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I bought this as an addition to a film SLR and it is now in my arsenal alongside a Dslr.
The picture quality is amazing for such a small camera, though the colours have a certain flatness compared to an SLR but for the size it is amazing. However at 800 ISO and above pictures can get very noisy and grainy, though I find it shoots better in low light conditions than my DSLR and I rarely use it above ISO400 even in gloomy conditions.
The controls are good, though I will admit I have not used it on all the settings as I am not a fan of auto, I prefer to use it on aperture priority which offers a good balance between artistic control and ease of use. The aperture can be set from 2.5 all the way to 9.1 which gives a wide range of creative control for such a small camera and is something I have found very useful.
The controls to change settings such as aperture and shutter speed are excellent, unlike many compact cameras you can do this by rolling wheel switched and do not need to go into an on screen menu. This gives it a feel of a more old fashioned manual camera which is something I like having learnt photography on an old film SLR as old as I am!
There is a good auto mode for the less adventurous and various programmable settings and a movie mode.
Focusing is easy and fast, you don't need to hang around half pressing the button and waiting for what seems like an age as on some compacts.
The built in flash is good, if sometimes a bit too powerful; indoor flash shots can leave people looking a bit ghostly at times.
The zoom is excellent, with little reduction in quality when zooming in.
the LCD screen is clear and a good size and the menus easy to navigate.
The battery life is excellent! it will last a good day or two of moderate shooting before recharging.
You can shoot in a mind boggling array of file sizes and image ratios, from widescreen to square (which I really like) and in varying degrees of quality, and unusually and reflective of this camera's purpose as a small snapper for off duty pros, you can shoot in RAW.
It is a solidly built camera and has survived two years of being shoved in bags without a case fine and it is easy to hold and feels like a 'proper' camera. It is reasonably small and light, though admittedly compared to many super slim compacts it appears quite bulky but the quality of the lens is worth it.
One thing which really sold me on it was the viewfinder kit (available separately but well worth it) as I find there are often times when I need a viewfinder, especially out and about when you can't always see the LCD screen well enough to frame a shot well.
Overall this is an excellent little camera and lives up to it's reputation as an 'off duty' option for pros/enthusiatic amateurs; it really isn't your run of the mill point and shoot and offers much more control than most compacts. However I would not go as far as the other reviewer in saying this replaces my SLR, don't get me wrong this is an amazing camera and I have taken some of my best photos on it, but it's not an SLR and can't quite manage SLR quality and control although it comes amazingly close.
It is expensive, but worth it as it is a professional camera in a small package.
I gave up my digital SLR (Canon 400D) for this Ricoh, it was a difficult decision, but it was done for many reasons.
The first was size. I found myself out and about a lot, forever wishing I had my 400D with me, but it was too cumbersome to carry everywhere. The second was concerts, try getting into a concert with a big SLR, not a chance.
So, with both those problems solved, the GX200 was always in my pocket and even in the month I have had it, the opportune photos have made me smile. The camera is very compact, think of a small Sony or Canon Powershot. The only things that makes this a little bigger is the lens protrudes a little from the front.
Around the back is a nice sized screen, very crisp and clear. When you rotate the camera, the image rotates too. It has an electronic level in it too, so you can sure of take square-on and level horizon shots. The menu system is really easy to navigate and the controls (although there are quite a few buttons) are superbly laid out. The top dial allows you to take photos in Auto, Manual, Program and Scene modes. You also get three sections on this top dial where you can store your favourite settings, which is really useful. The flash is on a separate slider switch, so can easily be activated or turned off.
What I really like;
The 1:1 square mode is superb. I use this to take photos for my website and they come out square. So I do not need to crop them after putting them on my Mac.
I also love the three presets for storing my settings.
Plus, the picture quality and manual controls make this feel very creative. I am not missing my digital SLR at all.
What I don't like;
The lens cap is really bad. It is not integrated, so you have to put it in your pocket when you are using the camera, or leave it dangling on the string. I spent an extra £12 on a pop open lens cover, that remains on the GX200 all the time.
This is a professional piece of kit. Produces superb photos and the battery lasts ages (about 400 photos). It was well worth spending the extra on this brand for the quality.
Note: I am the original author of this review at www.geekanoids.co.uk