Ricoh GR review: A high performance compact camera

By David Newton - Thursday May 23 2013

Camera Review
Introduction | Ricoh GR lens performance | Ricoh GR and the competition | Conclusion

Ricoh GR vs Nikon Coolpix A

The Nikon Coolpix A is the current king of the APS-C sensor high-end compact cameras, so to see the Ricoh GR come so close in the overall score shows just how well it is performing. In fact, the difference of 2 DxOMark points is not discernible in final images so these two can be said to have essentially the same image quality.

In the portrait tests for color depth, the Ricoh outscores the Coolpix A, but as with the overall scores, the difference is so minimal as to be invisible in the real world. The pattern continues in the landscape tests for dynamic range, though the Coolpix A technically comes out on top, mostly because at ISO 100, it is 1/3rd of a stop better than the Ricoh.

It’s the sports test for ISO performance that sees the Coolpix A just pip the GR to the higher overall score, managing just a little less than a 1/3rd of a stop better, with 1164 ISO to the 972 ISO of the GR.

Ricoh GR vs Fujifilm FinePix X100

While the Coolpix A is the current champion, the Finepix X100 has been around for a while and has been very highly rated for a while. However, the Ricoh GR has now moved above in the ratings. The overall score difference of 5 DxOMarks is not a lot, but enough to be noticeable and is equal to around 1/3rd stop improvement in image quality.

The higher score is a feature of better results almost across the board, with the GR scoring ½ stop better in colour depth, and 1 stop better in dynamic range. It’s only in the ISO scores where the X100 wins, but the difference is less than 1/3rd stop and hence not visible in final images.

Note: the Fuji X100s is not yet measured on dxomark.com and could score maybe higher.

Ricoh GR vs Pentax K-5 IIs

The final comparison pits the GR against a DSLR from the same stable, the Pentax K-5 IIs. Both cameras feature broadly similar sensors approximately 16megapixel APS-C offerings, so performance could be close. And so it proves, with the Pentax only coming out on top by just about 1/3rd stop overall, with a score of 82 to the Ricoh’s 78.

In color depth, there is very little to separate them, certainly not enough to be visible. It’s the dynamic range scores where the Pentax pulls ahead, scoring 2/3rd stop better than the Ricoh. Surprisingly, and pleasingly for the Ricoh, their ISO scores are quite similar, with the Pentax being just slightly less than 1/3rd stop better – though for a DSLR, this is quite a high score compared to other APS-C sensor DSLRs available.