Images with Ricoh GX200 (and a few words about compact cameras)

When I leave home, most of the times I will take a camera with me. Usuallly, it’s either the NEX or the Leica M since I don’t want to carry large cameras. The NEX with the 18-55 lens or the Leica with the 28mm Elmarit and Voigtlander Nokton 50mm f/1.5 (since I repaired the f/1.5, I rarely take out the Nokton 50mm f/1.1 since its really a huge lens for the M mount).

Although these cameras are small and light, they are not on par with the minimum size and weight of a compact camera. They require a small camera bag. Yesterday I decided to take the Ricoh GX200 with me. It’s an old compact camera with superb ergonomics which is really small. It can fit in my jacket pocket and has a 24-72mm zoom lens (35mm equivalent).

Operating this camera is so easy and the huge depth of field when compared to an APS-C or full frame sensor can really come in handy. It’s a fantastic camera for street photography .

(Ricoh GX200)

By setting the focus to manual, due to huge DoF, I can shoot instantly and with pretty much everything in focus. It’s a different experience than what I am used to.

Now, the image quality is also not to the level I am used to !! At ISO 400, the noise is evident and the dynamic range and colors are inferior to a mirorless camera. Don’t forget, it’s an old model and today’s compact cameras are of course much better. Still, shooting with the GX200 made me think that for many situations I just need a very small compact camera. Shooting with a phone was never my cup of tea, and although I have taken some very good images with my iPhone, I will always choose a camera over a phone.

I am reading lately very good reviews about the new Sony RX100 which is a truly compact camera with very good image quality and ISO performance. Although I consider it overpriced, you just can’t beat it’s size and weight, so I am going to try it soon and see what is capable for.

I am still keeping the Fuji X100 which is a very special camera, but it is always “in conflict” with the Leica M8 (and the rangefinder almost always wins !!)

(Ricoh GX200)

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