Ricoh GR IV - £435/$600
Considering it's the most expensive camera in this group, the Ricoh's build feels a little bit plasticky, but is nevertheless based on a tough magnesium alloy body. It's also extremely light, being barely more than half the weight of the Canon or Nikon cameras on test.
The Ricoh GR IV is the outright smallest camera in the group too, although this is mainly because it has a fixed lens, rather than a zoom. Many photographers will find the absence of a zoom lens quite limiting, as you're stuck with an effective 28mm focal length.
A wide-angle conversion lens is available as an optional extra, bringing the focal length down to 21mm, but telephoto shooting is off the menu. Having said that, there is a digital zoom facility that offers up to 4x magnification, but this is a poor alternative to optical zoom.
Other limitations include the inability to shoot simultaneously in raw and JPEG modes. This is something that's available in every other camera here. There's also no built-in viewfinder to be found on this camera, although an optical finder that clips into the hotshoe is available as an optional extra.
On the plus side, the Ricoh GR IV boasts a new hybrid autofocus system that combines the regular contrast detection of other compact cameras with a separate autofocus sensor. Ricoh claims that autofocus performance is twice as fast as with the older GR III.
New to the GR line is a sensor-shift stabilisation system that works reasonably well, but just isn't quite as effective as the optical equivalents used in all the other cameras in this group - with the exception of the Olympus model.
Rather disappointingly, the hybrid autofocus isn't noticeably faster than with any of the other cameras on test, although a 'quick snap' mode enables you to apply a preset focus distance. Making use of this feature means that you are able to take autofocus out of the equation. Overall image quality is good, but certainly not great.
The GR IV tends to under-expose high-contrast scenes to avoid blown highlights. As a result, pictures can end up looking a bit gloomy.
Despite having a prime rather than zoom lens, resolution is only average, falling midway between the excellent Fujifilm and under-achieving Nikon.
ISO 200 at 100%
ISO 3200 at 100%
There's very little image noise at sensitivity settings between ISO 80-200, but it's noticeable at ISO 400 and very poor at ISO 3200.
Lifelike colour rendition is reflected by one of the most impressive lab test scores for colour accuracy in the whole group.
Image test verdict
Frequent under-exposure can give images something of a dull and muted look, and image noise becomes a real problem at high ISO settings.
Read our Ricoh GR IV review