Panasonic GF6 vs Ricoh GR
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF6 and the Ricoh GR are two digital cameras that were announced in April 2013. The GF6 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the GR is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on a Four Thirds (GF6) and an APS-C (GR) sensor. The Panasonic has a resolution of 15.8 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.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF6 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.
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Panasonic GF6 and the Ricoh GR is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The GF6 can be obtained in four different colors (black, brown, red, white), while the GR is only available in black.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Ricoh GR is somewhat smaller (1 percent) than the Panasonic GF6. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the GF6 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 GF6 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 GF6 and their specifications in the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog.
Concerning battery life, the GF6 gets 340 shots out of its DMW-BLG10 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.
|1.||Panasonic GF6||111 mm||65 mm||38 mm||323 g||340||n||Apr 2013||499||ebay.com|
|2.||Ricoh GR||117 mm||61 mm||35 mm||245 g||290||n||Apr 2013||799||ebay.com|
|3.||Canon M||109 mm||66 mm||32 mm||298 g||230||n||Jul 2012||599||ebay.com|
|4.||Panasonic GX800||107 mm||65 mm||33 mm||269 g||210||n||Jan 2017||549||amazon.com|
|5.||Panasonic GF7||107 mm||65 mm||33 mm||266 g||230||n||Jan 2015||499||ebay.com|
|6.||Panasonic GM5||99 mm||60 mm||36 mm||211 g||220||n||Sep 2014||749||ebay.com|
|7.||Panasonic G6||122 mm||85 mm||71 mm||390 g||340||n||Apr 2013||599||ebay.com|
|8.||Panasonic GM1||99 mm||55 mm||30 mm||204 g||230||n||Oct 2013||749||ebay.com|
|9.||Panasonic G5||120 mm||83 mm||71 mm||396 g||320||n||Jul 2012||599||ebay.com|
|10.||Panasonic GF5||108 mm||67 mm||37 mm||267 g||360||n||Apr 2012||499||ebay.com|
|11.||Panasonic LX7||111 mm||68 mm||46 mm||298 g||330||n||Jul 2012||499||ebay.com|
|12.||Panasonic G3||115 mm||84 mm||47 mm||336 g||270||n||May 2011||599||ebay.com|
|13.||Panasonic GX1||116 mm||68 mm||39 mm||318 g||320||n||Nov 2011||699||ebay.com|
|14.||Panasonic G10||124 mm||84 mm||74 mm||388 g||380||n||Mar 2010||499||ebay.com|
|15.||Ricoh GR II||117 mm||63 mm||35 mm||251 g||320||n||Jun 2015||699||ebay.com|
|16.||Sony RX100 III||102 mm||58 mm||41 mm||290 g||320||n||May 2014||799||ebay.com|
|17.||Sony RX100 II||102 mm||58 mm||38 mm||281 g||350||n||Jun 2013||749||ebay.com|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. 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.
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Panasonic GF6 features a Four Thirds sensor and the Ricoh GR an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the GR is 64 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.0 and 1.5. The sensor in the GF6 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the GR offers a 3:2 aspect.
With 16.1MP, the GR offers a higher resolution than the GF6 (15.8MP), but the GR nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.79μm versus 3.77μm for the GF6) due to its larger sensor. It is noteworthy in this context that the two cameras were released in close succession, so that their sensors are from the same technological generation. 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 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF6 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 160 to ISO 12800, which can be extended to ISO 160-25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Ricoh GR are ISO 100 to ISO 25600 (no boost).
Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors. Both cameras use a Bayer filter for capturing RGB colors on a square grid of photosensors. This arrangement is found in most digital cameras.
