Thursday, July 19, 2007

Filters and GX100

Apparently there are a lot more GX100 users in Singapore. I just tried to get 43mm filter AND step-up rings, seems the two shops I prefer are out. One told me it's due to the recent popularity of, what else, GX100. Step up rings are the last resort, but apparently no 43-58mm, so the filter for the G6 can't be used.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Star and Moon

Working with RAW

First is the JPG accompanying the DNG file

This the DNG file as interpreted by picasa and saved as a jpeg.

I will have to figure out RAW processing with Photoshop Elements

Saturday, July 14, 2007

100th Experience

The Start Button

The R5 and GX100 both start up pretty quickly for the first shot. I thought using a lever like the Canon G6 is more tactile, but the 100 is good too, less fiddly then the R5, and not likely to turn off suddenly when I accidentally hit the power button for the shutter. I do that a lot with the G6 and have missed quite a few snaps.

The lens cap on the 100 is quite firmly attached, which unfortunately resulted in the camera having to scream "TAKE IT OFF" on screen when you forget. This makes the lens cycle though extension and retraction a few times depending on how slow you are to respond.

Coming from the R5, its easy navigating around the 100, the difference is the extra jog wheel that pairs pretty well with the ADJ button, now also a jog wheel. Unfortunately I have a tendency to dial too fast and over shoot . Still in the process of learning to use the additional My setting options.

Options and Options

A question though, why is there no Shutter priority option? It is strange since the 100 has a wide range of shutter speed. It has a very slow speed of 180 seconds, a full 3 minutes of exposure time though I do wonder if will be practically useful.

To get around that problem, I found I could use Program Shift P mode, spinning the jog wheels and adjust from the current recommended exposure. This is clumsy if you want to take multiple shots at the same speed.

Next option with M, Manual. That was cool. Switch to that mode and you get a little EV meter on the screen. It reminded me of a old Fujica film camera, that had a TTL meter with a little needle bobbing up and down when you adjusted the shutter and aperture. Ah such memories, I even managed quite a few holiday shots using that old guy.

Batteries are interchangeable with the R5, so I could start without having to charge it first. Another great idea is the 100 can use 2 AAA size in the SAME slot for the rechargeable, no need for bulky adapters.

The adapter tube should come in handy for filters, like a skylight, polarizer or infrared.

This little picture was taken with the filter held just in front of the lens, the 43mm infrared filter is not available and they didn't have the right step up ring.

Text mode. Curious little option. It behaves just like a scanner/photocopier. I was inspired by flickr user ikilledversace

Just a little on RAW. I don't use it much, but I think it's too slow the write-time. How did Canon do it with the G6? That has a reasonable timing.

Light ! Azziz Light!

Ricoh somehow makes temperamental flashes or TTL metering. I have just given up on using the flash with my R5, especially at wide angle. My last attempt was at a wedding. I tried to take a snap of the couple marching down at the start of dinner and I caught another guest just to the side of the frame. The guest was washed out white while the main subjects were in the shadow.

The 100 was better, but it was still over exposing near objects. It was also very powerful at wide. Test snaps of my room was very bright. Most Matrix like, just no Neo. Choosing Soft Flash didn't help too much. Thought it was a compact thing, but not so with the G6, which also has adjustable flash levels manually AND TTL.

Ricoh, please improve on your Flash metering. Firmware update? Hardware of charge?
Ricoh GX100

Great little machine. Actually "pocket-able" except for jeans or anything fashionably slim, so you can carry it anywhere and it is discrete. Very comfortable to hold. How comfortable? Well I had been fixated on the R6 since its launch, so I had not noticed the GX100. One fine day at the camera shop, the sales rep slipped it into my hands and I went "Mmmmmm" like a popular yellow skinned bald man at the sight of a donut. It fits nicely in the hands, well my hands anyway, perfectly for a one handed shot. The pop-up flash is cool, no more finger-as-diffuser like the R5.

I must have really looked like Homer drooling, because the sales rep poured out the accessories, hood with adapter tube, EVF attachment and casing. The compact suddenly looks more like a compact SLR. Cool, now I can pass off as a photographer.

So that little pebble of a thought just rolled on to a full avalanche, lots of help from a good friend channeling a Sith Lord "It is your destiny". So now I own a GX100. Well, Okay, it did take a week before the actual purchase, but that was because I had to learn from the wise ones AKA DPReview Ricoh forum.

My GX100 presented by Canon G6

R5 vs GX100

1. 100 is shhhhh..silent. Subtle. With the R5's grinding gears, I had half expected it to transform into a ion cannon or something...too bad it doesn't.
2. 100 has a clear and stable LCD. No snow storms in between operations.
3. 100 uses metal for the tripod screw hole.
4. 100 uses a flimsy rubber cover for the USB port. R5 has no cover.
5. 100 is $$$. Sigh. More than R5/R6 but generally less than a DSLR with lenses and everything.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Ricoh R6 at IT Show Singapore

I had quick affair with the R6 at "the Largest IT Show in Singapore". It was brief, had to be since I was carrying a couple of bags full of stuff, and so many others calling out for attention. Heres my first impression, retrieved from RAM and comparing to the

First thing you noticed is
the zoom lever, its now a ring round the shutter button, very suitable for one handed operation. The screen is larger and the image quality is better, though not a huge improvement, and no more funny static, lines and dots. And yes its slimmer, makes the R5 look a little clunky. The loss in thickness helps a little to avoid blocking the flash, but its still likely to be covered accidentally. I forgot to test the flash as I had basically stopped using it on my R5, so hopefully a review on that would pop up soon.

The user interface is v
ery similar, no problems navigating, but I only played with mainly the ADJ button. Recording movies is now an option in SCN mode, and they placed it right to the end of the menu option. Considering most people would record movies in very spontaneous situations, it seems silly to have to wade through all that options. The third mode is a MY option, didn't check that out, but I believe its for custom settings. There is now a Auto-Hi option for iso menu.

Macro is still superb.

I was very interested in the image quality at high iso and managed to record 2 pictures. One hand operation, and I do have shaky hands.



They were only cropped to protect the innocent shopper, no other adjustments. You can also follow the link to my picasa album for the same pictures.
(17/3/07 Uploaded the full file, any objections from anyone in the picture...leave comment)

You can only pre-order at the show, for S$599 (approx US$380) and delivery is one week. Free gift of 1GB MP4 player, mini-tripod, 2GB SD card, screen protector and cleaning kit. You have to "trade-in" any old camera though. Waiting for my usual seller to receive the stock, they didn't even know about the R6.
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