it takes a while to get used to such an individual type of camera; whereas a DSLR by Canon/Nikon/Pentax etc, will give amazing results straight from the box. DSLRs are designed for ALL kinds of photography, and have modes for every role and there are lenses for every purpose.  With the correct basic understanding of exposure, a DSLR user can create wonderful images from the start, and then go on to get better and better.  I indeed still use my DSLR.

When I first got my GRD, it took quite a while before I was happy with the results. I was actually quite disappointed to begin with. With the Ricohs,you have to put the effort in, to get good results out. There are three user settings on the top dial, imaginitively named 'my1' 'my2' & 'my3'; and these can be easily set up to absolutely any possible settings. Even after all this time, I am still tweaking these 'my' settings as I constantly try to improve my results.

Some days I get great results, other days are sometimes disappointing; but the disappointing days are usually when I have not kept an eye on the settings throughout the day. Another mistake I often make is setting focus to a fixed distance, then forgetting about it, resulting in slightly blurred images, which are usually deleted unless I can create something 'artistic' from them.  The ricoh will auto focus on a half press, like any camera; but it also has an ingenious 'snap' mode which will shoot quick images if the button is pressed fully down quickly (pre set distances at 1m, 1.5m, 2.5m, 5m & infinity).  This is great for street photography, where you don't want to be standing around aiming a large lens at people, waiting for auto focus to work.


Here are some shots I took from our weekend walk about. As you will see, these are sometimes a little grainy as I had a high ISO; but I happen to like grain as opposed to smeary smooth finishing. They are not the sharpest images I have taken, but this was early in the day, and I usually improve throughout the day. I have pushed them through photoshop to rough them about a little, as I like my street images fully of contrast and grain.

Later in the day, we all wandered over to Brick Lane and took some more photos of the trendy folk of the art/fashion/market scene.  I got much better shots from Brick Lane, as I was fighting the sun all morning.  The rest of the images from the afternoon are here - Brick Lane


1 comment:

Gerry's Blog said...

I have no idea how I missed this post but agree I had a great time learning about the Ricoh and thanks for letting me play with it for a little while... you are lucky you got it back I love that camera. Good shots I like noise as well it adds character to the images.