Ricoh GR vs Sony A6600
The Ricoh GR and the Sony Alpha A6600 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in April 2013 and August 2019. The GR is a fixed lens compact, while the A6600 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 Sony provides 24 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 and the Sony Alpha A6600? 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 physical size and weight of the Ricoh GR and the Sony A6600 are illustrated 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 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 Sony A6600 is notably larger (13 percent) than the Ricoh GR. It is noteworthy in this context that the A6600 is splash and dust-proof, while the GR does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the GR has a lens built in, whereas the A6600 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 A6600 and their specifications in the Sony E-Mount Lens Catalog.
Concerning battery life, the GR gets 290 shots out of its DB65 battery, while the A6600 can take 810 images on a single charge of its NP-FZ100 power pack. The battery packs of both cameras can be charged via USB, 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. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|1.||Ricoh GR||117 mm||61 mm||35 mm||245 g||290||n||Apr 2013||799|
|2.||Sony A6600||120 mm||67 mm||69 mm||503 g||810||Y||Aug 2019||1,399|
|3.||Fujifilm X-T4||135 mm||93 mm||64 mm||607 g||500||Y||Feb 2020||1,699|
|4.||Leica X Vario||133 mm||73 mm||95 mm||680 g||450||n||Jun 2013||2,850|
|5.||Nikon Coolpix A||111 mm||64 mm||40 mm||299 g||230||n||Mar 2013||1,099|
|6.||Panasonic GM5||99 mm||60 mm||36 mm||211 g||220||n||Sep 2014||749|
|7.||Panasonic GM1||99 mm||55 mm||30 mm||204 g||230||n||Oct 2013||749|
|8.||Ricoh GR II||117 mm||63 mm||35 mm||251 g||320||n||Jun 2015||699|
|9.||Sony A7C||124 mm||71 mm||60 mm||509 g||740||Y||Sep 2020||1,799|
|10.||Sony A6500||120 mm||67 mm||53 mm||453 g||350||Y||Oct 2016||1,399|
|11.||Sony A77 II||143 mm||104 mm||81 mm||647 g||480||Y||May 2014||1,199|
|12.||Sony RX100 III||102 mm||58 mm||41 mm||290 g||320||n||May 2014||799|
|13.||Sony NEX-5T||111 mm||59 mm||39 mm||276 g||330||n||Aug 2013||699|
|14.||Sony RX100 II||102 mm||58 mm||38 mm||281 g||350||n||Jun 2013||749|
|15.||Sony NEX-5R||111 mm||59 mm||39 mm||276 g||330||n||Aug 2012||749|
|16.||Sony A77||143 mm||104 mm||81 mm||732 g||470||Y||Aug 2011||1,399|
|17.||Sony NEX-5||111 mm||59 mm||38 mm||287 g||330||n||May 2010||699|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. 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 A6600, 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.
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 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 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. The sensor area in the A6600 is 1 percent smaller. 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.
In terms of underlying technology, both cameras are build around CMOS sensors.
Despite having a slightly smaller sensor, the A6600 offers a higher resolution of 24 megapixels, compared with 16.1 MP of the GR. 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 3.91μm versus 4.79μm for the GR). However, it should be noted that the A6600 is much more recent (by 6 years and 4 months) than the GR, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently. 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 Sony A6600 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the A6600 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 30 x 20 inches or 76.2 x 50.8 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 24 x 16 inches or 61 x 40.6 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 20 x 13.3 inches or 50.8 x 33.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Ricoh GR 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 A6600 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.
The Ricoh GR has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Alpha A6600 are ISO 100 to ISO 32000, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-102400.
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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. Of the two cameras under consideration, the A6600 has a markedly higher DXO score than the GR (overall score 4 points higher), which will translate into better image quality. The advantage is based on 0.2 bits higher color depth, 0.1 EV of lower dynamic range, and 0.6 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 |
|4.||Leica X Vario||APS-C||16.1||4928||3272||1080/30p||23.4||12.7||1320||78|
|5.||Nikon Coolpix A||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||23.4||13.8||1164||80|
|6.||Panasonic GM5||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60p||22.1||11.7||721||66|
|7.||Panasonic GM1||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60i||22.3||11.7||660||66|
|8.||Ricoh GR II||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||23.6||13.7||1078||80|
|9.||Sony A7C||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||25.0||14.7||3407||95|
|11.||Sony A77 II||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||..||..||..||..|
|12.||Sony RX100 III||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.4||12.3||495||67|
|14.||Sony RX100 II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.5||12.4||483||67|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the A6600 provides a better video resolution than the GR. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the Ricoh is limited to 1080/30p.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the A6600 has an electronic viewfinder (2359k 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 adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Ricoh GR and Sony A6600 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|4.||Leica X Vario||optional||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/2000s||5.0||Y||n|
|5.||Nikon Coolpix A||optional||n||3.0||921||fixed||n||1/2000s||4.0||Y||n|
|8.||Ricoh GR II||optional||n||3.0||1230||fixed||n||1/4000s||4.0||Y||n|
|11.||Sony A77 II||2359||Y||3.0||1229||full-flex||n||1/8000s||12.0||Y||Y|
|12.||Sony RX100 III||1440||n||3.0||1229||tilting||n||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y|
|14.||Sony RX100 II||optional||n||3.0||1229||tilting||n||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y|
One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The GR has one, while the A6600 does not. While the built-in flash of the GR is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.The A6600 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 does not have a selfie-screen.
