The Ricoh GR And The Art Of Candid Photography

Colorful participant at the 2013 PRIDE Parade in Washington, DC.  Ricoh GR, 18.3mm f/2.8 (28mm equivalent).
Colorful participant at the 2013 PRIDE Parade in Washington, DC. Ricoh GR, 18.3mm f/2.8 (28mm equivalent).
Some street scenes are so generic in character that they could come from anywhere in the world.  Ricoh GR, 18.3mm f/2.8 (28mm equivalent).
Some street scenes are so generic in character that they could come from anywhere in the world. Ricoh GR, 18.3mm f/2.8 (28mm equivalent).
The Ricoh GR is perfect for capturing street scenes up close.  Ricoh GR, 18.3mm f/2.8 (28mm equivalent).
The Ricoh GR is perfect for capturing street scenes up close. Ricoh GR, 18.3mm f/2.8 (28mm equivalent).
Sometimes there is simply no time to ask whether it is OK to take that photograph.  Ricoh GR, 18.3mm f/2.8 (28mm equivalent).
Sometimes there is simply no time to ask whether it is OK to take that photograph. Ricoh GR, 18.3mm f/2.8 (28mm equivalent).

We keep hearing that monumental changes are taking place in the world of photography today, and were we to judge these assertions based on the new breed of APS-C sensor small cameras making their market appearance lately, it would seem impossible to disagree.  I certainly couldn’t after spending one day with the darling of street photographers everywhere: the new Ricoh GR camera.  Small and totally inconspicuous, this computer-in-a-pocket wonder is not just fast, it is amazingly audience-friendly–a major plus when it comes to street photography.  With an APS-C 16.2 megapixel-sized sensor (the size of what you typically find in most DSLR’s out there), this little camera delivers, and in a big way.  Sure, the fixed 18.3mm (28mm equivalent) may be somewhat limiting if you want to cover all your photographic bases, but for what it was intended to excel at, the Ricoh GR may arguably be the best there is out there.  From the ground up, this camera was brilliantly and unapologetically designed with one single purpose in mind: street photography (see Steve Huff’s great review here), and to say that Ricoh delivered would be a gross understatement.  Will it replace the trusted Nikon or beloved Leica in my camera bag?  Don’t think so, but it will never be left behind when I step out the door with its larger and more expensive siblings.  Thank you Ricoh.