A Peculiar Compromise

Started 1 month ago | User reviews thread
ForumParentFirstPrevious
Flat view
Jambavan Forum Member • Posts: 66
A Peculiar Compromise
3

The Ricoh GR III was my first camera. I mostly wanted something for landscape, macro and architecture, so a wide-angle lens was important to me. At the time I bought it, I wasn't sure if photography would be my thing. I didn't want to lug around heavy gear and I preferred something that I could easily slip into any pocket. I also wanted a relatively large sensor, so that the raw files had ample dynamic range to play with in raw development.

In short, the Ricoh GR III is exactly what I wanted: a wide-angle lens, an aps-c sensor, lightweight and ridiculously small. If it were weather-sealed I would leave it in my jacket and take it everywhere, anytime. The pictures that I make are so ridiculously sharp, that my new Nikon Z6 with the 24-70 f/4 kit lens cannot keep up in that regard. The sharpness is really one of the best things about this camera. It also doesn't flare easily - I've shot many a sunrise and sunset, I've shot street lanterns at night, and haven't seen any lens flare. I also haven't noticed chromatic aberrations. Barrel distortion is acceptable to me, I only correct it when the picture has straight lines - otherwise it's not really noticeable.

But I also have some gripes, so let me sum it up in a list:

pro:

  • incredibly sharp lens, with little to no lens flaring or chromatic aberration
  • aps-c sensor
  • image stabilization allows for slower shutter speeds while hand-held
  • so small it fits in (nearly) any pocket
  • lightweight
  • relatively easy to handle, fun to work with, feels good in my hands
  • after lots of post-processing, stunning image quality in most cases

so-so:

  • menu system is cumbersome
  • manual uses technical language, not an easy read
  • manual doesn't explain all the functions, to the point where you find contradictions about some functions online
  • no weather-sealing

contra:

  • when boosting shadows, mine has a "red corner" (quite a few shots have failed because of this fault, and I had to send my camera in under warranty after a little less than 3 weeks)
  • raw files show a slight green tint, and lack (lots of) contrast and saturation
  • defaults to a slightly colder white balance
  • At 870 Euro, I find it too expensive - at 750 Euro I'd say the price would be perfect

If all you need is a sharp wide-angle lens in an easily portable package, this might be the right camera for you. But I would strongly advise shooting raw and editing the files yourself, otherwise you might end up disappointed with the Ricoh color science. I also find it too expensive, but then again there are no alternatives that have such a sharp lens in such a tiny camera. So, like most cameras, the Ricoh GR III is a compromise. A very particular - or should I say peculiar - compromise. If you can live with it's quirks, it will treat you with stunningly sharp pictures.

PS: when I sent my GR III in for warranty repairs for it's "red corner" problem, I missed photography so much that I bought a Nikon Z6 with a 24-70 f/4 kit lens. When I opened my first Z6 raw files, I couldn't believe my eyes: the Nikon raw files needed nearly no work on colors or saturation, just a little seasoning to taste! The difference with the flat and greenish raw files of the Ricoh is so obvious, that I feel confident in listing these aspects as my dislikes for the GR III. But if you need further proof, just open the studio test scene tool here on dpreview, and compare the Ricoh GR III to any other camera. The green tint and lack of contrast will be immediately apparent. On the other hand, the Nikon Z 24-70 f/4 - that is universally praised for it's sharpness - is just not as sharp as the GR III. That's why I chose to make that stand out as the main benefit of the GR III.

 Jambavan's gear list:Jambavan's gear list
Ricoh GR III Nikon Z6 Nikon Z 24-70mm F4
Ricoh GR III
24 megapixels • 3 screen
Announced: Sep 25, 2018
Jambavan's score
4.0
Average community score
4.0
bad for good for
Kids / pets
unrated
Action / sports
unrated
Landscapes / scenery
great
Portraits
unrated
Low light (without flash)
unrated
Flash photography (social)
unrated
Studio / still life
great
= community average
Nikon Z6 Ricoh GR III
If you believe there are incorrect tags, please send us this post using our feedback form.
ForumParentFirstPrevious
Flat view
Post (hide subjects) Posted by
ForumParentFirstPrevious
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum PPrevious NNext WNext unread UUpvote SSubscribe RReply QQuote BBookmark MMy threads
Color scheme? Blue / Yellow