What is the Ricoh GR III?
The GR III is the newest top rate compact digicam in Ricoh’s vintage GR collection, which dates again to 1996.
It’s truthful to mention the sector has modified somewhat since then, however the GR vary has at all times been a novel, undying breed. While the likes of Sony and Panasonic fight it out with snazzy tool options, it’s caught to the photographic basics – a large, APS-C sensor, top of the range optics and a pocketable shape issue.
This has made the GR III’s predecessors an enormous hit with side road photographers. There’s been sturdy festival from the likes of the Fujifilm X100 and Leica Q, however not like the ones cameras the GR III ditches the viewfinder for in point of fact pocketable dimensions.
As at all times, it’s all in regards to the pleasure of what Ricoh calls “snap shooting”. But recognising that that is exactly the power of smartphones and computational images, the GR III has been given some giant upgrades, together with a brand new sensor, lens and three-axis symbol stabilisation.
So is there nonetheless a spot for a digicam just like the Ricoh GR III in 2019? I took one out at the streets of London’s Shoreditch for a few hours to determine.
Ricoh GR III – Design
Look acquainted? The GR collection has appeared necessarily the similar for the ultimate 15 years, however that’s no unhealthy factor. One main weak point of smartphones is ergonomics, and the GR III is an overly relaxed digicam to carry and use.
It’s in truth a good bit smaller than the GR II and so gentle at 257g that it’s simple to disregard you will have it with you.
On the highest is a style dial (with a to hand lock mechanism to stop unintentional turns), plus the shutter button and a wheel that allows you to simply alternate shutter pace in handbook mode.
But what’s that lacking from the highest left nook? Yes, Ricoh has got rid of the integrated flash noticed at the GR II. This has dissatisfied some GR enthusiasts (there have been even on-line petitions to get it reinstated), however it’s imaginable so as to add one by the use of the hotshoe on best. Not moderately as handy, definitely, but it surely has helped Ricoh shrink the GR III’s total footprint.
What’s arguably extra necessary is the digicam’s total really feel, and I had nice amusing the use of the GR III in my two-hour consultation. If you need to enter complete handbook mode then its two wheels will let you temporarily tweak your aperture and shutter pace.
Its menus and touchscreen also are each lovely snappy, whilst its measurement makes it highest for one-handed side road taking pictures (in particular with the added safety of that wrist strap).
It’s only a disgrace that its LCD doesn’t tilt – this can be a very helpful and now not unusual function that makes it a lot more straightforward to compose from high and low angles.
Ricoh GR III – Features and autofocus
So what’s modified within the GR III? For a digicam vary as conservative because the GR circle of relatives, moderately somewhat.
Beyond that new 24.23-megapixel sensor and f/2.8 lens are an extended record of tweaks that, whilst now not precisely blazing new photographic trails, carry the GR III on top of things with . trendy compacts.
There’s three-axis shake relief (which I didn’t in point of fact have time to check), a brand new most ISO of 102,400, a number new symbol filters together with one for HDR, and a integrated ND filter out. This allows you to cut back the volume of sunshine getting into the sensor in case you need to, as an example, use a slower shutter pace all the way through sunlight to provide the affect of movement.
Perhaps a very powerful new addition, although, is the brand new Hybrid autofocus, which provides segment detection to the standard contrast-based AF.
Despite this, in my transient time with the GR III I did to find that its autofocus did attempt to hunt somewhat on events, in a similar fashion to a contrast-only autofocus device. I additionally had some difficulties getting it to center of attention in Macro mode, which now has a decrease minimal focusing distance of 6cm.
That mentioned, in excellent gentle it most commonly centered temporarily and appropriately, and it’s excellent to peer steady monitoring autofocus has additionally now been added as an possibility. That’s to hand for nailing photographs of fast-moving topics like cyclists.
Another helpful function are its filters – there are actually ten of those, together with permutations on black-and-white, and the consequences imply you’ll be able to simply get nice JPEGs immediately out of digicam.
Ricoh GR III – Performance and symbol high quality
The GR III begins up in no time (in zero.8 seconds) and, without a want to faff round with a lens cap, it’s simple to temporarily shoot an impromptu second.
That mentioned, battery lifestyles isn’t its biggest power – after solely a few hours of taking pictures in Raw + JPEG, my battery used to be completed. Although you’ll be able to best it up by the use of the USB-C port, it’d certainly be price taking into consideration purchasing a few Ricoh DB-110 spares with the GR III.
It’s just a little early to pass judgement on photograph high quality, however up to now the GR III appears to have all of the conventional strengths of its predecessors – nice sharpness, sturdy low gentle efficiency due to that f/2.8 lens, and a few superb filter out choices.
That 28mm focal period (which Ricoh calls the “director’s eye”) additionally forces you to step nearer into scenes than you another way may with a zoom lens, which is a superb factor to observe.
If you do need to get just a little nearer to the motion, although, there are 35mm and 50mm crop perspectives, which naturally cut back your symbol measurement. Still, this can be a little more straightforward to abdomen while you’re beginning off with a 24.23-megapixel sensor, reasonably than the 16-megapixel solution of its predecessor.
- Price: £799
- Release date: March 2019
- Further data: Ricoh