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            Showing posts with label Ricoh. Show all posts
            Showing posts with label Ricoh. Show all posts

            Thursday, July 13, 2017

            What is Vacation Photography to a Photographer?

            Ricoh GR Limited Edition. High Contrast JPEG mode. 1/1600th sec f/2.8 @ ISO 800. Green Lake.
            What is a vacation? For some it's a chance to get away from work and relax. For others it's the opportunity to do something exciting, something different from our daily routine. How about spending time with our family and friends? Yes, vacation can mean different things for different people. As an example, I would hate to be stuck on a cruise, but that's me. I have good friends that love cruises. Conversely, I know people who would never go to places like Hong Kong or Bangkok for vacation, but I love the energy of these big, crowded cities. And this leads to my problem. My idea of a vacation and my wife's idea of a vacation is not always the same. That in itself isn't the problem. The problem lies when I decide to take pictures. My wife knows I take pictures for work, so when I bring a camera on vacation, am I working or not? Are the pictures I take for an upcoming review, or is my primary motivation to take pictures to capture those moments that I can share with my wife and the rest of our extended family and friends?

            Thursday, January 19, 2017

            Why I Still Love Shooting with my Ricoh GR

            When I went to Hong Kong in the summer, I announced on my YouTube channel that I wasn't going to take my personal Ricoh GR. It was a tough decision, but I had my reasons (I explain it in this video). People thought I was giving up on my Ricoh GR, that I was a total Fujifilm and Leica convert. This couldn't have been further from the truth. I don't own any Fujifilm or Leica gear, I just review them. Yes most of my videos are about these two brands, but that's because I review cameras, that's my job. My Hong Kong trip was for work and there was no personal time to take my own pictures for myself. That's why the GR stayed at home. A month later I took off to Osaka with my wife to visit my little brother and his family. Guess what? I took my Ricoh GR in conjunction with the Fujifilm X-T2 and XF 23mm f/2 WR. Did I have fun with the GR and was it still a significant photographic tool? Yes and yes!

            Sunday, February 14, 2016

            Non-Review: The Ricoh GR II in Hong Kong

            Ricoh GR II: 1/60th sec f/4.0 @ ISO 400

            I haven't written an article on the Ricoh GR in a very long time. I've been shooting with the Ricoh GR series since 1998 and it's helped shape my style of photography. The ability to capture images with the confidence of a full sized camera with unique features and functions that could only be had with a compact camera makes the Ricoh GR a very powerful photographic tool. I've owned many cameras as a professional and enthusiast photographer, but my favourite images were always taken with compact EDC (Every Day Carry) cameras. I have experimented with other compact cameras over the years but I've always felt at home with the Ricoh GR. I'm not saying it's the best, but it's what I'm use to. I 'get it' when people equally praise their beloved Contax T2, Nikon 35Ti, Minolta TC-1, Rollei 35, Olympus XA, Yashica T4, Konica Big Mini, etc. If I bought any of those cameras instead of my Ricoh GR-1 back then perhaps I would be singing a different tune today, although I don't see many digital cameras with a similar legacy today except for the current Ricoh GR line. So how good is the new Ricoh GR II and is it still a worthy contender to the newly released Fujifilm X70? Let's find out.

            Monday, June 23, 2014

            New Video: Ricoh GR Limited Edition

            The Ricoh GR is my favourite compact camera of all time, both film and digital. The film GR-1 camera kept up with my full size SLR`s and lenses when it came to my wedding shoots back in the day; and the digital GR-D IV was compact yet powerful so it came with me where ever I went. The latest GR has an upgraded APS-C size sensor, equalling most DSLRs when it comes to sensor size. Check out my quick overview of the GR series, as well as some quick reasons why I love my latest GR, the GR Limited Edition. 

            Wednesday, June 18, 2014

            Shooting YouTube Vids with Lunakiwi: Ricoh GR Family Preview

            Taken with Ricoh GR. 1/320th sec f/2.8 @ ISO 250 with built in flash. My wife Lunakiwi with Fuji X-100S.

