Thursday, July 31, 2014

Ricoh GR, You My Only Friend

So, we already know the dSLR is dead (to me). 

But recently I had the urge to take that last step and downsize to ONE CAMERA/ONE LENS.
I spent a sad amount of time deliberating this move:
  • What single focal length suits me best? 
  • What features can't I live without? Viewfinder? tilty screen? Fast lens?
  • Do a want a new camera, or one lens for the NEX? 
  • Do I dare get a small sensor'd p&s as my only camera?  
  • Do I "cheat" and get a zoom?
  • How compact do I actually want/need?

I used various methods to attempt to solve this dilemma. I parsed 10 years of EXIF data, across several cameras, hoping for some common technical thread to link all my images. I tried using my wife's Panasonic LX-7 to see which focal lengths I used most and to see if I could stand a small sensor.

Nothing was conclusive.

So then I just looked at most recent shots. Why should 10 year old photos dictate the gear I use today? By this time, I had sold all the lenses for my NEX-6, and had nothing to shoot with. I DID find I was missing the two Sigma primes, especially the 19mm. When I looked at the last year's worth of shots, they WERE mostly done with that lens. But could a 28mm equivalent really be my ONLY focal length?? I just spent the last few months wondering if 35 was too wide, or if 50mm was too tight. Surely, a 28mm is less than ideal; not wide enough to be wide, and no where near tight enough for even standard walk around shots.

Well, In the end, I just went with my gut. I purchased the camera that seemed absolutely insane on paper, but that I also couldn't stop thinking about.

  • Fixed 28mm(equiv): TOO WIDE!
  • ONLY f/2.8: TOO SLOW!
  • Slow AF: SLOW!
  • No Image Stabilization: HANDHELD NEVERMORE!

What can I say? This is the camera I have been looking for since before I knew I was looking. Not only is it more than the sum of it's parts, it's orders of magnitude thereof. I'm so taken with this camera, that I'm considering getting it's GR1 ancestor to *gasp* shoot film (which is *so* not in the instantkamera spirit).

Here she is, shots taken with the LX-7 in 1:1 (these are not crops):

dolled up/red lipstick/night-on-the-town mode

stealth mode

Ridiculous transformers mode

obligatory banana for scale (this thing is tiny)

Stay tuned for some actual pictures from the camera.