Fuji X100s and Ricoh GR: complementary or duplicative?

Discussion in 'Open Gear Talk' started by stillshunter, Jul 17, 2013.

  1. stillshunter

    stillshunter Super Moderator Emeritus

    Nov 5, 2010
    Down Under
    Mark
    You'd have to be living under a rock to not notice the love for some of today's great cameras - especially the Fuji X100s or Ricoh GR. The "or" is used very deliberately as it does seem a case of either/or generally (please let's not argue Kierkegaard). I have an X100s and am enjoying it a lot thank you very much. However I cannot shake my interest in the Ricoh GR. Having chatted with a few fellow photogs, without fail they've all asked whether I'm selling my Fuji once the Ricoh arrives.

    I don't know, I can see the obvious benefits of a very capable camera that can slip in your back pocket - as I sometimes leave the X100s at home :gasp:

    Does anyone see reason behind owning both? If so, I'd be very keen to hear why....and I suppose I'll entertain opinions to the contrary :wink: (just kidding these are just as essential). I would appreciate a sanity check to be e sure I've not cobbled together some logic to justify my desires :blush:
     
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  2. Livnius

    Livnius SC Veteran

    475
    Jun 3, 2012
    Melbourne. Australia
    Joe
    I reckon the big factor for most would be focal length, which for me it's not...although I see the real difference between 28 and 35 I'm happy with either/or. I thought the lack of OVF/EVF would bug me but funnily enough for this particular camera it doesn't at all...yet I wouldn't dream of not bringing the OMD up to my eye when shooting. For me the GR is all about the size and convenience and how incredibly "right" it feels.

    Let me know mate if you're real keen, I might be able to lend ya mine for a couple of weeks. I'm gonna be playing with another camera for a bit now anyways.
     
  3. christilou

    christilou SC Hall of Famer

    Jul 13, 2010
    Sunny Frimley
    I have a GR winging it's way to me..... I sold the Pentax K-01 as it wasn't getting much use. Having had the X100 I too looked at the s but I kept coming back to that "portable" thing. How many times when I was in Spain did I wish I'd actually had a camera in my hand, ready to snap at something. In my view the Fuji was too big for that, needed to be either strapped around my neck or in a bag whereas the GR on a wrist strap is immediately to hand and unobtrusive. I have the Fuji XE1 but have come to use it in tandem with the Sony RX1 for travel. The RX1 taking most of the scenic shots with the 60mm on the Fuji for those longer shots. The RX1 requires a certain amount of coddling and with the viewfinder is not exactly a snapper as there's a small delay in moving it to the eye and the view actually appearing, fine for scenics but not so good for "those" moments. I can see why you'd have both...... sorry!!!
     
  4. marlof

    marlof Trying to focus

    Dec 25, 2010
    The Netherlands
    Marlof
    I'm with Joe, in that I could live with either 28 or 35. From what i see, they both offer image quality in spades. Knowing how much you like the controls of the X100S, I don't know if you can live with the GR setup. Trying might be a good idea.

    Currently, I use a RX100 for those pocket moments. It's not a GR, especially not in control and image quality, but I find it versatile enough in 28 mode where the lens is still fast.
     
  5. stillshunter

    stillshunter Super Moderator Emeritus

    Nov 5, 2010
    Down Under
    Mark
    Thanks so much Christi

    I'd certainly put the x100s and RX1 in the same group/class, and so you're thinking on complementing with a GR certainly resonates with me. :wink: Out of interest, is there an OVF in the other pocket?
     
  6. stillshunter

    stillshunter Super Moderator Emeritus

    Nov 5, 2010
    Down Under
    Mark
    Thanks Marlof. I have the RX100 too. It's my 'just in case' camera. Had it for a year now and I think it's shot bout 200 frames :blush: I suppose what got me thinking about the GR, is how much I loved using the GR1s when travelling. Only difference is the older film version has an inbuilt OVF (albeit a tiny one).
     
  7. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    I may be reading between the lines here, but it sure sounds like you're asking a group of overeaters if the buffet looks good :eek:. I had the GR on my radar for awhile to be my "pocketable" quality compact. Then a local used RX100 called out to me. Obviously it's a different camera. It's a zoom instead of a prime...it's a smaller sensor....blah, blah, blah. The bottom line is (for me) that the IQ is good enough for what I expect out of a compact. Even though I'm satisfied with the RX100 (more than satisfied actually.....it's all I've been using lately), the GR appeals to me. With the gobs of quality and sharpness, one can easily crop in to approximate the zoom, but if I traded up I'd lose those awesome Sony built-in effects :026:. If I were better at justifying an army of cameras (some people bring whole camera stores with them on vacation :tongue:) I wouldn't hesitate to add one.