            I've started recording YouTube videos around town where I shoot most of my street photo images, in Gastown, DTES, Strathcona. I've done some camera reviews already, and I'll try my best to post once a week. I'll also start doing more produced how-to series on street photography about once a month with a proper video crew. Think DigitalRev meets Mijonju meets The Camera Store. For now, my wife (aka @Lunakiwi) will be my camera-girl, and other times I'll just hold the video camera myself while I shoot (I know, video selfies look weird). So here's my latest video, a preview to my upcoming Ricoh GR review. Enjoy and happy shooting

            Saturday, May 31, 2014

            Style Wars: Fuji X-100S vs Ricoh GR Ltd Ed

            Taken with Ricoh GR-D IV. 1/50th sec f/4.0 @ ISO 200. RAW image, converted in CS5.

            It's been almost a year since I've had both the Ricoh GR and the Fujifilm X-100S at the same time. I love both cameras, and I knew I was going to buy one of them. Which one was 'better' was what I started off thinking; but I realized this was the wrong question to ask. 'Which one is best for me?' was what I ended up asking myself, and I chose the Ricoh GR (well, the Limited Edition kit). Although the Fujifilm X-100S is the 'better' camera (functions, versatility, technology), the GR was better suited for the type of photography I was taking.

            However, I never stopped thinking about the X-100S. I love the hybrid OVF-EVF system, the top dials, the dedicated aperture ring, and the on-screen horizontal focus and DOF scale. What did I miss the most about the X-100S? I know its superficial, but I love the look!! It's so sexy!! When I had the opportunity to review the new TCL-X100 tele-converter for the X-100S, I thought it would be great to do another GR vs X-100S again...including style factor!! Which looks better? Which looks like a serious shooting tool? Which do you want to be seen carrying? Who cares?

            Wednesday, May 21, 2014

            Preview: Ricoh GR-D IV versus Ricoh GR

            iPhone 5S picture. 1/40th f/2.2 @ ISO 40.

            Sensor size and megapixels, the two biggest specs that lead most consumers to believe which is the 'best' digital camera. These features are definitely important, but is it the only consideration? Are there other features or specs that are as important, or more important? Yes. To use the vehicle analogy, imagine if engine size, type and horsepower were the only specs you were considering. A vehicle with a 5.7l V8 with 350hp can end up being a minivan or a 2 seat convertible sports car. Same as a digital camera. Just because you say APS-C and 16MP sensor, you can end up with a wide range of cameras, from DLSRs, point and shoots, ILC mirrorless, compact non-ILC zoom, rangefinder styled fixed lens, etc. 

            Can a professional shoot with a non-full frame camera? Yes. Is it absurd for a serious amateur to shoot full frame? No. If the pro shoots primarily for news media, then a M43 would be good enough (I know a few who use M43 as official photographers for news media events). If an amateur shoots landscapes and enjoys printing images over 20" x 30" sizes, then a full frame sensor makes sense. A pro Instagram photographer (yes, they do exist) can easily get away with shooting with his or her iPhone. Different cameras for different purposes.

            Tuesday, April 8, 2014

            Paparazzi versus Street Photographers: What's the big difference?

            Taken with my Ricoh GR. My paparazzi buddy Nigel, sitting, waiting, stalking? 1/1500th sec F/4 @ ISO 400.
            Spring has arrived in Vancouver and my favourite neighbourhoods are filling up with people and noise and life. The nicer weather doesn't just affect foot-traffic, but more film crews are shutting down streets and attracting spectators, especially the paparazzi. I've been bumping into a few of them lately, but my favourite is a fellow by the name of Nigel (here's a picture of him on my Instagram). He's a really nice guy and always willing to talk to me. As I look at him and then look at myself, I wonder what the difference between what he does and what I do, photographically and socially. Are we so different? Are we so similar?

            Tuesday, January 21, 2014

            Upcoming Review: Ricoh GR Ltd. Edition

            Taken with Ricoh GR-D IV. 1/70th sec F/2.8 @ ISO 125. Shot RAW and converted in CS5

            I enjoy reviewing cameras like a car guy would love reviewing cars. The only difference is that with a car, you usually only have it for an afternoon, and you can't really test to see if you can incorporate it into your daily living. Sure it drives great on the track, but how does it park in the garage or drive in rush hour traffic? It's different with a camera. It sits next to your desk while you work or next to your bed before you go to sleep. You can take it with you to lunch or dinner, or even just a coffee. You can see if you can incorporate a camera into your lifestyle. In a way, the camera you choose can reflect who you are...so what type of camera person are you?

