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Panasonic GM1 or Ricoh GR?

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by Biro, Dec 13, 2013.

  1. Biro

    Biro Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 8, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Steve
    So I have quite a bit of :43: gear as you can see in my signature below. I am thinking about selling my GX1 and LX7 to help fund the purchase of a new GM1. But Adorama is currently discounting the Ricoh GR to just under $700. So, I'm wondering if one gathers more light with a four-thirds sensor and a lens like, say, the Panny 20mm f/1.7 or with the Ricoh's APS-C sensor and 28mm f/2.8 lens? Of course, I'd have all those other :43: lenses to use on the GM1 if I desired.
     
  2. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    I'd get the GM1. The Ricoh GR feels really cheap. In comparison the GM1 is built incredibly solid, has a decent sensor and is 100% compatible with your entire m43 kit.
     
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  3. Chrisnmn

    Chrisnmn Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 26, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Chris
    Hey Steve,

    you alreayd have a lot of m43 gear so it should make a lot of sense to get the GM1, but I cannot agree with Jonathan about the GR feeling "cheap". Theres almost no plastic in the GR and the whole body is metal and feels completely solid to me. But the the GR is a 28mm only camera. something to consider. But IQ wise, the GR is noticeable "better" than the GM1. About portability, though the GM1 is certainly smaller than the GR it gets immediately bigger than the GR when you put any lens, even the P14 which is already the smallest m43 lens.

    just pick whatever it fits you best. both cameras are awesome.
     
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  4. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    I have been going bakc and forth on this as well. I have wanted a GR because of its size and IQ, and was waiting for a price reduction. But, since then, the GM1 has been released and I have read a number of posts about dust issues on the sensor of the GR that had me a bit concerned. The GR is still more pocketable and has a bigger sensor, and now I am wondering about focus speed and manual focus options. I was using my E-PL5 with the 75 for some outdoor night shots a few weeks ago, and the camera had a bit of a time consistently locking focus on my subjects. The GR's focus has some amazing features, but it is not supposed to be the fastest AF out there, and the GM1 has been praised for its low light AF abilities. I really want a pocketable camera with a good sensor, but I am still not sure which fo these two cameras can best fit that role. I hate to miss out on the Ricoh price reductions, but I am sure that the GM1 will also have some in the near future if Panasonic holds to its typical price reductions. Very frustrating!

    --Ken
     
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  5. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    Steve,

    For light gathering I'd say there's an advantage to the GM1 with an f1.4 - 1.8 lens. The sensors aren't all that far apart (slight edge to the Ricoh) and f1.8 is obviously more than a stop faster than f2.8. That said, the Ricoh is a fine camera with a different feel and very different UI than any m43 body, and waaaaay different than the GM1. The GM1 has very little in the way of controls - the Ricoh is tactile as all get-out. And of course 3:2 images just feel different than 4:3. So, get the EM1 and use it with a fast prime if light gathering with a small body is all you're after, but check out a GR (or its cousin, the Nikon A) if you want a great pocketable fixed lens camera and a fairly different approach to shooting than you get with your m43 gear... I can't even begin to agree with Jonathan that the Ricoh feels cheap - its one of the best cameras in the hand that I've used, as were it's older (smaller sensor) brothers, the GRD3 and 4. I'd personally go for a change of pace, but we're all wired differently...

    -Ray
     
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  6. Livnius

    Livnius Super Moderator

    Jul 7, 2011
    Melbourne. Australia
    Joe
    There is solid argument for both cases I believe.

    Getting the GM1 would be so handy because you would get to make further use of all your m43 lenses, bonus is the GM1 actually has a really fine sensor and according to some reviews superb video that in some regards outperforms even the GH3! (I was shocked to read that)...and all in a tiny package. It's so great to see Panasonic didn't cheap out with this concept and are justifiably having some success with it.

    The GR however offers other things...a superb APS sensor and an equally superb lens that were specifically designed to work together, one of the biggest benefits of fixed prime compacts. Also the GR offers certain shooting features and customisation options that the GM does not...and need anymore be said about how tiny the GR is? And I too can't agree with Jonathan regarding the GR build...for mine the GR is superbly built, the materials and finish are absolutely top shelf and the feel in hand and usability is IMO second to none....I could only wish that every camera I've owned was built this well and was so nice to use !

