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Ricoh GR II vs Sony HX90V

The Ricoh GR II and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX90V are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in June 2015 and April 2015. Both the GR II and the HX90V are fixed lens compact cameras that are based on an APS-C (GR II) and a 1/2.3-inch (HX90V) sensor. The Ricoh has a resolution of 16.1 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 18 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Ricoh GR II VS Sony HX90V
Ricoh GR II Sony HX90V
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
28mm f/2.8 24-720mm f/3.5-6.4
16.1 MP, APS-C Sensor 18 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor
1080/30p Video 1080/60p Video
ISO 100-25600 ISO 80-3200 (80-12800)
Viewfinder optional Electronic viewfinder (638k dots)
3.0" LCD, 1230k dots 3.0" LCD, 921k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Tilting screen (not touch-sensitive)
4 shutter flaps per second 10 shutter flaps per second
320 shots per battery charge360 shots per battery charge
117 x 63 x 35 mm, 251 g 102 x 58 x 36 mm, 245 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Ricoh GR II and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX90V? 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

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Ricoh GR II and the Sony HX90V. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Ricoh GR II vs Sony HX90V
Compare GR II versus HX90V top
Comparison GR II or HX90V rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony HX90V is notably smaller (20 percent) than the Ricoh GR II. Moreover, the HX90V is slightly lighter (2 percent) than the GR II. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the GR II nor the HX90V are weather-sealed.

Concerning battery life, the GR II gets 320 shots out of its DB65 battery, while the HX90V can take 360 images on a single charge of its NP-BX1 power pack. 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. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Ricoh GR II» 117 mm 63 mm 35 mm 251 g 320 n Jun 2015 699 iRicoh GR II
 
Sony HX90V« 102 mm 58 mm 36 mm 245 g 360 n Apr 2015 429 iSony HX90V
 
Canon G7 X« » 103 mm 60 mm 40 mm 304 g 210 n Sep 2014 699iCanon G7 X
 
Fujifilm X70« » 113 mm 64 mm 44 mm 340 g 330 n Jan 2016 799iFujifilm X70
 
Nikon P900« » 140 mm 103 mm 137 mm 899 g 360 n Mar 2015 599iNikon P900
 
Panasonic GM5« » 99 mm 60 mm 36 mm 211 g 220 n Sep 2014 749iPanasonic GM5
 
Ricoh GR« » 117 mm 61 mm 35 mm 245 g 290 n Apr 2013 799iRicoh GR
 
Sony HX99« » 102 mm 58 mm 36 mm 242 g 370 n Aug 2018 449 iSony HX99
 
Sony RX100 V« » 102 mm 58 mm 41 mm 299 g 220 n Oct 2016 999 iSony RX100 V
 
Sony RX100 IV« » 102 mm 58 mm 41 mm 298 g 280 n Jun 2015 999iSony RX100 IV
 
Sony HX400V« » 130 mm 93 mm 103 mm 660 g 300 n Feb 2014 499 iSony HX400V
 
Sony RX100 III« » 102 mm 58 mm 41 mm 290 g 320 n May 2014 799iSony RX100 III
 
Sony RX100 II« » 102 mm 58 mm 38 mm 281 g 350 n Jun 2013 749iSony RX100 II
 
Sony NEX-5R« » 111 mm 59 mm 39 mm 276 g 330 n Aug 2012 749iSony NEX-5R
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as 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 HX90V was launched at a markedly lower price (by 39 percent) than the GR II, 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.

 

Sensor comparison

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Ricoh GR II features an APS-C sensor and the Sony HX90V a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The sensor area in the HX90V is 92 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 5.6. The sensor in the GR II has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the HX90V offers a 4:3 aspect.

Ricoh GR II and Sony HX90V sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the HX90V offers a higher resolution of 18 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 1.25μm versus 4.79μm for the GR II). 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 neither of the two cameras has an anti-alias filter installed, so they are able to capture all the detail the sensor resolves.

The Ricoh GR II has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX90V are ISO 80 to ISO 3200, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 80-12800.