    Of course I think you should try it. Then when you find out it's not the right camera for you, sell it at a great discount to your brother from another mother across the ocean :biggrin:
     
  8. bartjeej

    bartjeej SC Hall of Famer

    Nov 12, 2010
    bart
    If I had the GR I don't think I'd have the X100 alongside; the difference in FOV isn't huge, and I'm not using the viewfinder all that often. I like being able to set the aperture without having to look at the screen, but to be honest I tend to compose using the screen so the X100's control layout doesn't offer that much of an advantage - actually, I also really like being able to control a camera with one hand only, which is what the GR does. I'd probably get a (jacket-pocketable) camera with a longer focal length, such as the Sigma DP2(M) or a Samsung NX with the 30/2 lens to give me more versatility and less overlap. I haven't really figured out my ideal focal length yet, but if you only have one camera the 35mm equivalent sure is versatile.

    Overall though, for me the X100 is still the best combination of size, capability, controls and dust-proofness (non-telescoping lens). I wouldn't mind if they could make it GR-sized though, so long as the lens still doesn't telescope.
     
  9. Lightmancer

    Lightmancer Super Moderator

    Aug 13, 2011
    Sunny Frimley
    Bill Palmer
    Had a GRDIII, bought an X100 (to sit alongside my XE-1). Didn't get on with it at all. Sold the X100 and the GRDIII, bought the GR, happy now.

    I am normally an advocate of viewfinders in general and optical ones in particular but the GR series is so small and the screen so good that a VF does not add much to the experience. That said I am trying to find a 35mm finder to use with mine (I have one of those Russian multifinder ones and it is faaar too ostentatious, like a big golden "eye". Why 35mm? 28 is wide for me - VERY wide. 35 is a good focal length (and I would kill for a 50mm equivalent GR... Ricoh take note) So in the GR I have the best of all worlds - APS-C, compact, flexible, 28 and 35mm at the touch of a button and superlative quality. THAT's why I am happy now.
     
  10. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    Bart makes some great points. I was trying to justify the GR in addition to your X100s, but maybe it replaces your X100s and frees up a slot in your allotment for another more different camera. Then you could send the tried old X100s this way :flypig:.
     
  11. Archiver

    Archiver SC Top Veteran

    619
    Jul 11, 2010
    Melbourne, Australia
    Owning both the X100 and the GR, I have to say that since getting the GR, I have hardly touched the X100. BUT, and this is a serious qualifier, I also recently purchased a Panasonic GH3 to supplement my 5D Mark II for video work, so I've been using the GH3 as my 'strap' camera and the GR as pocket.

    The GR's focal length is just right for me. Wide enough to take in the situation but still not so wide as to look unnatural. Environmental portraits work well with the GR. It's easy to slip into a pocket, whereas the X100 is a more 'dedicated' camera, requiring a bag and/or strap.

    The image quality has quite a different look, though. The X100 is more creamy, and handles skin tones in a more pleasing way. The GR is all about reproducing what you see. I'm currently enjoying the Effects in the GR, and have made Positive Film my default. I shoot in Raw + jpeg and don't bother processing the raws unless I want, which is very big for me, as I normally only shoot raw.

    Focus speed is about equal in low light, and the GR is much faster in bright daylight. Not sure how much better the X100s is.

    The video quality of the X100 is better than the GR, and by extension, I expect the X100s to have better video quality as well.

    Would I not have the X100 if I had the GR first? I'm not sure, as I'm still very much in the honeymoon period with the GR. But for me, a camera like the GRD III, and now the GR, is simply a given. In Australia, we used to have a non-alcoholic wine called Claytons. Their slogan was 'the drink you're having when you're not having a drink'. Because of the super handling but not-as-good-as-aps-c image quality, I considered the GRD III to be the Claytons camera: the camera you carry when you're not carrying a camera. The GR has stepped into that role, but because of its performance and image quality, I'm happy to use it as a primary camera.
     
  12. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    Unlike some here, I see 28 and 35 as VERY different focal lengths. To me, 28 is like coming home - just feels totally natural to shoot with - and 35 is sort of like a foreign language I struggle with but love the sound of too much to give up on. Like French - I don't know WHAT the hell those people are talking about but I love listening to them talk (and keep trying to join the conversation)!. If you really find the focal lengths interchangeable, I'd say its probably worth just having one. For me, they're very different. AND, in my case, the IQ and shooting charcteristics of the Nikon A and RX1 are different enough to make both well worth having. From my experience, that's even more true of the GR and the X100s - those two have about as radically different color signatures as you could ever want in two cameras, and their approach to detail vs a creamy look is very different too. The Nikon and Sony are much more similar in both regards and I still like having both, so I probably would in your shoes too.

    I personally LOVE having a high quality APS camera that fits in a pocket - I actually carry the Nikon that way sometimes, which I'd really never done with any of my compacts before. So, if I was you, the GR would be an absolute must. The X100s would be the question mark for me, as the RX1 has been at times. For me, the answer is yes, but it has been a question, whereas the small 28mm was an absolute given, a certainty, never a question.