    I can see perfectly justifiable reasons for picking up either camera...I guess a whole lot depends on what exactly you want it for, how you plan to use it and how it will fit in with the rest of your gear. I never thought I'd ever want a camera like the GM1 but Panasonic seem to have done such a fine job with it that I can see myself picking one up eventually, if not the 1 then maybe the 2 or some future iteration...as it stands, if the choice was still mine to make I'd go for the GR simply because I like the buttons and switches and dials and all the customisability of the GR, I hate menu diving and I imagine there would be plenty of it with the GM....so the GR with its wealth of manual controls works quite more to my liking.

    I'm with Ray on this, trying something new and different in this case.
     
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  7. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    There is a reasonably solid argument for both, but I imagine that the only way to truly determine which is a better overall fit for me would be to spend some time with both of them. I am sure that I would appreciate the ergonomics of the GR, and shooting with its 28mm (equiv.) would be a bit different as in M4/3rd's I tend to gravitate to the 25, 45, 60 and 75. Shooting a fixed wide angle would definitely be an exercise for me, but not necessarily an unhealthy or unpleasant one. I think that I can let the dust/sensor issue reported by some roll by, but I am wondering if its AF speed in low light will be irksome if it is too slow or it hunts. Granted, it is easy with the GR and its lens to set a focus distance, but sometimes I like to nail the focus (and I cannot remember if it offers focus peaking, but that would be a plus). I am leaning towards the GR because I have not seen it go on sale since its launch, and I believe that the GM1 will be discounted in a number of months if I do not like the GR (or perhaps I'll get both). I wonder if this current discount signals the release of an updated model. Perhaps a GR with the same Sony sensor as in the D7100? :evilsmile:

    --Ken
     
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  8. tomO2013

    tomO2013 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    799
    Oct 28, 2013
    Hi,

    As a second or third camera, I would absolutely love the GR - it's small , light, produces first rate image quality and more importantly I love the types of black and white shots that I have seen people produce from it. Price wise it's tough to beat with the discounts that look to be available everywhere. I haven't shot with it, but I have regularly admired
    Ignore the sensor size differences - the size difference is negligible at best. The only aspect of IQ directly affected by the physical sensor size is DOF. All other aspects of IQ are down to the glass and the sensor design itself.
    Buying a camera is a very personal choice, you can have all the reasons in the world to justify that you simply just 'want' a particular camera!
    The Ricoh has lots going for it and I can understand your interest.
    The questions I woud be asking myself are though:
    1. Optically do I prefer the rendering from the Pan 20 1.7 or the Oly 17 to the 18mm in the Ricoh? I know I personally prefer the rendering from the Panasonic 20 1.7, but that doesn't matter, do you prefer the 28mm - if so decision made :)
    2. Practically, does purchasing the GM1 allow you to take two bodies and share your existing ecosystem of lenses - we both know the answer to that one ;)
    3. Which has the better RAW support and does this camera fit in with my existing workflow (assuming you shoot RAW + Jpeg).
    4. If you are a Jpeg shooter, despite technical specs and all that hoopla, do you like the OOC jpegs?

    The answer to all these questions may logically be the GM1 for you , but that doesn't matter a jot if you prefer and bond better with the GR.
    But you won't know that until you shoot side by side for a few days - so - why not rent both first and see which you prefer ?
    Incidentally the Sony Rx100ii looks to also be a great camera and in the same boat - the Fuji X100 (not the Fuji X100s) - I prefer the look from the X100 more and the recent firmware update for this has made it much snappier. These may also be good options and there are quite a few really nice ones floating around now on ebay for silly money.

    --Tom.
     
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  9. TheRenaissanceMan

    TheRenaissanceMan Mu-43 Regular

    84
    Oct 11, 2013
    The D7100 actually uses a Toshiba sensor, but I'd definitely like to see it in a new GR. :)

    OP, is it possible for you to get your hands on these cameras? You can pore over spec sheets and listen to well-informed opinions 'till the cows come home, but to me, there's no substitute for a good old-fasioned test drive.

    For me, I like that I can use my lenses and Speedbooster on the GM1, as well as the surprisingly good video quality. But, to emphasize, THAT'S JUST ME. I like Panasonic's menus (or at least I'm used to them), I do a ton of videography, I value reliable AF speed over a slight edge in IQ, and I like Speedboosting old lenses. But your priorities are likely different then mine. So my advice is to figure out what's most important to you and let that guide your decision.

    Sent from my SCH-I535 using Mu-43 mobile app
     
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  10. humzai

    humzai Mu-43 Veteran

    410
    Apr 17, 2012
    One thing that the gm1 is great for is as a second body to use with your other m4/3 gear. It takes up no space at all and it is amazing how tiny it is, however it won't ever fit in your pants unless they are cargo pants. It would with the olly body cap lens.
     