The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, the A6600 is one of those camera that have an additional electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).
The Ricoh GR and the Sony A6600 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.
The GR writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the A6600 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.
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 and Sony Alpha A6600 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|4.||Leica X Vario||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|5.||Nikon Coolpix A||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|8.||Ricoh GR II||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|11.||Sony A77 II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|12.||Sony RX100 III||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|14.||Sony RX100 II||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
It is notable that the A6600 offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the GR does not provide wifi capability.
The A6600 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Sony. 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 Ricoh and Sony websites.
So what is the bottom line? Is the Ricoh GR better than the Sony A6600 or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Advantages of the Ricoh GR:
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1230k vs 922k dots).
- Ready to shoot: Has a lens built-in, whereas the A6600 requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (117x61mm vs 120x67mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the A6600).
- Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in April 2013).
Arguments in favor of the Sony Alpha A6600:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (24 vs 16.1MP), which boosts linear resolution by 22%.
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (4 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (0.6 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.
- 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.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (11 vs 4 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with specialty optics.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (810 versus 290) out of a single battery charge.
- Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
- Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
- 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.
- Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
- More modern: Reflects 6 years and 4 months of technical progress since the GR launch.
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the A6600 is the clear winner of the contest (22 : 8 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 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 and the Sony A6600 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 says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the GR and the A6600 in practical situations. 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.
This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], 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||5/5||..||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2013||799|
|2.||Sony A6600||4/5||+||83/100||4.5/5||4/5||Aug 2019||1,399|
|3.||Fujifilm X-T4||5/5||+ +||..||5/5||5/5||Feb 2020||1,699|
|4.||Leica X Vario||3/5||..||..||4/5||4/5||Jun 2013||2,850|
|5.||Nikon Coolpix A||4/5||+||75/100||4/5||4/5||Mar 2013||1,099|
|6.||Panasonic GM5||3.5/5||+||77/100||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||749|
|7.||Panasonic GM1||3/5||+||78/100||5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2013||749|
|8.||Ricoh GR II||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2015||699|
|9.||Sony A7C||3.5/5||..||86/100||4/5||4/5||Sep 2020||1,799|
|10.||Sony A6500||5/5||+ +||85/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2016||1,399|
|11.||Sony A77 II||4/5||..||80/100||4.5/5||5/5||May 2014||1,199|
|12.||Sony RX100 III||5/5||+ +||82/100||4.5/5||5/5||May 2014||799|
|13.||Sony NEX-5T||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||699|
|14.||Sony RX100 II||5/5||+ +||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2013||749|
|15.||Sony NEX-5R||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2012||749|
|16.||Sony A77||5/5||91/100||81/100||..||5/5||Aug 2011||1,399|
|17.||Sony NEX-5||3/5||+ +||71/100||4.5/5||4/5||May 2010||699|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date 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? 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.
Specifications: Ricoh GR vs Sony A6600
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||Sony A6600|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||28mm f/2.8||Sony E mount lenses|
|Launch Date||April 2013||August 2019|
|Launch Price||USD 799||USD 1,399|
|Sensor Specs||Ricoh GR||Sony A6600|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.7 x 15.6 mm||23.5 x 15.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||369.72 mm2||366.6 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.4 mm||28.2 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||16.1 Megapixels||24 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4928 x 3264 pixels||6000 x 4000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.79 μm||3.91 μm|
|Pixel Density||4.35 MP/cm2||6.55 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/30p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 25,600 ISO||100 - 32,000 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||100 - 102,400 ISO|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||78||82|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||23.6||23.8|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||13.5||13.4|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||972||1497|
|Screen Specs||Ricoh GR||Sony A6600|
|Viewfinder Type||Viewfinder optional||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2359k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||1230k dots||922k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Tilting screen|
|Touch Input||no Touchscreen||Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Ricoh GR||Sony A6600|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||On-Sensor Phase-detect|
|Manual Focusing Aid||no Peaking Feature||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/4000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||4 shutter flaps/s||11 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||no E-Shutter||YES|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||Intervalometer built-in|
|Image Stabilization||no shake reduction||In-body stabilization|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||no On-Board 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||Sony A6600|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||YES HDMI|
|Microphone Port||no MIC socket||External MIC port|
|Headphone Socket||no Headphone port||Headphone port|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||no NFC||NFC built-in|
|Bluetooth Support||no Bluetooth||Bluetooth built-in|
|Body Specs||Ricoh GR||Sony A6600|
|Environmental Sealing||not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||290 shots per charge||810 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||USB charging|
117 x 61 x 35 mm
(4.6 x 2.4 x 1.4 in)
120 x 67 x 69 mm
(4.7 x 2.6 x 2.7 in)
|Camera Weight||245 g (8.6 oz)||503 g (17.7 oz)|
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