Ricoh GR II vs Samsung NX1
The Ricoh GR II and the Samsung NX1 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in June 2015 and September 2014. The GR II is a fixed lens compact, while the NX1 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. Both cameras are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Ricoh has a resolution of 16.1 megapixels, whereas the Samsung provides 28 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 Ricoh GR II and the Samsung NX1? 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 Ricoh GR II and the Samsung NX1. 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.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Samsung NX1 is considerably larger (92 percent) than the Ricoh GR II. It is noteworthy in this context that the NX1 is splash and dust-proof, while the GR II does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the GR II has a lens built in, whereas the NX1 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup.
The battery packs of both cameras can be charged via USB, which can be very convenient when travelling.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. 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.||Ricoh GR II||117 mm||63 mm||35 mm||251 g||320||n||Jun 2015||699|
|2.||Samsung NX1||139 mm||102 mm||66 mm||550 g||500||Y||Sep 2014||1,499|
|3.||Canon G7 X||103 mm||60 mm||40 mm||304 g||210||n||Sep 2014||699|
|4.||Fujifilm X70||113 mm||64 mm||44 mm||340 g||330||n||Jan 2016||799|
|5.||Fujifilm X-Pro2||141 mm||83 mm||46 mm||495 g||350||Y||Jan 2016||1,699|
|6.||Fujifilm X-T2||133 mm||92 mm||49 mm||507 g||340||Y||Jul 2016||1,599|
|7.||Nikon D5300||125 mm||98 mm||76 mm||480 g||600||n||Oct 2013||799|
|8.||Panasonic GM5||99 mm||60 mm||36 mm||211 g||220||n||Sep 2014||749|
|9.||Ricoh GR||117 mm||61 mm||35 mm||245 g||290||n||Apr 2013||799|
|10.||Samsung NX500||120 mm||64 mm||43 mm||287 g||370||n||Feb 2015||799|
|11.||Sony RX100 III||102 mm||58 mm||41 mm||290 g||320||n||May 2014||799|
|12.||Sony A7||127 mm||94 mm||48 mm||474 g||340||Y||Oct 2013||1,699|
|13.||Sony NEX-5R||111 mm||59 mm||39 mm||276 g||330||n||Aug 2012||749|
|14.||Sony NEX-5N||111 mm||59 mm||38 mm||269 g||460||n||Aug 2011||699|
|15.||Sony NEX-C3||110 mm||60 mm||33 mm||225 g||400||n||Jun 2011||599|
|16.||Sony NEX-3||117 mm||62 mm||33 mm||297 g||330||n||May 2010||599|
|17.||Sony NEX-5||111 mm||59 mm||38 mm||287 g||330||n||May 2010||699|
|Note: 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 manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The GR II was launched at a lower price than the NX1, despite having a lens built in. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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.
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. 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, but their sensors differ slightly in size. They nevertheless have the same format factor of 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
Despite having a slightly smaller sensor, the NX1 offers a higher resolution of 28 megapixels, compared with 16.1 MP of the GR II. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 3.63μm versus 4.79μm for the GR II). Moreover, it should be noted that the GR II is a somewhat more recent model (by 9 months) than the NX1, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that neither of the two cameras has an anti-alias filter installed, so they are able to capture all the detail the sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Samsung NX1 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the NX1 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 32.4 x 21.6 inches or 82.3 x 54.9 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 25.9 x 17.3 inches or 65.8 x 43.9 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 21.6 x 14.4 inches or 54.9 x 36.6 cm. The corresponding values for the Ricoh GR II are 24.6 x 16.3 inches or 62.6 x 41.5 cm for good quality, 19.7 x 13.1 inches or 50.1 x 33.2 cm for very good quality, and 16.4 x 10.9 inches or 41.7 x 27.6 cm for excellent quality prints.
The NX1 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.
The Ricoh GR II has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Samsung NX1 are ISO 100 to ISO 25600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-51200.
