Ricoh Ricoh GR III

MoonMind

Hall of Famer
Dec 29, 2013
124
Switzerland
Matt
Okay, to sum up my observations from the sideline: IQ is there (colour, resolution, DR - all good), control over file properties is there as well, in spades; AF is at least as good as in the original, though certainly not class leading (though I'd think it'd beat the Fuji X100F from what I've seen - at least in reasonable circumstances); deploy times are impressively fast, built quality is not quite on the same level as the original, but still very good. Add I.B.I.S./dust removal and touch functionality (if you care for the latter), and you've got the GR III in a nutshell - oh, not to forget, it's even smaller than the original ... It's becoming ever harder for me to resist, to be honest.

I'd really like to see more low light images if someone can be bothered to provide some - from RAW, preferrably. I don't need crazy high ISO values - solid images up to ISO 3200 would suit me fine. To put my interest into some kind of perspective: The original delivers up to ISO 1600 in my eyes, though colours are already pretty problematic at that point; high contrast b&w makes it possible to go one or two steps up - as is to be expected, since the same is true for a camera as old as the Leica M8.

M.
 

ggweci

Veteran
Feb 2, 2013
104
Toronto, Canada
Craig
@MoonMind Agree with everything you've written. The only real negative for me is the low light AF - it really does struggle a lot. But, for my use case, that is a small percent of my shooting. I use it mostly for quick family snaps and street shooting when out and about. Daylight AF is good, but I usually use Snap Focus for the instant capture.

Also, I am VERY impressed with the IBIS. Works like a champ. I know most say it's not needed for this wide of a FOV, but it does help. I also have pretty shaky hands, so for me personally, it's a great assistance.

Regarding the touchscreen, it's cool for image review and picking an AF point when in single point AF. Haven't used it for much else, mostly because I forget about it.

I haven't taken many high ISO shots, but I'll check my files to see what's in some of my initial test images.
 

MoonMind

Hall of Famer
Dec 29, 2013
124
Switzerland
Matt
@MoonMind Agree with everything you've written. The only real negative for me is the low light AF - it really does struggle a lot. But, for my use case, that is a small percent of my shooting. I use it mostly for quick family snaps and street shooting when out and about. Daylight AF is good, but I usually use Snap Focus for the instant capture.

Also, I am VERY impressed with the IBIS. Works like a champ. I know most say it's not needed for this wide of a FOV, but it does help. I also have pretty shaky hands, so for me personally, it's a great assistance.

Regarding the touchscreen, it's cool for image review and picking an AF point when in single point AF. Haven't used it for much else, mostly because I forget about it.

I haven't taken many high ISO shots, but I'll check my files to see what's in some of my initial test images.
It's a bit ironic in many ways - I find the GR perfectly fine for daylight shooting, but marginal at night in terms of IQ; if IQ on the III is there, I might be able to work around the AF issues - which might be worth it simply because of I.B.I.S. ... Sometimes, I get the impression the camera isn't half-baked, it's a tad overdone (i.e. had they stuck with the old AF system and tweaked it, I might be less hesitant). But of course, they had to move with the times, hybrid AF is the rage nowadays ...

My main goal was to state that overall, it looks a fine camera. The biggest "but" is that the original still is, too.

M.
 

Lightmancer

Super Moderator
Aug 13, 2011
164
Sunny Frimley
Bill Palmer
Well, my brand new GR II has arrived... It's all that I want. I had my original GR since May 2013 (the original receipt was in the box) and I sold it on for 60% of what I paid. My old accessories - battery, filter adaptor, thumbrest - fit the new body, and I'm finding the much-derided WiFi app to work well.

I honestly can't see myself upgrading (downgrading? sidegrading?) for another five or six years...
 

agentlossing

Veteran
Mar 23, 2015
69
Andrew Lossing
Well, my brand new GR II has arrived... It's all that I want. I had my original GR since May 2013 (the original receipt was in the box) and I sold it on for 60% of what I paid. My old accessories - battery, filter adaptor, thumbrest - fit the new body, and I'm finding the much-derided WiFi app to work well.

I honestly can't see myself upgrading (downgrading? sidegrading?) for another five or six years...
Enjoy! I wish I could have hung onto my GR II as well... but I may pick up a used GR someday if I can find one very cheap, and perform any needed dust removal myself. I do really like the gritty high-ISO look of that sensor.

But the GR III is a worthy evolution in every way.
 

agentlossing

Veteran
Mar 23, 2015
69
Andrew Lossing
Another user review out: Ricoh GR III Review - Marius Masalar

Mostly positive, but a stuck lens cover. I look at those delicate lens cover blades like I did with the GR II, wondering if I should get one of those optical glass covers that adhere to the outside of the lens assembly, or if I would just dislike it for taking away from IQ or adding flare, etc.
 

