Ricoh GR Digital IV review

Like earlier Ricoh GRD cameras, the Ricoh GR Digital IV is understated, almost boxy in design. Despite its diminutive brick-like quality, it handles superbly.

The modest grip and its rubberised finish, along with the excellently-placed control buttons and dials mean that it's a camera that can be comfortably supported and operated using just one hand.

Ricoh GR Digital IV review

As with earlier versions, the Ricoh GR Digital IV's buttons are on the small side, with the inset control wheel (that Ricoh dubs the 'Up-down dial') positioned in front of the shutter release button being notably fiddly when you first pick the camera up.

However, it doesn't take long to adapt to the setup, and it soon proves exceptionally quick in operation.

Ricoh GR Digital IV review

In fact, use the Ricoh GR Digital IV for any length of time, and you begin to wonder why other compact cameras don't feature such a logical user interface.

On the rear of the body is a typical four-way control pad surrounding a Menu/OK button, however it's the Adjustment rocker switch ('ADJ') that sits neatly within thumb's reach on the top rim that gives truly fast access to key features.

Ricoh GR Digital IV review

Pressing this ADJ rocker brings up five control options on the rear screen. By flicking the switch left or right, you can then cycle through these options, using the up-down dial or control pad to make a selection from them.

By default, these options are white balance, ISO, picture quality, image setting and exposure metering. However, you can assign a function you use more frequently (from a range of eight) to any of these slots.

Ricoh GR Digital IV review

In addition to the playback zoom button, which can be customised to change exposure compensation or white balance (or act as a digital zoom) in shooting mode, there are two Function buttons that can be registered with up to four control options.

Three My Settings modes on the mode dial enable you to record precise camera presets for different shooting situations, too.

Ricoh GR Digital IV review

That's the thing with the Ricoh GR Digital IV: it offers an extensive array of customisation, enabling you to tailor the camera to your preferred way of shooting. The dedicated Key Custom Options menu stretches to three screens, such is the range on offer.

Ricoh GR Digital IV review

The menu system can be a little daunting at first, and many of the options may be unfamiliar. Thankfully, Ricoh is a manufacturer that continues to include a substantial manual in the box.