Oct 30, 2007 at 9:55 am #1225629
Just announced: the GR DII.
Now packing a ten-meg pixel count, more importantly it has a host of new features and is claimed to operate more quickly. A DOF readout is a welcome addition. Still has a fast 28mm (eq) lens and RAW capability. 6 oz w/o battery. BTW, no mention of whether it'll take AAAs, as does the GX100.
We await the tests to find out what the low-light capabilities are; thy claim significant noise reduction (the main problem with all small chip, high pixel count cameras).
Details here:Oct 30, 2007 at 10:47 am #1407169
Looking at the specs on Ricoh's website here, it looks like it will also run off 2 AAA batteries. Nice. Know of any importers?Oct 30, 2007 at 10:49 am #1407170
Rick, thanks for the update. From what I have read the noise of the parent camera left something to be desired.Oct 30, 2007 at 11:49 am #1407179
Noisewise, the GR D can be reined in so long as you shoot RAW and don't push the iso value.
Here's a representative gallery, plucked somewhat at random:
Since Ricoh didn't go overboard with the pixel count and push the new model to, say, 12 megs or even more, they're at least giving themselves a chance to minimize noise as part of the improvements. I'm eager to see what they've accomplished!
Ricoh's very limited distribution in the States includes Adorama and Popflash. Cameras bought through them are evidently warranted by Ricoh. Since they're not cheap enough to be considered disposable, that's an important consideration (versus the ebay route). The good news is that they hold their value–as I've discovered bidding for used examples :-(Oct 30, 2007 at 1:55 pm #1407194
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Am I right in believing that this camera does NOT have any optical zoom capability??? (Yeah, digital zoom, but I never use it.)
> the main problem with all small chip, high pixel count
Small??? A 1" by 1.75" chip is not small!
CheersOct 30, 2007 at 2:27 pm #1407199
Yes, it's a fixed focal length "prime" lens, 28mm equivalent. Ryan knows about its preformance, as he has a GR D. Ricoh also makes the GX100, which has a sweet very wide angle zoom.
Don't be fooled by the odd chip size designation, which is a carryover from video terminology. A 1/1.7" chip is 7.2 X 5.7 mm, small indeed compared to dslrs or a full 24x36mm film frame (although thankfully not as small as the microscopic sensors on many P&Ss).Oct 30, 2007 at 3:15 pm #1407212
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
> Don't be fooled by the odd chip size designation, which is a carryover from video terminology. A 1/1.7" chip is 7.2 X 5.7 mm,
Ah – I am going to have to disagree with you here. The Wikipedia entry you gave is VERY misleading and out of date. It should be replaced imho with a more up-to-date entry. I think the Ricoh sensor chip is literally 1" x 1.75" in size. This is not an uncommon size today.
You see, in the earlier days of digital photography there was a lot of confusion about focal length and image sensor size. So in an effort to phrase things in a language 'traditional' camera owners could understand, the manufacturers kept talking in terms of a 35 mm SLR equivalent. The Wiki entry dates from those days.
But that was years ago, and the industry does not do that much these days. It turned out to be even less comprehensible. The idea of complex calculations about chip size vs 35 mm film size have been forgotten. Where an SLR lens equivalent is quoted, it is done in a much looser fashion, just comparing the finished picture.
Anyhow, the idea of getting 10 MPixels on a 7.2 x 5.7 mm chip in the Ricoh camera is … not realistic. Certainly not if you want to be able to push the equivalent ISO rating (another vestigual left-over from film) up to 1,600! You need a big pixel area for that.
I might be wrong about the chip size, but I think some fundamental laws of physics as I understand them would need to be violated along the way. They would need to put 3,648 pixels across 7.2 mm, and that would make the pixels about 2 microns across. Well, the diffusion length of an electron in silicon is about 6-7 microns, so a single image point/electron would effectively be smeared across about 10-12 pixels. Makes no sense that way. If the chip is 1.7" wide, the pixels would be about 10 microns wide – and that is about right for the industry today, and for good dynamic range.
Background: 20+ years in image analysis and video camera systems, plus undergraduate degree in semiconductor physics, plus following the semiconductor chip industry for most of my working life.
RogerOct 30, 2007 at 3:48 pm #1407219
I agree with Rick. The sensor size in last year's Ricoh GR D is 1/1.8" (7.18 x 5.32 mm) so I am pretty sure we really are talking about a small sensor.Oct 30, 2007 at 4:05 pm #1407221
Not to pile on :-) but the tale can perhaps be told in this fashion:
Actual focal length of GR D lens = 5.9mm
35mm equivalent focal length = 28mm
The GR D would be quite large, were the chip a 35mm frame equivalent. Larger than a Leica M8, which has a smaller APS-C chip
My understanding is high-resolution chip designs are running up against the limits of diffraction, so small are the photosites. There are also issues with heat from the densely packed circuitry, in part explaining why larger formats can't use CCDs.Dec 7, 2007 at 9:55 am #1411653
@ken_bennettLocale: southeastern usa
>>>Ah – I am going to have to disagree with you here. The Wikipedia entry you gave is VERY misleading and out of date. It should be replaced imho with a more up-to-date entry. I think the Ricoh sensor chip is literally 1" x 1.75" in size. This is not an uncommon size today.<<<
A frame of actual 35mm film is 1" x 1.5" (24mm x 36mm), so a "full frame" digital SLR body has an imaging chip of that size.
The consumer digital SLR's have digital imaging chips that are smaller, usually around 16x24mm in size.
Compact digital cameras have chips that range from 4 x 5.3mm to 6.6 x 8mm, though most are in the smaller range. Camera phone chips are even smaller.
You are correct about the pixel size in microns, BTW. You are also correct about needing bigger pixels for high-ISO shooting. The small chip compact cameras don't do a good job under high-ISO conditions.
How do they do it? Dunno, I'm just a photographer, not a physicist. But they do.Dec 7, 2007 at 7:39 pm #1411730
This is a link that explains the size of sensors:
Note that the GRD 1/1.75 has a relatively large sensor compared to the very commonly used 1/2.5 version
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