Traveling with the Ricoh GX200

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My Ricoh GX200 really relives its glory days lately, and I have also been surprised once again from this superb little camera (so much that I misspelled the title on the image above !!)

I had bought it a few years ago as a small compact, before the revolution of the the four-thirds of the superb small APS-C cameras like the Sony NEX, Fuji X100, Leica X2, etc.

At the time, only DSLRs or the Leica M could provide great IQ, but today the scenery has completely changed. I own the NEX, Fuji X100 and of course the Leica M8 (I generally own more cameras than I can afford, but what the heck, you only live once), so where does the GX200 fit in this equation?

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(surface of a lake, probably due to pollution, it provided a great base for a texture)

The frequent readers of this blog know that I prefer small and light cameras over DSLRS. I shoot medium format film cameras and some of them are quite large and heavy, but I use them for very specific purposes and I don’t carry them while walking, unless I need to shoot a landscape worthwhile. The same goes for my DSLRs. So,most of the times I will choose either the Leica M or the Sony NEX.

I got to a point where even a NEX for many situations is large. Actually the body is tiny but the lens are quite large and most times will require a camera bag. For many cases, I just want a camera that can fit in my jacket and that’s where the GX200 comes in.

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Ricoh has always produced cameras for serious photographers. I don’t consider myself to a be a “serious photographer” since I have still lot to learn, but I really appreciate the ergonomics of Ricoh cameras. The GX200 is by far the most user friendly camera I have ever used. You can practically use it single handhed (and thats why is my favorite for rainy days). It shoots RAW (a not so common feature for a compact camera a few years ago), has a fantastic blacked white JPEG straight out of the camera, an electronic viewfinder, an accessory for a lens cap that opens and closes automatically and even has an intervalometer !!

So, even for today’s compact cameras, it has superb features.

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It’s sensor is really not on par with today’s cameras. I have recently tried the Sony RX100 and was really stunned with its performance and features which are truly state of the art for a small camera. I was very close in ordering one, but logic prevailed (I don’t need another camera, instead I should probably sell a few !!). For the use I want, the Ricoh even today remains a perfect choice (for me, that is).

It’s dynamic range is outdated and it’s ISO performance is not good, at ISO 400 you already have too much noise, but it’s really small and light. An excellent street camera that does not attract attention, and a pretty decent camera for normal traveling (not a dedicated photo trip).

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I used to carry a camera bag all the time, even when I was going for a cup of coffee with friends, but not anymore. I don’t want to carry a bag with me all the time and since I don’t take photos with my mobile phone, I consider the Ricoh to be the fantastic camera I had “lost and found again”.

Enjoy the rest of the images.

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(c)2012 Konstantinos Besios. All rights reserved.

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