Pentax Ricoh today announced the Ricoh GR, an ideal blend of image quality, camera size and price; setting a new benchmark for the advanced compact camera category. Featuring a 16 megapixel, APS-C-sized CMOS sensor, no low-pass filter and a completely redesigned optical path the GR is built for superb image performance. The newly developed and optimized 18.3mm (28mm in 35mm format) F2.8 lens compactly provides high-resolution, wide-angle images with stunning edge-to-edge sharpness all while minimizing chromatic aberration and distortion. The camera’s category-leading, nine-blade aperture diaphragm produces a rounded bokeh effect across a wide range of apertures.
The new GR comes equipped with a new APS-C-size CMOS image sensor, with an image-sensitive area as wide as that of a Pentax DSLR image sensor. Thanks to this large image sensor, the GR offers approximately 16.0 effective megapixels to produce beautiful, high-resolution images. By coupling the large image sensor with the newly developed GR ENGINE V imaging engine, the GR offers high-sensitivity shooting at ISO 25600 with minimal high-sensitivity noise to produce high-resolution, color-rich images with a natural sense of depth and a beautiful Bokeh effect. The image sensor has been optimized for the GR Lens 18.3mm F2.8.
The magnesium alloy body is both light and highly rigid, while its exterior design retains the refinement and style typical of the GR Digital series. Ergonomically designed for maximum comfort and operational ease; all control buttons are laid out for easy one-handed operation. The GR offers the Pentax -original Shutter-speed/Aperture-Priority (TAv) exposure mode, featured only in Pentax-brand digital SLR cameras. This innovative mode automatically sets the optimum ISO sensitivity based on the shutter speed and aperture selected by the photographer.
Taking advantage of the H.264 video format, the GR’s Full HD movie recording function captures high-quality, extended movie clips (1920 x 1080 pixels, 16:9 aspect ratio) at a frame rate of 30 frames per second. Image Effects such as Retro and Bleach Bypass are available during movie recording. During recording, its AF system remains active and the camera continuously focuses on subjects in the center of its angle of view.
A new button has also been added to the camera’s side panel for quick preview of the depth of field; making it easier for the photographer to visualize the depth of field effect in the resulting image. Additionally, the focus-assist function comes in handy during manual-focus operation. Coupled with the image magnification and target shift functions, this function simplifies manual-focus shooting.
An AF function lever has been added to the camera’s back panel. When the lever is set to the Continuous AF (C-AF) mode, the user can capture a series of images of a moving subject — all in sharp focus by pushing the shutter release button while depressing the AF button. The user can also choose an optional setting, in which the continuous shooting mode is automatically activated while the C-AF button is pressed.
Instantaneous photo and video sharing is now a breeze with the GR’s optimized Eye-Fi SD card compatibility. Built-in menus allow the user to easily enable automatic transmission of images and video to a smartphone for rapid sharing. Users can even select favorite images and resize them before transmission. In the playback mode, the user can also recall the transmitted images on the monitor using the Effect button on the side panel.
For consumers seeking additional creative expression, Ricoh offers an optional wide-angle conversion lens extending coverage to 21mm. The new GR is also compatible with the full range of accessories already offered for the preceding GR Digital line of cameras including viewfinders, flashes, lens hoods and adapters and more. The new GR advanced digital compact camera provides incredible value with a category-low cost of $799.95 and will be available in May 2013.