Compacts have their work cut out in today’s smartphone era, but premium models like the new Ricoh GR III still have their advantages. Michael Topham reviews the latest member in the GR-series
Ricoh GR III: At a Glance
- 24.2MP APS-C CMOS sensor
- 18.3mm f/2.8 (28mm equivalent) lens
- ISO 100-102,400
- 3-axis sensor-shift shake reduction
- 3in, 1,037k-dot touchscreen
- USB charging (USB Type-C)
- Wi-fi and Bluetooth connectivity
Ricoh’s GR series of 35mm compact cameras has picked up something of a cult following since the arrival of the original GR1 in 1996. The idea of creating a slim, pocket friendly model with a super-sharp lens captured the imagination of many photographers, particularly those after a discrete and portable compact for shooting street or documentary style images where the best camera is usually the one you can access in an instant and is inconspicuous to use.
In 2005 Ricoh made its move from film to digital. The GR Digital kept the ethos of the original GR1 and paired a wide 28mm f/2.4 equivalent lens with an 8MP 1/1.8in CCD sensor. By 2013 Ricoh had managed to squeeze an APS-C size sensor into its GR model to challenge rivals in the premium compact market from the likes of as the Fujifilm and Nikon.
Two years later the Ricoh GR II arrived. This was another highly regarded member in the GR-series, but was more of a minor revamp on what we’d seen before. Since then we’ve seen Ricoh deliver on its promise of releasing the GR III. This latest model has it all to do if it’s to entice photographers into buying a fixed lens compact, especially given it costs £200 more than the Ricoh GR II did in 2015.