Ricoh GR: Crop Modes

Introduction | A Demo | Sample Photos | Conclusions

On this page, I show some sample photos that illustrate the Ricoh GR crop modes.

 

Introduction

By default, the Ricoh GR has a focal length of 28 mm (equiv.) and takes photos at 16 Megapixels (provided that you do not set a smaller pixel count). The GR, however, offers two modes that simulate larger focal lengths by cropping the image (and thus leading to photos with fewer pixels).

*) Earlier sources stated 12.8 Megapixels for 35 mm and 9.5 Megapixels for 47 mm crop mode.

The uncropped image size and the cropped ones correspond to the image sizes L, M, and S. For 3:2 images (3:2 corresponds to the sensor's dimensions), the pixel sizes and Megapixels are as follows:

Here, the Megapixels are directly computed from the pixels (other calculations refer to the square of the ratio of focal lengths).

For easy access to the crop function, you can assign it to the "Effect" button (or Fn3 button) at the left side of the camera. It toggles you trough the modes 28 mm, 35 mm, and 47 mm. The latter two are indicated on the LCD screen.

Why would you need an "in-camera" crop function when you can crop images in a photo editing program? The simple answer is that this allows you to compose your photo more easily because the viewfinder shows exactly what you will get at the respective focal length.

 

A Demo

The following demo shows that, in crop mode, the image is indeed only cropped - not scaled in any way. The pixels are the same for the cropped image as if you would crop a corresponding section from an uncropped image. This is demonstrated here using a 320 x 320 section from an uncropped and from a cropped image (corresponding to 47 mm):

28 mm (not cropped)

    

47 mm (crop mode)

Section at 100%

 

Section at 100%

 

Sample Photos

Click the photos to open the original photo in a new window.

Motif 1

 

Motif 2

28 mm (not cropped)

 

28 mm (not cropped)

35 mm (crop mode)

    

35 mm (crop mode)

47mm (crop mode)

 

47 mm (crop mode)

Motif 3

 

Motif 4

28 mm (not cropped)

 

 

28 mm (not cropped)

35 mm (crop mode)

 

35 mm (crop mode)

47 mm (crop mode)

 

47 mm (crop mode)

Motif 5

 

Motif 6

28 mm (not cropped)

 

 

28 mm (not cropped)

35 mm (crop mode)

 

35 mm (crop mode)

47 mm (crop mode)

 

47 mm (crop mode)

 

Conclusions

A camera with a fixed focal length is a "special" thing. It is limited to one "point of view" (or perspective), you can "zoom" only by changing your location with respect to the object. Therefore, the crop modes come in handy, because they offer two additional focal lengths, 35 mm and 47equiv. (in addition to the native 28 mm). But, of course, this comes at a price: The image is cropped to the respective perspective and thus, smaller with respect to size in Megapixels. While 10 Megapixels for 35 mm may still be OK, 5.6 Megapixels for 47 mm seems a bit "borderline" to me - you lose more than half of the image through the crop. I therefore use the 47 mm crop mode only in rare cases.

As mentioned above, you could do without the crop modes and, as the demo illustrates, simply crop your photos to achieve the same effect. But using the crop modes makes it easier to compose the image.

All in all, the crop modes are a useful addition, but you have to take into account that the images are noticeably cropped to achieve the desired perspective.

 

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26.11.2014