Panasonic LF1 vs Ricoh GR
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LF1 and the Ricoh GR are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public in April 2013. Both the LF1 and the GR are fixed lens compact cameras that are based on a 1/1.7-inch (LF1) and an APS-C (GR) sensor. The Panasonic has a resolution of 12 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-LF1 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.
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Panasonic LF1 and the Ricoh GR. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Ricoh GR is notably larger (12 percent) than the Panasonic LF1. Moreover, the GR is markedly heavier (28 percent) than the LF1. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the LF1 nor the GR are weather-sealed.
The battery packs of both cameras can be charged via USB, which can be very convenient when travelling.
The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. 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.
|Panasonic LF1||103 mm||62 mm||28 mm||192 g||250||n||Apr 2013||499|
|Ricoh GR||117 mm||61 mm||35 mm||245 g||290||n||Apr 2013||799|
|Canon G16||109 mm||76 mm||40 mm||356 g||360||n||Aug 2013||549|
|Canon S120||100 mm||59 mm||29 mm||217 g||230||n||Aug 2013||449|
|Canon G15||107 mm||76 mm||40 mm||352 g||350||n||Sep 2012||499|
|Canon SX50||123 mm||87 mm||106 mm||595 g||315||n||Sep 2012||429|
|Fujifilm XQ1||100 mm||59 mm||33 mm||206 g||240||n||Oct 2013||499|
|Nikon Coolpix A||111 mm||64 mm||40 mm||299 g||230||n||Mar 2013||1,099|
|Nikon P7800||119 mm||78 mm||50 mm||399 g||350||n||Sep 2013||549|
|Panasonic GM1||99 mm||55 mm||30 mm||204 g||230||n||Oct 2013||749|
|Panasonic FZ200||125 mm||87 mm||110 mm||588 g||540||n||Jul 2012||599|
|Panasonic GF5||108 mm||67 mm||37 mm||267 g||360||n||Apr 2012||499|
|Panasonic LX7||111 mm||68 mm||46 mm||298 g||330||n||Jul 2012||499|
|Pentax MX-1||122 mm||61 mm||51 mm||391 g||290||n||Jan 2013||499|
|Ricoh GR II||117 mm||63 mm||35 mm||251 g||320||n||Jun 2015||699|
|Sony NEX-5T||111 mm||59 mm||39 mm||276 g||330||n||Aug 2013||699|
|Sony NEX-5R||111 mm||59 mm||39 mm||276 g||330||n||Aug 2012||749|
|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 retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The LF1 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 38 percent) than the GR, which puts it into a different market segment. 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. 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 associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Panasonic LF1 features a 1/1.7-inch sensor and the Ricoh GR an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the GR is 760 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 4.5 and 1.5. The sensor in the LF1 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 LF1 (12MP), but the GR nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.79μm versus 1.89μm for the LF1) 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 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 Panasonic LF1 are 20 x 15 inches or 50.8 x 38.1 cm for good quality, 16 x 12 inches or 40.6 x 30.5 cm for very good quality, and 13.3 x 10 inches or 33.9 x 25.4 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LF1 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 6400, which can be extended to ISO 80-12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Ricoh GR are ISO 100 to ISO 25600 (no boost).
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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 LF1 (overall score 26 points higher). The advantage is based on 2.8 bits higher color depth, 1.9 EV in additional dynamic range, and 2.2 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
| DXO |
|Nikon Coolpix A||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||23.4||13.8||1164||80|
|Panasonic GM1||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60i||22.3||11.7||660||66|
|Panasonic GF5||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60i||21.4||11.6||618||61|
|Ricoh GR II||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||23.6||13.7||1078||80|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the LF1 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 variety of features. For example, the LF1 has an electronic viewfinder (200k dots), which can be very helpful 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 following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Panasonic LF1, the Ricoh GR, and comparable cameras.
|Nikon Coolpix A||optional||n||3.0||921||fixed||n||1/2000s||4.0||Y||n|
|Ricoh GR II||optional||n||3.0||1230||fixed||n||1/4000s||4.0||Y||n|
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 LF1 is equipped with a zoom lens, while the GR comes with a built-in prime. The LF1 has a 28-200mm f/2.0-5.9 optic and the GR offers a 28mm f/2.8 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Panasonic and Ricoh provide the same view at the wide-angle end, but the Ricoh has less tele-photo reach at the long end. The LF1 offers the faster maximum aperture.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the LF1 and the GR write their files to SDXC cards. The GR supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the LF1 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.
