Sony RX100M3 versus Ricoh GR.

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phazelag
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Sony RX100M3 versus Ricoh GR.
1 month ago

I am posting this because for me these two cameras fit in my pocket and provide high image quality.  Some people won't see the value of the comparison, but I think many who may not like the the High DOF look of RX100M3 images should consider the Ricoh.  I also think people who just want to fun camera should consider the Ricoh as an option.

Last week I shared some photos I took with my RX100M3 at Knott's Berry Farm.  Since we are local and have season passes, we went again yesterday.  Believe it or not, sometimes its nice to just not feel something in my pockets, so I took the Ricoh which is lighter and slimmer in my pocket.  The Sony is only a few ounces heavier, but feels much heavier in a pocket than the Ricoh.  I am guessing its because it disperses the weight better and doesn't have the lens pushing as far onto your pocket.

I am not a guy who is biased by a brand, but I will admit that the Ricoh is my favorite camera.  I did find a lot of areas where I prefer the Sony though.

I am going to list some pros an cons of each and post a few of my favorite photos of each from this these two trips but if you have more interest you can view the two different galleries I will post.  I tried to duplicate some similar shots, but this was not scientific at all.

Most of my opinions are subjective, but I did put some thought into why one camera my have a strength or weakness, but I won't explain all of those unless asked.

Here are my observations

1.  The Sony has an EVF, but LCD screen is not as good the Ricoh in bright light.  I think its important to note the Ricoh is designed so well to be shot with one hand on the go, so its genius wouldn't wouldn't be realized if your always holding to your face in my opinion.  Many Ricoh users do want an EVF though.  I rarely miss having the EVF on the Ricoh.

2. The Sony is better at Autofocus especially close up or on continuous shooting with compared to the Ricoh wide open, but the Ricoh gets better at stopped down.  Shot to Shot AF can be better with the Ricoh because of its unique setup.  You can use a half press on the shutter for Multi Focus, the Back button AEL/AFL with your thumb, or a hard press on the shutter for predetermined SNAP focus range that is displayed on a DOF gauge on the LCD.  So if you take the time to learn and practice with the GR, shot to shot focusing can and is faster and more precise.  However for portraits Sonys Eye-AF with a back button push is very good and more useful than a gimmick.

3. The Sony Continuous shooting speed and buffer for both .raw and Jpeg is better.

4. I notice on the July 4th the Ricoh makes nicer stars on lights or the sun, than either my RX10 or RX100M3.  The Ricoh Lens is sharp edge to edge, even when using the 21mm Tele converter.

5. Both cameras have built in ND filters and both have manual or auto mode and this is a cool feature on both.

6. I prefer having the options of scene modes for some occasions with the Sony, but changing settings on the Ricoh is just as quick using a high end DSLR so I don't miss them too much.  But because of this I would not recommend the Ricoh who is not used to shooting in manual or aperture priority and adjusting the exposure compensation.

I think people would be surprised at how good the Sony Sports Scene mode is for going quickly from light to dark, like on the coal mine train ride or log ride.  The Sony would take great shots outdoors, and would bump the ISO up to 12800 as soon as the mildly fast train moved into the dark.  My eyes dont accommodate that fast.

Since the Ricoh didn't have this mode.  I used Speed Priority and Auto High ISO, limiting it to 12800 and set the shutter between 1/30th and 1/50th.  The Sony balanced ISO and Shutter much easier for me in this condition.  I know Ricoh users will point out the TAV mode which should act this way, but I don't have it figured out yet.  Its easier to just use sports on the Sony

7. Both cameras are great in Low light, but the Ricoh JPEGS can be great or smeared.  With both cameras if light is low, I will shoot in .RAW.  The cool part of the Ricoh is that you can shoot in just .raw and with two click make a .jpeg on command.  Part of my love with the Ricoh besides the excellent image quality, the amazing user interface, and menu system is the ability to develop the .raws with lots of really cool options.  I find I prefer this to using Lightroom, unless I used super high ISO in low light and want to see which option gives a better image.

I wish the Sony would allow the Picture effects and Jpegs to be created from the Raw files like the Ricoh.  The Ricoh allows me to do some fun creative editing while riding home, or just killing time on a trip.

8. WiFi.  The Ricoh doesn't have WiFi, but use my Eye-Fi card and the menu has options to control it. The Sony WiFi system is good, but for camera control the Panasonic app I have with my LF1 is better and allows more actual control over the camera.

9. Battery life seems better on the Sony for sure, but I also hadn't recently charged the Ricoh batteries before leaving.

9. Lastly I will cover zoom.  I know most people have a hard time imagining not having a zoom on a camera.  I two like options and its why I have the RX100M3.  But honestly I only long for zoom in 1 out of hundred shots in a situation like this.  The 28mm focal length is great and it will cause you to get more creative.  I find that even though I like the option its rarely the the 3x zoom that makes or breaks a shot.  I feel that moving to primes except for birds and sports has dramatically improved my skills and creativity.  But I get it, zooms are hard to resist and I have some!

I love both cameras and will use both for a long time, but I have said many times if I could only have 1 camera for the rest of my life it would be the Ricoh GR.  Its just that fun and the images are unique in a way I love.  Luckily I for time being I don't have to choose, so I am keeping both.

Here are two galleries:  Sony http://www.scottzinda.com/Trips/Knotts-Summer-2014/

Ricoh http://www.scottzinda.com/Trips/Knotts-2nd-trip-2014/

Here are my longer term galleries of each:

http://www.scottzinda.com/Point-and-Shoot-Cameras/Sony-RX100-Mark-3/

http://www.scottzinda.com/Point-and-Shoot-Cameras/Ricoh-GR/

Here are my two favorite shots from the Knotts trip with each camera.  The Sony first then the Ricoh.

 phazelag's gear list:phazelag's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 Sigma DP3 Merrill Ricoh GR Panasonic Lumix DMC-LF1 RX100 III +2 more
RX100 III
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