September 20, 2011: Tasco has announced an upgrade to 2009’s Ricoh GR Digital III in the form of the well-specced (yep, you guessed it) GR Digital IV, which it says is a perfect camera for street photography.
The new GR Digital IV featuring a new image processor (or ‘engine’, as Ricoh describes it) and a refined optical filter. It continues to offer a combination of superior performance and manual control comparable to a DSLR, in a lightweight, compact body.
Ricoh has made significant advances in the responsiveness of the GR Digital IV through the introduction of a Hybrid AF System which assists the camera in achieving an AF focusing time as short as 0.2 seconds – almost twice as quick as the previous model.
Ricoh has also added a high-speed, high-accuracy snapshot function. With just a single press of the shutter-release button, the GR Digital IV captures the scene by performing the metering with only the external AF sensor.
Another enhancement is a new image-sensor Shift Image Stabilisation function. This sees the camera achieve a stabilisation effect equivalent to a shutter speed increase of up to 3.2 stops which, when combined with the fast f1.9 GR lens, further increases the camera’s ability to capture dark scenes.
The camera comes equipped with a relatively large area (1/1.7-inch) 10 megapixel CCD.
The inclusion of a Dynamic Range Compensation shooting function makes it possible to shoot subjects in backlit or high-contrast scenes in the way the eye sees them, while the return of Ricoh’s acclaimed Multi-Pattern Auto White Balance setting helps ensure good results in challenging lighting conditions.
A number of other new shooting functions have been introduced. Among them is an Interval Composite mode that is able to capture distinctive landscape pictures that show the trail of light left by stars, and a Multiple Exposure mode which makes it possible to shoot up to five overlapping shots and record them in one single image.
‘Positive Film’ and ‘Bleach Bypass’ have been added to the creative shooting mode menu, which already includes High Contrast B&W and Cross Process.
The GR Digital IV’s Auto Bracket function has been also been enhanced. In addition to the conventional Exposure and White Balance, Contrast Bracket Setting and Dynamic Range Compensation bracketing have been added, as well as an Image Setting Bracket option which enables the capture of a sequence of three shots with two different image settings.
While the look and feel of the camera remains mostly the same as its predecessor, the GR Digital IV sports a new 3-inch, 1.23 million-dot VGA LCD monitor for heightened outdoor visibility, as well as refined electronic level that can detect inclination in the tilt direction, as well as the conventional horizontal direction.
In addition to the black model, Ricoh will release a collector’s edition white model (pictured left). The GR Digital IV White Edition will have a limited sales volume, with a total of only 10,000 units sold worldwide. The metal lens cap and genuine leather hand strap included in the package are also white. It is expected that no more than 200 cameras will be available in Australia. RRP is $899.