GRiii or Sony RX 100VI/VA

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
MrHollywood Senior Member • Posts: 2,978
Objective Observations

vallhall wrote:


I debatting with myself what camera i should buy. I have to buy based on user reviews, because i live far away from any dealers with these cameraes.

I only view pics on my screens, i dont print!.

I love the EVF on the RX, because i need glasses to use the LCD screens. That said the GR has bigger sensor, but i am not sure if i going to see any difference on my screens?.

I even have problem to tell my GX8 apart from my smartphone on the screens.

Could someone help me here?

Thanks in advance

You've already received some very good answers, so let me add to the confusion!

1) Sensor: Assuming you know how to handle a camera fairly well, the difference between the sensors is much smaller than you might expect. Sensor tech has closed these gaps considerably over the years. That said, in absolute terms, the GR sensor gives you MORE control over DOF, better high ISO and a bit more resolution. This is the main win for the GR cameras. The GRIII sensor also has roughly 1.5 to 2 stops of DR advantage, but that doesn't translate to much. DR of both cameras is excellent and isn't going to cost a good shooter any shots. Still, it's a win for the GR.

2) Off/On: If being able to whip out a camera and have it instantly ready, the GR wins again. The Sony takes longer to turn on...long enough for a snake to crawl away!

3) Handling: This is hugely personal. Frankly I can handle both cameras equally well. I'd still give the GR the win though.

4) Framing: The GR has a non-articulated rear LCD. I added the optical viewfinder, which helped. The Sony has superior rear LCD that is actually articulated. Most importantly, the Sony has a fully implemented electronic 100% viewfinder that clearly shows me what I'm about to shoot. It's amazing. Even though the rear LCD is excellent on the Sony/GR, I still can't see them in bright light. But I can use the Sony's EVF even with sunglasses on. So if composition is a big deal to you, the Sony wins here in a very big way.

5) Lens: Oh boy! How do we honestly compare the Zeiss 24-200mm zoom to the Ricoh's 28mm prime? Both are fast at 2.8. The Sony VA is faster than BOTH. This really comes down to what you want to shoot. If you're mainly doing scenic and street, the 28mm might not feel limiting. But everywhere else the Sony is more versatile and the optics are outstanding. So with one Sony you get a faster wider lens and with the other you get a lens that's also 2.8, but also capable of 200mm at 4.5. Since all of these are properly sharp I think Sony wins this particular battle because versatility is generally king. After owning the GRII for a while I ended up feeling "trapped" at 28mm too often. I also shoot portraits, wildlife, sports etc. But even group shots often work better at 65mm. Sony wins overall, GR wins for the 28mm range. Anyone can make a sensible argument for THIER choice.

6) Auto Focus: Let's not undersell how important this is. The Sony has one of the best AF systems in ANY camera right now. At times it seems better than my D850! The GR is way below this, but you have to decide if the GR is "good enough." For me it generally worked and I didn't shoot a lot of dark scenes. But if you want a camera with the better AF, the Sony takes the win.

7) Video: I won't get into it. The Sony 4K video is not just good; it's ridiculously good and a lot of fun to play with. The GR doesn't do well here. Sony wins.

8) Flash: The Sony has a built in flash and it can be tilted back for bounce and works well for fill. Flash is useful if you understand how to take advantage of it. The GR has a hotshoe and that enables you to use a better flash than the built in Sony version.

9) Files and Color Science: Both cameras give RAW and JPEG options. I don't trust that Sony's not "cooking" their RAW files just a bit as they're not quite as neutral as I'd expect. I never loved the GR handling of colors and still don't. I think Sony has finally gotten closer to Nikon and Canon and finally has good colors. This is very subjective, but I'm a stickler for color on my twin calibrated monitors...Sony wins.

10) Portability: Are we kidding? The Sony is a bit smaller overall, but the GR is a bit thinner. They're both actually TOO small and I liked the size of the GRII and GRI better. I added a cage and grip to my RX100 VI because it's too small. I don't put unsealed cameras into pockets. I use clean bags and Pelican storage cases ALWAYS. A tiny bag is far better that any pocket, safer and can carry a battery or two. But these are both equally portable and pocketable if you must.

So which camera is "better" really comes down to what you want to do. If I was mainly a street shooter, the GR would still be with me. But I shoot a lot more subjects that the GR can't do at all. At the same time the Sony can do virtually everything the GR can. Yes, sometimes the GR will do them better, but the differences are smaller that some would like to believe.

In my view Sony has pushed the latest RX100 cameras well into the GR game, while the GR cannot play where the Sony can AT ALL. That's the big takeaway for most people.

If the GR had a viewfinder, better AF and perhaps a faster lens, it would have greater merit.

BOTH are excellent cameras and it's up to YOU to decide which will get you closest to the type of shooting you want to enjoy.


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