Ricoh GR Digital II – Best Seller

Still haven’t decided if I’m going to get me a new GRD or not, my finances look bleak so it’s probably going to be a no-no. But according to the sales ranking of cameras in Japan for the month of November, many people don’t have the same qualms as me:

Ricoh GR Digital II

It shot straight to 1st rank right out of the drawing board. Impressive for such a special camera, definitely not aimed at the basic consumer. But as a friend of mine always tells me: “Don’t under-estimate the power of the Japanese otaku…”

GR Digital 2 – it’s official

After my post 2 weeks ago about rumors of a new GR Digital coming out, Ricoh has now officially announced the GR Digital II for Christmas 2007.

Ricoh GR Digital II

It looks like a nice evolution over the older model: the same body with the addition of just one button on the side for manually popping up the flash, the same focus on lens quality over anything else, much faster RAW capture, a better screen and a ton of little features to make your life easier (horizontal/vertical level meter, fast shortcut buttons, focus helper, etc.) while keeping the full control of manual mode and no hand-holding.

In these conditions, I think I might be forced to buy it when it comes out… :)

New GR Digital possibly coming soon

GR Digital - no moreAccording to the official Ricoh website, the GR Digital is now out of production. It had a good life, now it’s over.

As you may know, I bought this camera last year after reading raving reviews and a friend of mine recommended it. A lot of photography enthusiasts own this camera in Japan and you can see that from the GR Digital photos on Flickr.

Its killer points were, among others:

  • a wide angle 28mm lens (convertible to 21mm with an extra adapter)
  • old school film-like grain with higher ISO
  • full manual mode
  • double clicker wheels for ultra-fast, one-handed option settings

All in a snazzy black magnesium body for a professional look&feel.

Now from the different rumors running around photography forums and camera shops of Shinjuku, it seems there might be a new version coming to replace my favorite camera in November/December of this year. I can’t wait…

Additional flash

Sigma EF-500 DG STYou never see a photo taken with the flash on in my flickr photostream. That’s because I hate flashes, and my GR Digital‘s flash in particular: it burns everything.

So yesterday, as I was on a day-off and had nothing else to do than watching season 2 of House M.D. and browsing flickr, I got to contemplating buying an external flash like the ones you pt on big SLRs. My camera has a shoe for it and it would let me swivel the flash up to bounce on the roof for a softer effect.

I got my eyes set on a SIGMA EF-500 DG ST as is recommended by my camera’s manual. It goes for ¥16,000 on kakaku. I’ve talked with a friend of mine though, he pointed out that the flash with batteries would weigh around 500g, considerably more than the 200g of my GR.

I can’t really visualize like that what it would feel like to have such a bulky contraption sitting on top of my slim camera. I’ll try to drop by a shop in Akihabara or Shinjuku and find a nice salesperson to let me have a try…