Today Pentax announced the Ricoh GR camera. You might have seen some recent leaks about the camera, but now it’s official. The GR features an APS-C sized CMOS sensor with 16 megapixels and absolutely no low-pass filter. The camera has a redesigned optical path promising “superb image performance.” Once you figure in the crop factor, the fixed lens becomes a 28mm in 35mm equivalent. The lens provides a fast aperture of f/2.8 making it very easy to use in low lighting conditions. The lens has a nine blade diaphragm meaning it should produce some very nice bokeh. The company also promises that the lens retains sharpness from edge-to-edge.
The camera’s body is compact at about 4.6″ w x 2.4″ h x1.4″ d. It weighs only 8.6 oz when loaded with the battery and SD card. The battery is stated to take just under 300 images before needing to be recharged. The camera accepts SD, SDHC, SDXC and Eye-Fi cards.
The camera is powered by the GR Engine V image processor. This processor allows for high ISO sensitivities up to 25600 while minimizing noise and producing great color quality.
The company is also promising autofocus speeds of two-tenths of a second, making the GR a quick little camera.
Since the GR is designed for those photographers with advanced skills and a need for high quality images, the camera offers many features that are commonly found in DSLRs like RAW image capture and a dedicated depth of field preview button.
One of the biggest drawbacks I see is the lack of image stabilization built into the camera. I am a bit surprised that this feature was not included, but I’m hoping it turns out that IS just isn’t necessary in the little GR.
I’m looking forward to taking this little street shooter out for a full review and giving it a spin. The GR will be available for $800 in May 2013.