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Nikon D100 vs Ricoh GR

The Nikon D100 and the Ricoh GR are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in February 2002 and April 2013. The D100 is a DSLR, while the GR is a fixed lens compact. Both cameras are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Nikon has a resolution of 6 megapixels, whereas the Ricoh provides 16.1 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Nikon D100
versus
Ricoh GR
Nikon D100   Ricoh GR
Digital single lens reflex Fixed lens compact camera
Nikon F mount lenses 28mm f/2.8
6 MP, APS-C Sensor 16.1 MP, APS-C Sensor
no Video 1080/30p Video
ISO 200-800 (200 - 1,600) ISO 100-25,600
Optical viewfinder Viewfinder optional
1.8 LCD, 118k dots 3.0 LCD, 1230k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
3 shutter flaps per second 4 shutter flaps per second
370 shots per battery charge290 shots per battery charge
144 x 116 x 81 mm, 780 g 117 x 61 x 35 mm, 245 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon D100 and the Ricoh GR? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Nikon D100 and the Ricoh GR is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Nikon D100 vs Ricoh GR
Compare D100 versus GR top
Comparison D100 or GR rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Ricoh GR is considerably smaller (57 percent) than the Nikon D100. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the D100 nor the GR are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the GR has a lens built in, whereas the D100 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can compare the optics available for the D100 and their specifications in the Nikon Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the D100 gets 370 shots out of its EN-EL3 battery, while the GR can take 290 images on a single charge of its DB65 power pack. The power pack in the GR can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Nikon D100 144 mm 116 mm 81 mm 780 g 370 n Feb 2002 1,999i
2.
 
Ricoh GR 117 mm 61 mm 35 mm 245 g 290 n Apr 2013 799i
3.
 
Canon 10D 150 mm 107 mm 75 mm 850 g 500 n Feb 2003 1,999i
4.
 
Nikon Coolpix A 111 mm 64 mm 40 mm 299 g 230 n Mar 2013 1,099i
5.
 
Nikon D90 132 mm 103 mm 77 mm 703 g 850 n Aug 2008 1,299i
6.
 
Nikon D300 147 mm 114 mm 74 mm 925 g 1000 Y Aug 2007 1,799i
7.
 
Nikon D40 124 mm 94 mm 64 mm 522 g 470 n Nov 2006 499i
8.
 
Nikon D80 132 mm 103 mm 77 mm 668 g 600 n Aug 2006 999i
9.
 
Nikon D50 133 mm 102 mm 76 mm 620 g 400 n Apr 2005 749i
10.
 
Nikon D70s 140 mm 111 mm 78 mm 679 g 500 n Apr 2005 899i
11.
 
Nikon D200 147 mm 113 mm 74 mm 920 g 400 Y Nov 2005 1,699i
12.
 
Nikon D70 140 mm 111 mm 78 mm 679 g 400 n Jan 2004 999i
13.
 
Nikon D1X 157 mm 153 mm 85 mm 1100 g 1200 Y Feb 2001 5,999i
14.
 
Panasonic GM1 99 mm 55 mm 30 mm 204 g 230 n Oct 2013 749i
15.
 
Ricoh GR II 117 mm 63 mm 35 mm 251 g 320 n Jun 2015 699 i
16.
 
Sony NEX-5T 111 mm 59 mm 39 mm 276 g 330 n Aug 2013 699i
17.
 
Sony NEX-5R 111 mm 59 mm 39 mm 276 g 330 n Aug 2012 749i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The GR was launched at a lower price than the D100, despite having a lens built in. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

Sensor comparison

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.5. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Nikon D100 and Ricoh GR sensor measures

While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the GR offers a higher resolution of 16.1 megapixels, compared with 6 MP of the D100. This megapixels advantage translates into a 64 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the GR has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 4.79μm versus 7.85μm for the D100). However, it should be noted that the GR is much more recent (by 11 years and 1 month) than the D100, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that compensate for the smaller pixel size. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the GR has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The resolution advantage of the Ricoh GR implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the GR for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 24.6 x 16.3 inches or 62.6 x 41.5 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 19.7 x 13.1 inches or 50.1 x 33.2 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 16.4 x 10.9 inches or 41.7 x 27.6 cm. The corresponding values for the Nikon D100 are 15 x 10 inches or 38.2 x 25.4 cm for good quality, 12 x 8 inches or 30.6 x 20.3 cm for very good quality, and 10 x 6.7 inches or 25.5 x 16.9 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Nikon D100 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 200 to ISO 800, which can be extended to ISO 200-1600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Ricoh GR are ISO 100 to ISO 25600 (no boost).