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). Of the two cameras under consideration, the GR offers substantially better image quality than the GF6 (overall score 24 points higher). The advantage is based on 2.9 bits higher color depth, 2.9 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.6 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|1.||Panasonic GF6||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60i||20.7||10.6||622||54|
|4.||Panasonic GX800||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||4K/30p||23.2||13.3||586||73|
|5.||Panasonic GF7||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60p||22.7||12.3||874||70|
|6.||Panasonic GM5||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60p||22.1||11.7||721||66|
|7.||Panasonic G6||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60p||21.3||11.5||639||61|
|8.||Panasonic GM1||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60i||22.3||11.7||660||66|
|9.||Panasonic G5||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60p||22.3||11.9||643||66|
|10.||Panasonic GF5||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60i||21.4||11.6||618||61|
|12.||Panasonic G3||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60i||21.0||10.6||667||56|
|13.||Panasonic GX1||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60p||20.8||10.6||703||55|
|14.||Panasonic G10||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||720/30p||21.2||10.1||411||52|
|15.||Ricoh GR II||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||23.6||13.7||1078||80|
|16.||Sony RX100 III||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.4||12.3||495||67|
|17.||Sony RX100 II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.5||12.4||483||67|
|Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the GF6 provides a higher frame rate than the GR. It can shoot video footage at 1080/60i, while the Ricoh is limited to 1080/30p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The GF6 and the GR are similar in the sense that neither of the two has a viewfinder. The images are, thus, framed using live view on the rear LCD. That said, the GR can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the GV-1. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Panasonic GF6, the Ricoh GR, and comparable cameras.
|1.||Panasonic GF6||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||4.2/s||Y||n|
|2.||Ricoh GR||optional||n||3.0 / 1230||fixed||n||1/4000s||4.0/s||Y||n|
|3.||Canon M||none||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/4000s||4.3/s||n||n|
|4.||Panasonic GX800||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/500s||10.0/s||Y||n|
|5.||Panasonic GF7||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/500s||5.8/s||Y||n|
|6.||Panasonic GM5||1166||n||3.0 / 921||fixed||Y||1/500s||5.8/s||n||n|
|7.||Panasonic G6||1440||n||3.0 / 1036||swivel||Y||1/4000s||7.0/s||Y||n|
|8.||Panasonic GM1||none||n||3.0 / 1036||fixed||Y||1/500s||5.0/s||Y||n|
|9.||Panasonic G5||1440||n||3.0 / 920||swivel||Y||1/4000s||6.0/s||Y||n|
|10.||Panasonic GF5||none||n||3.0 / 920||fixed||Y||1/4000s||4.0/s||Y||n|
|11.||Panasonic LX7||optional||n||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/4000s||11.0/s||Y||Y|
|12.||Panasonic G3||1440||n||3.0 / 460||swivel||Y||1/4000s||4.0/s||Y||n|
|13.||Panasonic GX1||optional||n||3.0 / 460||fixed||Y||1/4000s||4.2/s||Y||n|
|14.||Panasonic G10||202||n||3.0 / 460||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.6/s||Y||n|
|15.||Ricoh GR II||optional||n||3.0 / 1230||fixed||n||1/4000s||4.0/s||Y||n|
|16.||Sony RX100 III||1440||n||3.0 / 1229||tilting||n||1/2000s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|17.||Sony RX100 II||optional||n||3.0 / 1229||tilting||n||1/2000s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The GF6 has a touchscreen, while the GR has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.The GF6 has an articulated LCD that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in snapping selfies. In contrast, the GR does not have a selfie-screen.
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.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the GF6 and the GR write their files to SDXC cards. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s.
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 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF6 and Ricoh GR and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Panasonic GF6||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|2.||Ricoh GR||Y||mono / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-|
|3.||Canon M||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|4.||Panasonic GX800||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|5.||Panasonic GF7||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|6.||Panasonic GM5||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|7.||Panasonic G6||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|8.||Panasonic GM1||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|9.||Panasonic G5||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|10.||Panasonic GF5||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|11.||Panasonic LX7||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|12.||Panasonic G3||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|13.||Panasonic GX1||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|14.||Panasonic G10||Y||mono / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|15.||Ricoh GR II||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|16.||Sony RX100 III||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|17.||Sony RX100 II||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
It is notable that the GF6 offers wifi support, while the GR does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.
Both the GF6 and the GR have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on ebay. The GF6 was replaced by the Panasonic GF7, while the GR was followed by the Ricoh GR II. Further information on the features and operation of the GF6 and GR can be found, respectively, in the Panasonic GF6 Manual (free pdf) or the online Ricoh GR Manual.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Panasonic GF6 and the Ricoh GR? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Reasons to prefer the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF6:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60i versus 1080/30p).
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- More flexible: Accepts interchangeable lenses, so that lens characteristics can be altered.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (340 versus 290) on a single battery charge.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
Arguments in favor of the Ricoh GR:
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (24 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
- Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (2.9 bits more color depth).
- More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (2.9 EV of extra DR).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (0.6 stops ISO advantage).
- More framing options: Can be equipped with a hotshoe-mounted accessory-viewfinder.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1230k vs 1040k dots).
