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First GRDII early preview!

Hi folks,

As I expected, the first GRDII preview coming from Japan ;) It can be found at official Ricoh GR Blog and although the posted photos are very small and the Japanese text is unreadable for most of us outside the Japan, there can be found some interesting points. And because the GRD II sample unit I'm waiting for is not anywhere near, we have nothing better to do than to analyze this Japanese preview.

Original Japanese article:
http://blog.ricoh.co.jp/GR/archives/200 ... t_272.html
Google translation:
http://translate.google.com/translate?u ... n&ie=UTF-8
Babelfish translation:
http://babelfish.altavista.com/babelfis ... jp%2FGR%2F

What I found very interesting (at first sight) that even these very small pictures (taken with NR turned OFF) shows very small amount of chroma noise. There is no sign of blue tint as is usually visible in GX100 high ISO shots! And because the NR is OFF in these shots, there should be not detail degradation in these shots. All I can say is that I'm really keen to see the full size shots. The ISO 400 shots looks very usable to me. Of course, all shots resized to smaller size looks better then they actually are. But these definitely don't look bad.

I will try to decipher some more interesting info from this early GRDII preview.

EDIT 11/13/07:

There are two more Japanese articles about GRDII (from the same author). Unfortunately, the pics in both new articles are again very small to tell anything reasonable about noise and per pixel image quality. However, there are several useful informations, regarding controlling the Flash power (three comparison photos with Flash intensity set to 0, -1 and -2) and also probably the first official photos taken with new teleconverter GT-1. There are comparison shots with and without GT-1. Unfortunately, no face shot with tele to see its usability for portraits.

Original Japanese article (mainly about electronic level and GT-1 teleconverter):
http://blog.ricoh.co.jp/GR/archives/200 ... t_272.html
Google translation:
http://translate.google.com/translate?u ... n&ie=UTF-8
Babelfish translation:
http://babelfish.altavista.com/babelfis ... t_272.html

Original Japanese article (mainly about [ MY1 ]/[ MY2] settings, in camera photo enhancements (saturation/contrast/sharpness) and Flash adjustments):
http://blog.ricoh.co.jp/GR/archives/200 ... al_23.html
Google translation:
http://translate.google.com/translate?u ... n&ie=UTF-8
Babelfish translation:
http://babelfish.altavista.com/babelfis ... al_23.html

EDIT 11/15/07:
New GRD2 preview article at Ricoh Japan blog! This time focused on 40mm teleconversion lens.
Original Japanese article
http://blog.ricoh.co.jp/GR/archives/2007/11/2nd_ii.html
Google translation:
http://translate.google.com/translate?u ... n&ie=UTF-8
Babelfish translation:
http://babelfish.altavista.com/babelfis ... nd_ii.html

It seems the 40mm lens is a great for close-up
photography where it successfully decreases the amount of distortion caused by wide angle lens at close distance.
See this example:
28mm
tc559.jpg

40mm
tc560.jpg

If nothing else, it looks very promising for all portrait hunters (no big noses anymore)!

Some of the images posted in this new article are now clickable (to show larger version of the image), unfortunately, they are still too small to tell anything about their "per pixel" quality. When the RicohForum GRD2 sample arrives, you can definitely expect the full resolution samples! ;)

EDIT 11/17/07:
New GRD2 preview article at Ricoh Japan blog! This time focused on macro.

Original Japanese article
http://blog.ricoh.co.jp/GR/archives/200 ... al_ii.html
Google translation:
http://translate.google.com/translate?u ... n&ie=UTF-8
Babelfish translation:
http://babelfish.altavista.com/babelfis ... al_ii.html

This new article is not for people scared about insects! There are some really "awful" photos like this one: ;)
GR_Mantis_Cicada_s430.jpg

At the end of article you can find a small comment about shooting indoors and also a link to Ricoh article describing the process of upgrading GRD to GRD2. Also very interesting reading..