            Friday, January 10, 2014

            Shibuya Backstreets with the Ricoh GR-D IV

            Ricoh GR-D IV @ 28mm: 1/350th sec F/1.9 @ ISO 160. CS5 & Photoscape editing

            As I look through my Tokyo pictures I'm still amazed at the ability of the little Ricoh GR-D IV to be able to capture so much depth of field wide open at F/1.9. Yes, the dynamic range is very limited (shooting lower ISO and RAW helps) compared to a large sensor camera, but the deep DOF you gain is worth it. I'm going to write a Ricoh GR-D IV vs GR (5) comparison again. The more I shoot with the smaller sensored IV, I think I prefer it over the newer, larger sensored GR 5. I'm actually trying to choose between the two cameras, which one to get the 21mm wide angle lens adapter for. 

            The advantage of having the wide 21mm lens on the GR-D IV is the amazing depth of field you're going to get. My guess is from 6 ft onward, everything will be in focus, even wide open at F/1.9. No need to even autofocus in many situations. The advantage of the new GR is that you have much higher resolution, so you can do more aggressive cropping if you need to. But with a 21mm lens, what's the point of cropping? The whole reason you're shooting with a 21mm lens is so you can get more into the image, not take away. Sorry, I'm just rambling now. I just wanted to share the above image and show the advantage of small sensored cameras. Full-frame is great (I really want the new Sony A7 because of my collection of legacy Minolta lenses) but know why you want it. 

            Sunday, December 29, 2013

            Street Photography 101: Having a Child-Like Curiosity when Shooting

            Ricoh GR-D IV @ 28mm zone focused. 1/217th sec F/2.8 @ ISO 80. Cropped square. I don't even know how this child knew I was taking pictures as I was shooting from the hip. But I know he knew because even as he passed me he turned and gave me a look... Harajuku, Tokyo.

            When I'm walking down the street and taking pictures, I know how to blend in well. I often will find a spot to shoot, hang around for a while and look busy for a few minutes, and then settle in and start taking pictures. Most people are so busy thinking about where they're going, or what they're going to do, that they won't notice me... except children. Children are easily 'distracted' by visual and auditory stimuli, and for some reason, they can sense a photographer or sense that a camera is pointed in their direction. It happens so often when I'm shooting that I realize it's no coincidence, and having this child-like curiosity is a positive quality that all street photographers should try to learn...

            Wednesday, December 18, 2013

            Ricoh GR: Zone Focus to Shoot Bikeriders

            Ricoh GR-D IV zone focus. 1/710th sec F/2.2 @ ISO 160. Cropped image
            It's not easy shooting moving action with a small point and shoot camera, or any camera that doesn't have a sophisticated autofocusing system. I'm too lazy to carry around my DSLR because of the burden of weight and space, so what can I do? Easy, I just zone or scale focus. It's scary at first, but once you get the hang of it, it's actually faster than autofocusing. Some of the greatest photographers who used old school Leica rangefinder cameras to shoot action depended on zone-scale focusing. This is how its done...

            Tuesday, December 10, 2013

            Ricoh GR-D IV: The Quick Street Shooter

            Ricoh GR-D IV. 1/270th sec F/1.9 @ ISO 125. Scale focus.
            Because the Ricoh GR-D IV is a very quick street shooter, I grab for it more than any of my other cameras. You can almost shoot without looking at the controls as you can customize it beyond default recognition. I had the Leica X-Vario and the Minolta CLE with 40mm on me, but I grabbed for my GR instead. Notice the depth of field even shooting wide open at F/1.9?! Not possible with a full-frame or APS-C size sensor. Check out my post that goes over how to customize the camera so it fits like a photographic glove around your hands. Have fun shooting!

            More than 60 examples of my street images taken in Tokyo on Instagram taken with the Ricoh GR-D IV. Check it out here!

