Cameras – Ricoh GRII R.I.P.

I had a sad (and slightly frustrating) day earlier this week. I went to the opening of the Robin Hood exhibition on Monday evening and, as always, had my trusty camera on hand. I took a dozen or so photos. Unfortunately when I got home and tried to download them – they were not there!

My faithful Ricoh GRII meets its end...

I have used a Ricoh GRII camera for around 3 years. It was an addition to my camera armoury – my main camera is a Canon 40D (with a clutch of lenses). The latter is superb and can turn in some brilliant images.

But the Ricoh tends to be my favoured weapon of choice. It is small and discrete. It is virtually bomb-proof. It has lots of user controls – but can be used as a point and shoot. The real benefit though is the quality of the images – which are just superb.

In the last three years I have lost count of how many people have asked me about an image and the camera used. They are often surprised to see this little black inconspicuous machine. My mate John Lyle blogged about it when we were in the USA – and he promptly came home and bought one!

But yesterday I had to lay it to rest. Despite downloading a firmware upgrade and changing the SD card – it has decided to only ‘write’ some images! This is not a lot of use to me – especially as I use it for images for work – and rely on them!

The amazing thing is that the image count is 5,734! So I don’t think it really owes me anything. It has been all over the world with me – and as you can see still looks as good today as it did when it came out of the box.

I was wondering quite what to replace it with and was very tempted by the Olympus Pen. I have read good reports. The natural choice might have been the Canon Powershot G11 – which also gets great reviews and would sit well with my SLR. But after a few minutes I decided that the Ricoh has been so good that I would replace it with the same camera again – just updated. So the GRIII is on its way. It has the same fixed lens (28mm equivalent) but the pixel count is up slightly to 10 megapixels. The lens has also been upgraded – so I am expecting great things!

I actually have the original GR camera – which used something called ‘film’… remember that?