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-LF1 and Ricoh GR and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|Nikon Coolpix A||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|Ricoh GR II||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
It is notable that the LF1 offers wifi support, while the GR does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.
The LF1 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Panasonic. In contrast, the GR has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the GR was succeeded 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 Panasonic and Ricoh websites.
So what is the bottom line? Is the Panasonic LF1 better than the Ricoh GR or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Reasons to prefer the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LF1:
- 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).
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 4 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/2.0 vs f/2.8).
- More compact: Is smaller (103x62mm vs 117x61mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 53g or 22 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
- 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.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (38 percent cheaper at launch).
Arguments in favor of the Ricoh GR:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (16.1 vs 12MP), which boosts linear resolution by 18%.
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (26 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
- Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (2.8 bits more color depth).
- More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (1.9 EV of extra DR).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (2.2 stops ISO advantage).
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1230k vs 920k dots).
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (290 versus 250) out of a single battery charge.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the match-up finishes in a tie (11 points each). 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 wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro 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 LF1 and the Ricoh GR place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Prime Lens Compact Camera listing 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 says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the LF1 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.
This is why expert reviews are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). 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.
|Panasonic LF1||+||..||4/5||..||4.5/5||Apr 2013||499|
|Ricoh GR||..||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2013||799|
|Canon G16||+||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||549|
|Canon S120||+ +||..||4.5/5||o||4.5/5||Aug 2013||449|
|Canon G15||+||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||499|
|Canon SX50||+ +||72/100||4.5/5||..||4.5/5||Sep 2012||429|
|Fujifilm XQ1||..||..||4.5/5||..||4.5/5||Oct 2013||499|
|Nikon Coolpix A||+||75/100||4/5||4.5/5||4/5||Mar 2013||1,099|
|Nikon P7800||..||..||4/5||3.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2013||549|
|Panasonic GM1||+||78/100||5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2013||749|
|Panasonic FZ200||+ +||80/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2012||599|
|Panasonic GF5||..||..||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Apr 2012||499|
|Panasonic LX7||+ +||75/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2012||499|
|Pentax MX-1||..||74/100||4/5||3.5/5||4/5||Jan 2013||499|
|Ricoh GR II||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2015||699|
|Sony NEX-5T||..||..||4.5/5||..||4.5/5||Aug 2013||699|
|Sony NEX-5R||..||..||4.5/5||..||4.5/5||Aug 2012||749|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just use the search menu below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
Specifications: Panasonic LF1 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 LF1||Ricoh GR|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||28-200mm f/2.0-5.9||28mm f/2.8|
|Launch Date||April 2013||April 2013|
|Launch Price||USD 499||USD 799|
|Sensor Specs||Panasonic LF1||Ricoh GR|
|Sensor Format||1/1.7" Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||7.6 x 5.7 mm||23.7 x 15.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||43.32 mm2||369.72 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||9.5 mm||28.4 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||12 Megapixels||16.1 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4000 x 3000 pixels||4928 x 3264 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||1.89 μm||4.79 μm|
|Pixel Density||27.70 MP/cm2||4.35 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60i Video||1080/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||80 - 6,400 ISO||100 - 25,600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||80 - 12,800 ISO||no Enhancement|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||52||78|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||20.8||23.6|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.6||13.5|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||211||972|
|Screen Specs||Panasonic LF1||Ricoh GR|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Viewfinder optional|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||200k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||920k dots||1230k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Panasonic LF1||Ricoh GR|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||10 shutter flaps/s||4 shutter flaps/s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer||Intervalometer built-in|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Panasonic LF1||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 LF1||Ricoh GR|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||250 shots per charge||290 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||USB charging|
103 x 62 x 28 mm
(4.1 x 2.4 x 1.1 in)
117 x 61 x 35 mm
(4.6 x 2.4 x 1.4 in)
|Camera Weight||192 g (6.8 oz)||245 g (8.6 oz)|
Did you notice an error on this page? If so, please get in touch, so that we can correct the information.