Ricoh GR Digital III advanced compact camera

by Enche Tjin on July 27, 2009

According to Amateur Photographer (AP) Magazine, Ricoh GR Digital III will be out next month (August 2009). It is an improvement from Ricoh GR II. The new Ricoh cameras will challenge many advanced compact in the market such as Canon G10, Panasonic LX3, Samsung WB1000, Sigma DP2 etc.


What special about Ricoh GR Digital III?

  • Use 1.7″ sensor
  • It has fixed focal length of 28mm with maximum aperture of f/1.9.
  • Viewfinder and wide lens conversion (21mm) is available
  • Expensive, MSRP is around $800, GBP 530
  • Magnesium alloy body (tough body)
  • Digital hotshoe for external viewfinder or flashes (compatible with some Sigma flashes)
  • 5 frame per second continuous shooting (fastest in the class)
  • Selective colors saturation adjustment (great for landscape)
  • 3 inches LCD screen 920k resolution
  • Fix focus for instant shooting (zero shutter lag)
  • High Dynamic range processing 12 EV

One thing that important to know is Ricoh does not have zoom lenses, but it has fixed focal length of 35mm which is considered wide angle and is popular among classic photographers such as William Albert Alard from Nation Geographics and many others. There are also a wide lens conversion for wider viewing angle, suitable for landscape photography.

Big aperture of f/1.9 (the best for advanced compact surpass the f/2 in LX3) is quite an achievement for Ricoh. It allows more light to come in so you can have cleaner image in low light condition Ricoh also boasts 5 fps which is considered very fast, usually only high-end digital SLR camera has this feature.

This camera also has built-in high dynamic range processing. Camera will take 2 shots in different exposure and then combine it to protect under/over exposure. This will help to compete with DSLR’s dynamic range.


The downside of the camera is the small sensor. Some advanced cameras already use DSLR size sensor such as Sigma DP2. The other competition will come from micro four third system like Olympus E-P1.

The price of Ricoh GRD III is also ridiculously high. It is 50% more expensive than most of advanced compact in the market. With the same amount of money, you can get Olympus E-P1 with kit lens which is superior product because of the DSLR quality sensor and the interchangeable lenses feature.

Application and Conclusion

However, Ricoh GRD III do have its strong points and some of features are top of the line and never been shown before. Application of this camera will be good for street photography, architecture, and landscape. Its small form factor (but super tough) and it classic feel and looks will be appealing for many traditional photographers.

Other basic specification

  • 10 Megapixel image resolution
  • 3:2 aspect ratio
  • 320 x 240 pixel/30fps video recording mode
  • Close up macro mode (1.5cm)
  • ISO 64-1600
  • Pop-up built-in flash

Read: Full Ricoh GRD III Review

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

alex February 10, 2011 at 5:19 pm

hello, dont want to be unpolite, but a lot of stuff you wrote is simply wrong

it has a 28mm lens equivalent to fullframe, thats allready real ff measuring.
also ricoh is known for producing this 28mm lens not 35mm lenses, they have many zoom lenses, in fact the grd series (excluding film) and the fixed gxr lenses are the only non zoom lenses available from ricoh

i mean did you even understood what you wrote ?? ^^

Enche Tjin February 11, 2011 at 3:59 am

u’re right. thx

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