September 13, 2005 – Ricoh today announced a high-end 8 megapixel GR compact Digital compact camera. Featuring a fixed focal length lens and a slim 0.98-inch thick body, the Ricoh GR Digital is expected to be available in Europe in October at an estimated price of £399.99 ($729).
Offering a number of features targeted at enthusiasts, the Ricoh GR Digital features a wide angle 28mm (35mm equivalent) fixed focal length, f/2.4 lens, full manual controls over exposure and focus, as well as shutter and aperture priority modes. Controls for aperture and shutter speed are also conveniently placed on dials on the front and back of the camera’s body, much like an SLR.
The GR Digital’s lens features a low distortion design with a low-dispersion lens sandwiched between two aspheric elements: a concave lens facing the subject and a convex lens facing the sensor. The lens also utilizes an integrated neutral density filter and a 7-blade aperture, enabling better performance under bright light conditions, extending the utility of the lens’ f/11 minimum aperture.
Relying on a 1/1.8-inch CCD sensor producing 8.1 effective megapixels of resolution, the GR Digital is able to save images in TIFF, JPEG, and RAW file formats. Fully customizable white balance is available in addition to auto and preset settings. The GR Digital offers an extended ISO range of 64-1600; however, when capturing RAW images ISO is limited to 64-800. Exposure compensation in the usual range of +/- 2 EV, adjustable in 1/3 EV steps, is also available.
The GR digital utilizes a 9-point auto focus system to focus from 0.5 inches to infinity. Full manual focus is also available. The camera also utilizes a 256-segment metering system with multi-point, spot, and centered-weighted metering options. The camera is also compatible with a hot shoe-mounted optical viewfinder, in addition to its 210,000 pixel, 2.5-inch LCD screen.
Along with its advanced still image controls, the GR Digital provides 320 x 240 video capture as well as audio capture. The magnesium alloy body of the GR digital measures 4.2 x 0.98 x 2.28 inches and weighs 7.1 ounces fully loaded with its included rechargeable battery or optional AAA batteries and SD memory card.