GR II versus HX90V MP

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"). The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
Ricoh GR II APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.613.7107880Ricoh GR II
 
Sony HX90V 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36721080/60p........Sony HX90V
 
Canon G7 X 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p23.012.755671Canon G7 X
 
Fujifilm X70 APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p........Fujifilm X70
 
Nikon P900 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60p........Nikon P900
 
Panasonic GM5 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60p22.111.772166Panasonic GM5
 
Ricoh GR APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.613.597278Ricoh GR
 
Sony HX99 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36724K/30p........Sony HX99
 
Sony RX100 V 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.458670Sony RX100 V
 
Sony RX100 IV 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.659170Sony RX100 IV
 
Sony HX400V 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........Sony HX400V
 
Sony RX100 III 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.412.349567Sony RX100 III
 
Sony RX100 II 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.512.448367Sony RX100 II
 
Sony NEX-5R APS-C 16.0 4912 32641080/60i23.713.191078Sony NEX-5R

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the HX90V provides a faster frame rate than the GR II. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the Ricoh is limited to 1080/30p.

 

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the HX90V has an electronic viewfinder (638k 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 Sony HX90V in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('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
Camera
Model
 
Ricoh GR IIoptional n 3.0 1230 fixed n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n Ricoh GR II
 
Sony HX90V638 n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y Sony HX90V
 
Canon G7 Xnone n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 6.5 Y Y Canon G7 X
 
Fujifilm X70optional n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 Y n Fujifilm X70
 
Nikon P900921 n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 7.0 Y Y Nikon P900
 
Panasonic GM51166 n 3.0 921 fixed Y 1/500s 5.8 n n Panasonic GM5
 
Ricoh GRoptional n 3.0 1230 fixed n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n Ricoh GR
 
Sony HX99638 n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y Sony HX99
 
Sony RX100 V2359 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 1/2000s 24.0 Y Y Sony RX100 V
 
Sony RX100 IV2359 n 3.0 1228 tilting n 1/2000s 16.0 Y Y Sony RX100 IV
 
Sony HX400V210 n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/4000s 10.0 Y Y Sony HX400V
 
Sony RX100 III1440 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y Sony RX100 III
 
Sony RX100 IIoptional n 3.0 1229 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y Sony RX100 II
 
Sony NEX-5Roptional n 3.0 920 tilting Y 1/4000s 10.0 n n Sony NEX-5R
The HX90V has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies. In contrast, the GR II does not have a selfie-screen.

The Ricoh GR II 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 HX90V is equipped with a zoom lens, while the GR II comes with a built-in prime. The HX90V has a 24-720mm f/3.5-6.4 optic and the GR II offers a 28mm f/2.8 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Sony provides a wider angle of view at the short end, as well as more tele-photo reach at the long end than the Ricoh. The GR II offers the faster maximum aperture.

The GR II writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the HX90V uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s.

 

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 Ricoh GR II and Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX90V and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Ricoh GR IIYstereomono--micro2.0YY-Ricoh GR II
 
Sony HX90V-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony HX90V
 
Canon G7 X-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Canon G7 X
 
Fujifilm X70YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--Fujifilm X70
 
Nikon P900-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Nikon P900
 
Panasonic GM5Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--Panasonic GM5
 
Ricoh GRYmonomono--micro2.0---Ricoh GR
 
Sony HX99-stereomono--micro2.0YYYSony HX99
 
Sony RX100 V-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony RX100 V
 
Sony RX100 IV-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony RX100 IV
 
Sony HX400VYstereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony HX400V
 
Sony RX100 III-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony RX100 III
 
Sony RX100 IIYstereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony RX100 II
 
Sony NEX-5RYstereomono--mini2.0Y--Sony NEX-5R

It is notable that the GR II has a hotshoe, while the HX90V does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.

Travel and landscape photographers will find it useful that the HX90V has an internal geolocalization sensor and can record GPS coordinates in its EXIF data.

Both the GR II and the HX90V are recent models that are part of the current product line-up. The HX90V replaced the earlier Sony HX50V, while the GR II followed on from the Ricoh GR. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Ricoh and Sony websites.

Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Ricoh GR II and the Sony HX90V? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Reasons to prefer the Ricoh GR II:

  • Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
  • Richer colors: The pixel size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
  • More dynamic range: Larger pixels capture a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Larger pixels means good image quality even under poor lighting.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1230k vs 921k dots).
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/2.8 vs f/3.5).
  • Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.