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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"). The Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar imaging performance. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|1.||Ricoh GR II||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||23.6||13.7||1078||80|
|3.||Canon G7 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||23.0||12.7||556||71|
|8.||Panasonic GM5||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60p||22.1||11.7||721||66|
|11.||Sony RX100 III||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.4||12.3||495||67|
|12.||Sony A7||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.8||14.2||2248||90|
|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 NX1 provides a better video resolution than the GR II. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, 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 NX1 has an electronic viewfinder (2360k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the GR II relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the GR II can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the GV-1. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Ricoh GR II and Samsung NX1 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|1.||Ricoh GR II||optional||n||3.0 / 1230||fixed||n||1/4000s||4.0/s||Y||n|
|2.||Samsung NX1||2360||Y||3.0 / 1036||tilting||Y||1/8000s||15.0/s||Y||n|
|3.||Canon G7 X||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||6.5/s||Y||Y|
|4.||Fujifilm X70||optional||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||8.0/s||Y||n|
|5.||Fujifilm X-Pro2||2360||n||3.0 / 1620||fixed||n||1/8000s||8.0/s||n||n|
|6.||Fujifilm X-T2||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||n||1/8000s||8.0/s||n||n|
|7.||Nikon D5300||optical||n||3.2 / 1037||swivel||n||1/4000s||5.0/s||Y||n|
|8.||Panasonic GM5||1166||n||3.0 / 921||fixed||Y||1/500s||5.8/s||n||n|
|9.||Ricoh GR||optional||n||3.0 / 1230||fixed||n||1/4000s||4.0/s||Y||n|
|10.||Samsung NX500||none||n||3.0 / 1036||tilting||Y||1/6000s||9.0/s||Y||n|
|11.||Sony RX100 III||1440||n||3.0 / 1229||tilting||n||1/2000s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|12.||Sony A7||2400||n||3.0 / 1230||tilting||n||1/8000s||5.0/s||n||n|
|13.||Sony NEX-5R||optional||n||3.0 / 920||tilting||Y||1/4000s||10.0/s||n||n|
|14.||Sony NEX-5N||optional||n||3.0 / 920||tilting||Y||1/4000s||10.0/s||n||n|
|15.||Sony NEX-C3||optional||n||3.0 / 920||tilting||n||1/4000s||5.5/s||n||n|
|16.||Sony NEX-3||optional||n||3.0 / 920||tilting||n||1/4000s||7.0/s||n||n|
|17.||Sony NEX-5||optional||n||3.0 / 920||tilting||n||1/4000s||7.0/s||n||n|
|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 NX1 has a touchscreen, while the GR II has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.
The Ricoh GR II and the Samsung NX1 both have 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 GR II and the NX1 write their files to SDXC cards. The NX1 supports UHS-II cards (on its first slot), while the GR II can use UHS-I 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 Ricoh GR II and Samsung NX1 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Ricoh GR II||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|2.||Samsung NX1||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||3.0||Y||Y||Y|
|3.||Canon G7 X||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|4.||Fujifilm X70||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|5.||Fujifilm X-Pro2||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|6.||Fujifilm X-T2||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||3.0||Y||-||-|
|7.||Nikon D5300||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|8.||Panasonic GM5||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|9.||Ricoh GR||Y||mono / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-|
|10.||Samsung NX500||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|11.||Sony RX100 III||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|12.||Sony A7||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|13.||Sony NEX-5R||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|14.||Sony NEX-5N||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|15.||Sony NEX-C3||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|16.||Sony NEX-3||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|17.||Sony NEX-5||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
It is notable that the NX1 has a microphone port, which can help to improve the quality of audio recordings by attaching an external microphone. The GR II does not feature such a mic input.
The GR II is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Ricoh. In contrast, the NX1 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). There has not been a direct replacement model for the NX1 from Samsung. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Ricoh and Samsung websites.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Ricoh GR II or the Samsung NX1 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Advantages of the Ricoh GR II:
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1230k vs 1036k dots).
- Ready to shoot: Has a lens built-in, whereas the NX1 requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (117x63mm vs 139x102mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the NX1).
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 9 months after the NX1).
Reasons to prefer the Samsung NX1:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (28 vs 16.1MP), which boosts linear resolution by 32%.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (0.3 stops ISO advantage).
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/30p).
- Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- Better sound control: Has a headphone port that enables audio monitoring while recording.
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- Easier setting verification: Features a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (15 vs 4 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with specialty optics.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (500 versus 320) out of a single battery charge.
- Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
- Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (3.0 vs 2.0).
- Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
- Faster buffer clearing: Supports a more advanced SD data transfer standard (UHS-II vs UHS-I).
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in September 2014).
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the NX1 is the clear winner of the contest (19 : 6 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding 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 Ricoh GR II and the Samsung NX1 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Prime Lens Compact Camera and Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the GR II or the NX1 perform in practice. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.
