The Ricoh Gr …. Has to Learn From the GRD4!


I really like the GR and I want our relationship to go further but I’m not sure. No, I ain’t ditching anything and I’m not talking bad about the camera I’m just expressing what I am missing from my work and I guess the GR.

I like surprises for meals, maybe for friends calling or showing up….., maybe even the surprise of a photo that tells me do it in color…..These things and more mind you are acceptable surprises.

What I don’t like is the surprise that the GR with it’s sense of humor provides because the Ricoh engineers started dancing with the Pentax engineers and so as not to be rude with each other and make a more perfect union in their eyes but not in the users eyes because the camera doesn’t do what we WANT OR NEED it to do creates a surprise that will eventually cost them most Ricoh users because like me they will sell the camera because we doin’ need no sense of humor from our camera when we’re working.


Youse peoples know me….I am very much into my photography and it is my life’s work. Fact it, many of youse all’s are in the same boat. The issue for me is this. I want to be able to set my shutter speed and aperture and TRUST the camera to set the ISO. This has to be done without me being FORCED to look at the screen to guess what the camera is doing.

There is a mode on the camera, GR, that is called TAv. It’s on the mode dial…yeah, that one up there. TAv is almost the perfect mode for any camera but it isn’t yet. Here’s why.

As stated I have shown my preferences for exposure. I always test my cameras so that I know how the ISO will effect the image.

TAv gives us this… We get Shutter Speed and Aperture. We also get EV adjustment. We even get Auto ISO BUTT!!!!!

On the Auto ISO we don’t get to set a limit. I’d like to limit the high ISO to 4000. Ray goes to 6400. I want the option to set that upper limit on the fly…well on the walkabout. The problem is that we can’t set the upper limit on ISO in this mode.

Now I am the first to confess that  “The United International Intergalactic Amalgamated Organization of Confederate and Non-Confederate Pixel Peepers” has a hit on me for making photos without due respect to the sensor, ISO, Lens and what the heck whatever it is that they or I do.

I am guilty of per-suing my vision with whatever means available to me to create the image that I see and feel. This means that by all rights, I should not mind the camera destroying my images because I might do it myself anyway by raising the ISO to to the region that no mane has gone before.

I’m damn sure not Cap’t Kirk. I don’t mind throwing the ISO up high but I WANT TO BE IN CONTROL OF THAT!

The GR will shoot the ISO up to 25600. Let me tell ya right here and now. It darn sure ain’t no pretty pictures living up there and that’s from me the guy that, the group is after.

Ray suggested I use A mode and for over a week I have done so. It works…..but not for me. I’m getting to many blurred photos. Don’t even thing about that…… I know what is causing the problem….In A mode I can’t set the Speed.


The thing is this. The GRD4, the best street camera ever published does it like this. In “M” Mode….you set the Shutter Speed, the Aperture and the ISO to Auto. I set the high limit to 3200. I set the camera to say….ohhhh uh…. 1/250 F/5.6…Auto ISO

So no matter what I do, I can just work and not have to look at the screen for those numbers and flashing lights and all kinds of things that distract my mind and create the INTRUSION I will not tolerate in any camera!

The GRD4 will just let you work. Check this out. We know the GRD4 is clean to 800. When I say clean i mean it’s gritty but clean for details. So If I want to, I could adjust my exposure, say speed from 1/250 to 1/1000 and the ISO will push to the max. I know that I want that look for this image aso I have the control in the camera because I trust the camera to do what we as a team set up.

So far, the GR does not do this. I know why too. It’s the new kid on the block. So of course it’s flexing it’s muscles and spreading it’s wings. I started to leave the GR on the shelf with the GRD4 by themselves. See the GRD4 is the MOTHER of the GR and my hopes are that she will teach her, the GR to behave and do what she is capable of doing and leaving her mark in the History of Ricoh.

The White GRD4’s name is Andre’, don’t ask…I think the GRD4 is Bi and that’s ok with me. I’m open minded but my wife Tanya is from Russia so she thinks I’m crazy telling youse that my camera is Bi. She’s very happy that I go to the VA Hospital and talk to the nice Doctors there.

There’s a few threads at DPR and Ricoh Forum that are an interesting read. Many are trying to come up with a workaround but…only the Ricoh/Pentax engineers can do it. I’m told that they are heavily medicated and locked in a room discussing things like firmware….can you imagine….

All kidding aside, this is a major setback for the GR and hopefully it can be resolved.


18 thoughts on “The Ricoh Gr …. Has to Learn From the GRD4!”

