Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Upcoming Test: Ricoh GR-D IV vs Fuji X-20

Sony A-700 with Minolta 35mm F/1.4G. 1/80th sec F/4 @ ISO 320.
After testing so many super-cameras lately (Leica M's and Fuji X's) I was happily enjoying shooting with my trusty Ricoh GR-D IV. No it doesn't have a huge sensor (1/1.7") nor high megapixels (10mp), but it doesn't have to. It's my EDC (every day carry). It's with me everywhere I go. When I'm on a bike, in a business meeting, coffee date with my wife, or when I go to a concert, my EDC camera is always with me. When it came time to choose a new EDC after retiring my Panasonic LX-3, I had many to choose from. My top choices were: 

1. Ricoh GR-D IV
2. Panasonic LX-7
3. Fujifilm X-10/20
4. Fujifilm X-F1
5. Pentax MX-1

I settled on the Ricoh GR-D IV for many reasons (read my review here) but I could easily have gone with the other 4 cameras. So when it came time to choose my next test camera from Fuji, I thought it would be fun to pick a camera to test against my Ricoh. My test between the Fuji X-20 and the Ricoh GR-D IV has already begun. What things will I be testing? Build & ergonomics, image quality (jpeg & raw), shooting speed, customization, screen, battery life and feel (do I enjoy shooting with it). I really like my GR, but the X-20 has an amazing zoom lens and a built in optical viewfinder.

I'll have a review up in a couple of weeks. Until then, I'll give a few updates on both my blog and my Instagram. Stay tuned by coming back to my blog once in a while, or subscribe to my Twitter feed. Thanks for viewing.


  1. I am looking for a portable camera next to my dslr, sthng that i can use for the street shooting. I tried Oly omd but find the evf unuseful. Also it's not as portable as the other options. For that reason, I lower my choices to Ricoh GR (the new one) and Fuji X20. I am not a big fan of zoom lenses, however, fuji is giving a nice, fast lens between 28-115mm (in 35mm terms).

    I'd like to read your review about GR 4 and X20. The image quality between the new GR and X20 is not comparable, however the price gap is too much that i'd like to give.

    I took few shots with x20, it was a really responsive camera, but the iq was not satisfying. I shot with GR, the af was too slow, but the iq was incredible. I know that this camera has snap focus thing, but in the dark, the snap focus is goin to be useless, because i have to work with wide aperture and I heard that the af speed was even worst in the dark. Its goin to be a though decision...

    I am also looking forward of ur review. even its goin to be between gr 4 and x20, its going to give me some clues when i am comparing gr and x20....

    and another question, u think the ovf is something necessary for gr?

  2. Hi ckn,

    The IQ between the X-20 and GR-D IV is very similar, although I think the Fuji edges out the Ricoh at high ISO performance. If you weren't happy with the X-20 IQ, you won't be happy with the GR-D IV.
    The Ricoh has a small 1/1.7" sensor, which is smaller than the X-20's 2/3" sensor.

    If you want the best balance of IQ, size, and autofocus performance, I think the Sony RX100 is your best bet... but it's expensive. For that price, you can pretty much get the much better IQ Ricoh GR V. But you're right about the AF on the GR V. In low light, it's not very good. The GR-D IV is much better in low light, but then IQ isn't great.

    There is no perfect camera that balances what we all want. To me the closest balance is the new Ricoh GR V, except for lowlight, handheld work. If you need lowlight, then a M43 camera, although they are bulkier than most compact all-in-one cameras.

    As for OVF, I don't care for it in a compact camera. I wanna shoot quick and accurate, so the LCD screen is good enough. Sure it has the cool factor, but I don't think its that functional. I actually can shoot without even looking through an OVF or the rear screen for street photography. Especially if you shoot at a single focal length, you know what's going to be in your image. That's why I've learned to use SNAP focus or scale focus. It's faster and I get more in-focus images this way.


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