Ricoh GR II Camera 

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Almost a bridge unit, just larger than most small point and shoot offerings, certainly a little heavier, however smaller than all DSLR units, this camera has a surprise that I have only seen recently in one other camera it has a fixed focus lens.

Ricoh GR II Compact Digital Camera
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My routine is unpack the unit, insert the battery and an SD card and switch on assuming the battery has power I take a few test shots and this was when I discovered there was no zoom available. I check on the lettering on the front of the lens confirmed this. Fixed focus means that you need to think about your position far more than if you have zoom.

It is 11.5x6x5cm, the last figure is when the unit is on this reduces to 3.4cm when the lens retracts. It weights 246grams.

I found the names and or illustrations useful as some things are in different places. Going round the camera starting with the left side finds effects and the flash lock buttons. The base has the tripod screw and battery bay which also holds any SD card you might use. The right side has small USB and HDMI sockets, be careful here as the USB charge lead will fit in the HDMI socket but naturally will not charge the battery in this socket.

The face has only the F=18.3mm lens. The top has the pop up 1.7x.6cm flash at the left edge which is 5cm from the lens at the nearest point. Next is an external flash shoe anchor point for those who want/need more light. Then towards the right edge the round on/off button then the oval image capture button and finally a ten position wheel that has a little push button in front of it to stop the wheel turning in error.

This leaves the back that is dominated by the 6x4.5cm TFT then an ISO twist wheel with a setting adjustment control below this, next the ubiquitous five position joystick and two further buttons below this. The thumb anchor point is normally at the right edge but here there are two further controls for exposure compensation and below this the review button which also will turn the unit on. So where is the thumb anchor it’s to the left of these last two controls. Initially I feared I would be touching buttons inadvertently but you do not. The only one that I found I was touching was the review button.

The menus are very comprehensive with the only strange one being ‘Picture Format’ that allows you adjust both size and ratio from one control. The options are RAW, RAW + JPG, L, M, S and XS with the ratio choices being 3:2, 4:3 and 1:1. This is a 16MP offering that I see is called an ‘Expert Compact Camera’ and seeing that name made me agree.

I was impressed with the sharpness and clarity of images both in ‘Auto’ the mode I always start in and in whatever of the various choices I took once I was used to the unit. This was also the impression I had with the other fixed focus unit that I reviewed a while ago. You just need to think before you point the camera and work things out in advance.

The Ricoh GR II is available from the link below for £564.12 with free delivery.

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