            Ricoh GR-D IV: Night Photography in Tokyo

            Ricoh GR-D IV. 1/32 sec F/1.9 @ ISO 400. Converted to B&W in Photoscape.
            It's nice to have a powerful camera like the Leica X-Vario by your side when you want that great shot at high resolution... but shooting speed isn't one of its qualities. You need to have it around your neck and you have to be ready to shoot or else you'll miss the shot. Not so with the Ricoh GR-D IV. It's small, compact, but it's super fast when you need it to be. F/1.9 wide open but killer depth of field, and since the buttons are customized to your preference, it's ready to shoot when you want it to be ready. The above shot I had shopping bags in both hands but I was still able to get this quick image and keep walking...thank you Ricoh GR...

            Monday, December 9, 2013

            Thursday, September 12, 2013

            Ricoh GR: Why Use Custom Setting Mode?

            Ricoh GR D IV: 1/270th sec F/1.9 @ ISO 80, Bleach Bypass. MY3 Setting custom profile.

            Do you own a Ricoh GR-D IV Digital camera? How about the new GR, or any of the older models? Have you taken advantage of the custom settings features? Did you know you can control more than just ISO, shooting mode and your image settings? How about your focus distance? How about customize your jpegs image setting? I was too lazy to go through all the features until recently; and I thought I would share with you how powerful this feature can be for those with specific shooting needs. 

            Tuesday, July 9, 2013

            The Ricoh GR V: A Compact APS-C Monster

            1/350th sec F/2.8 @ ISO 400
            It was 1998 and my wife and I were about to embark on our honeymoon in Vegas, which would include a scenic drive to Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon. I was already dragging 2 SLR bodies, 3 lenses, 2 tripods, and lots of film. However, I didn't have a point and shoot camera. I wasn't going to drag an SLR to dinner or a show, so I needed something that would satisfy my need for optical quality and image control, versus compact size. Enter the original Ricoh GR1. 

            I loved my Ricoh GR1. During that honeymoon, I actually put more rolls through that camera than the other 2 SLR's combined. I even started loading it with black and white film and used it for my wedding jobs, and many of those images became the most loved pictures of the entire wedding!

            The Ricoh GR family has a short but prolific history, beginning with the GR1, GR10, GR1S, GR1V, GR21, GR Digital, GR D II, GR D III, GR D IV, and finally the current GR (V). What makes the current one so different than the past 4 digital GR's is that it has a much larger APS-C size sensor. Is this a big deal? It's a modern technological accomplishment, as the new Ricoh GR is the smallest APS-C sized compact point and shoot on the market.

            Saturday, June 15, 2013

            Bokeh Test between Ricoh GR-D IV & GR V

             Taken with the Ricoh GR V @ F/2.8 1/40th sec at ISO 800

            Taken with the Ricoh GR D IV @ F/1.9 1/26th sec at ISO 250

            I thought I would do a short series of comparisons between the new Ricoh GR and the previous Ricoh GR D IV. I know when it comes to sensor size, there's no need to do a comparison. In terms of resolution capabilities, APS-C is superior over 1/1.7". However, I would argue that there are a few advantages to GR IV, which includes the fact it has a smaller sensor.

            Tuesday, June 11, 2013

            Ricoh GR Trio: The Tiny, Full-Frame & APS

            I finally have in my possession the latest and greatest Ricoh digital camera, the Ricoh GR. Unofficially it's called the GR V or GR 5 since it's the 5th generation Ricoh GR digital camera. The big deal with the new GR is of course its APS-C size sensor crammed into its slim little Japanese camera body.

            Wednesday, June 5, 2013

            Zone Focus Street Photography with Ricoh

            As most of my followers know, I rarely steal pictures in public. I usually ask permission before I take an image, or else I'm shooting a wide scene with lots of elements, including random people. I'm not ethically against "stealing" images, but I don't do it often. I tend to do it more when I'm on vacation. I don't know why that's so...I'll have to think about that one.

            Anyways, the above picture was "stolen" while shooting with the Ricoh GR-D IV camera. As you can see, I didn't get the focus right (more below for the nerds) but I think I caught the mood of the shot. His cool, confident stride reminded me of John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever strutting down the street with his tight pants...