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Ricoh GR IIIx Review

Our Ricoh GR ambassadors have put the new Ricoh GR IIIx up to test and here are their thoughts.

Ricoh GR is one of the most iconic street cameras ever made. With roots in the analog era, it is for many street photographers the first choice when it comes to choosing camera. Now its time for an upgrade; the new Ricoh GR IIIx.

Fredrik Fernlöf, Sweden

Finally a sensible compact camera with really good image quality and the right focal length! From now on, I will carry the camera with me every day as soon as I leave home.

Has always been fond of focal length 40mm, a perfect mix between 35 and 50. 28mm can sometimes feel a bit wide angle, but good for travel when you photograph to remember but a little harder if you want to get a little depth of field and natural portraits that will be framed.

After testing the Ricoh GR III x for a while, it feels like you are discovering new features the whole time. As a photographer, you usually know where you want to go with a picture, you easily follow in your old footsteps and take detours to get to the right settings. But with Ricoh GR III & GR III x, it feels like they're really developed for photographers.

Fast focus at 1.5m as auto! No one even thought that such a function is fantastic, e.g., a camera that understands that it should connect to the phone when you want your pictures and does not mess up with the transfer.

Once you have the RAW images and attack them in Photoshop, there are no limits here either. At first, I thought that there was a certain darkness over the pictures, but all the information and mass was there to adjust shadows, highlights, and colours. Everything was there. Felt like there was no stopping how far you could adjust it. Impressive for being a compact camera smaller than half a mobile in size.  

Thanks to the APS-C sensor, you get what you are looking for. Got a chance to test the camera in a studio environment with controlled light.  The sharpness is immediate, and I could take pictures like just like that. I could raise the camera to the skies, this is what I have been longing for.


Bjørn Wad, Norway

I'm personally not a huge fan of wide-angle lenses under 35mm and was therefore thrilled that Ricoh released the new GR IIIx with a equivalent 40mm (full frame) lens. This way I can carry along both the previous GR III for wider shots and the new X for scenarios where you want to go closer and wish for more shallow depth of field.

I find myself often changing between the crop modes on the GR III, going from landscape at equivalent 28mm (full frame) to closer motive and portraits on 35mm and 50mm. Now its ideal using each camera for different scenarios without loosing resolution.

Many reviews criticise the GR models for having low battery life, which if you're intending to shoot a whole day's worth, can be a problem. But having the USB-C charging option I use a long cable and a power bank in my bag, which I’ve found to be a great solution for the issue. I'm looking forward to testing the new X edition Ricoh GR III camera further.


David Hellman, Finland

The new 40mm full-frame equivalent f/2.8 lens is so perfect for me, it is so much easier to compose image with it and I don't need to get too close on people with it. It was incredible move from Ricoh to make this 40mm knowing that the only downside for many people with the GR III was the 28mm and now those people shouldn't have any doubt to buy this one!

I have really enjoyed using the new GR IIIx and honestly, I don't even take the trash out without it in my pocket. Maybe in the future we can have wider aperture like 2.0.


Ignas Nefas, Lithuania

It was a rainy November weekend and I took the GR IIIx for a spin. I've walked and cycled the city for a few days, snapping the reflections on a wet ground and long shadows from an early setting sun using this little but capable camera. It fits right in the shirt's pocket and is discreet enough for a candid street photography compared to the chunky DSLR camera. The first thing you notice is that it's pretty much identical to the GR III except just a tiny bit thicker. Extra thickness doesn't make any noticeable a difference though, it's still an extremely small camera.

Longer focal length gives an opportunity to isolate your subjects and give some more background separation. The bokeh is nice and smooth thanks to nine aperture blades that form an almost perfect circle. The relatively big sensor for this type of camera gives a good low-light performance, even though most of the time you can use the image sensor stabilization to get shots even at half of a second. This way the noise isn't really an issue in most situations. Autofocus is fast and snappy and the image quality, especially when stopped down just a bit is mind-blowing for the camera this small. Distortion was low in the 28 mm version, this one is pretty much non-existent.

A few things that could be improved is the battery life, but it's a balance between the size of the camera and how big of a battery you can fit. I usually just leave it to charge when I'm back home transferring my images. If there's a need to replace the battery on the go the new batteries are easy to acquire. Some people might miss the twisty-screen function, but that didn't bother me too much, for the type of shooting that I do with the camera it's not really essential. There's no weather sealing so try not to get it soaked, but I was shooting during some moderate rain and there were no issues.

GR IIIx is about $100 extra than its wider brother but if you're looking for a camera that fits right in your pocket, takes great quality images with not much effort this is the way to go. It all comes down to the focal length you prefer, the wider 28 mm is a nice travel lens, but the 40 mm is perfect for portraiture and all around every-day shooting, it comes down to a personal preference.

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