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- Ready to shoot: Has an integrated lens, whereas the GF6 necessitates an extra lens.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens built in (unlike the GF6).
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the GR emerges as the winner of the match-up (12 : 9 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.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Panasonic GF6 and the Ricoh GR place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens 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 the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the GF6 or the GR. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.
This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear 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.
|1.||Panasonic GF6||..||+ +||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2013||499||ebay.com|
|2.||Ricoh GR||5/5||..||..||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2013||799||ebay.com|
|3.||Canon M||3/5||+||..||..||4/5||4/5||Jul 2012||599||ebay.com|
|4.||Panasonic GX800||..||+||..||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2017||549||amazon.com|
|5.||Panasonic GF7||4/5||+||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2015||499||ebay.com|
|6.||Panasonic GM5||3.5/5||+||..||77/100||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||749||ebay.com|
|7.||Panasonic G6||4/5||+ +||..||..||5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2013||599||ebay.com|
|8.||Panasonic GM1||3/5||+||..||78/100||5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2013||749||ebay.com|
|9.||Panasonic G5||3/5||+ +||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2012||599||ebay.com|
|10.||Panasonic GF5||3/5||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2012||499||ebay.com|
|11.||Panasonic LX7||3/5||+ +||..||75/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jul 2012||499||ebay.com|
|12.||Panasonic G3||3/5||+ +||..||75/100||4.5/5||5/5||May 2011||599||ebay.com|
|13.||Panasonic GX1||3/5||+||..||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Nov 2011||699||ebay.com|
|14.||Panasonic G10||3/5||..||..||70/100||4/5||4/5||Mar 2010||499||ebay.com|
|15.||Ricoh GR II||..||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2015||699||ebay.com|
|16.||Sony RX100 III||5/5||+ +||..||82/100||4.5/5||5/5||May 2014||799||ebay.com|
|17.||Sony RX100 II||5/5||+ +||..||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2013||749||ebay.com|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. 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.
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.
- Canon 1200D vs Panasonic GF6
- Canon 20D vs Ricoh GR
- Canon G5 X Mark II vs Panasonic GF6
- Canon T5i vs Panasonic GF6
- Fujifilm XQ1 vs Ricoh GR
- Hasselblad X1D vs Ricoh GR
- Nikon W150 vs Ricoh GR
- Nikon W300 vs Panasonic GF6
- Panasonic G10 vs Panasonic GF6
- Panasonic GF5 vs Ricoh GR
- Panasonic GF6 vs Sony A7 III
- Ricoh GR vs Ricoh WG-60
Specifications: Panasonic GF6 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 Model||Panasonic GF6||Ricoh GR|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||Micro Four Thirds lenses||28mm f/2.8|
|Launch Date||April 2013||April 2013|
|Launch Price||USD 499||USD 799|
|Sensor Specs||Panasonic GF6||Ricoh GR|
|Sensor Format||Four Thirds Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||17.3 x 13.0 mm||23.7 x 15.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||224.9 mm2||369.72 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||21.6 mm||28.4 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||15.8 Megapixels||16.1 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4592 x 3448 pixels||4928 x 3264 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||3.77 μm||4.79 μm|
|Pixel Density||7.04 MP/cm2||4.35 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60i Video||1080/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||160 - 12,800 ISO||100 - 25,600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||160 - 25,600 ISO||no Enhancement|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||54||78|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||20.7||23.6|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||10.6||13.5|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||622||972|
|Screen Specs||Panasonic GF6||Ricoh GR|
|Viewfinder Type||no viewfinder||Viewfinder optional|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||1040k dots||1230k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Fixed screen|
|Touch Input||Touchscreen||no Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Panasonic GF6||Ricoh GR|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||4.2 shutter flaps/s||4 shutter flaps/s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer||Intervalometer built-in|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Single or Dual Card Slots||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Panasonic GF6||Ricoh GR|
|External Flash||no Hotshoe||Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||no Wifi|
|Near-Field Communication||NFC built-in||no NFC|
|Body Specs||Panasonic GF6||Ricoh GR|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||340 shots per charge||290 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||no USB charging||USB charging|
111 x 65 x 38 mm
(4.4 x 2.6 x 1.5 in)
117 x 61 x 35 mm
(4.6 x 2.4 x 1.4 in)
|Camera Weight||323 g (11.4 oz)||245 g (8.6 oz)|
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