X20 or Ricoh GR ?

Discussion in 'Fuji X10, X20, X30, XF1, and X-S1' started by Richard, Apr 29, 2013.

  1. Richard

    Richard FujiXspot Regular

    Feb 1, 2013
    Marlow, UK
    A few weeks ago I was on the verge of buying a Sony RX100 for travel and general photography. Then the Fuji X20 came along and after much deliberation I thought it would suit me better. I liked the X20's viewfinder and I preferred the appearance and the user interface. But it was bigger than the RX100 and it had a smaller sensor and that bothered me. But on balance, the X20 won me over.

    But now I'm starting to wonder about the Ricoh GR. It's a bit more expensive than the X20, it has no viewfinder again, and only a single 28mm focal length this time.

    However ... it does have an APS-C sensor :D and it's about the same size as an RX100.

    Here's the question:

    If I opt for the GR then I lose the zoom lens of the X20. That's not an issue if I'm shooting wide angle, but to zoom in with the GR will mean cropping the 28mm image later. Is that a reasonable alternative? I imagine at full telephoto the X20's entire 2/3 inch image will be better than the cropped centre of the GR APS-C image, but for a modest telephoto setting on the X20 (say 60-70mm equiv) am I going to get similar results?

    (I know there's a mathematical answer to this, in which we will need to compare the area of a large cropped sensor with that of a small uncropped one, but I can't be bothered to work it out. And then there's the optics to think about ...)

    Any thoughts?

  2. ean10775

    ean10775 FujiXspot Top Veteran

    Feb 13, 2013
    Cleveland, OH
    I'm not about to do the math either, but regardless of output size after crop, I would never consider a crop of a wide angle lens to be a reasonable alternative to a frame captured with a telephoto lens. As you alluded to there is just more that goes into the properties of a lens and its field of view than that.

    Also, I would never consider a fixed single focal length lens to be suitable as a travel camera, just because there may be scenarios when you can't get as close as you'd like to what you want to photograph or where you want a wider view. If I were travelling, I would want those options. As a general purpose camera, I have no problem with a fixed single focal length lens - in fact my X100S is my general use camera - but I understand the compromise that brings with it. Even so, the Ricoh GR's 28mm equivalent FOV would be a little wide for me, although I do really like the focal length and believe that it can suit itself to far more that people often give it credit for.
  3. Richard

    Richard FujiXspot Regular

    Feb 1, 2013
    Marlow, UK
    I think you're probably right.

    I was just looking again at the GR's in-camera crop mode, which narrows the field of view to that of a 35mm lens. But doing so drops the pixel count from 16 miliion to 10 million. At that rate, by the time I'm out to moderate telephoto there won't be much left. I guess there's really no substitute for glass.

    It's a pity really, as in many respects that little GR is the perfect travel camera.

  4. Peter Chin

    Peter Chin FujiXspot Regular

    Feb 2, 2013
    Things you need to ask yourself in deciding:

    1. Do I shoot generally in multi-focal distances?
    2. Do I normally shooting sweeping scenes (city/landscapes)?
    3. Do I print a lot: if yes, how big?
    4. Do I carry my camera while walking around in hand, in a bag, around neck/shoulder?

    These should help you make that final decision, myself I have multiple formats and some are multi-branded in each format and it's just my hobby :p
  5. Biro

    Biro Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 1, 2013
    Jersey Shore
    If you are going to be cropping heavily with images shot with the Ricoh then perhaps it's not for you. But I wouldn't be concerned about the GR's in-camera 35mm FOV crop feature. So it reduces resolution to 10mp. I'll bet you can't tell the difference viewing at normal enlargement on a computer monitor - or with any print up to at least 11x14. And you're probably still using a bigger chunk of landscape on that APS-C sensor than is offered by the Fuji's 2/3 sensor.

    There are a number of compact cameras that still feature 10mp sensors. The Panasonic LX7 is one of them and it has a much smaller 1/1.7" sensor. My Pentax K200D DSLR had only 10mp (APS-C) and output was just fine. Olympus's first-generation micro four-thirds cameras - only fully leaving production now - had 12mp.

    But if you already know that you really will be shooting beyond 35mm quite often, then perhaps the X20 is the way to go. It is a fine camera.
  6. Richard

    Richard FujiXspot Regular

    Feb 1, 2013
    Marlow, UK
    I'm not worried about in-camera cropping down to 35mm, as I'm sure that's fine at 10mp, as you say.

    But that wasn't really the point - it was heavy cropping down to something like a 60-70mm equivalent field of view I was considering. But I can see now that that would result in a pixel count of just a few mega pixels, which I believe would be very noticeably worse than using the full area of the X20's 2/3 inch sensor. So a bad idea.

    Even if I spend 90% of my time at the wide end, I'd hate to restrict myself from those other 10% of photographic opportunities. So it looks like the X20 still has it.

  7. theoldsmithy

    theoldsmithy FujiXspot Regular

    Feb 4, 2013
    Herefordshire, England
    Martin Connolly
    Don't ignore the X10, it's a lot cheaper than the X20 and for jpeg shooting it seems to be better regarded. I think mine is great!

    Sent from my U8815 using Tapatalk 2
  8. Dacalac

    Dacalac FujiXspot Veteran

    May 1, 2013
    Los Angeles, CA
    I was in the same boat as well but after doing a lot of reading I found that the x20 will be a better all around camera for your specific needs. I was looking at the Ricoh but only for my street shooting. If you're planning on getting up close and personal to what you're photographing then I would go with it. However based on what you're looking for, stick with the x20.

    That being said...I'm trying to sell my x10 to upgrade to an x20 and my old canon DSLR gear for the Ricoh.