This is where reviews by experts come in. 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.||Ricoh GR II||..||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2015||699|
|2.||Samsung NX1||5/5||..||..||87/100||5/5||5/5||Sep 2014||1,499|
|3.||Canon G7 X||4/5||+ +||..||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||699|
|4.||Fujifilm X70||4.5/5||..||..||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2016||799|
|5.||Fujifilm X-Pro2||..||+||..||83/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2016||1,699|
|6.||Fujifilm X-T2||5/5||+ +||..||86/100||4.5/5||5/5||Jul 2016||1,599|
|7.||Nikon D5300||4/5||+ +||..||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2013||799|
|8.||Panasonic GM5||3.5/5||+||..||77/100||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||749|
|9.||Ricoh GR||5/5||..||..||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2013||799|
|10.||Samsung NX500||4.5/5||..||..||81/100||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||799|
|11.||Sony RX100 III||5/5||+ +||..||82/100||4.5/5||5/5||May 2014||799|
|12.||Sony A7||5/5||+ +||..||80/100||5/5||5/5||Oct 2013||1,699|
|13.||Sony NEX-5R||..||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2012||749|
|14.||Sony NEX-5N||3/5||+ +||..||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2011||699|
|15.||Sony NEX-C3||3/5||+ +||..||74/100||4.5/5||4/5||Jun 2011||599|
|16.||Sony NEX-3||..||..||..||70/100||4.5/5||4/5||May 2010||599|
|17.||Sony NEX-5||3/5||+ +||..||71/100||4.5/5||4/5||May 2010||699|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
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 use the search menu below. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
- Canon 2000D vs Ricoh GR II
- Canon G5 X Mark II vs Samsung NX1
- Canon G9 X vs Samsung NX1
- Canon R5 vs Samsung NX1
- Canon SX610 vs Samsung NX1
- Fujifilm X20 vs Ricoh GR II
- Fujifilm X20 vs Samsung NX1
- Leica S Typ 007 vs Samsung NX1
- Leica V-LUX 2 vs Ricoh GR II
- Nikon D7500 vs Ricoh GR II
- Panasonic FZ2000 vs Ricoh GR II
- Ricoh GR II vs Sony H200
Specifications: Ricoh GR II vs Samsung NX1
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||Ricoh GR II||Samsung NX1|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||28mm f/2.8||Samsung NX mount lenses|
|Launch Date||June 2015||September 2014|
|Launch Price||USD 699||USD 1,499|
|Sensor Specs||Ricoh GR II||Samsung NX1|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.7 x 15.6 mm||23.5 x 15.7 mm|
|Sensor Area||369.72 mm2||368.95 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.4 mm||28.3 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||16.1 Megapixels||28 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4928 x 3264 pixels||6480 x 4320 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.79 μm||3.63 μm|
|Pixel Density||4.35 MP/cm2||7.59 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/30p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 25,600 ISO||100 - 25,600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||100 - 51,200 ISO|
|Image Processor||GR Engine V||DRIMe 5|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||80||83|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||23.6||24.2|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||13.7||13.2|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||1078||1363|
|Screen Specs||Ricoh GR II||Samsung NX1|
|Viewfinder Type||Viewfinder optional||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2360k dots|
|Top-Level Screen||no Top Display||Control Panel|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||1230k dots||1036k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Tilting screen|
|Touch Input||no Touchscreen||Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Ricoh GR II||Samsung NX1|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||On-Sensor Phase-detect|
|Manual Focusing Aid||no Peaking Feature||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/4000s||1/8000s|
|Continuous Shooting||4 shutter flaps/s||15 shutter flaps/s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||Intervalometer built-in|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||Single UHS-II|
|Connectivity Specs||Ricoh GR II||Samsung NX1|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 3.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Microphone Port||no MIC socket||External MIC port|
|Headphone Socket||no Headphone port||Headphone port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||NFC built-in||NFC built-in|
|Bluetooth Support||no Bluetooth||Bluetooth built-in|
|Body Specs||Ricoh GR II||Samsung NX1|
|Environmental Sealing||not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||320 shots per charge||500 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||USB charging|
117 x 63 x 35 mm
(4.6 x 2.5 x 1.4 in)
139 x 102 x 66 mm
(5.5 x 4.0 x 2.6 in)
|Camera Weight||251 g (8.9 oz)||550 g (19.4 oz)|
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