GR III coming in 2017?

Started Nov 8, 2016 | Discussions thread
Tom Caldwell Forum Pro • Posts: 35,680
Re: The GRIII could also be the GXRII

Archiver wrote:

Tom, interesting how you have assembled a set of body/lens combinations, and as much of a diehard Ricoh fan you are, you have embraced the Panasonic GM1/5 cameras. The GM cameras are excellent, and I hope Panasonic haven't abandoned that line.

Strangely I don't care.  I have multiple GM1 and GM5 bodies and can waltz out on a mission with (say) three bodies each with a different lens on board.  More or less the dream of many Ricoh fans just a few years ago who had the idea that several GR bodies each with a fixed lens of its own would be most excellent.  I simply made my own and I have not been unhappy with that course of action.

I always thought that it would be possible to put GXR mount rails on a body similar in size to the GR and that the LM mount module idea could be replicated for other mounts.  In fact that the GXR "experiment" was abandoned right about the time that it was about to be accepted.  I liked the idea of "multiple cameras" instead of swapping lenses.

Furthermore it is hard to see how the GM cameras can be improved in anything but detail other than inserting a more dense sensor.  I am quite happy with what my GM bodies produce and for once am not biting my nails wondering what wonders the next camera body might bring.  Notably if I have more than one body of a type then I have multiple bodies to update should I decide to do so.  But "small, simple, can do it all" is not a bad formula and I seem to have finally found the long-term solution.  16mp is good enough for my photographic needs.

As time passes the GR looks more and more the cusp of the development of the GR and further progress may be more like shifting the deckchairs.  But if Ricoh makes a new "must have" camera then I am still a willing devotee.  But my first comment is still very apt: "just how many 28mm fixed prime lens cameras does one need?"  I have the best of the bunch already and I am not into scrapping them: GRD, GRDIV, GR.

I have several GXR bodies as well but I find that their biggest drawback is the lack of a useful capture buffer.  Even the GM camera bodies have to be pushed very hard indeed before they outrun their buffer.

While it doesn't have the rich image quality of the GR, it really does come close, and is more versatile due to the number of lenses available to it.

The GR III is likely to be something like:

- 28mm f2.5 or f2 lens (might be longer than current)

If might manage to squeeze a collapsing 28mm f2.0 lens with aps-c image circle into a GR body without making the body larger.  Good luck if they can - I hold myself ready to be amazed.  They have already abandoned the GRD extra close focus capability.

One of the rather strange unsaid features of Ricoh-wishing is that those that wish to see a lens of another focal length automatically think that Ricoh can always make it collapse as small as the 28mm version.  Ricoh showed the limitations of their lens dimension capabilities with the GXR modules.  The 50mm macro was a very fine lens but grafting it on to the GR would make it quite a different camera.  Likewise the fine A16 zoom module lens would be "interesting" in front of a GR body.

- 24mp Sony sensor, no AA filter, with better high ISO performance

- assorted Effects that emulates a few types of film stock

- WiFi and touchscreen

- craptacular video mode as usual for Ricoh

As much as it would be great to have a viewfinder, the size of the screen would seem to prevent it.

Panasonic took a Ricoh-like bold step in removing the flash unit and reducing (!) the size of the lcd in order to fit a quite effective evf in a camera body that is still smaller than the GR body.  But of course as soon as you fit any lens other than a body-cap type on the GM series it is bigger (at repose) than the GR.  Strangely whilst I own both GM1 and GM5 bodies these days I hardly notice the difference in lcd size when swapping between them.

Sheer size of the lcd is a bit illusionary - as long as it is good enough to do its job that is all that is all that is required.  I never thought that I would like a touch screen either but Panasonic has done a thoroughly good "adult" job with theirs. Adding five extra configurable touch function keys to the screen has allowed Panasonic to provide a considerable amount of user configuration in these bodies without burdening it with awkward constructs of buttons and wheels.

I still think that Ricoh provides the most user friendly interface and the most thorough set of firmware in the business, but I am not at all unhappy with what Panasonic offers.

It took me three days to get through their manual and configure my first GM1 to my satisfaction - this is a powerful little beast with high configurability and uses what was the mainstream 4/3 sensor of its day.

24mp sensor with no AA filter will mean great cropping capabilities, and a crop mode that goes to 50mm.

What I'd love to see are decent video quality, in-body stabilization, and a multi-aspect ratio use of the sensor which enables the use of a f2 lens that is the same size as current.

I am not a fan of video and what video is offered means little to me.  All Panasonic lenses that needed stabilisation have it built in.  Even the little very compact kit 12-32 is stabilised.  The hardest thing I find about the M4/3 crowd is that they insist on talking "true" focal lengths and not FF equivalent field of view - therefore that lens is 24-64 in "Ricoh talk".

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Archiver - Loving Every Image Captured Always

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Tom Caldwell

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