Original Japanese article
http://www.ricoh.co.jp/koko/gr_digital2/01/index.html
Google translation:
http://64.233.179.104/translate_c?hl=en ... index.html
 
According of the early preview (and if I got the babelfish translation right) the GRDII should have two separate RAW buffers. This should really help with taking another RAW shot while the first one is still writing. I'm really curious to see how good will the GRDII perform with currently the fastest card on the market (the Panasonic sd/sdhc class 6). I'm about to buy 2GB SD and 4GB SDHC cards to test them with GRD and GRDII. This "gold Panasonic" performs excellently with GX100 so I'm sure, it will work well with GRDII too.
 
w00t!
looking good!
i like the little GV-1
is the leather everready case new as well?
looks like it would fit the GRD :D
 
Yes Lili, the new eveready case is also new item introduced with GRDII. But it should fit the original GRD too. Both GRD bodies are exactly the same so there is no reason why it shouldn't work? ;)
 
Hello everybody. I was looking to the early preview and was not happy when I read the lovely words you give already to this camera. Those shots, you make with every PS costing 250 Euro!!! So, is little bit to early to make conclusions. I have to say that Ricoh is also bringing out this new camera by only rising the pixels. The rest of new features are quite stupid hings and will be in reality completely useless. Take the leveling system!!!??? No anti-shake!!!!??? Small Raw buffer!!!!???? Flash that can be adjusted, but as everybody nows, when you will take a shot with flash and you can no set the aperture, speed, focus lenght and the flash is without meachanism to cutt-off the light properly, it will be not useful. Take the GX 100 = very good strong flash but worth nothing as you can not regulate it properly (even not when using last firmware). I take with the GX100 always flash photos with exernal flash. Here an example. So, we have to tell Ricoh that serious people needs other features than what they put as world shocking new items.
 
lucridders":26fe9 said:
Hello everybody. I was looking to the early preview and was not happy when I read the lovely words you give already to this camera.

I have to say I find it quite funny that you complain about people being excited about this camera and praising the prdecessor but at the same time you try to find reasons to complain about it before you've actually used it or seen any real world images. To me it looks like this camera is and won't be for you and that's fine. There are lots of cameras for 250$ out there that you will be happy with.

I honestly do not get what you mean with most of your complaints as it does not make sense. You can adjust the flash, you do have a RAW buffer and for a f2.4 wideangle lens you don't necessary need IS. But hey, this camera won't be for everybody and it sounds like it's not for you so better look for something else or wait for an actual review before complaining about what you think it does not have or does not do.
 
You know what lucridders? I really don't understand one thing. If you hate the way Ricoh made it and you think the new GRDII features are stupid, why do you care about it? Why don't you get any of the 250EUR cameras you mentioned? I know that many of the statements we made about GRD and GRDII may sound overexcited for many photographers and digital camera users (yes, those are two different categories). But usually, if I don't like something, I don't care about it? But maybe it's just me ;) Of course, you have your right on your opinion, but please, be reasonable.

Most of the features added in GDII are the features asked by GRD customers! Isn't this a proof the Ricoh listen their customers? More, they even implemented some of the new GRDII features for 2 years old model! Please, tell me about any digital camera manufacturer in the segment of prosumer digital cameras, who did the same for their customers? And even more, GRDII is not even on the streets, but I'm pretty sure, that there will be some FW updates with improved or added features, as it was in case of GRD. This is also very unique and generous service in today's rush world, where the camera (even DSLR) is obsolete the same day it hits the streets. Even the DSLRs are updated (if ever) with very minor features like adding support for larger sdhc cards of updated printing from camera. But they almost never got any new useful features as it was in case of GRD.

All in all, there is no perfect camera and there will never be one. No matter how loud you will moan about this or that. This is what I already learned and you will have to find out too ;)
 
Here the picture taken with the GX100 and external flash; You will never be able to do so with the build in flash even with he regulations they have done on the GRII.
It seems hat I can not load a picture here?
 
I don't see any problem with attaching pictures here? Just tried it and it works fine for me? Please, make sure your picture is not too big (over 1024x768 and 512kb).

As for taking pictures with onboard flash and external flash, of course, the external flash is always better option. No arguing with this statement. But in case you don't have it with you and you wish to use onboard flash (in a sunny day) as a fill-in flash, the manual setting of onboard flash is very useful. And I'm sure, most guys here don't carry the external flash with GRD. So yes, the onboard Flash exposure compensation IS a useful feature.
 
