Been rummaging around my old photos and the ones I took with my GRD (the original version) are really catching my eye. I guess I'm revisiting my interest in the GRD because of the new GR Digital. I had the GRD for a span of roughly 4 months and during that time, I some how managed to take nearly 3,000 photos! That was the camera that I literally used every single place I went. I've got photos of friends and family, street shots, portraits and even some landscape.

I have no love left for digital but the GRD V is the only camera that is actually tempting me to go back to that medium. There are so many brilliant digital cameras out there like the Fuji X100/s and XE-1, the Sony NEX series, RX100 and RX1. Even those micro four thirds aren't bad at all. But I've started hating the look of digital so much that I just can't digest it anymore. To me, it seems disconnected and artificial. The GRD V, however, is a completely different beast. It is, in my opinion, the only affordable digital camera that gives you the purest and distraction free shooting experience. And it's the feeling I get when shooting with a digital GR that I completely forget about the things I don't like about digital.

It's understated-ness is what makes it such a great camera (in addition to the brilliant spec list). In a world where the cameras themselves are their own billboards (the endless array of stickers on them promoting their various features), the GRD V is a breath of fresh air. I love Ricoh for staying true to the camera's roots and going with the "if it's not broke, don't fix it" approach (ergonomically, you simply will not find a better compact).

Right now, I'm tossing up between getting a film Leica M or the GRD V. I've owned a GR1s in the past (the film winder motor went bust and it developed horrible focusing issues) and have a few other film compacts so the addition of a film GR would make all the others redundant. And of course, which street shooter doesn't lust after a Leica. After using all these semi-auto/auto film compacts, I've begun to crave complete manual control. Both the cameras that are causing me to loose sleep offer just that and are known to be best at it. So, for me, it boils down to film or digital. Nothing else.

Just to clarify: I'm not one of those snobby film-elitists who think digital photography is too easy to be considered serious photography etc. etc. The reason I gave up digital for film is purely aesthetic. A camera is a tool that's used to take photos - what it takes the photo on, is completely irrelevant.

Copyright © Hasan Ibrahim, All Rights Reserved