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  11. JYPfoto

    JYPfoto Mu-43 Veteran

    268
    Aug 27, 2013
    For a second body, I say get the GR. I went through the same thing you did just a few days ago. I have a E-M1, the 12-40, 25 prime, 45 macro, and planned on getting the Voigtlanders eventually. I wanted a 2nd body to use as a carry around, snap camera. As much as I love the E-M1 and it's so much smaller and lighter than my FF setup, it's still larger than I wanted it to be. Especially having a 9 month old, there's only so many hands I have.

    So I researched a smaller 2nd body. I looked at the GM-1 and it was lovely, but felt too small and not customizable enough. I loved the detail but hated the small size of the RX100, and it felt the same holding the GM-1. I eventually settled on getting the GX7 with 20 prime. And it was a lovely camera, loved the IQ, the build, etc. I thought that having a 2nd m4/3 body made a lot of sense since I can share the same lenses between the two. Took the GX7, then took the E-m1 out. Started to realize that here was a lot of overlap. One camera was better than the other at certain things. The EVF on the GX7 by itself would be sufficient enoughm but after looking through the E-M1, it looked like garbage. Then I compared the video between the two. Then I compared the macro between the two. So I was torn. I started to momentarily lean towards the GX7, even though I planned on it being a 2nd body. So I tried the 12-40 on it, super uncomfortable for me.

    I started to use the E-M1 again as the main workhorse, relegating the GX7 to mop up duty. It went with me to the grocery store, to the mall to grab snaps of my daughter, I treated it like a larger cell phone cam to grab innocent snaps where I wouldn't use my main rig. But it started to feel like a waste of money spending $1,300 for a camera that just sat there, almost felt like I bought a BMW M3 only to leave it in the garage for 28/30 days a month. It deserved to be used more.

    So I grabbed a GR almost by mistake after googling good, cheap compact. Then I saw the B&H sale on it. Then I read the reviews, then finally bought it. Sure it's not perfect but it's good at what it to do. It fills the niche that I was looking for the GX7 to do, with a great sensor, great performance wide open, great handling, customizable like heck, and small and light.

    I would suggest if you see yourself using 2 cameras in a 50/50 split, then go for the system camera. If you see your main rig getting 70% of the work and looking for a backup or niche camera then get the GR.
     
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  12. Biro

    Biro Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 8, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Steve
    Thanks for all of your responses so far. My GX1 and LX7 have now been sold off and I'll be making a decision in the next couple of weeks.
     
  13. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    I had a chance to briefly see both the GR and the GM1 this weekend. It was my second time seeing the GM1 and my first time seeing the GR, a camera that has been on my wish list for some time. I am not sure how the GM1 will be to use for any length of time, but it really seems like it was created by former Minox engineers. It is so small even when compared to compact P/S cameras. It might meet my pocket requirements, but I would really need to play with one for some time before buying one, especially at its current MSRP.

    I was very excited to actually see the GR, but I am not sure that it was a good fit for my hands. It's an engineering marvel, and if you are into one-handed operations, it is quite the camera. But, it seemed like my hands were about one size too large to feel as comfortable as I would have wished/expected. To use a popular term, the camera seemed to lack purchase for my hand. Moving my fingers around during one-handed operations seemed a bit more challenging than what I expected. I know that this sounds funny when I have just described the GM1 above, but the GM1 lacks all of the external controls of the GR, and so requires a different method of shooting and controlling the camera. I would really love to shoot for an extended period of time with both cameras and write up my detailed impressions, but it is not something that I can afford, and I have no connections with either company. I am hoping that the current GR price reduction holds for some time, as I need to mull this over for a bit more. Too many choices! :confused:

    --Ken
     
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  14. Biro

    Biro Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 8, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Steve
    I plan to drop in at B&H in the coming week so that I can handle both cameras. I am open to suggestions from those who say I might try something different this time. I just want to make sure the GR is right for me.
     
  15. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Don
    Chrisnmn, Ray, and Livnius have it right on the GR... it's an awesome little powerhouse, very well constructed, solid, and produces superb images. The Ricoh GR is a winner. It is much smaller and more convenient to have with you than the GM1 would be with almost any m4/3 lens attached. Having the GR, about the only action my wonderful little LX5 has seen recently has been close-up copy work of documents... something that my iPhone 5 happens to do even more conveniently, especially for emailing.

