This page provides some quick links to the cameras I wrote about.

  • Ricoh GX100

Until the mid nineties I used SLR cameras for photography. But I felt that they weighted too much, and I wanted to have a camera I could take with me every time without feeling like a big poser. In 1996 I sold my Nikon SLR and three lenses and bought a Ricoh GR1. A high quality compact camera with a 28mm prime lens. The simplicity of making photographs with a single prime lens and the quality feel of the camera were a joy.
Being forested
Continue reading ‘My Ricoh GX100 impressions.’

  • Ricoh GX200; part 1 & part 2

In the last year I have used the Ricoh GX100 very intensively as my main camera. I have been very pleased with the photographs from the GX100 and the way I could tread the RAW files in post processing. Yes, it was noisy. But the noise was mostly luminance noise, so there was no need for me to apply any noise reduction on my photographs. I rather call it character. It was no perfect camera either. Basically unusefull above ISO 400 (too noisy and loss of details), the autofocus became almost useless in the dark, and slower writing times of RAW files (around 6 seconds). It locked up once (had to remove the battery), and I had dust in the lens three times within a year! Continue reading ‘My initial Ricoh GX200 impressions.’

Late August I posted my first initial impressions of the Ricoh GX200. Being enthusiastic about the previous GX100, and the handling of the GX200 prior to my writing, I was somewhat disappointed by the quality of the GX200 RAW files. I had used the camera for a few weeks after receiving it without being able to review the photographs. When I viewed the photographs large on screen the first time I noticed I could not process the photographs the way I used and wanted to do. The editing resulted in more unintended noise, and I missed the byte. The following months I kept using the camera, changed in-camera settings, experimented with under- and overexposing, and had a relook at my image processing in Adobe Lightroom (or other applications) to improve the quality of the images! Continue reading ‘My final Ricoh GX200 impressions.’

  • Ricoh GR Digital 3; part 1 & part 2

I will post a more lengthly impression of the new Ricoh GR Digital III soon, but I thought it wouldn’t harm to write down some first impressions of this camera. I always thought that my Ricoh GX200 felt like a quality camera, well to be honest it still is, but the GRD is certainly a step beyond that. The camera has a lovely, quality feel with a nice non-slippery finish as a result of the magnesium body. The camera has the typical Ricoh handgrip and all buttons are logically placed, almost logical in fact, but more about that later. Continue reading my ‘Short Ricoh GR Digital 3 impression.’
impression by Wouter Brandsma
Those who regularly visit my blog know that I prefer to use small sensor cameras for my photography. These cameras are much smaller than dSLR’s and therefore easier to take with you. But the most important reason for me is the way they can draw. For me they create instant sketches. It is something I like, I prefer. Of course I can appreciate a beautiful photograph from a larger sensor camera, but I just like black and white sort of sketches and I think small sensors are really suitable for that. Continue reading ‘My final Ricoh GR Digital III impressions.’

  • Ricoh GXR

Today a package from Slovakia (thank you Pavel Kudrys from the Ricoh Forum) arrived with the previously announced mystery camera. Ricoh Europe was so kind to provide three photographers, including me, a new Ricoh GXR with an A12 lens unit (50mm equivalent f/2.5 macro lens with APS-C sized sensor). Now I like Ricoh cameras, but have no commercial connection to Ricoh. I will be able to try and write about this camera and it will continue it’s journey on Saturday in the hands of Cristian Sorega. Continue reading ‘Making light.. My short walk around with the Ricoh GXR.’

  • Sigma DP1

Near home by Wouter Brandsma
Is it fair to write down my impressions of a camera that is already more than a year on the market? Regarded obsolete in terms of technology of today’s standards. I personally think it is. In particular when there is still no serious competition on the market for this camera and the large sensor and the small package makes it an interesting selling point. And as a matter of fact, I believe that this camera will become a classic. I am talking about the Sigma DP1. And with the current price for this camera, it sort of started a second-life. Continue reading ‘My Sigma DP1 impressions.’

  • Pentax Q

The small camera sensor market is under a lot of pressure nowadays. Partially because manufacturers develop smaller form factor cameras with larger sensors, like Panasonic, Olympus, Sony, and Nikon. And there is the other competition for small sensor cameras coming from cell phone manufacturers. They compete with increasingly better phone cameras and software developers produce quite interesting photo apps. The Nokia N8 for instance is regarded as one of the best and also the latest Apple iPhone 4S has come a very long way.














To make sure a camera gets sold well, it needs to have something that others just don’t have or is simply done a whole lot better. Panasonic for instance does a good job with their LX series and Canon always did great with their G-series. Of course there is Ricoh with their GR Digital which remains unique in the industry with a fast wide angle prime lens and high quality built. Pentax tries to enter this niche markets of high quality compact cameras with the smallest interchangeable lens system. A daring move for sure, but also one that is received with lots of reservations world wide.

Pentax showed me a preproduction sample of the Pentax Q end of July and offered me one for reviewing purposes later this year (which I received end of September). Like many, I was very surprised to learn how small it is. But understanding that most photographers in the West want cameras with larger sensors I most definately had my reservations too in respect to the usability, image quality, and the quite heavy price tag. Continue reading ‘My Pentax Q impressions.’