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That time again - replacing a dead GR
Old 01-19-2017   #1
nickthetasmaniac
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That time again - replacing a dead GR

G'day RF brains trust, here's another 'what camera should I buy' thread

For the past few years I've been using a Ricoh GR (APS v1) as my primary digital camera. I've thoroughly enjoyed it, but over the past couple of weeks it's been going through a slow and prolonged death (I froze it in Finland, drowned it in Paris, then drowned it again in Tas) and is now definitely cactus. Hence, new camera.

I shoot the majority of my personal work at the moment on 35mm and MF film, and I don't see that changing in the short term. Since I've owned it the GR has been part pocket camera, part digital back up for my film gear, and part hiking/trail running body.

I mainly shoot:
- Landscape (usually during hiking or trail running trips)
- Travel
- Street

I also have a growing interested in botany, which means photographing things which are often quite small, and short snippets of video. That said, this doesn't need to perform like a dedicated macro/video set up, it just needs to be capable.

Professionally, I work as a hiking guide and it is useful to have a compact, high-quality camera easily accessible.

When hiking it lives in a small pouch on my rucksack hip belt, and when running it's in a Salomon trail running vest pack.

Things I like about the GR:
- Size/weight
- Ergonomics/UI
- Quality of lens/sensor combo

Things I don't like:
- Manual focus implementation

Things I think I would like:
- Faster lens and/or stabilisation
- Better close-focussing
- More intuitive and better quality video
- Possibly a zoom - I'm quite happy with the GR's '28mm', but wouldn't mind exploring something different.

At the moment I see a few replacement options:
- GR II - I know I like it, and these can be found new relatively cheap.
- Panasonic LX100 - I like the ergonomics/UI, the video seems very good and the IQ acceptable. Reasonable price.
- Sony RX100 mk.something - Size and video look great. Haven't particularly enjoyed playing with them, and the price for newer models seems excessive.
- Fuji X100 - Ergonomics/UI and lens/sensor look great. Size and price dubious.
- Fuji X70 - Looks nice but I'd probably just get another GR.
- Sony RX1 - Outstanding lens and sensor. Big (when the lens is taken into consideration) and expensive, even second hand.

Any thoughts or suggestions?
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Old 01-19-2017   #2
Ong
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Could consider the Nikon Coolpix A, Similar to the GR with the APS-C sensor and 28mm equiv. focal length.

Otherwise the RX100 series is always a winner in terms of being a good all rounder as well and seems to be the best fit for most of what you're after.
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Old 01-19-2017   #3
:: Mark
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I went the GR II route, when the Mk 1 lens was destroyed some rather unpleasant people.

If you ignore the WiFi, the GR II is for all practical purposes the same as the previous model with a few software tweaks (eg proper auto-ISO limits). There is supposed to be a macro adapter, but I do not know of anyone using it.

It is very hard to beat the GR's size, image quality and ergonomics...
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Old 01-19-2017   #4
Dogman
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There's nothing new out there really like the GR other than the GRII.
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Old 01-19-2017   #5
emraphoto
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ong View Post
Could consider the Nikon Coolpix A, Similar to the GR with the APS-C sensor and 28mm equiv. focal length.

Otherwise the RX100 series is always a winner in terms of being a good all rounder as well and seems to be the best fit for most of what you're after.
I would agree with the first part of this. I have a couple of coolpix A's and love the crap out out them. They are also cheap as chips these days.

The RX100 series are great cameras by design but I have had 3 and all of them have been downright maddening. All 3 have developed all sorts of problems, to the point where the are useless lumps of coal now. The latest experience involved updating the firmware on an RX100 to then have the camera develop the 'lens error' problem immediately after the update. Never an issue before. Of course Sony wants $300 just to look at it. Every Sony camera I have owned has had issues and the last experience has led m to swear of Sony cameras. This is a bit of a downer as the form factor and technical abilities are certainly attaractive.

The LX100 is also superb and I have no issues with image quality. With that said, there seems to be some sample variance issues with the LX100.

The canon G7x is also a excellent compact with outstanding video, great image quality and excellent interface.
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Old 01-19-2017   #6
Mark A. Fisher
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I don't have experience with any on your list except the Fuji X100 and the Sony RX100 (M3). The Sony fits in my pants pocket, and I use it as you apparently would. I set mine for color work, and use the Fuji X100 to b/w. Both are great for my needs, but for your use I'd probably suggest the RX100 M3. You can still buy them new for a lot less than their newer siblings. Good luck with your decision!
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