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Advantages of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX90V:

  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/30p).
  • Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 4 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
  • More compact: Is smaller (102x58mm vs 117x63mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (360 versus 320) out of a single battery charge.
  • Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
  • Easier geotagging: Features an internal GPS sensor to log localization data.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (39 percent cheaper at launch).

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the HX90V emerges as the winner of the match-up (11 : 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.

GR II 09:11 HX90V

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Ricoh GR II and the Sony HX90V place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Prime Lens Compact Camera and Best Superzoom 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 incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the GR II or the HX90V perform in practice. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.

Expert reviews

This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera 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.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cam
era
  labs  
dp
re
  view  
e
photo
  zine  
ima
ging
resource
photo
graphy
  blog  
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Ricoh GR II....4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 699 iRicoh GR II
 
Sony HX90V+ +..4/5..4.5/5 Apr 2015 429 iSony HX90V
 
Canon G7 X+ +77/1004.5/53.5/54.5/5 Sep 2014 699iCanon G7 X
 
Fujifilm X70..76/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Jan 2016 799iFujifilm X70
 
Nikon P900..77/1004/54.5/54/5 Mar 2015 599iNikon P900
 
Panasonic GM5+77/1005/55/54.5/5 Sep 2014 749iPanasonic GM5
 
Ricoh GR..79/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Apr 2013 799iRicoh GR
 
Sony HX99....4/5..4.5/5 Aug 2018 449 iSony HX99
 
Sony RX100 V+ +83/1004/55/54.5/5 Oct 2016 999 iSony RX100 V
 
Sony RX100 IV+ +85/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 999iSony RX100 IV
 
Sony HX400V+ +..4/5..4/5 Feb 2014 499 iSony HX400V
 
Sony RX100 III+ +82/1004.5/54.5/55/5 May 2014 799iSony RX100 III
 
Sony RX100 II+ +79/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jun 2013 749iSony RX100 II
 
Sony NEX-5R....4.5/5..4.5/5 Aug 2012 749iSony NEX-5R
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. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Ricoh GR II:
Check Amazon price
Sony HX90V:
Check Amazon price

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make your choice using the following search menu. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.

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    Specifications: Ricoh GR II vs Sony HX90V

    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 Ricoh GR II Sony HX90V
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 28mm f/2.8 24-720mm f/3.5-6.4
    Launch Date June 2015 April 2015
    Launch Price USD 699 USD 429
    Sensor Specs Ricoh GR II Sony HX90V
    Sensor Technology CMOS BSI-CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor 1/2.3" Sensor
    Sensor Size 23.7 x 15.6 mm 6.17 x 4.55 mm
    Sensor Area 369.72 mm2 28.0735 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 28.4 mm 7.7 mm
    Crop Factor 1.5x 5.6x
    Sensor Resolution 16.1 Megapixels 18 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4928 x 3264 pixels 4896 x 3672 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.79 μm 1.25 μm
    Pixel Density 4.35 MP/cm2 64.04 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video 1080/60p Video
    ISO Setting 100-25600 ISO 80-3200 ISO
    ISO Boost no Enhancement 80-12800 ISO
    Image Processor GR Engine V BIONZ X
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 80 ..
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 23.6 ..
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 13.7 ..
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 1078 ..
    Screen Specs Ricoh GR II Sony HX90V
    Viewfinder Type Viewfinder optional Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Resolution 638k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 1230k dots 921k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Tilting screen
    Shooting Specs Ricoh GR II Sony HX90V
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidNo Peaking FeatureFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/4000/s 1/2000/s
    Continuous Shooting 4 shutter flaps/s 10 shutter flaps/s
    Time-Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer built-inno Intervalometer
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards MS or SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-I UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Ricoh GR II Sony HX90V
    External Flash Hotshoe no Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port micro HDMI micro HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in NFC built-in
    Geotagging no internal GPS GPS built-in
    Body Specs Ricoh GR II Sony HX90V
    Battery Type DB65 NP-BX1
    Battery Life (CIPA)320 shots per charge360 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging USB charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 117 x 63 x 35 mm
    (4.6 x 2.5 x 1.4 in)
    102 x 58 x 36 mm
    (4.0 x 2.3 x 1.4 in)
    Camera Weight 251 g (8.9 oz) 245 g (8.6 oz)

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