    -Ray
     
  13. Lucille

    Lucille SC Veteran

    324
    Aug 20, 2012
    Hepcat City
    I wonder, between the two, the X100s and the GR, which has the superior IQ?
     
  14. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Nic
    I can very happily shoot ~28mm and ~50mm together, but 28 and 35 are just too close. I like having two cameras to use at the same time, not to choose one or the other.
     
  15. bartjeej

    bartjeej SC Hall of Famer

    Nov 12, 2010
    bart
    Lucille, DXOmark haven't tested any of Fuji's X-trans sensors yet, so it's hard to give a definitive judgement on the sensor front. When it comes to lenses, that's not only a measurable thing that you can compare directly (for instance sharpness), it's also the feeling of a lens that matters. As Ray said, the GR seems to go for neutral and sharp rendering whereas the X100(s) tends more towards a dreamy / creamy look.
     
  16. Biro

    Biro SC All-Pro

    Aug 7, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Steve
    While I understand why some feel 28mm and 35mm are close enough, each focal length "feels" quite a bit different to me. But I do find 35mm and 40mm to be interchangeable. I think one can make a strong arguement for both the X100 and GR. Different tools for different jobs and different shooting styles.
     
  17. retow

    retow SC All-Pro

    Jul 24, 2010
    The GR and XE-1 with the new 27 mm pancake would be my choice rather than the X100s. You loose the optical VF but gain a lot in versatility. The GR and Nikon A complement pretty much all other high end compacts rather than competing or overlapping with them imo.
     
  18. Livnius

    Livnius SC Veteran

    475
    Jun 3, 2012
    Melbourne. Australia
    Joe
    28 and 35 are certainly different, had the GR been released as a 35mm it wouldn't have made a real difference to me....focal length did play a big part but the clincher for me was that so much goodness was packed into something so small. Lens, sensor, abundance of manual controls, ergonomics, tactile feel...all top shelf and all packed into something about the size of a fat iPhone. I don't think there was ever really a focal length gap in my lenses that needed to be addressed, and certainly from an IQ perspective I've always been happy with my m43 and Fuji gear.....but I desperately needed (wanted) a high quality and versatile go anywhere-anytime camera. The GR filled that gap....and then some. Took custody of an RX1 a few days ago (another experiment)...this thing oozes quality in every regard, but ya know what...the GR's place in my kit bag is as safe as it ever was irrespective of how great the Sony may turn out to be. I simply don't see any future kit of mine without something like the Nikon A or GR.
     
  19. stillshunter

    stillshunter Super Moderator Emeritus

    Nov 5, 2010
    Down Under
    Mark
    Thanks all. Your responses reminded me how great this place is. Such honest and balanced responses. :daz:
    Gives me a lot to mull over. Surprising the one thing folks didn't mention, that got me thinking initially after reading Ming Thein's review, is the quality of the GR B+W. Irrespective of the difference between 28 and 35mm I have always operated with a colour and B+W camera in my bag. Presently, it's digital for colour and film for B+W. The GR might shift this giving me another B+W option (film's not negotiable right now).

    I might be lucky enough to get the opportunity to test the GR for a couple of weeks. Perfect!...but no pressure Joe. :blush: This will not only let me decide if I need/want the GR but where it will fit into my line up. For instance will it elbow out the RX100 or maybe one of my many film cameras? Intuitively, losing the former is a little silly - as it is my Swiss Army knife - the zoom there in case I can't use my feet. I have lots of film cameras - three at 35mm and one at 40mm and so it will probably be the Contax T3. Emotionally, being another compact legend this is pretty painful. However I have a solid philosophy that I spend nothing on cameras, any change must come from within the pool of camera sales only....and I have some sunken costs on my shelves right now. The T3 would be an easy straight trade.

    Guys thanks again. :2thumbs: Still be keen to hear more....as I'm sure others out there will contend with a similar choice/dilemma - GR, Nikon A, DP1M, RX1, X100s, DP2M, etc., etc.
     
  20. Isoterica

    Isoterica SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 6, 2011
    Having the GR but without trying the X100s and not knowing for sure, but based on focal length, 28 vs 35 and f2.8 vs.f2.. I think I might be happier with the Fuji. 28 is just a little too wide for me in every day applications however in Italy where everything is crunched together, it wasn't wide enough. Seriously should have fish-eyed that LOL. At any rate, to have both? One is closer to pocketable where the other isn't. I actually got the chance to see the Fuji up close while in Venice and it isn't really as big as I thought it would be. Yup I had to leave the country to see one in person. If you get the chance to test then I suggest you go for it and try to make it do whatever the Fuji does or more and you'll know if one is better than the other or you want both. They are both really fine cameras.