Lightmancer

Super Moderator
Aug 13, 2011
164
Sunny Frimley
Bill Palmer
Another user review out: Ricoh GR III Review - Marius Masalar

Mostly positive, but a stuck lens cover. I look at those delicate lens cover blades like I did with the GR II, wondering if I should get one of those optical glass covers that adhere to the outside of the lens assembly, or if I would just dislike it for taking away from IQ or adding flare, etc.
Rest assured it doesn't. I have had one on my last three GRs. They do the job.
 

Biro

Super Moderator
Aug 7, 2011
124
Jersey Shore
Steve
Thanks, Serhan. Basically what I already thought: A very nice camera that, in typical Ricoh/Pentax fashion, is behind the times when it comes to autofocus and video. And has terrible battery life. Still, like my current GR, it's a capable tool for certain situations. But I don't think I'll be upgrading until the price comes down quite a bit - assuming a better alternative doesn't come to market.
 

agentlossing

Veteran
Mar 23, 2015
69
Andrew Lossing
I'd really like to see more low light images if someone can be bothered to provide some - from RAW, preferrably. I don't need crazy high ISO values - solid images up to ISO 3200 would suit me fine. To put my interest into some kind of perspective: The original delivers up to ISO 1600 in my eyes, though colours are already pretty problematic at that point; high contrast b&w makes it possible to go one or two steps up - as is to be expected, since the same is true for a camera as old as the Leica M8.
DPR has their studio comparison scene up for more high ISO perusal. It's very clear when comparing the X100F that Ricoh, for whatever sensor pre-processing they do, doesn't tone down the grain. It gets very grainy to the X100F's smoothing. I like that, it gives the GRs their gritty feel and it is so much nicer for a tack-sharp lens to be complemented with grainy detail-rich high-ISO than for all that detail to be murdered by smoothing.

All in all, with more time to shoot, I'd say this GR is a GR, they did not change what made people happy about the previous couple iterations, just added a lot of subtle and not-so-subtle improvements, and the major flaws that are just plain physics, like battery life and slowish AF (given the construction of the lens for focus) are still present. When the PDAF works, it's much faster than the GR II. But you can tell that the contrast detect takes over in a lot of cases and it's not very fast. So I think there's firmware fine-tuning that can help that.

The good news is, it's as authentically a GR as any of them, and hats off to the stubborn designers over at Ricoh for sticking to this formula so doggedly.
 

agentlossing

Veteran
Mar 23, 2015
69
Andrew Lossing
Here's an example of a gritty nighttime shot at ISO 6400, with both the default JPEG (positive film style) and a processed RAW. First the JPEG:
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

Not that bad, though even with noise reduction set to off, there's definitely loss of detail (due to compression? Pre-processing to reduce noise?).

Here is a RAW with some editing applied in LR and PE9, with luminance NR applied in LR at 31 strength, default settings. I think the NR actually does a good job in this case preserving details:
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)



And here's the same image processed, but without any NR:
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

Interestingly, the NR processed version shows no noticeable penalty to detail that I can see, and still preserves the graininess present, while taking the edge off of it just a little. I don't think I'd ever try to edit an underexposed, low-light shot like this at ISO 6400 to try and be noise-free, but it's nice to see I have some leeway within the grainy look.

Speaking from my gut, I'd say a similarly exposed shot with the GR II would have looked almost this grainy at ISO 1600, with more detail loss.
 

serhan

All-Pro
May 7, 2011
124
NYC
Latest firmware of "RICOH GR III" released

The list of fixes:
  • Improved the AF performance in dark places and low contrast.
  • Supported the connection of Image Sync:
    • Please use with Image Sync version (2.0.4) or later.
    • With Image Sync version (2.0.4), you can only view and transfer images via wireless LAN connection.
  • Improved the stability of the overall operation.
The update is performed by copying the firmware downloaded from the website to an SD card (GR III formatted, 32 MB capacity or more) and operating with a charged battery or AC adapter kit.
 
Last edited:

agentlossing

Veteran
Mar 23, 2015
69
Andrew Lossing
The firmware update really does help low light focus speed! It's not a speed demon, but it cuts hunting and focus range scanning way down. Bravo to Ricoh for pushing something out so fast!
 

drd1135

Zen Snapshooter
Jul 13, 2011
124
Lexington, Virginia
Steve
The firmware update really does help low light focus speed! It's not a speed demon, but it cuts hunting and focus range scanning way down. Bravo to Ricoh for pushing something out so fast!
This camera line has been a success for them. If they can fix the operational problem with the III then the IQ will sell it to the enthusiasts.
 

agentlossing

Veteran
Mar 23, 2015
69
Andrew Lossing
This camera line has been a success for them. If they can fix the operational problem with the III then the IQ will sell it to the enthusiasts.
I don't think the GR III will ever compare against the fastest AF among the competition, because it's made for absolute IQ and that includes moving a larger group of optical glass to obtain focus, as opposed to designing a bigger lens with an additional element just for focusing, which would likely subtract a little IQ in addition to adding bulk/weight. That's why Ricoh includes snap focus, after all. Enthusiasts have always had to put up with quirks with the GR series, I've gathered (as someone who only joined the GR cult with the GR II).
 

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