Is the GR Digital IV camera worth the price?

Ricoh has updated its premium compact camera, from the GR Digital III to the – surprise surprise – GR Digital IV.

So what’s new about the latest model? Well, Ricoh has updated its image processors, and introduced an image stabilisation system to help prevent camera shake. Its autofocus speed should also be faster thanks to Ricoh’s Hybrid AF system. Ricoh claims it has cut focusing time to just 0.2 seconds. There has also been a change in the LED screen – which now uses Sony’s WhiteMagic RGBW technology, so should be brighter than your average screen, while using less power.


There is also an electronic level that is capable of highlighting inclination from the horizontal, and tilting, which is useful if you take a lot of shots of buildings, for instance.

Looks-wise, the Digital IV looks much like its predecessor, which means it’s not exactly beautiful to look at. In fact, some may find its plain boxy black body decidedly unappealing. However, if you’re happy to spend a bit more, you can take advantage of Ricoh’s grip customization service – this means you can choose between a leather, carbon or metal hand grip, which is an unusual feature. Or look out for the limited edition model, which comes in white with a leather camera strap and metal lens cap.

While pundits praised the Digital III a couple of years ago, they were not so keen on its pricetag – at £530 it was pricey for a compact – and the Digital IV is little better – priced at £500. Plus, by the way, an extra cost if you want a camera strap or lens cap.

Image quality was excellent on its predecessor and Ricoh reckons it has got even better thanks to a tweaked optical filter, and new processing engine, even though it sports the same 10 megapixel CCD sensor under the hood.

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