The popularity enjoyed by Canon PowerShot S90, the Olympus PEN E-PL1, or even the new Fujifilm FinePix X100, all somewhat originated from the introduction of Ricoh GR Digital back in 2005. With consumer interests growing in the so-called enthusiast sector, the original enthusiast digital camera underwent a transformation for the 4th time. The result is the Ricoh GR Digital IV, the newest successor to carry the GR Digital marquee. Quipped with the same 28mm/F1.9 GR Lens and 10 Megapixel CCD sensor, the GR Digital IV is identical to GR Digital III. Almost, that is. A new 3-inch VGA LCD display at 1.23 million-dot is 1.7 times brighter than the previous one on GR Digital III. There is also an image processor, the GR Engine IV, capable of more accurate color reproduction while great reduce imaging "noise". The greatest alteration, however, is the new Hybrid AF System on board. In tandem with traditional CCD AF system, Ricoh's Hybrid AF System is an external AF sensor with the ability to pick out up to 190 AF points. With 2 AF systems running, AF focusing time is cut to as little as 0.2 seconds, allowing photographers to capture moments faster than a blink of the eye, literally. To be offer in the traditional black edition, Ricoh will offering an all white limited edition (10,000 units) as well. Both will be available at Ricoh camera dealers in the coming weeks.
10-Megapixel 1/1.7-Inch CCD Sensor
28mm F1.9 GR Lens
GR ENGINE IV image processor
3-inch VGA LCD Display
Hybrid AF Auto Focus System
Traditional Black and Limited Edition All-White Colorways
Ricoh announces the GR DIGITAL IV
A digital camera offering enhanced Quick Shooting capability and image quality with a Hybrid AF System and GR ENGINE IV
Tokyo, Japan, September 15, 2011â€”Ricoh Co., Ltd. (President and CEO: Shiro Kondo) today announces the development and release of the GR DIGITAL IV digital camera, the successor model to the GR DIGITAL III, which offers enhanced Quick Shooting capability and image quality.
The GR DIGITAL III (released in August 2009) was a compact digital camera with high image quality that came with a 28mm/F1.9 GR Lens, the GR ENGINE III, and a high-sensitivity CCD that continued the evolution of the concepts originally introduced in the first GR DIGITAL model (released in October 2005). In the two years since its release, it has been enthusiastically received by a broad range of customers including professional and amateur photographers.
The new GR DIGITAL IV, featuring a new image engine and a refined optical filter, exceeds the GR DIGITAL III and achieves the highest level of image quality in the history of the GR series.
Additionally, for the advancement of the Quick Shooting capabilities required to make sure you never miss a shot when out shooting, Ricoh has introduced a Hybrid AF System and an Image-sensor-shift Image Stabilization Function, which makes use of Ricoh's independently developed external AF sensor, and a 3-inch, approximately 1.23 million-dot VGA LCD monitor for heightened outdoor visibility. The addition of an electronic level that can detect inclination in the tilt direction, as well as the conventional horizontal direction also improves operability. Moreover, the inclusion of Dynamic Range Compensation makes it possible to shoot subjects in backlit or high-contrast scenes in the way the eye sees them, and Interval Composite, which can combine images shot at a certain shooting interval, advances the camera's expressive capabilities.
Ricoh will also continue to provide the highly praised function-expansion firmware.
Main Features of the GR DIGITAL IV
Improved AF speed and accuracy due to the introduction of the Hybrid AF system
The camera comes newly equipped with Ricoh's independently developed external AF sensor, which has a maximum of 190 AF points. Through the Hybrid AF System, which is used in parallel with the conventional CCD contrast AF, Ricoh has realized an AF focusing time as short as 0.2 seconds, as much as half that of the GR DIGITAL III.
Also, algorithm refinements have led to improvements in the AF speed for macro shots that are taken using only the CCD contrast AF method for a maximum reduction of half the time of the previous model.
In shooting with a single press of the shutter-release button, the high focusing accuracy required for snapshot shooting has been added to the camera's Quick Shooting capabilities by performing the metering with only the external AF sensor. The metering information from the external AF sensor can be displayed on the LCD monitor as necessary.
