Home Cameras/Lenses Ricoh Ricoh GRIII: Information needed

Ricoh GRIII: Information needed

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We are currently comparing four travel cameras, including the Ricoh GR. Has any reader bought the GRIII, perhaps as an upgrade to the GR or GRII, or even as a first toe-in-the-water purchase?

The basic convenience of the original APS-C GR continues, but the GRIII has undergone some subtle changes, including a smaller body, higher-density sensor, more compact lens, larger screen and simplified controls. Perhaps the most surprising change, though, is the inclusion of in-body stabilisation, something which is unusual on a such a compact camera sporting a wide 28mm lens.

Could this be the ideal high-performance pocket camera? How does it stack up against Leica’s Q and Q2. The target audience is similar, but the Ricoh owner has the last laugh when it comes to sticking the camera in a pocket.

If any readers have used the GRIII and can give us their impressions I would be grateful for the information. In particular, I am interested in any detailed impressions of the differences between the GR/GRII and the new camera.

Here’s what Kai Wong has to say. Let’s hope his problems are not common….

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10 COMMENTS

  1. I’m sorry Mike but I can’t comment on the GR 3 as I stick to the old model (GR 1) or the GRD 4 with its old sensor which also has image stabilization.

    Concerning the problems that the camera can’t switch on Kai Kwong’s video, there seems to be some problems sometimes with ricoh concerning that. I’ve never had any but a friend of mine bought a brand new grd 4 which did not focus properly start from scratch and a few owners of the GR1 or 2 had the same problems. I guess there must be something wrong with some series produced.
    Concerning your comparison with the Q or Q2 I think I’d comapre the GR3 with the Leica CL as both are 24 MP apsc sensors. If I needed to buy a new camera those are the 2 cameras I would consider. However For GR1 or 2 users the GR3 may take you further down the road money wise as you have to buy a new adapter for the 21mm, a new 21 mm add-on lens, new spare batteries as from what I’ve heard or read battery life seems quite poor. The only thing you can use again is the little 28mm OVF.
    Finally you can get a new GR2 for half the price of the GR3 nowadays (and the GR2 being similar to the GR1 is a pretty good camera). I remeber in one of your former articles you were also wondering if D-Lux Typ 109 owners needed to upgrade to the D-Lux 7 and if my memory is good the answer was on the “no” side. I guess the same thing applies to the new GR.
    Jean

    • Thanks, Jean. My comment about the GRIII and Q2 was based more on the concept – fixed 28mm lens, crop gimmick, stabiliser. However, I agree, the CL with the 18mm pancake is probably nearer the mark.

  2. Limited experience so far but I prefer the GR III over the II. Smaller, feels better in hand, IQ is stunning – dynamic range is stellar and B&W conversions are fantastic. Focus in low light is challenging, but I switch to snap focus. Battery life is better than I was led to believe.

    Taking it on a long weekend this weekend – always the perfect travel camera! Even when I also take other cameras for travel I still end up using the GRs most often. Might take the D-Lux 7 along this weekend too; have not decided.

    I’ll look forward to your travel camera article.

    • Some nice shots in that article, thanks. I missed this, although I normally read Hamish’s excellent site diligently. It was Hamish who have me a lot of advice and assistance on migrating Macfilos to WordPress a few months ago.

  3. Dear Mike,
    I am very keen on this camera, I would like to feel it and play before deciding to buy. I have looked in a number of places and websites. Availability seems thin at present, I have not seen one yet let alone seen anyone with stock.

    Is anyone aware of retailers in the UK with stock of the GRiii?

    • Chiswick Camera Centre had a couple earlier this week when I had a look. I think Park Cameras have them but I understand they are not stocked at London Camera Exchange. I had a look at the GRIII and the GRII for comparison purposes. The III is much nicer and a bit smaller and I think would be a worthwhile upgrade for my elderly GR. I like the revised controls, the bigger and brighter screen and the less prominent lens.

      I suspect image stabilisation is not absolutely necessary on a 28mm lens but it’s another box to tick for prospective buyers.

  4. Dear Mike,

    Thank you for the information on availability, as you mention LCE seem not to have it, Park Cameras has it as pending. It is a shame it was not at the camera show, I think Ricoh would have widened the reach of the awareness.

    I will the Chiswick Camera Centre.

    Kind regards

    Kris

    • I have had my GRIII for about a month. It replaced a GRII. A couple of observations. The additional resolution is welcomed and overall, the raw files seem to have more latitude. From an ergonomics standpoint, I think the camera has taken a bit of a step backward in terms of one-handed operation. The slightly reduced camera length and the subtle changes in the grip make one-handed operation a bit more cumbersome in my opinion. The camera isn’t as well balanced as the GRII. I rarely use it that way, but it is a noticeable difference. My main concern is build quality. While my GRIII was not impacted by the recent recall, I did end up having to have it swapped out due to the menu button. It was not set correctly and freely rotated. Anytime it was not perfectly level (the “Menu” print being perfectly straight), the button would not work. Stock in the US must not be as constrained as it is in the UK. My replacement was ordered on a Saturday and I was able to pick it up the following Tuesday.

      • Thanks, Sean. Coincidentally, yesterday my GRI suddenly refused to turn on. It has been well looked after but this is clearly an internal electrical problem. I am checking but it is probably not worth repairing. So at the moment, my worry about Ricoh quality is an influencing factor in whether to not to upgrade.

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