D100 versus GR MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

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Sensor Characteristics
    Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Nikon D100 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none........
2.
 
Ricoh GR APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.613.597278
3.
 
Canon 10D APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none21.110.957157
4.
 
Nikon Coolpix A APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.413.8116480
5.
 
Nikon D90 APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.712.597773
6.
 
Nikon D300 APS-C 12.2 4288 2848none22.112.067967
7.
 
Nikon D40 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none21.011.056156
8.
 
Nikon D80 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.111.252461
9.
 
Nikon D50 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.910.856055
10.
 
Nikon D70s APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.410.352950
11.
 
Nikon D200 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.311.558364
12.
 
Nikon D70 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.410.352950
13.
 
Nikon D1X APS-C 5.9 3008 1960none........
14.
 
Panasonic GM1 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i22.311.766066
15.
 
Ricoh GR II APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.613.7107880
16.
 
Sony NEX-5T APS-C 16.0 4912 32641080/60p23.613.0101578
17.
 
Sony NEX-5R APS-C 16.0 4912 32641080/60i23.713.191078

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The GR indeed provides for movie recording, while the D100 does not. The highest resolution format that the GR can use is 1080/30p.

Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the D100 has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the GR relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the GR can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the GV-1. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Nikon D100 and Ricoh GR in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Specifications
(inch/000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Nikon D100optical Y1.8 / 118 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
2.
 
Ricoh GRoptional n3.0 / 1230 fixed n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
3.
 
Canon 10Doptical Y1.8 / 118 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
4.
 
Nikon Coolpix Aoptional n3.0 / 921 fixed n 1/2000s 4.0 Y n
5.
 
Nikon D90optical Y3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 4.5 Y n
6.
 
Nikon D300optical Y3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/8000s 6.0 Y n
7.
 
Nikon D40optical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
8.
 
Nikon D80optical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
9.
 
Nikon D50optical n2.0 / 130 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
10.
 
Nikon D70soptical n2.0 / 130 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0 Y n
11.
 
Nikon D200optical Y2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n
12.
 
Nikon D70optical n1.8 / 130 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0 Y n
13.
 
Nikon D1Xoptical Y2.0 / 120 fixed n 1/16000s 3.0 n n
14.
 
Panasonic GM1none n3.0 / 1036 fixed Y 1/500s 5.0 Y n
15.
 
Ricoh GR IIoptional n3.0 / 1230 fixed n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
16.
 
Sony NEX-5Toptional n3.0 / 922 tilting Y 1/4000s 10.0 n n
17.
 
Sony NEX-5Roptional n3.0 / 920 tilting Y 1/4000s 10.0 n n

One feature that is present on the D100, but is missing on the GR is a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.

The Ricoh GR has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.

The D100 writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the GR uses SDXC cards.

Connectivity comparison

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Nikon D100 and Ricoh GR and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
    Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Mic / Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Nikon D100Y- / ----1.1---
2.
 
Ricoh GRYmono / mono--micro2.0---
3.
 
Canon 10DY- / ----1.1---
4.
 
Nikon Coolpix AYstereo / mono---2.0---
5.
 
Nikon D90Ymono / mono--mini2.0---
6.
 
Nikon D300Y- / ---mini2.0---
7.
 
Nikon D40Y- / ----2.0---
8.
 
Nikon D80Y- / ----2.0---
9.
 
Nikon D50Y- / ----2.0---
10.
 
Nikon D70sY- / ----2.0---
11.
 
Nikon D200Y- / ----2.0---
12.
 
Nikon D70Y- / ----1.0---
13.
 
Nikon D1XY- / ----FW---
14.
 
Panasonic GM1-stereo / mono--micro2.0Y--
15.
 
Ricoh GR IIYstereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
16.
 
Sony NEX-5TYstereo / mono--mini2.0YY-
17.
 
Sony NEX-5RYstereo / mono--mini2.0Y--

Both the D100 and the GR have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D100 was replaced by the Nikon D200, while the GR was followed by the Ricoh GR II. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Nikon and Ricoh websites.

