Ricoh Imaging has unveiled the newest camera in its GR series, the GR II, which according to the company is the smallest premium compact camera with image quality in the level of that of a DSLR.
The GR series of Ricoh have been popular among photographers who are looking for the quality of an SLR camera in a frame that is as small as the smartphone. The first GR, released a couple of years ago, offered photographers with such a gadget.
The new GR II does not overhaul the successful GR, with improvements focusing on several minor changes and one new major feature with the addition of in-camera Wi-Fi capabilities.
Just like the first GR, the GR II uses an SLR-sized APS-C image sensor within a compact camera frame that fits into a photographer's pocket. The camera's 18.3mm f/2.8 lens is able to cover the field of view of a 28mm prime lens, and the GR II uses the same optics as its predecessor.
The GR II also uses a similar image sensor as the GR, a 16MP CMOS chip which omits the need for an optical low pass filter. The controls and the form factor of the GR II also mostly remain the same.
The major new feature for the GR II, the in-camera Wi-Fi and NFC, will allow users to transfer images from the camera to their computers or smartphones. Using the Ricoh Image Sync app, photographers can transfer images to both Android and iOS devices. However, the interface of the app does not give users complete access to the controls of the camera. For photographers looking to utilize the GR II for remote control shooting, an Internet browser can be used to directly connect and control the GR II. The Web interface will provide users with access to all of the GR II's controls.
The GR II's white balance sees an improvement by adding the CTE setting, allowing users to shift colors slightly for images to look better depending on the light available, and in Raw mode, shooting can now be done at 10 frames per second, which is an improvement from the 4 frames per second rate in the previous GR. The shutter is also now able to fire at a rate of 1/2,500-sec at f/2.8, an improvement from the GR's 1/2,000-sec.
Burst shooting will also see an improvements, and continuous autofocus will now be turned on during video recording. Photographers doing time lapse images using the Interval Composite mode of the GR can save the image as Raw files with the GR II, which previously was not allowed in the GR.
With the minor improvements of the GR II over the GR, plus the Wi-Fi and NFC capabilities, the compact camera will still retain its predecessor's price of $799.95. The camera will be released next month in the United States.