After mentioning it quite often on my blog and in forums, I thought it time to really see how the GRDs compare for black and white images. There is a lot of talk about the special quality of the GRD I when used in b&w mode, some even bought the camera only to use it in b&w. While I believe the b&w jpgs the GRD I produces are the best and was disappointed by the poor jpgs the GRD II produces, I think it is time to do a test and see how good they really are. Can I get the same quality out of the GRD II when using RAW and what about the LC1 jpgs?
Since it was Sunday and the weather nice, I decided to go out and find out. I set all cameras to A-mode and f5.6 at ISO 100 with EV -0.3. The GRD I and II jpgs were processed in camera with Contrast +2 and sharpness +1 since this is how I use it. The GRD II jpgs are foe me unusable so I ignore them completely but decided to post them anyway. To make the test more interesting I use the LC1 in-camera jpgs that are created with the RAW files but are higher compressed then the best quality jpgs. I tried whenever possible to get exact the same scene (this is why I haven’t used any of the street shots I took at Greenwich market) and used the same focus options. This is not a test of the pure quality of the cameras so I won’t pixel peep and look at 100% crops but more at full size images or larger crops.
A few interesting things I noticed that have nothing to do with this test:
– The GRD I seems least sensitive and constantly chose the slowest shutter speed,
– The GRD II underexposed a few shots without any apparent reason,
– The LC1 seems most sensitive and chose the fastest shutter speed,
– The lens of the GRD II seems to capture slightly more then the GRD I or LC1 at 28mm.
I hear you say, all nice and well but what about the pictures? Here are the pictures, all except the GRD II RAWs unprocessed and out of the camera jpgs.
1. I still prefer the GRD I jpgs and can always point them out straight away.
2. I messed up the RAW conversions and instead of going for the GRD I look I went for higher tonality so will re-do this and re post the images.
3. The GRD II RAW files have the highest dynamic range together with the LC1, that is still a bit better.
So this said and done I will re-do the RAW tests tomorrow and work more for the GRD I look. If you want to have a go at the files yourself and compare the output yourself download the files here.