Ricoh GRD3 Review

by Enche Tjin on October 20, 2009

Ricoh GRD3 is an advanced fixed lens compact camera and also the best Ricoh compact camera up to date. Ricoh GRD belong to the famous Ricoh GR line, which features fixed wide angle lens equivalent to 28mm with big aperture.

image courtesy of Alex Vargas -

image courtesy of Alex Vargas -

This product philosophy is pretty straightforward, it is designed and engineered for serious photographers. Every buttons, features, and menu interface are designed to be easily accessible for photographers. Aufo focus performance is excellent.  This combination ensures photographers to be able to capture the decisive moment when it occurs.

Ricoh GRD III specs highlights

  • 1/1.7″ image sensor. This sensor is slightly larger than its predecessor (1/1.75″) and it is  up to par with leading advanced compact in the market today.
  • 28mm f/1.9 is the brightest lens for compact camera today. This is quite an achievement. Previous Ricoh GRD2 has f/2.4 maximum aperture.
  • LCD screen has been enlarged to 3″ with 920k pixel resolution. This is also a leading class LCD screen. It is only inferior to AMOLED screen which has a bit over 1 million pixel resolution [Samsung WB1000 Review].
  • and weight is almost the same as GRD2, 208g compare to 200g.
  • 10 megapixel image resolution.

Body & Handling

Ricoh GRD3 is made by magnesium alloy body, very lightweight but very sturdy. It has a big leather-like texture in the hand grip and a bit on the back of the camera. The ergonomic is excellent. It is very comfortable even for a long period of time. The grip make it easier for photographer to keep the camera steady to prevent camera shake/blurred image.

Ricoh GRD3’s body  interface are the best interface for compact camera. Here is why:

First, it has many dedicated buttons, two dials, and up-down button in a very thoughtful design. All the buttons are very accessible.

Second, most  of the buttons are customizable. There are two customizable function buttons. In addition, the up-down button and the two dials can be customized in certain way to fit your prefered shooting style. There is also a ADJ. button, which is also function as a customizable button.

Mode dial is positioned far top right of the camera with a dial lock. The lock prevented the mode dial to be changed accidentally. GRD3 also has three custom mode dials that can be customized. For example, MY1 for general outdoor shooting, MY2 for low light shooting, MY3 for macro shooting, etc.

This kind of body interface usually only available on high-end digital SLR cameras. But even that, I doubt there are any high-end dSLR cameras that offers wide range of customization option that GRD3 offers.

When using a camera, most of photographers are forced to adapt to the  camera interface, but in GRD3, you can tailor fit it into your style. With some practical experience, you will find which kind of setting is the best for you.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Cristian October 31, 2009 at 5:00 pm

“Spot focus limited to center of the frame only. It is not moveable like other advanced compacts. ”

Very nice review but I have to point out that you can indeed move the AF point freely and even set the exposure point freely on the acreen using the AE/AF option when pressing the Adj. button it’s the last option.

admin October 31, 2009 at 6:18 pm

thanks for visiting and your input Cristian, I need to try it :)

Lynell July 23, 2013 at 9:25 pm

Everything is very open with a clear explanation of the challenges.

It was really informative. Your site is very helpful.

Many thanks for sharing!

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