This Machine Photographs People

The Ricoh GRD IV camera is a fluke on the market of small-sensor, compact digital cameras. It is made for photographers who want a fixed focal length, customizable, quickdraw camera to photograph humanity as it goes along it‘s merry way to oblivion in tight spaces. Sean Reid called it a „pocket sketchbook“ in his review and I couldn‘t agree more. If you succeed with it to make good pictures, they will not stand out because of their technical quality, but because of their engaging content. It is so unobtrusive and fast to work with and it‘s 28 mm in film days equivalent focal length forces you into such close contact to your subject that you can‘t help but get some moving photos. Like a Leica in days of yore, it needs some practice to slice that special moment out of the flow of life around you. In the beginning, you‘ll get lots of frames that have just been vacated by your subject. This will not be the cameras fault, look, there‘s a manual focus setting that almost removes shutter lag. No need to frame with the back screen that can be a bit stuttering, it can be switched completly off. Use the GV-2 accessory brightline viewfinder!

See? Very grippy crinkle finish, too.

See? Very grippy crinkle finish, too.


After getting it, I found myself in this learning phase and so I‘ll show a test shot from a stationary, albeit weird object (click to enlarge!):
A picture of a moustache purse in RAW Therapy

A picture of a moustache purse in RAW Therapy


See how the leather on the rim of the bag is rendered? This is without sharpeneing.
I see a lot of promise here, both for good enough photos qualitywise as well as for direct, engaging photos on the street.

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One Response to “This Machine Photographs People”

  1. Kodachrome™ for a New Age | Mostly Black & White Says:

    […] most conventional sensors have, exceptions being the digital Leica M-s, the Nikon D800E and the Ricoh GR. This improves resolution, helps with local contrast and avoids moiré from beat frequencies […]

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