We finally had a nice day where I had time to go out and get some pictures for the 2nd part of my color comparison. This time between the Ricoh GRD I, GRD II, GX100 and the Panasonic LC1.
All cameras were set to ISO 100, A-priority f5 and f4.8 on the GX100 respectively. I shot JPG only at the highest quality. The JPG settings for the Ricohs were all Contrast -2, Sharpness +1 and Color Depth +1, the LC1 had everything set to normal apart from Contrast to low. While I prefer my images to be quite contrasty, I use a low contrast setting in-camera to preserve highlights.
Lets start with the pictures and I will comment on each:
The GRD I has the correct red in this image but a slight blueish cast in the greens, the LC1 managed to get the most detail in the leaves while the GX100 has the highest noise in the shadows but more details in the phone booth.
You can see the blueish cast the GRD I produces best in this picture. It is easy to get around the problem by just selecting daylight or shade WB but I left it on Auto since I wanted to show this. The blueish cast is probably also the reason why the GRD I produces the best ‘Ricoh Blue’.
This is a difficult one, the LC1 produced the warmest colors but they are not really a representation of the real colors. The GRD I produces the overall best image with low noise n the shadows and very good colors. The GRD II has indeed the best colors but also the highest smearing in the leaves. Finally the GX100 has the highest detail and sharpest image but the noise is very visible and it looks like a grey cast over the image, setting the Contrast higher will take care in part of it but will blow highlights easier.
This is interesting in so far as the LC1 i the only camera that got the correct color of the flowers. All Ricoh cameras rendered them with too much blue and the GRD I just turned the purple flowers to blue flowers. This seems to be something with the GRDs as both have more blue in them then the GX100. Ricoh mentioned trying to get the blue color of the sky very accurate in the GRD processing so this could be responsible here.
This is a very interesting picture and the only one shot at ISO 400. I was quite surprised by the result. The LC1 has quite a lot color noise in there, while the GRD II smeared away all the noise and detail and the GX100 shows again the most noise. The GRD I is very good and shows hardly and noise while it preserved most details. The GRDs also preserved the highlights best and you can see some of the sky in there while both the GX100 and LC1 have blown the highlights completely.
This is a normal shot on the street but shows as before that the GX100 has the lowest dynamic range so needs EV -0.3 constantly dialed in (something I did not do on purpose for this test). The GRD I again has the best colors and nicest blue in the sky. The smearing of the GRD II is actually not too bad in this image and it does not stand out much.
I will leave it up to you to evaluate the individual images but it is the same as before. The GRD I offers best overall image, the LC1 has metered it differently but has a high dynamic range but some splotchy noise in the shadows, the GRD II has the worst smearing and least detail, the GX100 offers the sharpest and most detailed image but at the cost of high noise in the shadows although it is mostly luminance noise.
The conclusion is more difficult this time. Overall the big surprise was the GX100 that managed to have very sharp and detailed pictures but suffers from high noise and low dynamic range. The GRD I while it produces occasionally a blueish cast had in almost all pictures the most true to life colors. Not surprisingly the LC1 had the highest dynamic range and most details when it comes to leaves but has quite a lot of color noise in the shadows. The GRD II is as expected very capable but only when used in RAW since the JPGs are overall very disappointing and did not stand out at all other than due to the smearing of details.