The Ricoh GR III. It’s compact, it’s stealthy, it’s incredible in quality — the Ricoh GR III has undoubtedly been a hot topic for photographers of all calibers. After hearing much about it, I decided to get my hands on it to see what this camera brings to the table.
Unfortunately, due to COVID and California wildfires, I wasn’t able to capture typical “street” photos. However, I still had the chance to experience the camera in all its might.
Is it truly different? How good is it?
Who is the Ricoh GR III made for?
When buying a camera, most people have a couple of deciding factors in their mind, such as whether they like interchangeable lenses or if they want something more flexible. If flexibility and multiple lenses are a requirement for you, then unfortunately, the Ricoh GR III isn’t the camera for you.
That doesn’t mean it’s a bad camera. From my experience, the Ricoh GR III is a dainty camera that’s portable and easy to use. Compared to bigger DSLRs or other bulky cameras, this little guy is light and compact.
I took this APS-C compact out and about to shoot in a range of settings. It resulted in some very high-quality images. The often sweaty, exhausting and the “neighborhood giving weird looks” walk simply vanished. The Ricoh GR III’s non-intimidating size had really proven itself.
The process wasn’t completely straight forward though, mostly because the camera had a 28mm fixed wide-angle lens. Since it is not possible to zoom in and out using the camera, you have to physically walk closer or further depending on the frame. The camera came with a touch screen to help us navigate through its intuitive menu, but it wasn’t tilt-able. And as we know, un-tilted screens are difficult to navigate, especially when used in harsh daylight.
Given its price point, the camera is considered very luxurious for its size. The camera does not come with a built-in flash to aid your shoots. But it does have a boosted ISO to a maximum of 102,400. Although this doesn’t fully compensate for the built-in flash, it does help you when shooting in low-light conditions.
But here’s the exciting part. The Ricoh GR III has more in store for street photographers. It allows you to change the camera profile while using it directly. The colors were pleasant and marvelous to look at. Snapping with this camera feels really rewarding because of the snap focus feature. This feature allows you to focus on a set distance whenever you hard-press the shutter. Pair this with its built-in IBIS system, and results are just mesmerizing.
The Ricoh GR III has excellent stabilization, which allows you to catch precise photos even if — let’s say — your hands moved while taking the picture. The handling of the camera feels good and fits in nicely in my hands.
- It has a less intimidating camera that allows you to photo subjects without drawing suspicion.
- Lenses that can fixate on a preset distance create images with incredible quality.
- Allows shooting in RAW or JPEG, giving you further flexibility when editing.
- It is a bit on the pricier side for most.
- The camera has no built-in flash, which means you have to spend additional money on an external flash.
- The screen’s tilt is fixed, making shoots uncomfortable during harsh daylight.
- A fixed lens that forces you to move closer or further rather than zooming in and out.
see the Ricoh GR III as one of the better street photography cameras on the market. If you are willing to buy something not flexible to be used in other scenarios, then go for it. But if you are someone searching for the most bang for your buck, I don’t recommend the Ricoh GR III for you.
For the latest pricing and availability of the Ricoh GR III, visit B&H Photo.