The Ricoh GR was a fantastically simple compact camera — one big APS-C sensor crammed into a portable body, with a good prime lens, decent controls, and not much else in the way. Two years after the original release, Ricoh has released the GR II. What ain’t broke isn’t fixed — the only major addition is Wi-Fi and NFC.
The GR II should be available from July for around $800 (which is about how much the current gen goes for on Amazon). That’s fair, because almost everything on the GR II is the same as its daddy: same 16.2 megapixel APS-C sensor, and the same 18mm f/2.8 prime lens. The body also looks pretty damn identical.
What has changed is the integration with your smartphone. Like most higher-end prosumer cameras, the GR II has Wi-Fi and NFC to connect to your phone — with one difference. Whereas cameras from the likes of Sony and Fujifilm rely on platform-specific apps running on iOS or Android smartphones, the GR II uses a web interface, which in theory should mean compatibility with every device that can run a browser.
Depending on the implementation, that could be a killer feature — no matter if you’re using a Windows Phone (or even a laptop!), Ricoh is promising that you can control all the camera’s functions, straight from the web browser. In case the browser interface sucks, there will also be the option to use the existing Image Sync app to browse and save photos to your iOS/Android mobile device.
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