Ricoh GXR Review

4.5
December 14, 2009 | Mark Goldstein |

Image Quality


All of the sample images in this Review were taken using the 10 or 12 megapixel Fine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of between 3-4Mb.

The Ricoh GXR produced images of excellent quality during the review period. The Ricoh GXR's main drawback in terms of image quality when used with the S10 camera unit is noise, with ISO 800 showing some noise, blurring of detail and slight colour desaturation. The noise and loss of detail get progressively worse as you go from ISO 800 to 1600, although only the fastest setting of 3200 is not really worth using unless there's no other option. As you'd expect, the performance of the A12 camera unit with its much larger image sensor is better, with noise not really becoming objectionable until ISO 1600, and even 3200 looking good, easily putting the GXR on a par with entry-level DSLRs.

The Ricoh GXR handled chromatic aberrations very well with limited purple fringing effects appearing only in high contrast situations when used with either camera unit. Both the 10 and 12 megapixel images were just a little soft straight out of the camera at the default sharpen setting of Normal and either require some further sharpening in an application like Adobe Photoshop, or you should increase the built-in sharpening level.

The night photograph was excellent, with the maximum shutter speed of 180 seconds allowing you to capture enough light for most situations. Macro performance is a stand-out highlight, allowing you to focus as close as 1cm away from the subject with the S10 camera unit and 7cms with the A12 unit, although there is a lot of lens distortion and shadowing at such a close distance. The GXR's small built-in pop-up flash worked well indoors at full power, with no red-eye and good overall exposure, and the ability to fine-tune the power output is very welcome.

Noise

There are 6 ISO settings available on the Ricoh GXR for the 24-72mm camera unit and 5 settings for the 50mm unit. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting for both JPEG and RAW files for both camera units.

24-72mm Camera Unit

JPEG

RAW

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

50mm Camera Unit

JPEG

RAW

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

Sharpening

Here are two 100% crops which have been Saved as Web - Quality 50 in Photoshop. The right-hand image has had some sharpening applied in Photoshop. The out-of-the camera images are a little soft at the default sharpening setting of Normal. You can change the in-camera sharpening level to one of the preset levels if you don't like the default look.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

24-72mm Camera Unit
   
50mm Camera Unit

File Quality

The Ricoh GXR has 2 different image quality settings available, with Fine being the highest quality option. Here are some 100% crops which show the quality of the various options, with the file size shown in brackets, using the 24-72mm camera unit.

10M Fine (3.54Mb) (100% Crop) 10M Normal (2.02Mb) (100% Crop)
   
10M RAW (14.5Mb) (100% Crop)  
 

Chromatic Aberrations

The Ricoh GXR handled chromatic aberrations excellently during the review, with very limited purple fringing present around the edges of objects in certain high-contrast situations, as shown in the example below, using the 24-72mm camera unit.

Example 1 (100% Crop)

Macro

The Ricoh GXR with the 24-72mm camera unit offers a Macro setting that allows you to focus on a subject that is just 1cm away from the camera when the lens is set to wide-angle, while the 50mm Macro unit can focus as close as 7cms. The first image shows how close you can get to the subject (in this case a compact flash card). The second image is a 100% crop.

Macro Shot (24-72mm Camera Unit)

100% Crop

   

Macro Shot (50mm Camera Unit)

100% Crop

Flash

The flash settings on the Ricoh GXR are Auto, Red-eye-Reduction, Flash On, Slow Synchro, Manual Flash, and Flash Off. These shots of a white coloured wall were taken at a distance of 1.5m with the 24-72mm camera unit.

Flash Off - Wide Angle (24mm)

Flash On - Wide Angle (24mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64
   

Flash Off - Wide Angle (72mm)

Flash On - Wide Angle (72mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

And here are some portrait shots. As you can see, neither the Flash On or the Red-eye-Reduction settings caused any red-eye.

Flash On

Flash On (100% Crop)
   

Red-eye Reduction

Red-eye Reduction (100% Crop)

Night

The Ricoh GXR's maximum shutter speed is 180 seconds, which is excellent news if you're seriously interested in night photography. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 15 seconds at ISO 200 with the 24-72mm camera unit. I've included a 100% crop of the image to show what the quality is like.

Night Shot

Night Shot (100% Crop)

Entry Tags

3 inch LCD, compact, review, 12 megapixel, DSLR, 10 megapixel, APS-C, ricoh, 50mm, 3x zoom, gxr, 24-72mm, Ricoh GXR Review

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