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If one trend comes to define 2013 in the camera space, our money is firmly placed on compacts with large sensors. The Ricoh GR is the latest camera to sport an APS-C sensor, a size normally reserved for consumer-level SLRs. That is, until manufacturers like Nikon, Fuji and Sony popularised putting a big sensor inside a small body.

Design and features

The GR looks no different on the outside from earlier Ricoh compact cameras such as the Digital IV, except for the insignia at the front. The top panel keeps things simple with a power and shutter button, as well as a locking mode dial that turns when the small button is depressed alongside. Three customisable slots are found on the dial, as well as automatic, PASM and movie mode. A hotshoe, pop-up flash and exposure dial are also accessible from the top.

Around the back, the GR has a textured area for the thumb to sit comfortably while still accessing all the rear controls. A switch flicks between focusing modes, while a button in the middle can lock the setting in place. The operation of this configuration can be changed in a number of different ways from the menu system, but we found that the most intuitive set-up was to use the AEL/AFL side for focus locking when the button is depressed, and the C-AF setting for continuous focus as you recompose.

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