Ricoh GR IV: Improvements to Make It the Ultimate Compact Camera

Ricoh GR IV: Improvements to Make It the Ultimate Compact Camera

Ricoh GR III fans have something to look forward to, as the designer of the popular street photography camera, Inaba San, recently hinted at the release of a fourth installment in the series during an interview shared on Ricoh’s YouTube channel earlier this month. With its pocketable size and impressive image quality from a 24MP APS-C sensor, the GR III has gained a cult following among photography enthusiasts.

The demand for the GR IIIx, a variant with a tighter 40mm focal length, has been high, making it difficult to find in stock, especially due to the growing popularity of similar fixed-lens compact cameras like the Fujifilm X100V. However, the GR III series is not without its flaws. After using the GR IIIx for 18 months, there are a few improvements that could make it an even better everyday camera.

First and foremost, maintaining the small size of the camera is crucial. The compact body paired with the larger sensor is what sets the GR series apart from other cameras. While there are features that could be added to enhance the shooting experience, any increase in dimensions would be a drawback for those seeking a truly pocketable camera.

Another improvement would be the addition of a built-in flash. This would be beneficial for low-light situations and portraits, eliminating the need for external flash accessories that compromise the camera’s compactness. A pop-up flash that doesn’t increase the camera’s size would be a desirable addition to the GR IV.

In terms of build quality, a more rugged design would be appreciated. Several minor issues have been reported with the GR IIIx, such as the menu button seizing and the lens becoming sticky. Improved sealing and better weather-proofing could prevent such problems. Optional lens protectors and camera cases are available, but they add bulk to the overall package, compromising its pocketability.

A tilt LCD screen would also be a welcome addition to facilitate shooting at different angles, especially for street photographers. While an electronic viewfinder (EVF) is not a necessity, a simple tilt mechanism for the LCD screen would enhance the shooting experience without increasing the camera’s depth significantly.

Lastly, autofocus performance could be improved, particularly in low-light conditions. While the GR III offers intuitive autofocus features, such as snap autofocus and single-point touch autofocus, focus hunting can be an issue when light fades. A more reliable autofocus system, particularly for single-point touch focus, would enhance the shooting capabilities of the camera.

In conclusion, the rumored release of the Ricoh GR IV has sparked excitement among fans of the GR III series. While the camera’s image quality is already impressive, a few key improvements could make it an even better pocket compact camera. Maintaining the small size, adding a built-in flash, improving build quality, introducing a tilt LCD screen, and enhancing autofocus performance are some of the features that photographers are hoping to see in the GR IV. With these improvements, the GR IV has the potential to become one of the best compact cameras available.

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