GR3 More first impressions

Started Mar 19, 2019 | Discussions thread
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axlotl Senior Member • Posts: 2,034
GR3 More first impressions

My GR3 arrived to day in Sydney. I have done formal tests of lens quality and high ISO noise levels plus hundreds of photos out and about. Also have done a lot of low light AF testing.

Here are some quick takes:

Battery: Quick to run down and slow to recharge. Two spares will be about right I think. But guess what after the longest new release foreplay in camera history it appears the DB-110 is not yet available.

Lens: Resolution/sharpness is slightly better than the GR2 and about equal to the Canon RF 35mm macro at f2.8.

Corner shading is prominent in Raw files at f2.8, worse than the GR2.

Autofocus: In most light levels the GR3 focuses slightly faster than the GR2.

In very low light the GR3 slows down significantly but will be accurate if pointed at something the AF system can register.

The Lumix G85 and EOS RP are much faster in low light.

For all general photography indoors and outdoors the AF is slightly faster than the GR2.

Manual focus: I tried this. The process is so tedious and the peaking so difficult to read that I will not be using MF.

Controls: A new learning curve. with many differences from the GR2.  I need to do more work on this.

Touch screen: This works as advertised and you can move the AF area with the touch screen or the D-Pad buttons or both if you wish. Or you can set up the left button on the D pad to initiate AF area moving with the 4 way buttons just like the GR2.  Press OK to recenter the AF area.

AF Lock: This is readily available on he GR2 simply by pressing the AFL button. I use this frequently on the GR2 and my Lumix G85.

But on the GR3 this facility is lost . You can set the Fn button to AF+AE lock but not AF lock alone. The AE part of that can be set to hold but not the AF part.

So the best way to get focus on a set distance is to use Snap. Which is workable but I find it bizarre in 2019 that the best way to lock in a set focus distance is to guess that distance (which you have to do for Snap) .

This is vital for street photography where people are constantly moving in and out of the frame at varying distances from the camera but I want the focus distance to stay unchanged.

Outdoor view: Monitor brightness can be boosted for bright light outdoors, to enable the image preview and data to be visible. Unfortunately it appears one has to use three button presses for this.

Monitor screen:  The GR2 locates key camera data on a black background beneath the image preview, where the data is easy to see.  The GR3 overlays the data on the lower part of the image preview where it is more difficult to see.

High ISO noise: my tests between ISO 3200 and 6400 show the GR3 has about 0.5 stops less noise at matched output file size than the GR2.  So the GR3 is better but not by as much as I seem to remember Ricoh having claimed.

Overall: The camera is responsive and makes very good pictures. But so does the GR2 and by the way, lots of other cameras.

Is the GR3 a "must buy" ?

For the  GRist faithful, maybe.

For the rest............?


Panasonic G85
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