Review summary

So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Nikon D100 and the Ricoh GR? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Advantages of the Nikon D100:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
  • More flexible: Can take a variety of interchangeable lenses, including specialty optics.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (370 versus 290) on a single battery charge.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in February 2002).

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Reasons to prefer the Ricoh GR:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (16.1 vs 6MP), which boosts linear resolution by 64%.
  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/30p video.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 1.8") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1230k vs 118k dots).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (4 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • Ready to shoot: Comes with an integrated lens, while the D100 requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (117x61mm vs 144x116mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens built in (unlike the D100).
  • Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
  • Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (2.0 vs 1.1).
  • More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
  • More modern: Reflects 11 years and 1 month of technical progress since the D100 launch.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the GR is the clear winner of the contest (14 : 6 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

D100 06:14 GR

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon D100 and the Ricoh GR place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera and Best Prime Lens Compact Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the D100 and the GR in practical situations. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.

Expert reviews

This is where reviews by experts come in. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.

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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DCW 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Nikon D100......+ +o.. Feb 2002 1,999i
2.
 
Ricoh GR5/5....79/1004.5/54.5/5 Apr 2013 799i
3.
 
Canon 10D......+ +.... Feb 2003 1,999i
4.
 
Nikon Coolpix A4/5+..75/1004/54/5 Mar 2013 1,099i
5.
 
Nikon D90..+ +..+ +4/54.5/5 Aug 2008 1,299i
6.
 
Nikon D300..+ +..+ +5/54.5/5 Aug 2007 1,799i
7.
 
Nikon D40..81/100..+ +o4.5/5 Nov 2006 499i
8.
 
Nikon D80..+..+ +o4.5/5 Aug 2006 999i
9.
 
Nikon D50..78/100..+ +4/54.5/5 Apr 2005 749i
10.
 
Nikon D70s..........5/5 Apr 2005 899i
11.
 
Nikon D200..+ +..+ +o.. Nov 2005 1,699i
12.
 
Nikon D70......+ +.... Jan 2004 999i
13.
 
Nikon D1X......+ +.... Feb 2001 5,999i
14.
 
Panasonic GM13/5+..78/1005/54.5/5 Oct 2013 749i
15.
 
Ricoh GR II........4.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 699 i
16.
 
Sony NEX-5T........4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 699i
17.
 
Sony NEX-5R........4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2012 749i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Nikon D100:
Check Ebay offers
Ricoh GR:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications: Nikon D100 vs Ricoh GR

    Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Nikon D100 Ricoh GR
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens Nikon F mount lenses 28mm f/2.8
    Launch Date February 2002 April 2013
    Launch Price USD 1,999 USD 799
    Sensor Specs Nikon D100 Ricoh GR
    Sensor Technology CCD CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 23.7 x 15.6 mm 23.7 x 15.6 mm
    Sensor Area 369.72 mm2 369.72 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 28.4 mm 28.4 mm
    Crop Factor 1.5x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 6 Megapixels 16.1 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3008 x 2000 pixels 4928 x 3264 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 7.85 μm 4.79 μm
    Pixel Density 1.63 MP/cm2 4.35 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability no Video 1080/30p Video
    ISO Setting 200 - 800 ISO 100 - 25,600 ISO
    ISO Boost 200 - 1,600 ISO no Enhancement
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 78
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 23.6
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 13.5
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 972
    Screen Specs Nikon D100 Ricoh GR
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Viewfinder optional
    Viewfinder Field of View 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.53x
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel no Top Display
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 1.8inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 118k dots 1230k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Nikon D100 Ricoh GR
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 3 shutter flaps/s 4 shutter flaps/s
    Time-Lapse Photographyno IntervalometerIntervalometer built-in
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium CF cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs Nikon D100 Ricoh GR
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 1.1 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI micro HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Nikon D100 Ricoh GR
    Battery Type EN-EL3 DB65
    Battery Life (CIPA)370 shots per charge290 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging no USB charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 144 x 116 x 81 mm
    (5.7 x 4.6 x 3.2 in)
    117 x 61 x 35 mm
    (4.6 x 2.4 x 1.4 in)
    Camera Weight 780 g (27.5 oz) 245 g (8.6 oz)

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