GR III coming in 2017?

Started Nov 8, 2016 | Discussions thread
Tom Caldwell Forum Pro • Posts: 35,607
Re: GR III - where to now?

Harold66 wrote:

georg f wrote:

while it would be no surprise to anyone if ricoh uses that proven sensor, this fact doesn't omit the possibility that ricoh puts the next generation of sensors into a new GR.

The possibility exists but it is so unlikely. Ricoh NEVER put a brand new sensor in its G camera simply because they have to buy the sensor from third party vendors and they probably get a better price that way. Not going to happen

2 years old is a long time in the digital market. ricoh did act conservative in some choices of hardware, but nevertheless, sensors with 2 stops more ISO sensitivity not only do exist right now, but even are in consumer products since nearly 2 years already, so in a way time is due that the GR adapts the technically possible, being a flagship model of it's niche. many users would highly benfit from that.

This seems farfetched. The real question is : what do you think is the improvement between the current 16 mp sensor and the 24mP sensor ?


If I can jump in to support Harold with my own point of view.

Ricoh has had the happy knack of never quite directly superseding the earlier principal design ethic. Therefore an old GRD/GR can remain in use for many years after it has been technically superseded.

For instance the main attributes of earlier GRD/GR bodies that have kept them young over the years:

GRD, GRDII - these were simple operation cameras with a get-it-done attitude. Flawed in many ways they were very habit forming as Ricoh actually made a compact camera that was designed for serious users. They did not mess around with such nicities as noise reduction and the original GRD produced unique grainy black and white images that are still very worth while whilst the overdone noise reduction of rival products looked "pasty" and other cameras of that era have long since been forgotten.

GRDIII, GRDIV - these cameras suddenly became standout technical cameras - firmware was like a labyrinth, but had become very powerful, the human interface had kept pace, the "accidental" genius of the rocker lever control was now standardised as a "Ricoh feature" and The real smarts of the GRD was that Ricoh made a professional level camera in a compact camera format that was otherwise dominated by cheaper easy-cameras for the casual consumer market. The lens was redesigned and was now faster.

There was little to compare between the first base design and the second other than the basic shape and intent.

The GR, GRII - made another tangential move - now the advantages of a serious size sensor was tapped. The complex firmware was retained and a few little-use functions from the GXR series added - such as the multi-type focus peaking (which is good but one might wonder how much it is used on a camera whose MF capabilities are meagre) - at least Ricoh allows Focus Peaking in AF mode so that DoF can be visualised. Magnified in Mode2 the precise points of focus selected can be readily seen.

Setting up and using focus peaking on a GR was so obscure that I had to draw myself a diagram as to how to get back out of it again

In any case the GR is such a different camera that it does not replace my GRDIV close focus mavin with its additonal carry-advantage of being physically smaller.

To my mind the GR is a fixed-lens compressed-size version of the GXR with 28mm module.

Where next for Ricoh?

Well the demise of the GXR left a big hole in the replaceable lensed mirrorless line up that Ricoh/Pentax offered. Since the unfortunate K-01 Ricoh/Pentax has abandoned the growth area of the camera body market. All the innovation of the GXR concept is locked up in their patents and not translated into a market product.

Unfortunately Ricoh carries the burden of being regarded as an "odd" niche manufacturer and we can only speculate on whether they are willing to re-open the GXR niche or continue their long term love affair with he GRD/GR type. However from my reckoning there is not a lot of milage left in the development of the GR to enable a new wonder-camera named the GRIII to truly amaze us - simply more refinement of the well regarded GR - but such a GRIII would be breaking the Ricoh tradition of delighting us with every second model issue.

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Tom Caldwell

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