  1. Yep. TAV is just M with auto iso, if I can be forgiven by the Pentax enthusiasts… And auto iso must allow for limiting. And I’m still sure they will fix it. In their mixed engineering dance they forgot a sock….
    While a bit unpredictable, I love the X20 solution to detect movement and consequently increase the iso/shutter speed. My blurred shots are way less than I was used to. Apart from min shutter, that’s the reason it works so well in A.
    But… wait, isn’t there a minimum shutter speed in the GR? Have they forgotten both socks?

    1. You have no idea how strong your words are…Sure ya do. I still have my X20 because that and the GRD4 just do exactly what they should do.
      I hope Ricoh fixes the TAv mode but I’m sure they don’t see a problem. Pentax will say to shoot in A mode.

      Time will tell but my GR is running out of time.
      Thanks for posting…..

  2. Hey Don … Great to read you and to see you take things with that humor sense that characterize you. Tanya, the camera not your wife, like every other woman, your wife included, will let you set some parameters, push some buttons but in the end they’ll do what they want … as usual …
    Fortunately for you, what you need from the camera seems to be fixed with a firmware update, is just adding an option to the menu so to speak … uhmm … seems like the GR need to have a sex change surgery and then discover it is Bi like Andre …

    1. Ya know something….the sex change thing could actually be valid. Maybe I have to think more logical and see the GR as a man. The GR needs a minor tweak so it works like the Fuji X20.
      Thanks Steve…….

  3. On Pentax cameras you can set a high limit for Auto ISO, so I bet the feature will be added in the next firmware update 🙂

    1. Nick,
      What mode on Pentax can you do this? M Mode, can you use Auto ISO?

      1. You can set a high limit for Auto ISO in TAv mode.
        In M mode you can use either fixed ISO or Auto ISO, but when in Auto ISO it actually becomes a TAv mode (the screen displays ‘TAv’ instead of ‘M’).
        You cannot set a minimum shutter speed like on the GRD 4 though.

      1. Wow! That seems uncharacteristic for them. I mean I have never owned a Ricoh but their reputation is stellar as far as giving the customers what they need. Hmmmmmm…… Very disappointing.

        I need to be able to set a minimum shutter speed while using auto ISO. I want to shoot f/8 for example and not worry about blurry photos due to a slowed down shutter speed. The Nikon A is starting to look a little better right now. I’m talking about minimum shutter speeds like 1/500th of a second.

        1. Tom, I’m with ya 100%. Remember that Ricoh now is Pentax Ricoh. That’s where TAv Mode comes from. I’ve been using that mode and choosing my aperture and shutter. Im really not happy with the compromise I have to make to keep and use this camera. It works great it just works the way it wants to.

          Maybe that’s why I’m using the Nex 6 so much….
          Ya have some very good photos on Flickr….

          1. Thanks for the kind words about my photos on Flickr. I basically am looking for a small digital camera that allows me to easily zone/hyperfocal focus that let’s me not think about ISO changes as I move from sun to shade quickly. If my Sony RX100 had that ability I would be golden. But it doesn’t. I am getting better at getting sharp shots with it and using manual focus with it does help. I was so used to my 5D Mark 3 having the minimum shutter speed work in concert with Auto-ISO that I guess I got a little spoiled. I am told the Nikon Coolpix A lets you set the minimum shutter speed as fast as 1/1000th of a second while using auto-iso. I love the Sony sensors. I have to look at what their NEX series offers.

            Also…..a small camera with a fast pancake lens 28mm would be terrific. I want to shoot 28mm. I don’t care about zooming. A prime would suit me well for what I want to shoot.

            Bottom line:
            A very small camera, 28mm, fast minimum shutter while in auto-ISO. That is what I need. Does it exist?

          2. Tom,
            I have the GR but if I could do it over, I’d have the Coolpix A.
            The GRD4 has M mode with what you want.
            Some of the m43 cameras also work that way especially Olympus.
            Have a good Labor Day.

  4. A bit late to the party but in Av mode it is possible to set max ISO limit and minimum shutter speed (both in ISO Auto-High Settings). What prevents you from setting f.e. ISO 3200 and shutter 1/125 to avoid blurry shots?

    1. I don’t use AV Mode except in the X20 sometimes because I need to control the ISO.
      With the XP1, I use Manual and Auto ISO. ISO will effect noise/grain more than anything so…I choose my shutter and aperture according to ho I want my grain to start at. I also use M to be in control of my DOF and Camera Blur/Freeze.

      I am not a conventional kinda guy so…I like to get the image with the expression I want it to have. I may want a blur, or shallow DOF or maybe great DOF and FREEZE movement. The point is that I work the camera to get a desired result I want and not what is conventional.
      If you see my photos, many are anti detain Pixel Peeping quality. I over expose the highlights and LORD knows what I do to shadows…..but the effect is how I want the photo to feel for me….

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