I think that despite the higher pixel count, the GRD II does show Ricoh listens very well to their customer base.
The firmware update to the GRD that adds many of the GRD II feature set to the GRD is aboslutely awesome.
I know of no other camera company that so cares for its customers.
I have not yet decided to buy a GRD II having just got my much-beloved GRD.
But rest assured my next new camera will likely be a Ricoh.
Perhaps a GX100?
:)
 
Yes, I fully agree the way Ricoh is taking care about their customers. No other company is doing so. The same for the after sales service. This is in one word superb. But next to this, we will help nobody to tell only the good things. We build machinery per example and I am really not interested in what is good when a machine is finished. I like to know what is bad!!! This is the only way to make progress.
 
I agree. Telling only nice things will not help anyone. But it's because there is currently no GRDII review yet and all we have are only limited information from Japanese webs and marketing materials. It's easy to say the GRDII images are not worth the 600USD camera. But we are now excited with all these new (and so often asked) features and when there will be a real camera to test, we will definitely discuss also the bad points. I'm personally interested how good/fast is the new sensor-based AF and if the GRDII images have the same "grainy" look as GRD. Many GRD users hope so, because the "cleaned" GX100 look does not attract them ;)
 
I agree, is also the reason when I use the GX100 that I use the soft settings. Is much better for me already.
here some pictures with those settings and external flash:
 

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I was looking to the specs and was quite surprised that they still use an A/D converter with such low convertion factor. As this is really important to have a good color, sharp image as well as dept of field it should be already a very big advantage to pay more attention to such a things instead of an electronic levelling system and a flash that is settable in steps of 0,3. Technically it is a must to have at least a 14 bit conversion and even better a 16 bit. The details we can capture than will be much more.
 
Could you please tell us, where did you found an info about GRDII A/D converter? Because I cannot find any info about it as it was in case of GRD. But maybe I just overlooked this info? This is not commonly revealed information in digital camera industry. But honestly, how many pocket (and reasonably priced) cameras have more than 10-12bit A/D converter? I'm afraid, I don't know any. Even many DSLRs uses 12bit A/D converter. So I think there is nothing surprising here ;)
 
lucridders":192c9 said:
I was looking to the specs and was quite surprised that they still use an A/D converter with such low convertion factor. As this is really important to have a good color, sharp image as well as dept of field it should be already a very big advantage to pay more attention to such a things instead of an electronic levelling system and a flash that is settable in steps of 0,3. Technically it is a must to have at least a 14 bit conversion and even better a 16 bit. The details we can capture than will be much more.

bit depth has nothing to do with sharpness and DOF. Good color/tone range, yes. Again, how many pictures people take deserve a >12bit precision treatment? it is certainly a plus factor* to have greater captured bit depth, but certainly not a need and an overkill for most.

*esp if you do post-processing. however if you know what you are doing, quantized color depth problem can be avoided or minimized.
 
When higher bit conversion has nothing to see with sharper images, beter tone range, better colors and dof, than we have to stop discussion!!! A higher a/d converer is doing more han anybody else in a digital camera!!!
 
I am happy that I was reading that the GRII would have less noise and as they compared, the 400Iso on the new GRII will have the same noise as 100 iso on the GR. Good news finally and I hope that they do the same with an upgrade for the GX100. People who are liking this kind of noise as the GX100 is producing are better in my opinion to take a brush and start painting their images instead of taking them with a camera :D . On my last travel to Egypt I had lots of pics that are good, but due to high noise levels in the sky they are not usable. I was looking again in my collection of pictures taken with film in the past, and I can not find pictures with that amount of noise in it. Lets hoep Ricoh will do something to make this better. I was doing a mail and sample pictures to them already.
 
A question that I have about the Ricoh GRDii. Why they do not iuse a simple system to make it possible to have good pictures made with flash? I suggest that they do a preflash and this will measure the correct exposure. This way we do not have to guess anymore about the correct setting?
 
Added two more Japanese preview articles with GRD2 shots. Unfortunately, the shots are again very small, but the articles are interesting (if you are willing to read babelfish translation). See the initial post.
 
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