The RICOH GR III is a compact APS-C camera with a fixed prime lens and minimalist design aimed at street photographers. It's remarkably portable and can easily fit into a pocket or small bag, but it may be too small for those with larger hands to use comfortably. Its built-in lens has a 28mm equivalent focal length, which is a wide enough angle to capture everyday moments and street scenes, and it has a crop function for its sensor if you prefer to shoot at 35mm or 50mm. The lens has a built-in neutral density filter to reduce the amount of light entering the camera, and its 24.24-megapixel sensor delivers excellent image quality with minimal visual noise at higher ISO settings; this makes it well-suited to shooting in more dimly-lit conditions. That said, its autofocus system isn't very effective, and it has a very limited battery life, though this can vary with real-world usage. It also isn't well-suited to shooting video, as it lacks 4k recording capability, delivers poor video quality in FHD, and has very few inputs and outputs.
The RICOH GR III is decent for travel photography. It delivers excellent image quality and performs well even in low light. It's remarkably compact and easy to take with you on the go. It also feels well-built and has a very bright screen that can easily overcome glare in sunny conditions. Unfortunately, its battery life is poor, and its autofocus system isn't very reliable with tracking moving subjects.
The RICOH GR III is great for landscape photography. It delivers excellent overall image quality and has great dynamic range to bring out a wider range of detail in landscape shots. While its built-in lens has a fixed focal length, it has a wide enough field of view for landscapes, and its built-in neutral density filter can help you take longer exposure shots. It's also remarkably compact, so it's easy to take with you to remote shooting locations. However, its minimalist design may not be the most comfortable to shoot with, depending on your ergonomic preferences.
The RICOH GR III isn't suitable for sport and wildlife photography. While it delivers excellent image quality, it has a limited continuous shooting mode that can only shoot at 4 fps. Its fixed focal length isn't well-suited to this use since you can't zoom in on far-away subjects, and depending on what aperture you use, its shutter speed is also limited and may not be fast enough for very quick action.
The RICOH GR III is a poor choice for vlogging. While it's very portable and easy to carry around, it can't shoot in 4k, and its FHD video quality is underwhelming. It also has a fixed screen, so you can't easily monitor yourself while recording. Also, its autofocus system doesn't support any tracking features in video, making it nearly impossible to keep yourself in focus while vlogging with the lens facing you. It also tends to overheat and shut down when recording continuously for longer periods.
The RICOH GR III isn't suitable for studio video. While it has an easy-to-use menu system with extensive options, the camera can't shoot video in 4k, and its FHD video quality is poor. It doesn't support autofocus tracking when shooting video either, and it only has a USB-C port, with no HDMI port, microphone jack, or headphone jack. It has a limited recording time limit and tends to overheat and shut down when recording for longer periods.
The RICOH GR III isn't suitable for action video. While it's very portable, it isn't designed for helmet or chest mounts. It's not rated to be water-resistant either. It can only shoot video in FHD, and video quality is poor overall, although it does an excellent job smoothing out camera shake.
You can see the camera's portability with its lens fully extended here.
Note: The RICOH GR III has a built-in neutral density (ND) filter for its lens that affects how much light the camera lets in, allowing you to shoot at slower shutter speeds for longer exposure shots or use a larger aperture than you would be able to otherwise.
Note: We experienced a few shutdowns due to overheating while testing the camera's battery performance. You may experience the same when recording video continuously for longer periods, after which you have to wait for it to cool down before using it again.
Note: The camera can only achieve its maximum 1/4000 shutter speed when using an f/5.6 aperture or higher. When using an aperture between f/5.0 and f/4.5, the max shutter speed is 1/3200, and when using f/4.0 and below, the max shutter speed is 1/2500. This camera has a few additional features that may interest photographers, including an 'AA Filter Simulator' setting that simulates the effect of an anti-aliasing filter to help eliminate false colors and reduce moire. It also has an electronic crop feature that crops the sensor to a 50mm or 35mm field of view.
Note: The RICOH GR III only has one continuous shooting drive mode that shoots at 4 fps, but for consistency, we've simply noted the continuous shooting speed in each field.
Note: Due to the camera's fixed focal length and max f/2.8 aperture, we had to conduct this test with a 3.5cm - 4.1cm depth of field, which deviates from our usual methodology of using a 1.2cm - 1.3cm DOF. Also, RICOH has announced that this camera will receive eye detection in a future firmware update. As of writing, it only supports face detection, but we'll retest the camera with new firmware updates as they're released.
Note: The RICOH GR III has a built-in neutral density (ND) filter. We measured the above results with the ND filter set to 'Auto' since that's the camera's default setting. The difference it makes in luminance noise is very minor, but for comparison, you can see the graph achieved with the ND filter disabled here.
Note: When recording video, this camera incurs a 1.2x crop compared to its photo mode.
Note: The recording time limit is either 25 minutes or a 4GB file size, depending on which you reach first.
Note: While this camera supports continuous autofocus in video mode, it doesn't have any automatic tracking features, meaning the user has to manually select different focus points using the touchscreen. In 'Auto' mode, the focus kept chasing and pulsing, and it was difficult for the lens to establish focus.
Note: In addition to an SD card slot, the RICOH GR III has about 2GB of internal memory, which may be useful if you run out of space on your SD card on the go.
The RICOH GR III comes in two color variants: 'Black' and the 'Metallic Gray' Street Edition. We tested the Black variant, but we expect the Street Edition to perform similarly.
Let us know if you come across another variant or your RICOH GR III doesn't correspond to our review, and we'll update it.
You can see our unit's label here.