Home News Reprieve for Ricoh’s much neglected GR

Reprieve for Ricoh’s much neglected GR

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  Reciter of the opening verses of Beowulf    — in the original Old English — over the Easter weekend. This in-period linguist is a resident of the impressively reconstructed Anglo-Saxon village of West Stow in Suffolk. Taken with the Ricoh GR, out-of-camera jpg.
Reciter of the opening verses of Beowulf   — in the original Old English — over the Easter weekend. This in-period linguist is a resident of the impressively reconstructed Anglo-Saxon village of West Stow in Suffolk. Taken with the Ricoh GR, out-of-camera jpg.

All is clearly not well in the camera market as we all know. In only two weeks we’ve had news of “restructuring” at both Panasonic and Pentax-Ricoh — interpreted in both cases as being the precursor to an exit from the market. And in both cases there have been rapid denials, assuring us that it is (almost) business as usual. 

My first thought when I read about Pentax’s cutbacks just before the Easter weekend was whither my favourite compact, the Ricoh GR. It seems I needn’t have worried. The GR has been singled out for continued attention by the company:

“RICOH is focusing its resource on the high added value products such as PENTAX and GR that are appreciated by the existing users and photo hobbyists.”

Following last September’s Photokina, where the GR was hidden away in a corner of the stand, safe from public fingering in a glass case, I feared the worst. There has been little TLC afforded the GR in recent years, but I was a little more heartened at the recent Birmingham Photography Show where the GR got a hands-on desk of its own. Yet the Mark II upgrade was so minimal that most of my friends owning the Mark I declined not to upgrade. I am still using the first edition and see no pressing reason to go for the Mark II. If I had to misfortune to lose my GR I would probably replace it with the newer model, but that’s about the extent of my enthusiasm for the upgrade.

If, as they say, concentration is now being directed towards the GR, I hope we can look forward to a significant upgrade that will persuade enthusiasts such as me to trade up. I can’t imagine not having a GR to slip in my pocket and I would have been devastated if Ricoh had decided to cease production. Once that happens, support leaches away and most of us would be looking elsewhere in short shrift. Now, however, there is a whiff of optimism in the air and I look forward to more time with my GR, not to mention the enticing possibility of a real upgrade.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. JRRTolkien would be proud! I remember reading that Old English Beowulf recitation is how he would start his new semesters. Good news on your pet Ricoh.

  2. To be a bit contrarian, and also fly in the face of corporate and financial sector accepted wisdom, it would not upset me to discover Ricoh intended to continue to produce GR in exactly the same form……forever. In fact, such a decision would prompt me to never look elsewhere for a compact digital camera. Imagine that, buying a compact digital camera, capable of taking brilliant images, and not have to worry about obsolescence for the foreseeable future. Personally, the news I am looking for is an announcement they have decided to resurrect production of the film GRs. 🙂

    • I agree to a large extent. I do have a particular niggle with the current body and that’s the exposure compensation toggle which sits right under the thumb and is constantly nudged. I’ve tried making a conscious effort to keep my thumb away but I always forget. If they addressed that, perhaps with a lockable dial, I’d be totally happy. They could continue to upgrade the electronics to keep up with market developments without doing much to the overall feel and operation of the camera.

      • How did I miss this article by you Mike, it must have been smuggled in under cover of darkness!

        They are excellent cameras, the film and digital versions…

        But…

        The lens, though very highly regarded sharpness wide, and lauded for its wide angle are not to my taste… In your face 28mm is for others, and the inny-outy is a good reason alone for not investing.

        What I have just discovered is another old film camera, and following a couple of fastly, badly composed shot rolls of film, is a nice sharp f2.8 35mm lens with a working rangefinder… And NO inny-outy:

        The Olympus XA (not the XA1/2/3/4), and it is tiny.

        One day, film cameras will take over from those old digital things…. They take up so much space, and still only half frame!

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