No Fuji X-Pro 1, sorry. Yes Ricoh GR. I’ll keep trying though.

Amazing isn’t a word I use often, nor is it a word I’d usually apply to a camera. As I’ve mentioned and as you might have gathered, I like testing things. Cameras usually. I’m pretty fussy and I like things to work without fuss. The X100s is my second favourite camera ever, my first is the Ricoh GR.

Because there are other cameras out there, I feel inclined to try them. The Fuji X-Pro 1 is  a bit old now but it looks and feels older, like a ‘proper’ camera. Lenses like the XF35mm are fantastic, the bokeh is great and it feels fun to use – really feels like you’re taking a picture. Like the Audi ad, or Volkswagen where they shut the door and the clunk is just right – that’s Fuji. They’ve got it, and I really wanted to be amazed by the X-pro 1 like I nearly was by the X100s.

The Ricoh GR is just a little black camera, same as all little black cameras. It’s a little black camera I’m trying hard to beat, and I don’t like being losing. It’s half the price of the X-Pro 1 with XF 35mm lens. It doesn’t require a bag or a filter or a strap. It doesn’t have a viewfinder (which isn’t a plus point).

The camera is 28mm with a 35mm crop option. At 35mm the print dimension is about one inch less than the original X100.

The pictures it takes are better than the X-Pro 1 + 35mm. Obviously at f1.4 on the 35mm you get a really great bokeh; the Ricoh can’t do that, but like for like, or there a bouts, on every other shot the Ricoh out performs the Fuji, which to my mind is amazing.

I prefer talking here about my work, projects etc but sometimes I get sidetracked by kit. Fuji feels nicer to use, Ricoh is better and more practical.

I’m not posting any more side-by-sides, you can find them elsewhere. Here’s three shots from the GR that I’ve edited. The Fuji couldn’t match but wasn’t a million miles behind. By the way, I have no involvement with Ricoh or Pentax apart from liking their stuff. If they paid me or gave me cameras though, I’d not say no. Ahem, Ricoh.

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23 thoughts on “No Fuji X-Pro 1, sorry. Yes Ricoh GR. I’ll keep trying though.

  1. yeah, i am keeping my X-pro1 for M8.2.
    it is still a pleasure to shoot with RF despite its limitation.

  2. Had to laugh at that last post….. :)

    Anyway, aye, I’ve got a GRD 2, I have to agree with you on the sheer beauty of of having a wee camera of that ability in your pocket. Try and get yourself a GV2 viewfinder I fo find it very useful and doesn’t affect the pocketability. Check this boy (not me!!) http://www.blipfoto.com/superD working out of Atlanta using the GR recently, he’s doing some very good work.

    Bought a couple of books in the last week, impressed, keep up the good work.

    • Yes, I’d never use them straight from camera, although the colours are natural. I prefer the RAW files to Jpegs for colour and in good light the RAW files can be left, for snap shots, unedited.

  3. I’m still thinking that the RAW conversion software is for the X-trans sensor of bigger importance than the camera itself. A lot of people using LIghtroom come with very weird conclusions on the X-series. Other are just using the in-camera jpg’s. It is a bit more complicated than just this approach. With the right conversion software, like Aperture or Silkypix there are not a lot of camera’s on the market that will beat the X-trans range in colours and true sharpness. Unless you would be looking at a Leica M.

    • I can’t use aperture because there is no grain, and I won’t use silky because I’m pretty tied to LR. Daft perhaps. However, I’ve not had a problem with xtrans in LR. I edit pretty heavily, often, so it’s not such a big deal for me. The x100s is a match for the Leica to my mind.

  4. I don´t understand ?
    You like the Ricoh GR, just fine for You
    I like my Fuji x, just fine for me.

  5. Com’n Craig… I am sure the Ricoh is a great camera. However, these sad pictures are not. I believe your title… you’ll HAVE to keep trying.

  6. Thanks for your review comparison. I also have to say I enjoyed looking at your street photography.

    Can you explain more as to why you prefer the GR over the Fuji’s? I understand the lens and sensor combo on the Ricoh may give sharper results but I fail to see how this makes a difference in the output size you may be producing… When I say I fail to see, this may well be my failing, and please say so if you find the difference considerable (hence my writing here).
    Also, on the usability front, lacking a viewfinder must make the Fuji’s more usable on some levels, so what feature(s) on the Ricoh GR outway this advantage for you?

    Best regards,
    K.

    • Hi Kevin,

      I’ve written lots in previous posts about the GR in relation to other cameras. Very briefly:
      The size of the GR allows me the odd shot the Fuji wouldn’t. If the Fuji’s in the bag it means getting it out to take a shot. The GR is in my pocket, on and out in a second.
      The snap function on the Ricoh allows shots no other camera would manage.
      The Ricoh has a wider lens. To be honest though I’m leaning more towards 35mm recently. The GR has a 35mm option but it’s essentially just a crop mode.
      If the GR had the VF from the x100s, or the x100s had the snap function and a better grip, and was black they would be two perfect cameras. I love both of them. Jpegs are better from Fuji. RAW are about the same from both. Colour better from Fuji OOC.
      Throw a dice!

      • Thanks Craig. I did read through all your other posts but perhaps that is your most concise comparative analysis yet. Thank you.
        I’m thinking of getting the Fuji 27mm f2.8 for my X-E1 for a number of the above reasons… and yes in black :-)

      • I’m waiting for a couple of things – the 23mm f1.4 for the X and the new Ricoh GXR with larger sensor, if the rumours are true. 27mm = 40mm I think? Wonder how it will compare to the Panasonic 20mm m4/3 lens.

    • Yes the 23mm f1.4 will be special no doubt. Bulky perhaps, but with it’s push pull manual focus feature (like the 14mm), you will gain rapid snap focus… just set for distance and go.
      I don’t know of the GXR
      Yes 27mm will equate to 40mm on the Fuji. Still not a bad street focal length. I think the Pany and Fuji will be similar, but the Pany sharper wide open if that is of any consequence when mostly shooting stopped down.

  7. Hi, nice to hear some good things about both the fuji and ricoh cameras. It was only in the last couple of days i have decided to sell my fuji 18mm lens in order to fund the ricoh gr, my xpro1 and 35mm will be staying (my fave camera/lens combo ever). The ricoh will be my 28mm and 35mm equiv camera, these are the focal lengthsi tend to use for my street/ impromptu snap shots of random things i see during the day type shots, so the pocketability of the ricoh will be great. As to which is better is purely subjective, however i feel both are superb quality tools and can form a 2 camera system which is both small, light and capable of fantastic image quality. Cheers jonnie

  8. Craig,

    It looks like the Fuji crowd is out in force here. As a former X100, X100s and X-Pro shooter, I get the Fuji appeal (as I know you do). But as good as the Fuji cameras are, they are playing in a different space. The X100s may be one of the all time best “desert island” cameras, but I wouldn’t take it half the places I do the GR. The camera is a specialist, a street assassin that does everything you ask of it, almost instantaneously.

    My own impression of the GR mirrors yours closely – incredibly sharp output, fast to use in hand (and out of the pocket), with excellent files that offer great editing flexibility. Every time the GR autonomously pops on the ND filter in a bright scene with a fast aperture I can’t stop smiling – the camera simply refuses to slow you down.

    GR color is far and away more accurate out of the box than the Fuji cams but in today’s PP environment, almost any look can easily be achieved if you have the skill and inclination. Still, the Fuji’s do color very well (if you enjoy their signature) and the Ricoh user will either need to accept the OOC look or get into post if they desire a more heavily weighted blue-green palate.

    Thanks for the follow-up review. Keep it up.

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