    That said, as a long-time m4/3 enthusiast and as a GR owner, I have every intention of picking up a GM1 body, simply because it is so small and so good, and I have so many m4/3 lenses to mount on it. I say this as one who typically may have 4 different m4/3 bodies at any one time - but always divesting of one or two, as I add one or two of the latest offerings. Bodies in m4/3-land come and go like streetcars for me.

    If I HAD to choose between the GM1 or the GR, and was prohibited from having both... I'd go with the GR... it's that great of a camera. Fortunately, I am able to have both and can choose between them when selecting for a very small and light set-up.
     
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  16. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    Well, I am not certain what pushed me off the fence, but I decided to order a GR today. I have been mulling this over for a number of months, and the release of the GM1 did not make this any easier, but a couple of things started to really stand out these past few days. First, I suspect that the GM line may be more than one model, and if Panasonic is true to form, the price of the GM1 will come down in a few months. This is not a purchase of necessity, so I have the benefit of waiting and watching while I use my current gear.

    Second, I am a bit concerned about the possible rolling shutter effects of the GM1's hybrid shutter, and would like to hear more feedback from users who have used the camera for more than just a few shots right out of the box. There are extensive threads on the GR, and I feel that I am more aware of its possible limitations, as well as how to address them. Soon the GM1 will have that same level of feedback.

    Finally, I have really wanted a camera with good IQ that will easily slip into a breast pocket of a jacket, or possibly into a shirt pocket. The GM1 is nice, but I suspect that it will be hard to make a camera smaller than the GR. I suspect that they will put a better sensor in that size camera, but the GR appears to be about as small as you can get with the external controls that it sports. Yes, it felt a bit small in my hands, but I have fully come to accept that there are going to be trade-offs, and I think that this is one that I can live with. Time will tell if I am wrong, but as we headed out the last few night to visit with family visiting, even my E-PL5 required its own bag, and while it was tiny, it was not really pocketable by my standards. So, my GR (which is about $130 less than it was when I first set eyes on it) will arrive tomorrow, along with a free 32GB memory card and compact carry case. Its price could fall further, but it did go back up a few dollars from yesterday to today. Now, as a photographer who has spent the better part of the past few years in the short telephoto range, I need to broaden my vision, to 28mm equiv. to be more exact. I have the feeling this is going to be an interesting photographic exercise for me.

    --Ken
     
  17. JYPfoto

    JYPfoto Mu-43 Veteran

    268
    Aug 27, 2013
    Ken,

    I had the same reservations as you did about the GR, but was looking for the same camera for the needs you stated. It almost seems like you and me are the same person in terms of what we were looking for. I've had the GR for about 3 days now and while That's certainly not enough time to put it through all the necessary testing, so far I really like it. My daughters been sick lately so I've haven't been out to shoot much, but the combination oft he snap focus, leaf shutter, and great grip have made this a wise choice.

    Obviously not every camera is perfect and I've been spoiled by the m4/3 AF speed, so this is slower but not terrible. A lot faster than the RX1 I had before. I'm also spoiled by having a touch/tile screen, so that's another thing I miss. So I've resorted to either using the snap focus or use center point, lock and recompose method. Having a touch focus would make the GR that much better.

    I'm sure you've seen many of the various image threads and have seen exactly what the sensor can do. Even using OOC B&W mode is very nicely done, you can retain the RAW image if you want to process further.
     
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  18. Mohun

    Mohun Mu-43 Regular

    74
    Sep 19, 2012
    Being pushed off the fence cannot be all bad since not only is the grass always greener it cannot help but also be ecologically sound.
     
  19. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    I am not sure how much greener is the grass, especially since I did not order a Fuji camera :biggrin:, but my GR arrived yesterday, and I had a few minutes to check it out today. It is certainly not a camera that you just pull from a box and start using. But, it is quite an interesting design, and while I am still reading the manual, I am starting to understand some of its unique behaviors (albeit its MF functions are driving me a bit crazy). I did notice that B&H raised the price by $30 since my order on Monday, so unless it continues to be volatile, I think that I did pretty well on saving a few dollars. I am not going to say too much more until I get more accustomed to the GR, but I have to say this reminds me a bit of learning to shoot with a TLR of LF camera. Things may not be reversed, but they are different from my same old, same old.

    --Ken
     
  20. Biro

    Biro Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 8, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Steve
    Ken... how is the GR's rear LCD to work with in bright sunlight... and have you made friends with snap focus?