Even higher image quality achieved
Through refinements to the optical filter and optimization of the image processing from the previous model, the GR DIGITAL III, the SFR* characteristics have been improved.
With the new image processing engine, the GR ENGINE IV, color reproduction enhancement and color noise reductions are achieved when taking high-sensitivity photographs.
Ricoh's signature 28mm/F1.9 GR lens demonstrates its high resolution while suppressing chromatic aberration and distortion. The approximately 10 million-pixel, 1/1.7-inch CCD shows off its high-sensitivity characteristics. These are the elements through which the GR DIGITAL IV achieves the highest image quality in GR DIGITAL history.
* Spatial Frequency Response (SFR): One of the indicators of a digital camera's resolution characteristics, including everything from the optical system to the image processing.
Comes with the first image-sensor shift image stabilization function in the GR DIGITAL series
With the image-sensor shift image stabilization function, the GR DIGITAL IV achieves a stabilization effect equivalent to a shutter speed increase of a maximum of 3.2 stops*, which combined with the fast F1.9 GR lens further increases the camera's ability to capture dark scenes.
*Measured using RICOH measurement methods.
Introduction of a new, high-brightness LCD monitor and the addition of an automatic brightness adjustment function
Through the introduction of the new 3-inch, approximately 1.23 million-dot VGA LCD monitor, which adds white pixels to the RGB ones, the GR DIGITAL IV secures a maximum brightness of approximately 1.7 times that of the GR DIGITAL III, improving its visibility when outdoors.
A function in which the camera automatically adjusts the luminance to match the brightness of the subject has been added, which minimizes decreases in visibility due to changes in the shooting environment.
Shooting functions that heighten the photographer's expressive ability and enhanced scene modes
Comes with dynamic range compensation to minimize the effects of blown highlights in bright areas and crushed blacks in dark ones. For backlit or high-contrast scenes where exposure compensation alone is not enough, compensation is performed for each area, enabling the photographer to take pictures at a brightness that closely matches how the subject looked.
The Auto Bracket function has been enhanced. In addition to the conventional Exposure and White Balance, Contrast Bracket Setting and Dynamic Range Compensation bracketing have been newly added, of which any two can be selected for addition to the image settings to record a sequence of three shots with Image Setting Bracket.
Comes with an Interval Composite mode that will replace and combine only the high-brightness pixel data in images of the night sky taken at fixed intervals. This makes it possible to shoot distinctive landscape pictures that show the trails of light left by the stars.
Positive Film and Bleach Bypass, which lowers saturation and increases contrast, have been added to the image settings. Along with settings like the existing High Contrast B&W and Cross Process, these can be used in each of the shooting modes (Auto/P/A/S/M).
Multiple exposure shooting, which makes it possible to shoot up to five overlapping shots, and bulb exposure functions have also been included.
Already high operability heightened even further
Included since the GR DIGITAL II, the electronic level function has been enhanced. Now it can detect inclination in not only the horizontal direction, but also the tilt direction as well.
The function combinations that can be used with the Fn1/Fn2 buttons have been expanded to four settings that can be registered with the Fn Button Pair Setting. Because the user can switch between functions registered in the Fn Button Pair Setting without going into the menu screens, they serve as an easy shortcut, making it possible to change functions in an instant to match the scene being shot.
The My Settings function, which enables the user to register their preferred camera settings, have been expanded from types to 12 types. Better still, because the settings can be registered on an SD card, users can share their favorite settings amongst themselves.
Includes a function for working with Eye-Fi cards. Images taken can be wirelessly transferred to a computer or uploaded to a photo-sharing site. When these functions are in use, the transmission information will be displayed on the shooting and playback screens.
An even broader range of expandability with new options
A genuine leather hand strap for excellent portability and handling and a metal lens cap that works with the lock function of the power button will be available as new options.
Implementation of function expansions through firmware
The provision of function-expansion firmware, which has been highly praised from the GR DIGITAL to the GR DIGITAL III models, will continue with the GR DIGITAL IV. By updating the firmware, the camera can always use the latest functions.