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Hands on: Ricoh GR III review

Ricoh GR was first launched 20 years ago … and the new GR III will be the 12th generation of this camera that was first thought under the analog era. The basics of the camera remain the same. It has a fixed wide-angle lens, corresponding to 28 mm in old 35 mm terms. This is a luxury camera, and sells itself on its small size and image quality. The GR series has a cult sequence, loved by travel photographers and street specialists, who want a camera that slides easily in your pocket. Nowadays, everyone already has a wide-angle camera with them all the time in the shape of the camera phone. So it's no surprise that Ricoh GR III has had to add more technical tricks to its armory to ensure it's still relevant in smartphone time. Ricoh GR III Features The latest digital version is packed in a decent size APS-C sensor with a 24 megapixel number. There is no anti-alias filter on the camera, but the introduction of a system for vacuuming the system means that sensor vibrations can be used as an electronic anti-aliasing filter if you need to engage this to avoid moiré problems. 1 9659002] Appealing to the serious shooter offers the GR III full 14-bit RAW shooter – but video recording is limited to Full HD (there is no 4K here). RAW files can be developed in the camera. The 18.3mm f / 2.8 lens consists of six elements in four groups – and…

Ricoh GR was first launched 20 years ago … and the new GR III will be the 12th generation of this camera that was first thought under the analog era. The basics of the camera remain the same. It has a fixed wide-angle lens, corresponding to 28 mm in old 35 mm terms.

This is a luxury camera, and sells itself on its small size and image quality. The GR series has a cult sequence, loved by travel photographers and street specialists, who want a camera that slides easily in your pocket.

Nowadays, everyone already has a wide-angle camera with them all the time in the shape of the camera phone. So it’s no surprise that Ricoh GR III has had to add more technical tricks to its armory to ensure it’s still relevant in smartphone time.

 Ricoh GR III

Ricoh GR III Features

The latest digital version is packed in a decent size APS-C sensor with a 24 megapixel number. There is no anti-alias filter on the camera, but the introduction of a system for vacuuming the system means that sensor vibrations can be used as an electronic anti-aliasing filter if you need to engage this to avoid moiré problems. 1

9659002] Appealing to the serious shooter offers the GR III full 14-bit RAW shooter – but video recording is limited to Full HD (there is no 4K here). RAW files can be developed in the camera.

The 18.3mm f / 2.8 lens consists of six elements in four groups – and has a nine-leaf membrane to help with bokeh. The fixed lens has no zoom functions, but of course it provides 35 mm and 50 mm planting positions for those who want to get closer. And there is also an extra ultraviolet screw converter (GW-4) that provides an effective focal length of 21 mm.

A new addition is a three-axis image stabilization, which gives a four-step improvement in the shutter speed that you can get away with for hand-held exposures. ISO has also been boosted to a maximum of 102,400 – which will help to cement the camera’s low light data.

Autofocus now also benefit from Hybrid AF – Usage phase detection for speed and contrast detection for accuracy. There is a macro mode that lets you focus on subjects in the 5-12cm range. And you can also focus manually – with such mod cons as focus peaking to help you do this exactly.

The camera comes with no fewer than ten image filters – all of which are customizable. Of more interest is the HDR function and an interval meter that allows you to shoot in 10-minute increments for up to 24 hours. There is an exposure mode that Ricoh tells you to overlap up to 2000 images on the same image.

Another neat trick is the provision of a built-in two-stop optical ND filter – to help you use wider apertures during video playback or to extend the shutter speed of still images.

Its connection information is strong. Bluetooth and WiFi come as standard – lets you connect the camera to your phone using Ricoh’s ImageSync app. In addition, there is a USB-C socket for data transmission and charging.

 Optional 21 mm wide-angle converter and optional locator bracket

Optional 21 mm wide-angle converter and optional locator bracket

Ricoh GR III handling

The beauty of this camera is in its size, Ricoh has gone a long way to make this smaller than its predecessor. The result is a single-handed, easy-to-use camera, making it the ultimate snapshot camera. But it has to be noted to get the camera to this size. GR III does it without making a built-in flash.

However, one weakness is that you do not have an eyelevel finder as standard (an optional one is available as plugs in hotshoe). You are therefore required to use the three-inch one million-point LCD screen behind for all compositions and settings.

This LCD screen is now touch sensitive, making it easy to choose which point to focus on, for example. However, the screen cannot be tilted, which can show a path when shooting at high or low angles – or when handling strong sunlight.

The camera offers a good range of buttons and knobs to help with the use of its full function set. For example, there are thumbwheel front and rear. And, as well as at least three customizable user modes, on the exposure mode dial, there is also a customizable function key (Fn) on the back. However, the thumb wheels do not feel very or very nicely as you might hope for on a camera at such a price.

Ricoh makes a big deal about the camera’s start time …. its Motor lens can be out and ready in just 0.8 sec when you press the On button. But you will soon notice that the camera is changing soon enough – which may prove to be a downer for those who want the camera always ready for the crucial moment.

Example gallery

 1 / 250sec at f / 7.1, ISO 200

1 / 250sec at f / 7.1, ISO 200

 1 / 60sec at f / 7.1, ISO 200

1 / 60sec at f / 7.1, ISO 200

 1 / 30sec at f / 7.1, ISO 640

1 / 30sec at f / 7.1, ISO 640

 1 / 60sec at f / 7.1, ISO 200

1 / 60sec at f / 7.1, ISO 200

 1 / 400sec at f / 7.1, ISO 200

1 / 400sec at f / 7.1, ISO 200

 1 / 400sec at f / 2.8, ISO 200

1 / 400sec at f / 2.8, ISO 200

1 / 80sec at f / 6.3, ISO 1600
The camera can focus down to 6cm, but the autofocus does not seem to be very reliable at these distances

 1 / 2500sec at f / 2.8, ISO 200

1 / 2500sec at f / 2.8, ISO 200

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Faela