When I first started out in street photography I bought a Fujifilm X20 purely because of it’s size but over time I wasn’t too happy with the quality of the images. During those times while I was out shooting with the X20 my confidence for shooting in public had grown and in order to capture images in the quality I desired, I hit the streets with my Nikon D3100 and later with my Nikon D5300.
Everything was fine until I started to get noticed shooting in public, which in turn led to several uncomfortable moments and also a few exchanges of opinions with some members of the public who weren’t too happy with me photographing them.
My next move was to find a camera which was small enough so as not to attract too much attention but at the same time produce good quality images…..enter the Sony A6000. Small in size but with the same sized 24MP APS-C sensor as my D5300.
I used the A6000 (pictured below with the Sigma 30mm) extensively and enjoyed the lightweight size and also the images it produced when using an array of lenses.
My favourite lens that I used was the Sony 20mm. It was small and flat and gave the A6000 the appearance of a point & shoot camera. I loved getting up close to my subjects, well as close as my confidence would let me, but there was one thing stopping me getting even closer…..the shutter noise. It is loud and snappy! There is no getting away from the fact that this stopped me getting closer in some situations because I didn’t want the noise to attract attention.
So the search for my ideal street camera went on and eventually I came across the Ricoh GR. The reviews that I read and the videos that I watch about this little camera got me so excited that it wasn’t long before I snapped (pardon the pun) up a second hand one on eBay, which was partly funded by the sale of my Sony 20mm lens.
This camera ticks all of the boxes for me when it comes to a street photography camera.
Size….it’s small. So small it fits in my jeans pocket.
Image quality….it has a 16MP APS-C sensor.
Shutter sound….none! and I mean nothing at all when the sounds are turned off in the menu.
To put the size of the small Ricoh GR in perspective I photographed it beside my other two cameras that I still have.
The only things I miss on this camera that the others had is a view finder and a tilting screen, but these are features that I am already getting use to being without. You can purchase a viewfinder which fits on the flash hot shoe but this is expensive and also renders the camera too big to fit in a pocket.
One great feature that I simply love about the Ricoh GR is the ‘Snap Focus’. Snap Focus is basically a built in Zone Focusing mode which lets me set the camera to focus to a per-determined distance and a small indicator in the bottom left hand corner of the screen will show me the distances that I can shoot between to have my images in focus.
For example in the image shown here, I have the GR set to f/5.0 and the Snap Focus distance to 2.5m.The green line in the indicator is now telling me that anything from around 2m to infinity will be in focus or should I say reasonably sharp.
Apart from the obvious advantage of Snap Focus showing the range of focus the other great advantage is that there is absolutely no lag in focusing. I just point the camera, quickly compose and press the shutter button to take the shot. No halfway pressing of the shutter button and waiting for the camera to focus before pressing fully down to take the shot….just simply point, press and go.
Below are a few images that I have taken so far using the snap focus mode.
The next two images are straight out of the camera with no post processing what so ever. I just resized them for the purpose of this post.
I’d also like to talk about the 18.3mm fixed lens that the GR has but to keep this post to a ‘bite size’ read I’ve written a separate post showing how close….comfortably close, I am now getting and also some other images showing how I composed and edited a shot taken with my mew street companion.
Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed it. If you have any questions please feel free to ask and I’ll see if I can help you out.