Saturday, 6 December 2008

One Day in Mong Kok

Today, I have a series from the Mong Kok district. This is a fantastic place to take pictures. It has lots of markets, people bustling around, old buildings and narrow side streets full of character. I could do a series or release a book about every single street if I had more time.
I used mainly the GX200 with EVF and wide angle lens and it performed admirably, at ISO 64 that is. Above that it still can't match the GRD I but at ISO 64 it surpases it and has more detail. The most annoying thing however is the LCD/EVF freeze when focusing like on the GRD II. Also like the GRD II is the biggest fault and something Ricoh MUST fix, it has focus priority and with this quite a considerable shutter lag. I have not seen ANY compact camera that would come close to the GRD I in terms of focusing speed but I expect Ricoh to fix this or will have to look for alternatives, Snap focus or manual focus are no real alternatives for me. I need a camera that takes the picture when I press the shutter, even if it's not fully in focus. So far the GRD I and GR1 are the only cameras I can fully rely on to always take the shot. I had the Nikon D70 fail on me on a few occasions when I used it, so a dSLR is not the answer.
Other than this the GX200 is a fantastic camera and the EVF way more usefull than I thought and better than an OVF due to the fact you can tilt it and it displays the full shooting information. For low ISO and long exposures it is the best Ricoh camera and easily beats the GRD II although you have to sharpen the RAW files slightly more. I went through 3x2gb SD cards and 2 batteries with it today so this should be proof enough how much I like it.
Reviewing the pictures however shows exactly why the GRD I is still the best compact camera ever produced. The JPG quality is fantastic, the images crisp and the noise fine grained. But more than anything, it always got the shot even if it did not always manage to focus perfectly.
The pictures are taken with the GX200 at ISO 64, ISO 200 and ISo 400 in RAW and the GRD I at ISo 400 in JPG. I will let you figure out which pictures are which. You can find more pictures in my Dropbox HK Gallery.

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